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APSU David H. Snyder Museum of Zoology (DSMZ)

David Hilton Snyder, Ph.D., began the Museum of Zoology at APSU, then called Austin Peay State College, in 1962 soon after joining the faculty. Starting as a teaching collection with only a few hundred animals, today it houses over 50,000 vertebrate specimens. The successful growth of the museum’s holdings is the result of enthusiastic student collectors working thousands of hours under the mentorship of Dr. Snyder, a Principal Investigator in the Center of Excellence for Field Biology from 1986 through 1993. Without a doubt, David Snyder’s interest and dedication to teaching and research through the years finds its home and legacy here in the D. Snyder Museum of Zoology, Austin Peay State University. 

skull and specimens
 Examples of specimens housed in the DSMZ Collections.

Overview of Breadth of D. Snyder Museum of Zoology (DSMZ) Collections:

• 50,591 specimens and photographic vouchers of vertebrates
• largest collection of amphibians and reptiles in Tennessee
• amphibian and reptile vouchers from 356 counties and 34 states (primarily TN, KY, MS, AR)
• fish collections span 50 counties, 6 states with a concentration in TN and KY (two of the most diverse states for North American freshwater fishes)
• regionally significant collections of birds and mammals, representing approximately 1,500 specimens  

Students have been engaged in collection science and research through the DSMZ and its curators since its inception and these libraries play a valuable role in teaching, research, and outreach for APSU, the broader scientific community, and the general public. Details of some of the research involving these collections can be found here.

To browse or search collection holdings, visit links for the collection of interest. To request loan materials, please review the loan policies, and make inquires to the respective collection manager.

Amphibians & Reptiles:

Dr. Chris Gienger, Curator                                         




Dr. Stefan Woltmann, Curator                                   




Dr. Rebecca Johansen, Curator and Director