Herpetology research is conducted in the Leaché Lab, located in the Burke Museum and the UW Department of Biology.
The lab, led by Burke Museum Herpetology Curator Adam Leaché, includes undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and visiting scientists. The primary topics of research include evolutionary biology, systematics, phylogenetics, species delimitation, and comparative biology.
Meet the Amphibians & Reptiles
Amphibians found in Washington state
Lizard species found in Washington state
Snake species found in Washington state
Turtle species found in Washington state
Questions & Answers
We’ve pulled together some common questions and answers related to the Burke Museum Herpetology Collection. Do you have question that isn’t answered in the list below? Contact us.
I’m a researcher. How do I request a specimen loan?
Our loan policy makes any and all parts of the collection available to qualified investigators and their students in the U.S. and abroad. We lend, donate and exchange material freely. Each request, however, is reviewed to determine if the potential borrower is likely to take proper care of the material and if the material itself is in a condition to withstand shipment. We do not loan more than half of our holdings of a species at one time, so researchers may have to arrange sequential loans.
Loans are invoiced with catalog numbers, species names, data and period of the loan (one year with the option to then extend the loan period). The costs of processing and shipping specimens on loan are covered by the Herpetology Collection, with the expectation that loans will be returned at the borrower's expense.
Individuals interested in obtaining specimens on loan should first search our database* in order to identify potentially interesting specimens, and should then contact us.
*Resource: To search Burke specimens in the Arctos database, select “Amphibian and reptile specimens” under “Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (UWBM)” in the drop-down menu for Collection.
Can I visit the collection?
Researchers are welcome to visit the collection, and the Herpetology Collection offers a variety of tours to the public and university community. We can tailor the length and content of a tour to accommodate most interests and age groups. Arrangements should be made at least two weeks in advance.
For researchers, we have bench space and dissecting microscopes available for use. Please contact us for questions or to schedule a visit.
Can I have something identified?
Did you encounter an interesting or unusual amphibian or reptile that you wish to have identified? Please submit a photo for identification using the Object Identification Request Form. We would love to help!
Can I donate a specimen to the collection?
Can I become a volunteer?
Your gift makes it possible! We couldn't do what we do without generous donor support for collections care, research and public outreach.