Harvard University and EOL

The Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University is an institutional supporter of the Encyclopedia of Life and hosts the EOL Learning + Education group. Harvard's museums, libraries, faculty and students have contributed data, content and multimedia to help build the Encyclopedia of Life. 




The Museum of Comparative Zoology's ten research collections, representing approximately 21 million living and fossil inveterate and vertebrate specimens serves data and images through the EOL portal. 

Biodiversity Literature

Harvard University Botany Libraries and Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology These libraries are members of the Biodiversity Heritage Library Consortium (BHL), an effort to digitize literature and make it available through EOL.

African Amphibians
Dr. Breda Zimkus

The African Amphibians Scratchpad is an authoritative, community-driven resource for information on African amphibians. This content feeds directly into the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) and AmphibiaWeb, an EOL Content Partner.

Dr. Gisele Y. Kawauchi

The Sipuncula Scratchpad provides scientific knowledge about this little-known marine invertebrate, offering descriptions, images and links to relevant literature. Content is shared on EOL taxon pages.

Salamanders of China
Dr. Yunke Wu

This project provides detailed information on taxonomy, morphology, geographic distribution and life history of Chinese salamanders along with high-quality images. Content is shared with Salamanders of the Old World, EOL and AmphibiaWeb.

Student Contributions: Fungi

Students in OEB 54: Biology of Fungi, taught by Anne Pringle and Donald Pfister created species accounts for EOL through Mushroom Observer, an EOL Content Partner.

Student Contributions: Herpetology

Students in OEB 167: Herpetology, taught by James Hanken and Jonothan Losos created species accounts through AmphibiaWeb (2008) and EOL's Education LifeDesk (2010, 2012). View an example here

Student Contributions: Fishes

Harvard students in OEB 130: Patterns & Processes in Fish Diversity each developed a taxon page to represent the fish species they selected. Professor: George V. Lauder Teaching Fellows (2010): Erin Blevins & Jeanette Lim.


Biological Classification

Frog Observer Cards
Dr. Breda Zimkus

Dr. Breda Zimkus developed a set of Frog Observer Cards which encourage observing nature by focusing on the key traits and behaviors that make different frogs species unique.

Bee Observer Cards
Dr. Jessica Rykken

Dr. Jessica Rykken of the Farrell Lab at Harvard developed a set of Bee Observer Cards which encourage observing nature by focusing on the key traits and behaviors that make different bee species unique.


Scientists from Harvard have been featured in EOL's One Species at a Time podcast series. Listen to the podcasts: Ants, Lichens and Vent Worms.
Image Credits: Pelusios williamsi williamsi via Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard. CC BY-NC-SA; Sterna sp. via Biodiversity Heritage Library; Morerella cyanophthalma by Mahsberg, Dieter via African Amphibians ScratchPad. CC BY-NC; Themiste alutacea by Kawauchi, Gisele Y. via Sipuncula ScratchPad. CC BY-NC-SA.; Tylototriton kweichowensis by Xin Chen via Salamanders of China Scratchpad. CC BY-NC; Hyperolius substriatus by Mahler, D.L. and Zimkus, B.M. via African Amphibians Scratchpad. CC BY-NC; Bee Observer Card image via Encyclopedia of Life Learning + Education; Amanita muscaria by Hermann Falkner via Flickr: EOL Images. CC BY-NC; Anolis carolinensis by catherinemorrison29 via Flickr: EOL Images. CC BY-NC-SA;  Scyliorhinus canicula via Biopix. CC BY-NC.