- How biologically diverse is the earth and how does this diversity change across geography and over time?
- What are the impacts of environmental change on the evolution and extinction of species?
Smithsonian scientists—including biologists, botanists, entomologists, and both vertebrate and invertebrate zoologists—are at the forefront of research in biodiversity, working to answer these and other important research questions. Their work encircles the globe: from Antarctica, where scientists study the feeding habits of Weddell Seals, to the United Kingdom, the location of a network of forests monitored by the Smithsonian Institution Global Earth Observatory project. Back at home, scientific staff members maintain the world's largest collection of biological specimens, which includes 30 million insects, 4.5 million pressed plants, and 7 million fish.