Research

Over the past 130 years, the Museum’s world renowned scientists have acquired 25 million items telling the full story of Hawai‘i and the Pacific. These items include cultural objects and biological specimens.

Publications

Bishop Museum houses the world’s largest collection of Hawaiian and Pacific cultural artifacts and natural history specimens. This collection continues to be used as a first class scientific collection contributing to ongoing global research.

Pacific Island Snails

Islands comprise only 5% of the earth’s landmass, yet the study of island plants and animals has contributed substantially to our understanding of how organisms interact with one another and their environment.

Kamiali

In 1961, Bishop Museum established a montane field station near Wau township, about 50 km directly east of Kamiali, which became the Wau Ecology Institute (WEI) in 1971. It continues in operation as a local NGO, although it is now difficult to access because of deteriorating roads. WEI was instrumental in training a generation of PNG and overseas biologists who today are the leading scientists working in PNG.

Dr. Allen Allison has worked for the Bishop Museum for 35 years. He has conducted field work in Papua New Guinea since 1973, with support from the National Science Foundation and other sources, and has discovered more than 100 new species of amphibians and reptiles. In 2001 he established the Kamiali Biological Station on the north coast of New Guinea to advance research, conservation, and training in the Pacific region.

 

DeSoto Brown is the longtime gatekeeper of the archives at Bishop Museum, where he helps information seekers unearth all manner of treasures from our vast collection of Hawaiian history.

Dr. Neal Evenhuis is our Senior Research Entomologist and Lead Scientist. In his 40 years at the Museum, he has described over 600 species of insects in 560 scientific articles and and books. He specializes in the taxonomy of Hawaiian and Pacific flies (Diptera), especially long-legged predatory flies  (Dolichopodidae). He is also a world expert on bee flies (Bombyliidae) and micro bee flies (Mythicomyiidae). In addition to taxonomy, he conducts bibliographic research and has published a number of biographies of little-known and under appreciated biologists
Clyde Imada is a research specialist in the Botany department at Bishop Museum.  Clyde conducts botanical field surveys, fields plant information requests, identifies plants, edits botanical materials, and interacts with the public upon request.
Dr. Ken Longenecker is an associate researcher and a 10-year staff member of the Bishop Museum. His work focuses on generating biological information that promotes conservation and sustainable use of marine animals. He has been working in Papua New Guinea for six years.
Richard Pyle has worked in the Ichthyology collection at Bishop Museum since 1986. He is an Associate Researcher, Database Coordinator, and Dive Safety Officer for the Museum. His main field of expertise involves the taxonomy and bio-geography of coral-reef fishes. His other areas of interest include the use of advanced diving technology to document biodiversity inhabiting deeper regions of tropical coral reefs, and also the development of computer database systems (and associated data standards) for managing biodiversity information.

Dr. Norine Yeung’s current research interests are focused on understanding the evolutionary mechanisms and processes that generate, maintain, and in some cases, reduce biodiversity. Teaching is central to her research, as an educator of science, policy and management.

 Mr. Marzan is currently on staff in the Bishop Museum’s Cultural Resources Division, and is responsible for providing guidance in traditional cultural practices and protocols for the Museum.  He also provides greater opportunities for cultural practitioners to learn from the treasures of our past.  He shares his understanding and passion of the fiber arts through public presentations, demonstrations, and workshops that restore, in modern culture, the living presence of rare Hawaiian forms, materials, and designs.  Drawing upon this foundation of knowledge, Mr. Marzan bridges the traditions of the past with the innovations of the present, creating a dialogue within his work that speaks to the evolutionary continuity of culture.

CULTURAL OBJECTS

The Museum preserves and conserves over two million cultural artifacts representing Native Hawaiian, Pacific Island, and Hawai‘i immigrant life deriving from the Museum’s rich legacy of research in Hawai‘i and the Pacific. The cultural collections include Archaeology, Ethnology and Library and Archives. These collections also include more than 115,000 historical publications, one million historical photographs, films, works of art, audio recordings and manuscripts.

BIOLOGICAL SPECIMENS

The Museum cares for and maintains significant research collections related to the biodiversity of the Pacific Basin. The majority of our biological collections are the most comprehensive in the world for Polynesia, Micronesia, Melanesia and Southeast Asia. Much of the information on the past and present distribution of species contained in these collections is available nowhere else. The six biological collections house over 22 million specimens.

Be a Part of Our Story

Celebrate the extraordinary history, culture, and environment of Hawaiʻi and the Pacific with a gift to Bishop Museum. As a partner in the Museum’s work, you can help to sustain vital collections, research, and knowledge, and inspire exploration and discovery with a tax-deductible donation.