The Genetics Lab

Capturing Life in Sequence

The Genetics Lab, located inside Expedition Health, is where Museum scientists, community scientists, students, and collaborators conduct original research across the spectrum of life. Because the lab is visible to the public, Museum guests can observe daily activities that occur in a modern genetics laboratory—pipetting liquids, extracting and quantifying DNA, performing PCR experiments, running gel electrophoresis, analyzing data, writing grants and papers, and collaborating.

Currently, there are multiple health science and zoology projects being conducted in the lab, including genetics of taste in humans, camel spider genomics, avian genomics, and small mammal evolutionary genetics. Projects utilize the Museum’s extensive collections of DNA, frozen tissues, and specimens.  Visit our project pages below to learn more!

From Specimen to Species

If you've ever spent the day in Colorado's mountains, you might have spied a chipmunk scurrying along the trail or across the forest floor. But did you know that Colorado is home to five distinct species of these miniscule mammals? It's true, and these species are tricky to tell apart. Join Zoology Preparator Andie Carrillo and Lab Manager Tiffany Nuessle for a live look at how DNA sequencing can help scientists crack the code.


Bridget N. Chalifour, PhD

Genomics Scientist

Tiffany Nuessle, MA

Research Manager in the Genetics Lab

Garth M. Spellman, PhD

Director of Zoology & Health Sciences, Curator of Ornithology

Paula E. Cushing, PhD

Senior Curator of Invertebrate Zoology

Courtney J. Scheskie, MA

Business Support Specialist III

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