The Nunnally Ichthyology Collection at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science is an integral part of the tripartite mission of VIMS and serves a broad community of basic- and applied-research scientists and fisheries managers, as well as providing an important resource for local community outreach. Through its 57-year history, the Collection has grown from an uncataloged teaching collection to become one of the largest repositories for freshwater, Chesapeake Bay, and coastal fishes in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Although worldwide in its coverage, the collection's holdings are particularly strong in marine, estuarine, and freshwater fishes from
- Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries
- Virginia's coastal waters
- The deep waters of the western North Atlantic
- The upper reaches of Chesapeake and Delaware bays
- The rivers, streams, and lakes of Virginia, with a focus on the unique fauna of the southern Appalachians
The collection contains approximately 20,000 cataloged lots of fishes comprising 128,000 specimens in 247 families. Of these lots, 16,000 are computer cataloged. Users can search these computer records by keyword, taxonomic groupings (family, genus, and species), and locality; reports based on these data are available.
In addition to its use in research, the VIMS fish collection is also frequently used in education and training.
Dr. Eric J. Hilton, Curator and Assistant Professor of Marine Science