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Animals and Plants - Useful websites

A range of high-quality resources for biological sciences are available on the web. For subject specific resources look at these guides:



  • Algaebase: Specialises in algae on land and in water. The coverage of marine algae is most complete.
  • Animal Diversity Web: Initiative from the University of Michigan, which gives detailed information about thousands of species and classifications.
  • Catalogue of life: “Holds essential information on the names, relationships and distributions of over 1.8 million species”
  • Encyclopedia for Life: Brings together facts about all scientifically named organisms, animals, plants, fungi, protists, and bacteria, in existence on Earth.
  • International Plant Names Index (IPNI): The International Plant Names Index (IPNI) contains the names and associated basic bibliographical details of all seed plants. It is a useful source for checking the spelling and bibliographic details (e.g. where the name was first published, the author(s) of the article and so on) of plant names.
  • The Taxonomy Database: Curated US database, which provides classification and nomenclature to around 10% of known species maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
  • Tree of Life: Made up of more than 2000 webpages, and contains information about the diversity of organisms on earth. Each page contains information about one group of organisms and the pages link together in the form of an evolutionary tree.
  • ZooBank: Aims to be “a central, authoritative and comprehensive resource for scientific names in zoology”.


  • Biodiversity Heritage Library: A collaboratively created open access depository of biodiversity literature and archives.
  • FReD (Floral Reflectance Database): Containing the data of spectral reflectances of over 2000 species of flowers, created through a collaboration between Queen Mary PhD students and researchers at Royal Botanical Garden, Kew. Does also offer interesting insights about how bees see colour.
  • Invasive species compendium: Includes datasheets covering species, which threatens natural habitats and the management thereof.
  • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Assesses the global conservation status of plant and animal species from around the world. It evaluates the extinction risk of thousands of species and subspecies and recognised as the most authoritative guide to the status of biological diversity.
  • MarLIN: An initiative of the Marine Biological Association of the UK that aims to provide the most comprehensive and easily used source of information about marine habitats, communities and species in Britain and Ireland. MarLIN includes a wide range of information such as the statutes and directives relating to marine conservation and resource management, data from marine life surveys and species information.
  • USFWS National Digital Library: A multimedia repository filled with useful images, videos and other information about animals, plants and other wildlife.


  • British wildlife recordings: Offers a collection of over 600 sounds of British wildlife from the British Library.
  • FishBase: Claims to be able to provide "all you ever wanted to know about fishes". This includes information on fish biology, taxonomy (searching by common and scientific names), morphology, ecology, and conservation.
  • National Marine Mammal Laboratory: US laboratory, which is responsible for conducting research on marine mammals, with a particular focus on the coasts of Oregon, Washington and Alaska. Includes links to marine mammal information sources and an excellent collection of images.


  • Botany: An online companion to Botany : Introduction to Plant Biology by J.D. Mauseth.
  • Bryophyte ecology: Freely available e-book about bryophytes.
  • Forestry Index: Resource for timberland owners, but does provide lots of interesting information about anything forestry.
  • Internet directory for botany: A very comprehensive directory, which links to many useful resources for botany.
  • What is Photosynthesis?: Provides links to articles covering all aspects of photosynthesis created by Arizona State University.

Queen Mary research groups and labs of interest

Museums, botanical gardens & and other organisations of interest




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