Click here to read a special message from our Museum Staff to the Houston Community

Shop Over 400+ Items From HMNS Museum Store

Sign up for exclusive online-only deals + Store Pickup. Members save 10-20%.

Gems of the Sea: The Guido T. Poppe Collection


World class. One of a kind. Never before seen. Made by mollusks.

The Philippines consists of over 7,500 islands in Southeast Asia, totaling a land area of approximately 116,000 square miles, and giving the Philippines the longest coastlines of any nation in the world. The Philippine archipelago is known to possess some of the richest marine biodiversity in the world. Along with their unparalleled diversity among the species, marine mollusks from this area are of great interest to science for their peculiar interactions and adaptations in their marine environment.

Latest Major Acquisition by HMNS
The world-class Guido T. Poppe Collection of Philippine Mollusks is the latest acquisition to the HMNS collections. It is the most extensive and complete assemblage of marine mollusks from a single Indo-Pacific region.

The Poppe Collection consists of over 25,000 fully documented specimens, which include corresponding scientific collecting and meta data, photographs and shared copyrights. Over 6,250 species are represented in the collection, which includes more than 10% of the known marine mollusk species worldwide.

The specimens in the collection acquired by HMNS were selected from a larger collection of about 3 million shells for their scientific importance and breathtaking beauty.

This collection serves as a record of diversity at a specific location and point in time. It is valuable as a primary scientific research source for studies on biodiversity assessment and conservation, behavioral ecology, biology, microbiology, genetics, biochemistry, chemistry, toxicology and pharmacology. This collection is currently being utilized by dozens of scientists from around the world and is fully documented in a four-volume set of fully illustrated taxonomic publications.

Guido T. Poppe of Belgium is a noted malacologist whose scientific collections are on display at top museums around the world. One thousand of the species of Mollusca he has discovered are included in the new HMNS acquisition. For his contribution to marine biology, Poppe has received appointments by National Museum of Natural History in Paris and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.

The acquisition of Poppe Collection is partially funded by the Lillie and Roy Cullen Endowment Fund and the Fox and Monica Benton Foundation. This addition to the Museum’s collections is in honor of long-time HMNS board member Ann Brinkerhoff.

Gems of the Sea: The Guido T. Poppe Collection
While shells may seem an unusual attraction for the Lester and Sue Smith Gem Vault, Poppe Collection certainly fits the setting, considering the quality and rarity of these specimens. Gems of the Sea features a selection of nearly 130 exquisite shells which represents 60 species from the prestigious Guido T. Poppe Collection of Philippine Mollusks. Many are so new to science they have not yet been named.

*This exhibition is free for Members.

Curator: Tina Petway

Tina Petway, a native Houstonian became the Associate Curator of Malacology at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in 2005. The HMNS Malacology collection has grown over the past few years and is now the largest of the Museum’s Collections. HMNS is the home of the extensive and irreplaceable collection known as….


Related Events and Post
Currently, there's no related events.
Currently, there's no related blog post.
Currently, there's no related lectures.

Related MuseumStore Gifts

100% of the Museum Store proceeds benefit the Houston Museum of Natural Science's educational programming.

The world-class Guido T. Poppe Collection of Philippine Mollusks is the latest acquisition to the HMNS collections.

Strake Hall of Malacology

Located Here
HMNS at Hermann Park

5555 Hermann Park Dr.
Houston,Texas 77030
(713) 639-4629


Get Directions Offering varies by location

Stay in the know. Join our mailing list.