George W. Strake Hall of Malacology

Permanent Collection

The George W. Strake Hall of Malacology displays over 1,300 shell and marine specimens with a focus on ocean conservation.

Shells are undeniably beautiful with cascading colors, various textures and complex patterns, but as HMNS malacology curator Tina Petway reminds us, “This is not just about pretty shells. This is about human’s reliance on the ocean’s resources.”

The Strake Hall of Malacology explains the critical part mollusks play in the ocean’s ecosystem, as well as Earth’s overall ecology. The exhibition also dives into the food and cultural uses of shells.

Curator: Tina Petway

Whether octopus, squid, bivalve or gastropod, all mollusks tug on the heartstrings of native Houstonian Tina Petway, who was named 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….

Related Events and Post
    Loading, Please Wait...
    Loading, Please Wait...
    Loading, Please Wait...

Please help us to preserve our collections for the next generation by not using flash when taking personal pictures at HMNS and at HMNS Sugar Land. Exposure to strong lights over time causes fading and deterioration of most artifacts and specimens.

Flash photography is ONLY allowed in the Grand Hall and the rainforest of the Cockrell Butterfly Center.

Selfie sticks are not allowed anywhere in HMNS, HMNS Sugar Land and the George Observatory.

For press and any commercial photo shoots, please contact the Public Relations dept.

Explore Shell Science!

George W. Strake Hall of Malacology


Stay in the know.
Join our mailing list.

$50 could be just a few clicks away

Complete a short five-minute survey about your website experience on

Sure, I'll give feedback