The Peabody Museum is actively engaged in the research and teaching activities of the scholarly communities studying its collections. The Conservation department, for example, has the important responsibilities of monitoring the condition of items in the collections, recommending appropriate housing, evaluating the condition of newly acquired objects or those slated for exhibit or loan, and treating and stabilizing at-risk items.

The Mesoamerican Lab conducts student research projects, collection analysis, archaeology field projects, and conservation in Central America and Mexico. The Paleoanthropology Lab focuses on the evolution of hominoids, while the Zooarchaeology Lab researches and analyses faunal remains at archaeological sites.