The mission of the Department of Biology is to promote research programs of national and international prominence and to provide strong undergraduate and graduate educational programs that emphasize integrative approaches to biological problems. In doing so, our programs support preparation in professional development for careers related to the biological and health sciences.

Our faculty tend to conduct research in three focus areas:

  1. Cell and Developmental Biology
  2. Neurobiology and Neuromechanical Systems
  3. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

An integrated systems approach to addressing biological problems is also used in each of these major areas of concentration.

The primary function of each of the three focus areas is to provide a unifying framework for a group of faculty to share some common research interest and graduate training. However, faculty are neither required to exclusively conduct research in a focus area nor be identified with an area of concentration. Instead, the three focus areas aid in developing cross-collaborative initiatives that ultimately lead to the pursuit of program research and training grants. Our three focus areas have already proven to promote a vibrant scholarly environment and have strengthened the identity of the Department of Biology.

Our identity has been further strengthened by expanding the size of our faculty in each of the three focus areas. The Department of Biology is committed to providing a supportive and collaborative environment for the development of our junior faculty, especially through the promotion of active mentoring programs. Such an environment also serves to enhance research productivity and scholarship of senior faculty and ultimately ensures equitable use of departmental resources for the professional development of all faculty within the Department of Biology.