Research Groups

A key goal of the Department of Biological Sciences is to promote world-class research in areas that are central to biology now and into the future. Faculty interests are currently identified in and among three broad areas: Biodiversity, Ecological and Environmental Biological Research; Cellular and Developmental Biological Research; and Physiological Research. These groups allow our strong participation in longstanding and well-developed research directions, as well as foster innovations in newly emerging areas of biology and life sciences. Faculty have identified in one or more of these groups:

Biodiversity, Ecological and Environmental Biological Research

Biodiversity, ecology and environmental biology are important research areas that involve a significant portion of our current biology faculty. Biodiversity and ecological research is widely recognized as vital to society and modern biology. Knowledge of biodiversity, understanding the role(s) of the biota in our environment and the impacts of the environment on them are essential research goals of this area. Many innovative research projects are underway on various aspects of biodiversity from evolutionary and environmental perspectives. Molecular phylogenetics is increasingly important in biodiversity and ecological research. Aquatic ecosystems, both fresh water and marine, are a focus of a number of investigators in the Aquatic Research Group. Terrestrial ecological research, spanning protests, fungi, algae, plants and animals also has major significance. Conceptual and fundamental biological principles and concepts are common to both terrestrial and aquatic ecological research. The broad contingent of highly talented biodiversity and ecological researchers are a vital component of the department.

Researchers in this area are: Tom Booth, Gail Davoren, Jillian Detwiler, Margaret Docker Bruce Ford, Kevin Fraser, Darren Gillis, Gordon Goldsborough, Brenda Hann, James F Hare, Kenneth Jeffries, Norm Kenkel, John Markham, Patricia Ramey-Balci,  Sylvie Renault, James Roth , Spencer Sealy, Byron Van Nest,  Jane Waterman,  Anne Worley, Carla Zelmer.

Cellular and Developmental Biological Research

The broad area of molecular, cell and developmental biology is a rapidly growing area that has deeply impacted modern biological approaches. This area has developed an array of new and innovative molecular tools and approaches which has changed virtually all other areas of biology. Molecular, cell and developmental biology are widely recognized as vitally important unifying areas of biology and are ever expanding in importance and impact. We are fortunate to have an outstanding community of researchers in this area covering the range from molecular biotechnology, fungal and plant genetics, plant biochemical and developmental biology through to animal developmental biology. We have excellent equipment and core facilities including microscopy and imaging as well as molecular and analytical facilities to support research in this area. In terms of equipment, infrastructure and expertise researchers in this area have strong links with a number of researchers who work in the biodiversity and physiological areas described below. This is particularly applicable to researchers with interests in molecular evolutionary biology.

Researchers in this area are: Judy Anderson, Mark Belmonte, Mark Fry, Erwin Huebner, Jay Kormish, Jeffrey Marcus,  Jason Stout, Olivia Wilkins, Steve Whyard.

Physiological Research

Physiology compliments the departments’ cell and developmental biology, biodiversity and the ecological research. Physiology deals with the functioning of organisms and the internal integration of a host of biochemical, cellular, tissue and whole organism mechanisms. Research in this area covers a spectrum from regulatory physiological mechanisms to the effects of environmental factors on biological functions. The departments’ excellent complement of physiologists bring an array of innovative techniques to bear in research advancing frontiers in physiology.

Researchers in this area are: Gary Anderson, Kevin Lynn Campbell, Geoff Eales, Mark Fry, Kenneth Jeffries, Jennifer McLeese, Sylvie Renault, Jason Treberg,  Dirk Weihrauch, Byron Van Nest