Creating Leaders in Research, Education and Service

Welcome to the Department of Biological Sciences!

Take a short video tour of the department

Our department comprises undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty and staff with broad interests and a fascination for biology and the natural world. From stem cells to systematics and molecules to whole environments, we research and teach a diverse and integrative set of disciplines. We strive to create leaders in research, education, and service and feature facilities well-equipped for contemporary research in the laboratory, field, and computational biology. The Department of Biological Sciences focuses on programs that unite five major areas: Biology Education Research; Cellular & Molecular Biology; Ecology, Evolution, & Conservation Biology; Genetics, Genomics, & Bioinformatics; and Physiology & Behavior. Faculty research programs reflect the interdisciplinary strength of our department while providing a firm foundation in theoretical focal areas; see our Research Areas page. Nationally and internationally recognized research is conducted in numerous centers within the department: The Center for Biodiversity Research, The Ecological Research Center, The Edward J. Meeman Biological Station, The Integrated Microscopy Center, and The University of Memphis Herbarium; see our Centers Page.

The diversity of the natural world reminds us to strive for a diverse community in our department and we welcome, celebrate, value, and support diversity in many different forms: diversity of race and ethnicity, of religions and cultures, of world views, of gender identity/expression and sexual orientation, of socioeconomic status, of immigration status, of abilities, of lived experiences and future ambitions, and of intellectual perspectives and scientific approaches. The Department of Biological Sciences promotes diversity and inclusion as part of our core values and we strive to maintain a forum where all voices are heard. Our goal is to include all that would like to participate in the life of the Department of Biological Sciences, and our departmental Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee includes faculty, staff, and student members. 

Equity is another core departmental value, which involves the recognition that not all faculty, staff, and students began their journey to the University of Memphis from the same starting point. For many people, there are barriers that lead to an imbalance in access to advantages that are not available to all. Underrepresented groups have often had unequal access to resources that help prepare them for successful careers in the biological sciences. As a department, we strive to provide equal access to these resources at all levels (undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, staff, and faculty) and in all aspects of our departmental work including courses, seminars, research, advising, scholarships, and professional development.