University and Department at a Glance
Founded in 1908, the University of Alberta is one of the major research universities in Canada with research funding over $170 million yearly, and more than 400 distinct research laboratories. The U of A is in the top five Canadian universities in federal research funding, with fifty-eight distinguished scholars having been elected as Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada. The University of Alberta library is Canada's second largest research library, with a collection exceeding five million volumes and close to 18,000 serial subscriptions. There are over 37,500 students enrolled at the University of Alberta including over 7,000 graduate students.
Programs of Study
The Department of Biological Sciences offers excellent opportunities for graduate study leading to the degrees of Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in the Faculty of Science. Program requirements consist of: coursework, conducting a supervised research program, participation in seminar programs pertaining to the research program, and defense of a dissertation. A minimum of two courses are required of students working in all research areas. The main goal of our graduate program is to stimulate creative research; students are provided an environment conducive to independent thinking and problem solving. Students are provided individual study areas in or near the research laboratory of their supervisor.
The department occupies most of the Biological Sciences Building and part of the Earth Sciences Building. These adjacent buildings are well equipped for individual and group research. There are common facilities for advanced and confocal microscopy, analytical chemistry, molecular biology, fermentation and biotechnology, cultivation of microbial cells, insects and higher organisms. These include large holding facilities for freshwater fish and other vertebrates and over 150 environment rooms including an extensive greenhouse complex. Extensive reference collections are available for research with vascular and cryptogamic plants as well as vertebrates and invertebrates, including major collections of insects, parasites, fish, and fossil plants and vertebrates. Studies in environmental biology, physiology, molecular biology, limnology, ecology, systematics, plant molecular biology and other disciplines are supported by the Ellerslie Research Farm near Edmonton, the Bamfield Marine Biology Station on Vancouver Island, two woodland field stations (including the Meanook Biological Research Station in northcentral Alberta), and the Devonian Botanic Garden and mycology herbarium. Research funding is in excess of $16 million.
The Department has 75 full-time academic staff. In addition there are several Emeritus Professors with active research programs and 24 Adjunct Professors. There are ~290 graduate students. Teaching, research, administration and facilities are served by over 100 Support Staff. Administration is through a Chair (Michael Caldwell), three Associate Chairs (Declan Ali, Undergraduate Studies; Rolf Vinebrooke, Graduate Studies, and Cindy Paszkowski, Research), and an Assistant Chair (David Howatt, Administration). There is no official divisional structure, but there are informal research interest groups with overlapping memberships (Ecology, Microbiology & Biotechnology, Molecular Biology & Genetics, Physiology Cell & Developmental Biology, Plant Biology, and Systematics & Evolution).
Last Modified: 2012-12-10