Biology & Marine Biology

We are the Biology and Marine Biology Department. Hands on education and research in a coastal setting. Immerse yourself!
Marine Botany Students Sample in Florida Bay
Dr. Danner shows off bird eggs to students at STEAM Team Event
Dr. Michael Tift Works with Northern Elephant Seals
Dr. Steve Emslie's Lab works with Penguins in Antarctica

Greetings from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Biology and Marine Biology!

We are a dynamic and engaged department with a rich and diverse array of research programs. Whether it's using cutting edge technology to decode the molecular basis of cell function, SCUBA diving to measure the impact of global climate change on coastal habitats, or building virtual ecosystems to uncover hidden connections, students and faculty in the Department of Biology and Marine Biology are engaged in scientific inquiry across the range of the life sciences.

I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in a UNCW-led research cruise to the Arctic in May of 2019 (here I am with Sammy Seahawk on the ice ). Koopman_Sammy.jpg This was an interdisciplinary project, aimed at linking changes in oceanographic conditions to the increase in rate of sea ice melt, and concurrent shifts in the phytoplankton, zooplankton and higher predators that all rely on the presence of Arctic ice. This trip really emphasized to me the need for a better understanding of our changing world, and how its inhabitants (from microbes to algae to whales) will be affected. It was also a good lesson in the importance of collaboration across disciplines for researching and solving these problems. This is the kind of research you can become involved in as a major in our department, examining many aspects of global change and conservation, including emerging diseases, invasive species, population monitoring, physiological and molecular adaptation, habitat quality, and coastal resilience.

Students in our department pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in both biology (BA, BS, MS) and marine biology (BS, MS, PhD) that emphasize hands-on involvement in research and take advantage of our coastal setting and first-class facilities, including the Center for Marine Science. When you graduate as a major from our department, you will have all the skill sets and training that you will need for the next step in your life: a job in your field, or attendance at a graduate or professional school.

Our faculty are dedicated scholars engaged in classroom teaching and student mentorship, high caliber research, and service to the university and broader community. If you are new to our department, please take a few moments to explore this site to learn about the department and our programs; and be sure to check this page often for new happenings and information. Finally, we'd love to hear from you, so please contact us with any questions or suggestions.

Heather N. Koopman
 Professor and Chair