These are exciting times for biologists. In the past century, we have made amazing progress in understanding the workings of cells, organisms, and populations. The future of biology promises to be even more exciting. Many challenges of the future, and the tools needed to meet them, will be increasingly understood in their biological contexts. It is no wonder that biology has become one of the most popular programs at Carleton.

Our department combines a tradition of excellence in research with modern and multidisciplinary teaching in the major areas of biology including:

  • animal behaviorquick-link-biology4
  • biochemistry
  • cell biology
  • developmental biology
  • ecology
  • evolution
  • genetics
  • genomicsquick-link-biology1
  • microbiology
  • molecular biology
  • insect biology
  • plant biology

Graduate StudiesĀ (OCIB)

We are members of the Ottawa-Carleton Institute for Biology (OCIB). The OCIB combines the biology graduate programs of Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. While both universities maintain vibrant and distinctive Biology Departments, the main role of OCIB is to integrate research resources for biology graduate students so both universities are able to offer the best possible array of facilities, expertise, courses, and training for graduate students in the biological sciences. In addition, the location of the National Wildlife Research Centre (NWRC) on the Carleton campus gives our students access to top environmental researchers and facilities.

Our programs offer students an intellectually stimulating environment, with many opportunities to conduct research in state-of-the-art facilities. We emphasize experimentation and combine course-related laboratory work with opportunities in research laboratories. Students at all levels are encouraged to acquire familiarity with advanced research techniques.

Biology programs at Carleton stress a ‘Hands-on’ approach to education. We believe that students should get the attention of their professors and that the professors should be actively involved in teaching. In our labs and classes you will find 28 tenured or tenure-track faculty members. Our faculty represents the best combination of teaching and research. We are professional scientists, and bring our students the current topics, the newest techniques and discoveries, and the new directions from our fields of specialization.

Undergraduate Studies

The Biology Department at Carleton has a long-standing tradition of undergraduate research. We firmly believe that the undergraduate experience is enhanced by participation in the discovery side of science. Thus, undergraduates are encouraged to participate in research and several programs in the department give students opportunities to conduct research with faculty mentors. Students are active in our research programs and all honours students complete a Senior Honours Thesis. These research experiences are very valuable to students going on to graduate school or to professional programs such as medicine, or pursuing employment in rapidly growing bio-based economy.

Faculty & Research

Our faculty members have recently won teaching and research awards at the international, national, provincial, municipal and university levels. We belong to more than fifty national and international professional organizations, societies, and scientific journals (as members of the editorial boards). Our department has published over 300 refereed research papers last year, in journals such as Nature, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, and American Naturalist. Our research is supported by over $5 million yearly in research grants held by faculty.

I am grateful for your interest in biology at Carleton, and invite you to explore the Biology Website which will further introduce you to the people, research programs, facilities, and opportunities in the Department of Biology at Carleton University.

Iain Lambert
Professor and Chair