Amid a competitive funding climate, the Department of Biological Sciences is awarded millions of dollars in research grants every year. Students and faculty work together to find treatments for cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, watch research projects grow in the greenhouse, preserve the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem and uncover new species of dinosaurs.

Whether in the Gobi Desert or the mid-Atlantic,  biological fieldwork and exploration is happening across the globe. With connections to the Organization for Tropical Studies and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, students have access to tropical biology courses in Costa Rica and extensive museum collections here in the nation’s capital.


Biology Research by the Numbers 

$8 Million

Awarded in Research Funding


Active Funded Research Grants


Peer-Reviews Articles Published Annually, on Average, by Faculty



Types of Research Opportunities


Undergraduate students in the lab

Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate students can begin research projects early in their studies and continue for multiple years, building strong mentoring relationships with faculty members along the way. Student research often culminates in poster presentations, honors theses and awards.

Undergraduate Research


Graduate student using a microscope

Graduate Research

Research forms the backbone of graduate study, and generally falls under two areas: Cellular and Molecular Biology and Systematics, Evolution and Ecology. Many biology graduate students see their work published, and some present research at national conferences.

Cellular and Molecular Biology

Systematics, Evolution and Ecology


professor in the greenhouse

Faculty Research

Between creating a Zika vaccine, tracking the effects of global warming, charting evolutionary history and discovering new species, our distinguished faculty stay busy. Students are encouraged to reach out to faculty members about research projects that interest them.

Faculty and Research Staff