Our present-day world offers unprecedented challenges and opportunities for those interested in the science of Biology. I am happy to say that the excitement intrinsic to Biology is very much in evidence here at UNM as well. The subjects of study for UNM biologists literally span the globe - from bacteria in the Antarctica, Yellowstone's hot springs or New Mexico's deep caves; to parasites from Indian elephants or South American snails; to the immune system of Australia's platypus; to the plants of southern Africa. Studies underway at UNM reveal patterns and processes in entire ecosystems and watersheds, reveal the complexities posed by the 10,000 genes of the bread mold Neurospora, or use the methods of computational biology to explore the redundancy inherent in genetic networks. World class studies of southwestern plants, fruit fly development, fungal genomics, life history theory, biological scaling, and behavioral ecology, to name but a few, are all underway here. The Museum of Southwestern Biology that is a part of the Biology Department has outstanding collections of local vertebrates, arthropods and plants and has active programs for exploring and recording the diversity of life in the southwest and elsewhere. Our basic philosophy has been to promote interactions among a broad spectrum of biologists within the context of a single integrated and interactive department. If you are interested in learning more about the research opportunities available here in Biology, see an overview of our faculty and their interests, and a listing of some of the major research programs. Potential graduate students should visit our graduate program website.
The Biology Department is not just for researchers—it is also a great venue for students to explore the mysteries of life. We have more undergraduate majors than any other unit in the university, and we pride ourselves on providing majors and non-majors students alike with a rigorous and modern exposure to the biological world. We are perpetually involved in upgrading our teaching facilities and are currently reorganizing and modernizing our core curriculum for undergraduate majors. One of our instructional goals is to provide as many of our majors as possible a direct exposure to faculty-directed field or lab research. Such exposure is invaluable for students contemplating careers in biology, providing exciting opportunities for making new discoveries and the chance to learn some of the practical skills needed to find employment or to further one's own education. I encourage any potential Biology students to learn more about our undergraduate programs.
There is much more to the Biology Department. Affiliated with the department are many different programs that all in their own distinctive ways explore the living world
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions. We look forward to hearing from you!
Richard M. Cripps, Chairman, Department of Biology