Chair's Welcome

takacs_vesbach_20211129It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the Department of Biology at The University of New Mexico. Currently, there are 41 full-time faculty (32 tenure-track and 9 lecturers), nearly 100 staff, more than 100 graduate students, and 1,300 undergraduate majors. Indeed, the Biology Department is one of the largest single academic departments within UNM and within the State of New Mexico by almost every measure.

UNM is New Mexico’s flagship university with responsibilities in education, research and public service. - the Biology faculty and staff excel in all three of these areas. 

Our undergraduate major trains hundreds of students for careers rooted in biology, including professional fields, land and resource management agencies, and research careers.  Our graduate program enables the next step toward careers for many and trains the next generation of researchers. The research programs of individual faculty members and the collaborative programs (e.g. Museum of Southwestern Biology, the Sevilleta and McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research programs, Center for Theoretical and Evolutionary Immunology, and the Center for Stable Isotopes) that they have created span the breadth of the biological sciences, from DNA to global ecosystems, generate substantial federal, state and private research funding and produce over 150 publications per year. Because research is fundamental to training undergraduate and graduate students, our expansive research programs involve over 200 undergraduate students each year and all of our graduate students in the  process of science and the generation of new knowledge.  These students also see the impacts of research locally (e.g. conservation of freshwater fish in New Mexico’s rivers and streams, the Sevilleta LTER, and the natural history of local mammals) and globally (e.g. soil microbial research in the McMurdo LTER, mammals in Mongolia, high-altitude physiology of birds in Peru, control of parasitic infections in East Africa, and the immune systems of Australian mammals).  To support research opportunities for students, Biology is home to two National Institutes of Health funded student-training programs, the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC), and Post-baccalaureate Research and Education Program (PREP) and a key part of a new NSF-funded graduate Museum Research Traineeship.

I have only touched on a few of the exciting areas of research and training in Biology. I encourage you to explore our website to learn more.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

Cristina Takacs-Vesbach, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Biology, UNM