- Arts and Sciences
- About the Department
- Undergraduate Program
- Graduate Program
- Program Overview
- Graduate Studies Handbook
- Graduate Studies Directory
- Ecology, Evolution, & Physiology
- Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology (MCDB)
- Plant Sciences
- PSM Bioinformatics
- PSM Biotechnology
- The Graduate School
- Master of Arts in Teaching
- Graduate Association of Biological Sciences (GABS)
- Graduate Student FAQs
- Research & Facilities
The Department of Biological Sciences is located in Coker Life Sciences Center, a modern eight-story structure, with additional facilities for the department's marine biologists and the Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine Biology and Coastal Research in a connecting building.
With a faculty of 43 members, the Department is well equipped for sophisticated research in many areas of modern biology. Each graduate assistant is assigned research laboratory space with an adjacent desk for study.
Facilities for research in organismal and ecological fields include freshwater and marine aquarium systems (including natural seawater), environmental chambers, respirometers, a full range of analytical and technical instrumentation, and extensive computer facilities including a supercomputer. Contained in the animal facilities are collections of research animals, including colonies of inbred mice and deermice. Two greenhouses provide controlled conditions for growth of botanical materials. The largest active herbarium in South Carolina, the A.C. Moore Herbarium, is housed in the Department, and has on deposit an excellent representation of the flora of the state. Field vehicles provide ready access to a wide range of natural areas, including Hobcaw Barony and its fully equipped field laboratory.
The Department's facilities for research at the cellular and molecular levels have kept pace with the rapid advances in this field. Besides the standard ultracentrifuges, HPLC, coldrooms, cell culture rooms, etc., a number of biotechnology core facilities have also been established. These include a micromanipulator/microinjection laboratory, a monoclonal antibody laboratory, an oligonucleotide synthesis laboratory, and extensive computer facilities. The professionally-staffed Electron Microscopy Center and the NSF- designated Genetic Stock Center for the Deermouse are essential components of the core facility as well.
Facilities for the fabrication of custom-designed items necessary to carry out research studies are available through the University carpentry, glass blowing, electronic, and machine shops, all staffed with competent craftsmen. In addition a machine shop and a wood shop are available for use by students and faculty. Interdisciplinary studies are becoming increasingly important. In Biology, molecular techniques are used with increased frequency to address ecological problems. Conversely, molecular biologists are beginning to investigate the evolutionary and ecological ramifications of their findings. Therefore, an increasing number of graduate students choose to get training in both ecology and evolution and in molecular biology. For instance, students are studying the evolutionary implications of differences in the regulation of gene expression in different species of mice. Other students use recombinant DNA techniques to measure gene flow among populations of molluscs or fish. To accomodate the diverse interests of these students, programs of study are tailored to meet the needs of each individual.
See the complete listing of departmental resources used for research and academic inquiry at Department Resources Directory.