Letter from the Chair

Tom ChristI am pleased to welcome you to the Department of Biology, one of the largest departments at Miami University, where our teaching and research span fields of study ranging from molecular to global biology. We offer a B.A. and B.S. in Biology, Botany, and Zoology, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biology and Botany. Biology also participates in interdepartmental graduate programs in Cellular, Structural, and Molecular Biology (CMSB) as well as Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology.


We have over 1,100 undergraduate majors and 75 graduate students who are mentored and supported by 30 dedicated faculty and 20 professional and administrative staff. In addition, Biology supports Project Dragonfly, which provides global field programs and inquiry-based science education for over 1,000 graduate students in M.A./M.A.T. programs geared towards zoo professionals and in-service teachers.


Biology is organized around six focal areas of faculty expertise: (1) molecular, cellular, and developmental biology, and genetics; (2) physiology and neuroscience; (3) organismal biology and zoology; (4) plant biology; (5) evolution, behavior, and conservation; and (6) ecology and environmental biology. Many of our faculty work across one or more of these subdisciplinary boundaries. The breadth of our expertise enables us to offer a wide range of courses, pre-professional programs, and research experiences that prepare students for success in graduate and professional schools and for career paths in in health, biotechnology, the environment, and plant science.


Our many affiliated centers and facilities provide students with additional opportunities to use state-of-the-art research equipment, to gain hands-on experience working with thousands of specimens of plants and animals, and to explore environmental education and outreach. Our 175-acre field station near Oxford provides facilities for outdoor teaching and experimental field research. In addition, over a 1000 acres of natural lands are adjacent to campus, which are available for teaching, research, and outreach, or just a walk in the woods. Pearson Hall, the home to the Department of Biology, is undergoing a phased renovation over the next several years, which will ensure that we continue to provide first-class facilities for teaching and research of science in the 21st century. When completed, Pearson Hall will be a more open, collaborative environment for our faculty, students, staff, and visitors.


I invite you to explore the many opportunities offered by Biology, whether you are a prospective or current student, alumni, partner organization, or an employer. Visit us and you’ll know why we are a special place.


Thomas Crist
Professor and Chair