Biology Department

Biology students researching a stream

Dr. Heather Coan training student in techniques of Regenerative Medicine.  Dr. Tom Martin and students working in Aquatic Ecology.

Interested in studying genetics, physiology, and ecology?  Want a career in medicine, molecular biology, or conservation?  Western Carolina University's Department of Biology provides the ideal environment to train you for these and other careers in biology.

Teaching and research drives the Department of Biology. Our interactive undergraduate and graduate programs are founded on our faculty’s rich tradition of teaching and will prepare you for a successful and fulfilling career.


Faculty and students are able to take advantage of our advanced research facilities and equipment, including the department’s Southern Appalachian Biodiversity and Ecology Center and Herbarium. We’re also affiliated with The Helen Patton Environmental Research Center and within driving distance of the Highlands Biological Station, which promotes education, research, and outreach focused on the ecology and biotic diversity of the Southern Appalachian Region.

Departmental facilities available to undergraduate and graduate students include:
Mammalian cell culture facility
Instrumentation for research in biochemistry
Nikon C1 Scanning Laser Confocal Microscope
Zeiss photomicroscope with bright field, phase, Nomarski, and incident fluorescence capabilities
Applied Biosystems 7500 RT-PCR machine
3130 Applied Biosystems Genetic Analyzer Capillary SequencerHerbarium of more than 25,000 specimens
Aquatic research facility equipped for live animal studies

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