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Message From The Chair

Welcome to the Department of Biological Sciences Home Pages.   This site is dedicated to providing you with up-to-date information about all aspects of the department. The department is in a remarkable stage of its existence.  The field of biology has become one of the most popular science majors at Kent State University which is not surprising given the superb employment opportunities available to biology-degree holders.  At Kent State, our department offers you access to careers ranging from biomedicine and the health sciences, to conservation, environmental biology, and biotechnology.  Here you will find convenient links to the many innovative programs and activities of the Department. These programs and activities are truly exciting and are making the Department if Biological Sciences the choice for students who seek careers in the biosciences and biotechnology.

The Department of Biological Sciences has become a leader of science education and research at Kent State with a singular commitment to excellence in the classroom and research laboratory.  Biology is a laboratory-based discipline and learning best occurs in the context of “doing”.  Our department is focused on providing students with and education centered on learning scientific skills and reasoning.  We believe strongly in providing hands-on laboratory experiences to students from our earliest coursework and are a leader at Kent in instructional innovation.  Our curriculum is modern, provides a broad range of classes offered with a regularity that allows students to complete their degree programs on time and offers many outstanding opportunities for research experiences such as our new course Field Biology of Costa Rica.

Our faculty members are outstanding and received their training at the finest institutions in the US.  All our Faculty teach at the undergraduate and graduate levels and also has been very successful in securing grants to educational innovations as well as basic research.  Two major awards from The Department of Education have funded state-of-the-art educational and research core instrumentation facilities.  Awards from the National Science Foundation (Research Experiences for Undergraduates and the Undergraduate Mentoring in Environmental Biology) support educational innovation related to undergraduate research experiences.  We also offer outstanding student advising coordinated through our Undergraduate Coordinator and involving 12 full-time Faculty advisors.

Our graduate student population is expanding and is of a quality that is exciting.  The department offers the MS and Ph.D. and is currently developing an MA/MBA graduate program for students interested in biology careers in the private sector.  The department’s graduate education is focused on Aquatic Ecology, Evolution/Population and Systematic Biology, Neurobiology and Behavior, Cell/Molecular and Developmental Biology, Reproductive Physiology and Endocrinology, and Microbiology.  Most of the ~60 graduate students advised by Biology Faculty are enrolled in one of these programs with additional graduate students enrolled through Kent’s School of Biomedical Sciences. These program areas, each with their own curriculum, seminar series and staff, provide graduate students with a rich educational environment focused on their field of interest.

Most of our Faculty are research active with a strong record of extramural funding.  This funding supports the research of faculty and helps support student research at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  We especially promote interdisciplinary and collaborative research as a means to more rapidly address questions in a variety of fields.  Regardless of discipline, the department emphasizes a strong cell and molecular approach to research questions and supports outstanding core research facilities.  Faculty and student researchers have access to the latest instrumentation of the department’s core facilities; these include, Bioimaging Facility, Proteomics and Genomics Facility, Research Greenhouse and Herbarium, 3D Classroom and Visualization Facility, and a funded Vivarium.  The department also supports field research at 8 local field sites and has an a collaborative agreement with the University of Costa Rica for use of research sites in Costa Rica.  With a young, dynamic and growing faculty, we expect dramatic growth in research funding and productivity over the next decade.
If you wish additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me or other faculty, staff and students in the department.  We welcome contact by prospective students and alumni and welcome your inquiries.

James L. Blank, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair
Department of Biological Sciences.