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Department of Biology

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Students in Eastern's biology program become biologists through extensive practice, spending more time in the laboratory and field than in lecture. They learn about life processes while developing analytical skills and technical expertise.

  • State-of-art scientific equipment
  • Small classes
  • Full-time faculty
  • Tropical Biology field course—50 years in the Caribbean and counting
  • Summer internship opportunities
  • Independent research mentored by individual faculty members
  • Present your work at regional, national and international scientific conferences
  • Prepare for graduate/professional school
  • Careers range from genetics to dentistry; from medicine to optometry and veterinary science; from ecology to plant biology, marine biology, biotechnology and teaching
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Eastern Success Scholars Program

Success Scholars seeks to support students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, through scholarships and purposeful faculty and peer relationships formed to foster academic learning and trust, ultimately leading to improved achievement, retention and graduation rates. You must be a US citizen or permanent resident to be eligible.  The comprehensive plan includes a summer orientation program, a STEM-focused first-year seminar, faculty and peer mentoring in biology and mathematical sciences courses, learning communities that continue through a scholar’s tenure, research experiences, and research and career seminars.

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Department Chair
Elizabeth Cowles
Science Building Rm. 361
(860) 465-4385
(860) 465-5213
Assistant Chair
W. Brett Mattingly
Science Building Rm. 364
(860) 465-4499
(860) 465-5213
Secretary II
Julie McGowan
Science Building Rm. 368
(860) 465-4369
(860) 465-5213
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Biology Department (@ecsubiology) • Instagram photos and videos

In the News

Willi the Warrior poses with the corpse flower.

Anthophiles swarm greenhouse for rare double-blooming corpse flower

June 06, 2024

Similar to how the elusive corpse flower’s powerful stench attracts insects from far away, a rare twin corpse flower at Eastern attracted humans from across the country to the University’s greenhouse this June.

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Eastern inducts hundreds into honor societies in spring 2024

May 16, 2024

More than 20 academic programs and departments at Eastern Connecticut State University recognized student achievements this spring 2024 semester during honor society inductions and award ceremonies.

Student demonstrating in lab

Eastern’s Tiny Earth Day lures high school students to the lab

April 30, 2024

Thirteen students from Norwich Free Academy learned laboratory techniques and the impact of microbiology research in a recent visit to Eastern Connecticut State University ‘s Tiny Earth Day biology symposium.

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Connect With Us on Social Media Biology Department @ECSUBiology ecsubiology
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Programs of Study

  • Biology students at Eastern gain extensive practical experience and spend more time in the laboratory and on field projects than in lecture. Students receive the full attention of their professors, all of whom have Ph.D. degrees from top universities — professors teach both lectures and laboratories. Working in small classes with state-of-art scientific equipment ranging from a qPCR machine to a confocal microscope, students acquire hands-on experiences in the laboratory and in terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments. Just one example of the major's flexibility is its pre-med focus. In addition to the Biology major, a Biology minor is offered to other majors.

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  • The Genetic Counseling minor exposes students to this growing field, and provides coursework required for admission to a genetic counseling graduate program. As we enter the age of personalized medicine, there will be an increased demand for genetic counselors who know how to analyze and interpret sequencing results for patients and consumers.

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  • Students in the Bioinformatics minor use computers to analyze genomic information, which is revolutionizing our understanding of health and disease. Students will learn core concepts in computer programming, genomics and data analysis, and will apply bioinformatics programming and analytic skills to solve biological problems.

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  • The Cannabis Cultivation and Chemistry minor uses hands-on and theoretical approaches to train students to cultivate and chemically analyze cannabis or hemp. In addition to instruction in cannabis cultivation and chemical analysis, students can also learn about the related fields of sustainability, public health and policy, plant taxonomy, mycology, genetics, integrated pest management, biotechnology, and data analysis.

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