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Message from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Biology of Coastal Carolina University (CCU). Our department is one of seven departments of the College of Science and is housed in the R. Cathcart Smith Science Building. We offer a Bachelor of Science in Biology, participate in an interdisciplinary Master of Science degree in Coastal Marine and Wetland Studies and are a point of entry to the Master of Arts in Teaching program offered by the Spadoni College of Education. Our graduates receive an excellent education and are competitive in entry to professional schools (such as medical, dental and pharmacy), graduate schools and the entry level job market. We currently have about 530 majors, 16 Faculty, and 3 Adjunct Faculty.

We pride ourselves as being student friendly with great teachers, relatively small classes, faculty with an open-door policy, excellent undergraduate research opportunities and extracurricular activities that are science oriented. The Biology Club is an active organization on campus and focuses on activities such as helping the department with student oriented events, fund raising, educational field trips, hiking, camping and white water rafting. We have local chapters of the Beta Beta Beta Biology Honor Society chapter and the Sigma Zeta National Science and Mathematics Honor Society.

The Biology faculty have active research projects in such areas as freshwater and marine ecology, landscape ecology, plant ecology, immunology, developmental biology, molecular population ecology of birds, molecular microbial ecology, molecular biology of prions, population genetics of plants and pedagogical research related to science education. We invite you to look at the web pages of individual faculty to get a more detailed look at their research (and teaching) interests. The Biology faculty also participate in an interdisciplinary master's degree program focusing on Coastal Marine and Wetland studies. We currently have 20 graduate students participating with Biology faculty on various research projects.

The department is well equipped for teaching and research, especially in molecular biology. Our equipment includes an ABI 310 DNA sequencer, Allegra X15 R Beckman Coulter refrigerated centrifuge, 4 PCR machines, electrophoresis equipment, micropipettors, ultrafreezer, incubators, growth chambers, drying ovens, tissue culture hood, CO2 incubator, microcentrifuges, vacuum centrifuge, balances, UV-Visible range spectrophotometer, fluorometer, Olympus BX51 fluorescent microscope which can do digital 3-D imaging, dissecting microscopes, digital video microscopes, BioLog bacteria identification system, Alpha Innotech Gel Imager, Barstead E-Pure research grade water purification system, IWORX physiology systems for animal physiology and Qubit CO2 analysis systems for plants. Field sampling equipment includes portable water chemistry probes, light sensors, temperature loggers, a stream current velocity meter, sediment corers, mammal traps, mist nets, seines, invertebrate sampling nets, and water level loggers.

The Biology Department at Coastal Carolina University offers an excellent environment for students to pursue their educational goal in the Biological Sciences. We encourage you to join us.

Michael M. Pierce, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Biology