Welcome from the Chair

Welcome to the Central Michigan University Biology Department. The department’s faculty, staff and students are dedicated to teaching and research missions that serve many communities and stakeholders while preparing students for a variety of richly-rewarding careers. 

As educators, we offer a wide range of courses that support our engaging and academically rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs. We pride ourselves on small classes, individualized attention and ample research and training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Combined, these benefits ensure a breadth and depth of biological knowledge and scientific literacy so urgently needed by citizens of today and tomorrow.

Our B.S. degree program is offered in several options for students wishing to specialize in preparation for medical and other professional schools, biology graduate programs, or careers in microscopy, the biotechnology industry, wildlife biology, natural resource management and museum science. Research opportunities for undergraduates abound through a variety of university and federally-funded programs.

For post-graduates, we offer two M.S. degrees, one in general biology and one in conservation biology, both having thesis and non-thesis options to help graduate students prepare for a wide range of post-graduate educational and career options.

As scientists, we expand the boundaries of knowledge by researching important questions in ecology, natural resource management, evolution, cellular biology, genetics, developmental biology, microbiology and physiology. Our faculty and students disseminate their research in highly-regarded journals and at numerous regional, national and international meetings. Our research programs attract major funding from a variety of state and federal agencies including the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Aeronautic and Space Administration.

As citizens of the university and greater community, we routinely weave our scholarship into community outreach programs and the development of applications that preserve the health of humans, economies and natural resources. We are just as likely to be found on a federal research review panel as we are to be found in an elementary classroom or at a scout troop meeting.

Several multi-user facilities with full-time staff support our teaching, research and outreach goals.  Among these are two centers for research and contract work, the Michigan Water Research Center and the Applied Technology in Conservation Genetics Laboratory. Our facilities also include a state-of-the-art electron and confocal microscopy suite, a core molecular laboratory for DNA sequencing and analysis, a cell culture room, an animal housing suite, a greenhouse, natural history collections including a herbarium, significant land holdings providing a variety of terrestrial and aquatic study sites, and the Central Michigan University Biological Station on Beaver Island in northern Lake Michigan.

Please explore our website to get more information about the many opportunities provided by our faculty, programs and facilities. We also welcome in-person visits, which can be arranged by contacting us through our website or calling our main office at 989-774-3227.


Stephen Roberts, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair of Biology