Focused areas of research and sub-disciplines

With nearly 1,400 Biology and Neuroscience undergraduate majors, 29 tenure-track faculty, nine lecturers, four research faculty and six postdoctoral scholars, the Department of Biology is one of the premier teaching and research units on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. Our faculty, post-docs and graduate students conduct internationally recognized research in a wide range of sub-disciplines and specialties. Below are just a few areas where the Department of Biology excels.

  • Ecology and Conservation Biology

    Faculty in the Department of Biology are active in all research areas relevant to ecology and conservation biology with both local efforts in the Great Basin and Sierra Nevada as well as work relevant to conservation of tropical ecosystems and management responses to global change.

    View faculty with this Ecology and Conservation Biology specialty

    Sub-research categories

    • Conservation genetics
    • Desert ecosystem conservation
    • Ecology and conservation of reptiles
    • Fire ecology and management
    • GIS and spatial modeling
    • Habitat fragmentation, metapopulation dynamics, conservation genetics
    • Invasive species ecology and management
    • Landscape ecology
    • Paleoecology and extinction
    • Restoration ecology
    • Quantifying, describing and preserving tropical biodiversity
  • Evolutionary Biology

    Many faculty conduct research relevant to evolutionary biology. From evolutionary ecology to phylogenetics, faculty and graduate students in the Department of Biology utilize the most modern tools and approaches to addressing exciting issues in evolution.

    View faculty with this Evolutionary Biology specialty

    Sub-research categories

    • Coevolution between consumers and resources
    • Evolution of behavior
    • Evolution of plant secondary metabolites
    • Evolutionary physiology
    • Genetic signatures of adaptive divergence
    • Hybridization and speciation
    • Molecular evolution
    • Phylogenetics and phylogeography
    • Population and functional genomics
    • Population genetics
    • Rapid evolution of native and invasive species
    • Sexual selection
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology

    Cellular and Molecular Biology Biosciences research faculty have expertise in have expertise in a wealth of areas including bioinformatics, immunology and pharmacology and supported with state-of-the-art facilities.

    View faculty with this Cellular and Molecular Biology specialty

    Sub-research categories

    • Biochemistry and biophysics
    • Bioinformatics
    • Developmental and cell biology
    • Microbiology and Immunology
    • Neuroscience
    • Pharmacology and Physiology
    • Plant Biology
    • Sensory neuroscience
  • Neuroscience

    Faculty in the Department of Biology participate in multidisciplinary research that brings together neuroscientists from across campus who support the research and mentoring of junior faculty as well as core facilities to provide access to modern neuroimaging techniques and to research with special neurological populations.

    View faculty with this Neuroscience specialty

    Sub-research categories

    • Brain Imaging and Quantitation
    • Cognitive Neuroscience 
    • Computational Neuroscience, Robotics and Biomedical Engineering 
    • Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience
    • Neural Development and Aging 
    • Neurobiology and Behavior 
    • Neurobiology of Disease
    • Sensory Neuroscience

Interdisciplinary Research Centers

The Department of Biology supports two interdisciplinary and globally-engaged research centers.

The Hitchcock Center Leading research in the field of chemical ecology world-wide.
Pieces of leaves taped to a paper and labeled next to a rack of test tubes with leaf pieces in them.
Global Water Center Tackling 21st-century water issues and engineering win-win, sustainable solutions for the environment.
Sudeep Chandra sitting on a small boat on the Uur River in Mongolia across from Mongolian river guide Ganzorig. Both men are smiling.

Faculty and grant writing support

Proposal development and processing support is available to all Department of Biology faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduate students. Find out how the research support team can help you.

Graduate students leading research

The Department of Biology supports graduate students in their research from here in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains and around the world. Below are just a few examples of research being conducted by some of our current graduate students.