The Biology Program has 39 tenure-track faculty, including a National Academy member, a MacArthur Fellow, and three Guggenheim award recipients. Our research is featured regularly in Science and Nature, and covers the gamut of modern biology: from cellular and molecular biology, through ecology and evolutionary biology, to interdisciplinary or computational ventures with the Departments of Mathematics & Statistics, Computer Science, Chemistry, and the Health Sciences Center. The research problems investigated vary from theoretical through computational to applied. Many faculty focus their research in New Mexico and the Southwest, while others explore Mexico, Antarctica, Australia and Africa. We also conduct laboratory-based studies of model organisms, like yeast, C. elegans and Drosophila, and of non-traditional organisms such as marsupials, molluscs and parasites.
The Department of Biology also hosts a wide range of research facilities and centers geared toward supporting cutting-edge research. Please visit our web home page to learn about all our facilities. In short, we have everything we need to support the biological research you wish to carry out.
The Biology Program offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Our program is thriving—currently, more than 100 students are enrolled—and offers a variety of well-funded research projects that welcome graduate student participation. Our department provides an excellent atmosphere for graduate students to reach their full potential—rigorous, collaborative, and responsive to the need of the students. Graduate students are involved in departmental decisions, and the Biology Graduate Student Association has funds to support research in the department. Ultimately, our graduates are successful in advancing in their chosen careers, and leave UNM having developed friendships and collegial networks that last a lifetime.
In addition, the committee ensures that each applicant meets the following admission requirements of:
Extremely well-qualified students who do not satisfy all of these requirements may petition the selection committee for an exception to be granted.
Advice on Being a Successful Applicant:
Our present-day world offers unprecedented challenges and opportunities for those interested in the science of Biology. The subjects of study for UNM biologists literally span the globe - from bacteria in the Antarctica, Yellowstone's hot springs or New Mexico's deep caves; to parasites from Indian elephants or South American snails; to the immune system of Australia's platypus; to the plants of southern Africa. Studies underway at UNM reveal patterns and processes in entire ecosystems and watersheds, reveal the complexities posed by the 10,000 genes of the bread mold Neurospora, or use the methods of computational biology to explore the redundancy inherent in genetic networks. World class studies of southwestern plants, fruit fly development, fungal genomics, life history theory, biological scaling, and behavioral ecology, to name but a few, are all underway here. The Biology Department is not just for researchers—it is also a great venue for students to explore the mysteries of life (UNM Department of Biology website). A bachelor's degree is the minimum formal education required. However, many employers also require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).