UMass Dartmouth Biology faculty have active research laboratories whose study systems range from local coastal environments to distant lands and seas all over the world. Their research encompasses a range of topics from molecular and cellular biology to marine and terrestrial ecology, with most faculty adopting a distinctly integrative perspective within their labs. Many faculty work as dynamic teams on research projects that cross traditional boundaries. Core research areas with concentrations of faculty include marine and coastal ecology, developmental biology, evolution, microbiology, and animal behavior. To address this diverse set of research problems emphasis on the use of molecular and biotechnology-related techniques is increasing dramatically at UMass Dartmouth. A concentration of Biology faculty work on molecular, genetic, and cellular aspects of development in a variety of contexts while other faculty concentrate on evolutionary questions at the organismal level. For more information on research areas see the Faculty research page.
Recent graduate student projects have been in diverse fields, such as: molecular ecology, plankton ecology, plant species distributions, harmful algal blooms, marine and soil microbiology, cell signaling, animal behavior, marine mammal biology, marine bioinvasions, biofouling, parasites of marine fishes, skeletal evolution and fish biology and eco-physiology. Projects have involved collaborative research with National Marine Fisheries Service, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, UMass Cranberry Experiment Station, Mystic and New England Aquariums, as well as many other national and international universities and research institutes in the U.S. and abroad.
UMass Dartmouth’s proximity to a variety of coastal habitats provides a special emphasis in both faculty research and course offerings on the estuaries and near-shore environments of the Buzzards Bay region of the Massachusetts coast. The University is within a one-hour drive of the major libraries, museums, and academic and research institutions of the Providence, Boston and Woods Hole areas. The Department of Biology houses several teaching and research laboratories that are equipped for physiological, ecological, and molecular analyses. The Department of Biology also maintains museum collections of fishes and invertebrates, seaweeds, diatoms, and the terrestrial plants of the southeastern Massachusetts region.