This page is designed for current high school students or any else who is thinking about attending Memorial University and who would like to learn a little more about studying Biology.
The first thing to say about studying biology is that, while it has great interest in itself, it also opens up many diverse career opportunities after graduation. A quick look at the picture above gives an idea of the many types of work that are biology related. When studying biology you need never need to worry that you will not be able to apply your education in a useful and rewarding way.
The second thing to say about biology is that it is a vast subject which takes in many quite divergent fields of study. This "study of life" can be carried out at the level of molecules or at the level of the largest animals and plants which inhabit the world today. Indeed these days a biologist is often working at all these different levels at the same time, as for example when using DNA analysis taken from a whale or a polar bear to determine something about that organism.
In response to this great diversity of approaches the Biology Department here at Memorial University has come up with three different course concentrations for undergraduate students to follow. These are
- Cell and Molecular Biology, which as the name suggests will focus on the cellular level of organisms and look at how the huge array of molecules found within the cell function together to carry the processes necessary for the cell to survive and reproduce.
- Ecology and Conservation Biology, which focuses on whole organisms and how they interact with other organisms around them and with the physical world. These interactions in turn form the various kinds of biological communities and ecosystems found in the world. And this concentration also looks at how human activity is affecting ecosystems and how this affect can be minimized.
- Marine Biology, which reflects the huge role that the ocean plays in all aspects of life here in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The ocean is home to many different species of plants and animals that are all adapted to living in the special envionment that the ocean provides. Gaining knowledge of this environment will be key to our long term future here in this part of the world.
Some students when beginning their study of biology will already know which area of the science interests them the most. Many others however won't know at first, and that is fine. Gradually you will discover what interests you the most, and to help you with decisions like this there are faculty advisors who will gladly answer your questions and try to steer you in a direction which they think they will satisfy you the most.