Welcome! We are pleased that you are a part of our department. We hope that your years here will be both productive and exciting. Our goal is to help you gain the skills and knowledge that you will need to be competitive for the next step in your chosen career path. And, if you are uncertain what that career path should be, we will introduce you to the many exciting career opportunities in our rapidly advancing discipline.

The biological sciences faculty here at The University of Alabama have a wide range of research interests and expertise, including cell and molecular biology, computational biology, conservation biology, ecology, evolution, genetics, marine science, neurobiology, physiology, systematics, and more! While we want you to have a strong research focus, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of acquiring breadth as well as depth in your education here. Advances in technology and in biological knowledge are breaking down the barriers between the many biology disciplines. To be successful, you (and we) will necessarily become increasingly interdisciplinary in our research expertise. Just as research and career options 10-15 years in the past are quite different in many ways from biology today, I suspect that Biology 10-15 years in the future will have technological capabilities that allow biologists to answer questions we cannot even imagine today. So we encourage you to get to know the faculty and graduate students throughout the department. We also encourage you to be engaged and active in your Graduate Student Association. Ultimately, your education and research training are in your own hands, and you will learn, if you do not know already, that the scientific enterprise is a communal affair. Your interactions with other scientists, as much as your hard work and intelligence, are essential for your success now, and in the future.

So whether your future lies in teaching, applied or basic research, or any of the many other career options, you officially set out on that path with your entry into our graduate program, and we are excited to have the privilege of helping you navigate!

Behzad Mortazavi
Professor and Chair
August 2017