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Message from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Biology at the University of Mississippi (UM)! Biology covers a broad area of sciences that are closely related to our lives and environment. If you are interested in biological sciences and want to make transformative changes in your lifetime, it is the perfect time to join the UM Biology family.


In Shoemaker Hall, the home of UM Biology, we have 22 tenure-track and 13 instructional faculty, who educate over 800 undergraduate biology majors, about 2000 minors and 53 graduate students (Ph.D. and M.S.). We also have five dedicated staff members, who support our department missions in teaching, research, and service. We are a vibrant, diverse, and inclusive community of researchers, educators, and learners. We are excited to be part of the new 202,000 square-foot STEM building scheduled to open in 2024. This building will be equipped with state-of-the-art instruments and technologies that will revolutionize teaching and education and will facilitate our mission to train life-long critical thinkers and future leaders.


Our research faculty are conducting frontline research in many areas of biology, including microbiology, symbiosis and species interactions, biodiversity and conservation, cell and molecular biology, physiology, neuroscience and behavior, as well as omics and systems biology. Their research has attracted an unprecedented level of extramural funding and created many research opportunities for students to actively participate in scientific discoveries and innovation.


Our goal is to form a close, uplifting community dedicated to supporting your academic journey, unleashing your potential and creativity, and helping you realize your dreams. We do this not only in the classrooms and research labs, but also in the broader public sphere, e.g., inspiring K-12 students to pursue science, joining forces with farmers for sustainable agriculture and food security, and working with citizen scientists to monitor and protect our natural environment. By educating tomorrow’s workforce for many different areas, such as human health, veterinary medicine, life sciences, forensic science, pharmacology, biotechnology, agriculture, environmental science, bioinformatics, and artificial intelligence, together we lift barriers, transform lives, and make our world a much better place for the generations to come.


Please connect with us in-person or online ( and join us on this amazing journey!


Sixue Chen, Ph.D.

Chair and Professor of Biology