Mt. Allison biology program named among the top 20 in Canada: Maclean’s 2020
Mount Allison University’s biology program made the Top 20 list for university biology programs nationally in the Maclean’s 2020 University Rankings. This marks the first time the department has received this distinction, which ranked programs of all sizes across Canadian universities. Mount Allison is the only primarily undergraduate university of its size to make this year’s list.
One of the most popular programs on campus, biology offers specialized studies and research opportunities in several areas, including molecular and cellular biology, ecology, physiology, and genetics and evolution. The department also offers a master’s program.
“Students in Mount Allison’s Department of Biology, like many departments on campus, have the opportunity to work directly with their professors on research projects in the field and in the lab throughout the year,” says Dr. Amanda Cockshutt, Mount Allison’s dean of science and graduate studies. “This gives them valuable research experience not always available at the undergraduate level. We see many of our students publish their findings as co-authors in peer-reviewed journals, which is quite an accomplishment for an undergraduate student.”
Mount Allison ranked 11th for Field Weighted Citation Impact in the Maclean’s rankings, highlighting the high calibre and number of published studies by biology faculty and students.
In recent years, faculty and students have published in noted academic journals, including Frontiers in Marine Science, Healthcare, Ecology, Scientific Reports, Neuroscience Letters, Evolution, and Conservation Physiology. The Department’s research has also been featured on several national and international programs and documentaries, including an upcoming feature on CBC’s The Nature of Things scheduled for early 2020.
Biology Department Head Dr. Diana Hamilton says she and her colleagues are pleased to be included in this nationwide group of top biology departments.
“We take a lot of pride in providing hands-on learning opportunities to our students — in the classroom, the lab, and in the field,” says Hamilton. “We work directly with our students and research partners to make sure we’re providing the best undergraduate educational and research experience possible. External acknowledgments like this speak to the department’s ability to successfully combine research and teaching in a way that benefits students.”
In addition to working with other departments on campus to offer an interdisciplinary educational experience, members of the Biology department collaborate with researchers from other academic institutions both nationally and internationally, and partner with many external organizations in developing course materials and research opportunities. Partners and field trip locations include Environment and Climate Change Canada, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Huntsman Marine Science Centre, local First Nations communities, and the Joggins Fossil Institute, part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
With faculty labs housed in the Flemington, Barclay, and Gairdner buildings, the department offers a number of research areas in which students can study and work. These include phytoplankton physiology and ecology, neurophysiology, environmental animal physiology, molecular genetics, marine botany, and field ecology related to vascular plants, fish, shorebirds, and intertidal systems.
See more about the 2020 Maclean’s program rankings: https://www.macleans.ca/education/canadas-best-university-biology-programs-2020-rankings/
See more about Mount Allison’s Biology program: https://www.mta.ca/programs/biology/