About Us

About Us

About Us

The Department of Biological Sciences is a vibrant community of teachers, researchers and students working across a wide range of disciplines including animal behaviour, climate change, conservation, ecology, evolution, genetics and genomics, paleobiology and physiology.  We have an academic staff of 40 continuing staff plus research fellows including ARC Future Fellows and DECRAs and MQ Research Fellows, supported by a dedicated team of technical and administrative staff. The Department currently has over 6000 undergraduate and over 100 Higher Degree Research student enrolments.  Our research was recognised as above or well-above world standard in the 2015 ARC Excellence in Research for Australia in the areas of Biological Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences. Our researchers have recently won prestigious awards including NSW Scientist of the Year, Australian Academy of Science Fenner Medal, NSW Tall Poppy Award and Eureka Prizes for Science Communication, Emerging Research Leader and Rural Industries Innovation.

Our vision is to be a truly integrative Department of Biological Sciences that achieves excellence in research, teaching and service to the scientific and broader community.

Teaching Labs

Teaching Labs

Modern equipment

Our main science teaching laboratories provide a world-class, highly interactive and stimulating learning environment. They have been fitted with the latest digital technology.

Each student in these laboratories has access to a networked computer, digital camera and microscopes, allowing them to create their own virtual libraries of images from the laboratory exercise and share these with their classmates and teachers.

Digital Microscopy

Allows students to use microscopes in a totally new way by projecting the microscopic images onto computer screens and projector boards so they can share their discoveries with the entire class. It is like every practical becomes a nature documentary, and the students are the directors.

Interactive Learning

Through the application of digital technology teachers are able to highlight relevant features to the whole class with options to capture the images, analyse them using image analysis software, and to provide copies on USB drives for inclusion in student reports.

Interaction between students and teachers is also enhanced due to portable teacher stations and networking technology that allows teachers to monitor student progress.

Plant Growth Facility

Plant Growth Facility Macquarie University has a modern and highly sophisticated plant growth facility. Built in 1999 and housing a wide range of experimental programmes the facility provides a basis for undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in biology and research in national and international collaborative programmes.

Visit the Plant Growth Facility website.

Seawater Facility

Seawater Facility Operating since August 2004, the Seawater Facility supports academic research and undergraduate teaching in environmental and life sciences. The facility is used by marine scientists at Macquarie and their collaborative partners, to conduct controlled experiments and to temporarily house marine specimens.

Visit the Seawater Facility website.

Biological Sciences Museum

Biology Museum The Biological Sciences Museum was established in the early 1970’s. The collection houses range of specimens, largely centred on Australian fauna. Skulls, skeletons, taxidermied animals, corals, shells, antique microscopes and trays of colourful insects are on display for visitors to view.

Visit the Biological Sciences Museum website.

Fauna Park

Fauna Park Situated on the corner of Culloden Rd and Talavera Rd, Marsfield and originally farmed as market gardens.

The Macquarie University Fauna Park stretches over 11Ha; 3.5Ha of which is protected Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest.

Visit the Fauna Park website.


Arboretum The Macquarie University Arboretum comprises all the trees and plants on campus. These trees, growing in natural and planted habitats, provide a valuable resource for teaching and research and a pleasing and relaxing environment for the enjoyment of staff, students and visitors to the university. The arboretum also provides habitat for many native birds and animals.

Visit the Arboretum website.

Microscopy Unit

The Microscopy Unit contains a range of modern scientific equipment specialising in light microscopy, electron microscopy, confocal microscopy, histology and digital image capture. Training in the use of this equipment is provided by our friendly staff who also have experience in a range of specimen preparation techniques. If you are interested in carrying out a project in the Microscopy Unit, please contact Nicole Vella on (02) 9850 8131 to schedule a meeting to discuss your project. Select your area of interest from the following list for more information on the equipment we have in the facility.

View the Microscopy Unit website.

Notable Scientists from Our History

This set of images shows several notable scientists who have contributed to the history of Biological research at Macquarie. A large display of these images can be seen on the courtyard side windows of the E8A Digital Teaching Labs.

Fred Milthorpe and Des Cooper  Frank Mercer and Geoff Sharman 

Volunteering with Us

The Department of Biological Sciences is always looking for volunteers to assist in research. Volunteering is a great way to get involved in research, make contacts and gain valuable experience.

To enquire about volunteering simply fill out the form (below) and we’ll put you in touch with our research groups.

Not sure what we research? Check out our research groups and their areas.

Register your interest in volunteering

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