Male student uses syringe in biology lab

School of Biological Sciences

Explore the teaching and research activities taking place with our School of Biological Sciences

In the School of Biological Sciences, we're addressing the most pressing issues impacting people's quality of life around the world. From finding new ways to combat climate change to our pioneering research into plastic-eating enzymes, we're turning our expertise into action.

We cover all aspects of biological science – from developmental biology and epigenetics, to molecular biophysics, marine biology and applied environmental research – and our academics, lecturers and researchers are experts within their fields.

The School holds an Athena SWAN bronze award, in recognition of the work we're doing to advance the careers of women in science.

Teaching

We're the 3rd best university for Biological Sciences in the UK (The Guardian, 2020), behind Oxford and Cambridge – with 88% of our graduates finding employment within 6 months of graduating (DLHE, 2017).

We emphasise personalised study and high levels of interaction and collaboration between lecturers and students. Our research activities frequently inform our teaching, and our graduates develop the ability to apply the skills they learn during their study.

We provide high levels of student support and guidance in a nurturing environment. Our researchers and teaching staff share their passion and excitement for research to inspire the scientists of the future.

Our teaching areas

Visit our Biological Sciences subject area page to find out more about the undergraduate and postgraduate degrees we offer.

Research

Our research and innovation activities are focused around our research strengths of developmental biology and epigenetics, molecular biophysics, marine biology and applied environmental research. We conduct cross-disciplinary research with staff from the school of biological sciences and the school of pharmacy and biomedical sciences. The positive outcomes of this collaboration can be seen in our 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) review results. Our work from the Institute of Biomedical and Biomolecular Science (IBBS) has also made headlines.

Working with researchers across the globe we have developed techniques that can address the growing issue of plastics and how to deal with their negative impact on the environment. This research lead to our Centre for Enzyme Innovation being awarded £5.8 million for its research into plastic eating enzymes.

Research areas of expertise

Explore the work we're doing across the 6 areas of expertise within our Biological Sciences research.

Our research centres

Much of our exceptional research takes place within the following cross-disciplinary research centres – find out more below.

We're exploring the diversity of life at levels ranging from the molecular and genetic, to organismal and ecosystem.

We're researching the role of simulated clinical experiences, the role of the pharmacy team in general practice and the safety of monitored dosage systems.

We're researching the vast number of unknown microbes in the world to solve issues such as food security and climate change.
We're researching the basic mechanisms underlying cell differentiation and development leading to an understanding of how human health and disease is shaped. 

We provide tools and services to support researchers using Xenopus models.

We're exploring disciplinary boundaries to discover, understand and develop knowledge for the benefit of the environment and humankind.
We're researching projects centred around two main areas - undergraduate education and pharmacy practice.

Our staff

View all staff

Image of Dr Darren Mernagh

Dr Darren Mernagh

  • Job Title Head of School
  • Email Address Darren.Mernagh@port.ac.uk
  • Department School of Biological Sciences
  • Faculty Faculty of Science and Health
Image of Dr Garry Scarlett

Dr Garry Scarlett

  • Job Title Associate Head (Innovation and Impact)
  • Email Address Garry.Scarlett@port.ac.uk
  • Department School of Biological Sciences
  • Faculty Faculty of Science and Health
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr Fiona Myers

Dr Fiona Myers

  • Job Title Associate Head (Education)
  • Email Address Fiona.Myers@port.ac.uk
  • Department School of Biological Sciences
  • Faculty Faculty of Science and Health

Explore our faculty

Explore the other Schools and Departments that make up our Faculty of Science and Health.

Contact us

To get in touch, please contact our Faculty office.

University Coronavirus Information Line

With effect from Monday 23 March and until further notice, we're operating a very limited opening arrangement due to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak.

Please only contact us via the Coronavirus Information Line if you need information about our response to the Coronavirus situation. 

Email: infoline@port.ac.uk

Telephone: +44 (0)23 9284 5588

The phone line is open Monday – Thursday 9.00am – 5.00pm and Friday 9.00am – 4.00pm.

Further information about our response can be found on the Coronavirus Information and FAQs page

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