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Biology

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                  Where life begins...

Welcome to the Department of Biology

Department of Biology in McCollum Science Hall
Students selected to attend the 2016 National Council on Undergraduate Research conference in Asheville, NC.
Class sizes are small and taught by faculty.
The Department of Biology provides advanced lab experiences using the newest technology.
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Welcome to the Department of Biology

Biology at UNI is a Great Place to Prepare for a Career in Medicine

In 2015, the acceptance rate of UNI students into the University of Iowa College of Medicine was the highest of all the Iowa Regent's Institutions.

Biology is a Great Major for those Wishing to Pursue Careers in Medicine

Data from the University of Iowa College of Medicine show that 73% of the 2015 entering class had a degree in the Biological Sciences (http://www.medicine.uiowa.edu/md/profile/). At Des Moines University School of Medicine, the most common undergraduate degree majors are Biology and Chemistry (https://www.dmu.edu/do/class-profile/).

Biology at UNI is a Great Place to Prepare for a Career in Dentistry

Many colleges and universities around the country offer pre-professional programs for the health sciences, such as the Biomedical Emphasis in Biology at UNI. Students enrolled in these programs usually do well when admitted to a dental program (https://www.dentistry.uiowa.edu/education-pre-dental-studies).

Biology at UNI is a Great Place to Prepare for a Career in Physical Therapy

For the Des Moines University Physical Therapy Program, the most common undergraduate majors are Biology, Psychology and Exercise Science (https://www.dmu.edu/pt/class-profile/). At The University of Iowa, the most popular undergraduate majors of pre-PT students are Human Physiology, Biology, and Psychology (http://www.medicine.uiowa.edu/pt/dptfaq/).

Biology at UNI is a Great Place to Prepare for Top Flight Masters and Doctoral Programs

  • UNI Biology students also pursue a variety of Ph.D. and Master's programs and have attended the following institutions:
    • University of Northern Iowa            • University of Wisconsin
    • University of Iowa                             • University of Missouri
    • Iowa State University                        • University of Kansas
    • Harvard University                            • University of Arkansas
    • Stanford University                           • University of Texas
    • Florida State University                    • University of Akron
    • Texas A&M University                       • University of Nebraska
    • University of Minnesota                   • University of Auckland – New Zealand
    • University of Cincinnati

Biology at UNI Offers Students a Wide Array of Out of Classroom Possibilities

  • Biology students have outstanding internship possibilities:
    • Seattle Aquarium • Henry Doorly Zoo
    • United States Navy • NASA
    • Integrated DNA Technologies • Walt Disney World
    • National Aquarium • AmeriCorp
    • Hormel Institute • United States Senate
    • Univ. of TX M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
    • Sea World • Pioneer • National Institutes of Health

Biology at UNI Offers Students a Wide Array of Opportunities Beyond the State of Iowa

  • UNI Biology students have participated in National Student Exchange:
    • University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau
    • University of Kentucky
    • University of Rhode Island
    • Oregon State University
    • University of Virgin Islands, St. Thomas
    • University of Montana
    • Montana State University

. . . and Around the World

  • UNI Biology students have participated in Study Abroad:
    • South Africa • Australia • Turkey • France • England • Taiwan


Susann Ahrabi-Fard, 2017 Alumnus in Residence, will present on April 13, 3:00 pm in McCollum Science Hall

"Public Health, Outbreaks and Tales from the Field:  20 Years of Communicable Disease Surveillance."Public Health, Outbreaks and Tales from the Field

Diseases such as Ebola, Zika, and others are occurring more frequently around the globe.  Please join the Department of Biology in welcoming communicable disease specialist, Susann Ahrabi-Fard, Biology Alumni in Residence, who will speak on "Public Health, Outbreaks and Tales from the Field: 20 years of Communicable Disease Surveillance" particularly meningitis, rabies, monkey pox, zika and ebola.” Thursday, 3:00, April 13, in McCollum Science Hall Room 001.

Susann Ahrabi-Fard has worked for 18 years as a Communicable Disease Epidemiologist for the Wisconsin Division of Public Health.  In her position she conducts disease surveillance for bacterial sepsis and meningitis, leads disease investigations, responds to disease outbreaks and has participated in numerous national outbreak investigations including Anthrax, Monkeypox, H1N1, fungal meningitis, Ebola and Zika Virus. Susann will describe her career in Public Health and will entertain you with her many unique experiences from the field.

Prior to her current position Susann received her B.A.(’91) and M.A.(‘94) from UNI, and was chosen for a national “Emerging Infectious Disease “Laboratory Training Fellowship” through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She was stationed at the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene where she completed rotations in Bacteriology, Tuberculosis, and Virology.


Alumnus, Dr. Dave Swanson, Demonstrates the Use of Ultrasound with Local Anesthesia

Dr. Dave Swanson Demonstration in the Biology Dept.Dr. Dave Swanson, UNI Alum, was on the UNI campus on April 20th, 2016 to perform a demonstration on the use of ultrasound and the need for anatomical knowledge in the placement of local anesthesia. Dr. Swanson performed ultrasound on a student volunteer to show students and faculty in attendance where local anesthesia is placed for specific procedures and why learning the anatomy of these areas is so important to anesthesiologists. These ultrasound images were projected on the big screen in Lantz Auditorium, allowing the entire audience to view the images. Further, Dr. Swanson and our very own Mary McDade made use of our synthetic cadavers (syndavers) to point out the anatomical landmarks shown in the ultrasound images. The images from the syndavers were projected onto two big screen monitors on either side of the room. This allowed the audience to compare the ultrasound images to the anatomical structures of the syndavers simultaneously. This was an outstanding opportunity for students to obtain "real life" uses of what they are learning in their anatomy courses and was motivational for them in their pursuit of a health related career. Dr. Swanson remained after the demonstration to interact with faculty and students. The event was so successful that Dr. Swanson and the UNI Department of Biology are already in the planning stages for a similar event next year.




Department Snapshots

Contact Us:

Dr. David Saunders, Department Head
University of Northern Iowa • Department of Biology • 144 McCollum Science Hall • Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0421
Tel: (319) 273-2456 • Fax: (319) 273-7125
Sandi Ingles, Office Coordinator • Email: sandi.ingles@uni.edu