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Research

Our award-winning faculty and researchers work with students to solve pressing research challenges in nearly every area of the biological sciences.

An Integrated Approach

Research is an integral part of the educational experience in our department, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. We are a place where the brightest minds can gather to tackle problems that matter to the world, including sustainability, genetic mapping and effects of environmental exposure on human health.

Research is a key part of most of our graduate programs. Our more than 100 graduate students get the chance to deepen their knowledge of their discipline, increase their understanding of the nature and practice of science, and gain new technical and transferable skills through their work alongside our highly regarded faculty. The experience they gain prepares them for further graduate study or careers in research or industry.

Undergraduates in our department are also encouraged to participate in research. We can connect students with opportunities within our department; in other NC State departments and colleges, such as the College of Veterinary Medicine; and through national organizations, such as the National Science Foundation.

Though we have researchers working in almost every area of the biological sciences, we focus our research in eight areas. In addition to these, our department facilitates a number of integrated, cross-disciplinary research opportunities in areas such as ecotoxicology and molecular paleontology.

Outrageous Heads Led to Outrageously Large Dinosaurs

Tyrannosaurus rex and other large meat-eating theropods were the biggest baddies on the prehistoric block, and ornaments on their heads could help us figure out why. New research shows that theropod dinosaur species with bony crests, horns and knobs evolved to giant body sizes 20 times faster than those species lacking such embellishments and that theropod dinosaurs most closely related to birds abandoned the hard ornaments strategy of their ancestors and likely used feathers for visual communication.

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Dinosaur heads

$10.9 Million in Research Expenditures in 2016

Our department is one of the leaders at NC State in annual research expenditures, an indicator of a vibrant research enterprise.