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Graduate Program in Biology


Areas of Research

Research in the Biology graduate program is focused on several broad areas: molecular and cellular biology; vertebrate, invertebrate and plant physiology; ecology and evolution.  This focus ensures that within each area there is a critical mass of interacting people and shared resources to produce a strong research environment.  Within the research areas, faculty members work on a diversity of research problems, the range of which can best be seen by consulting the detailed descriptions on the Biology website.

Research Facilities

A wide range of the normal modern research equipment is available in the program.  Much of this is concentrated in two communal facilities, a molecular ecology laboratory, and a core microscopy facility including a Transmission (TEM) and an advanced Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopes (CLSM) and a Spinning Disk Confocal Microscope.  The program also houses animal care facilities, a large greenhouse and controlled environment growth chambers.  The program also maintains research access to functional MRI, assorted mass spectrometers, diverse field stations, provincial parks and the collections of the Royal Ontario Museum and the Toronto Zoo.  In addition, members of the program engage in extensive research contacts with both federal and provincial ministries of environment and wildlife services, for access to other research facilities.

All major biological journals and a rapidly expanding collection of monographs and other reference works are available in the Steacie Science Library.  The program maintains close ties with biomedical research centres in Metropolitan Toronto and graduate students thus have the opportunity to attend a wide variety of research seminars and to benefit from scientific discussions with students and staff in neighbouring institutions.  Students are expected to attend such functions on a regular basis.

Research @ York

York University is a leading research innovator in Canada. Working across disciplines and with global partners, we develop ideas and connect with policymakers and practitioners to create meaningful change and a more globally competitive Canada.

Research at York takes place in every discipline and spans the spectrum of programs from the pure and applied sciences to business, law, fine arts, the humanities and social sciences. York has renowned research strength in areas such as space science, vision science, aboriginal and indigenous studies, history and psychology. Home to 24 research centres, our commitment to taking focused risks and our passion for innovation stakes a claim to a future that touches almost every facet of complex world issues.

York's key thematic research areas

Our interdiscplinary research focus enables our researchers to draw on their established expertise and push beyond traditional research methods to respond to issues and challenges that shape our world. Engaging the best researchers across a diversity of disciplines, York is confronting challenges in a new way. Building on its strengths, York is branching out with a bold and strategic research plan in four thematic research areas:

  1. Culture Entertainment research
  2. Health research
  3. International Studies research
  4. Sustainability research

Research Centres

Find out more at

Research @ York