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Research in Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science

Faculty in the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science (BEES) take a hands-on approach to researching environmental change over time, from the past to the present. Taken together, their research interests range from the tropics to the Arctic, from local to global scales, and from the smallest phytoplankton to the largest dinosaurs. Faculty use cutting-edge techniques and equipment in their exploration of life on Earth and the environmental processes on which life depends.

BEES faculty, and the students with whom they work, have access to one of the most extensive natural science collections in the world, located at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. The Academy’s collections, considered to be among the most comprehensive worldwide for a number of taxa, underpin research in systematics, evolutionary biology, ecology and paleontology. The Academy is also home to the Patrick Center for Environmental Research, where scientists lead efforts to understand watershed processes and develop and test approaches for conserving them.

Undergraduate BEES students can explore their research interests and gain professional experience through a variety of opportunities and events – from working in up to three, six-month co-op positions, to conducting summer research in the STAR Scholars program, to engaging in the BEES Pre-Term Field Experience, and participating in Drexel’s university-wide Research Day. The regular and close interaction of students with BEES faculty is a hallmark of the program and a frequent source of new ideas and research directions as students contribute their own perspectives and curiosity.

Research Opportunities

Students in the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science will participate in extensive field experiences due to the diverse activities of researchers at Drexel and at the Academy’s Patrick Center for Environmental Research and Center for Systematic Biology and Evolution. These experiences will include field courses as well as research opportunities, both locally and internationally.

Faculty and scientists in the department are engaged in research programs around the globe, including Bioko Island, Costa Rica, Upper Mongolia and more. Locally, the Department’s Barnegat Bay field station provides opportunities for biological surveys and estuary studies of over 180 acres of diverse coastal habitat, from maritime forests and tidal creeks to upland pine-oak forests and a sandy beach. The department’s Inversand and Red Fossil field sites offer unique opportunities for geoscience research. Importantly, through courses, conferences and other presentations, students learn to effectively communicate their research and environmental issues to the public, thus becoming important spokespeople for the environment and leaders in their field.