Welcome to Biology at StFX, where students and professors go shoulder-to-shoulder into lab and field to study the living world. Students delve into the science of living organisms to explore the world and the influence humans have on the global environment. StFX campus is five minutes from riverine, estuarine and marine aquatic habitats as well as the boreal forest, the largest forest type on the planet. Here, Professors present structure and function of living things from the cell to global ecological systems, emphasizing critical thinking as well as lab and field skills.
With growing environmental concerns, offshore explorations, the changing face of agriculture and aquaculture and with the diverse medical needs of an aging population ,well trained Life Scientists are in demand all over the world. An undergraduate degree in Biology prepares students for careers in health sciences, education, graduate studies, aquatic biology, cell and molecular biology, ecology and many other areas. Biology graduates pursue advanced study at master’s and doctoral level in top graduate programs and professional schools (medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, among many) across Canada and the world.
From the first year in small laboratory sections of 25 students to the final year with advanced seminar courses of enrolments less than 15 students, biology students at StFX get to know their professors well.. The students incorporate practical and quantitative tools for life long learning, including online research literature and genomes, statistics, and public speaking all as background for graduate or professional school. It is process-oriented learning where student gain many positive experiences, such as presenting their first research poster at the annual StFX Undergraduate Research Day. Through Service Learning, the department performs student field trips to Cuba, Guatemala and other parts of the world. The CoOp program is also available to help students learn on the job in marine and other lab environments.
The First YearAt StFX, the focus is on theory, augmented by hands-on application in small-group learning in the lab and field. Professors ensure that various methods of learning are used to appeal to students’ learning styles; this creates a dynamic academic environment where students learn and apply theory under the direction of educators who encourage them to explore new perspectives in the analysis of fundamental biological concepts. In first year, students take Introductory Cell Biology and Diversity of Life, two single semester courses that explore cell biology, basic genetics, major groups of living organisms and evolution.
In Biology several streams of study are offered, including pre-professional, animal, plant, marine, population biology, environmental, as well as cell and molecular biology, intended to prepare students for fulfilling careers in life science and associated professions. The Department participates in two interdisciplinary programs of study: Aquatic Resources and Environmental Science. Joint programs of study are available with Psychology, Chemistry, Math and Physics.