Graduate Studies

Why Biology at uOttawa?

Join our friendly, dynamic group of researchers and graduate students working in a highly collaborative atmosphere.

In our program, students receive outstanding academic and professional training that leads to career opportunities in a wide range of fields. Graduates find employment in federal government departments, leading and emerging private sectors and in academia all over the world.

Conduct leading-edge research

As a joint graduate institute, our program combines the strengths of the Biology departments at both uOttawa and Carlton University. The Ottawa-Carleton Institute for Biology offers advanced courses and hosts an Annual Research Days symposium, which alternates between campuses. Students can conduct research in diverse areas:

  • Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology
  • Environmental Toxicology
  • Comparative Physiology
  • Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology

Access world-renowned laboratories

  • Aquatics facility for fish and amphibians
  • Facilities for lab rodents, naked mole rats and insects
  • A green house that sits atop the main building
  • Laboratory for natural and synthetic environmental toxins
  • Core molecular biology laboratory
  • Cellular imaging and cytometry facility

With Ottawa’s abundant greenspaces, forests and lakes, our state-of-the-art laboratories give students the opportunity to do fieldwork in nearby natural ecosystems.

Research Themes

Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology

Biodiversity is the variety of life at the genetic, species, and ecological levels. We focus on two key areas: evolutionary ecology and molecular evolution. We are also actively engaged in generating both science and science-informed recommendations for pro-active biodiversity conservation.

Find a supervisor in Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology

Comparative Physiology

We have one of the largest concentrations of faculty members working in comparative physiology in Canada. Major themes under investigation include, but are not limited to: acid-base balance and osmoregulation, biomechanics and motor control, computational neurobiology, neural regeneration, energetics and metabolism, endocrine disruption, hypoxia/anoxia tolerance, reproduction, and stress.

Find a supervisor in Comparative Physiology


Environmental toxicologists in the Department are at the forefront of the study of chemical transport, fate, persistence and biological accumulation of toxic substances and their effects at the individual, population and community levels. This research encompasses studies on microbes, plants and animals, and includes research involving human urban populations, indigenous communities and remote polar sites.

Find a supervisor in Ecotoxicology

Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology

The strengths of our research groups lie in the study of fundamental biological processes in unicellular prokaryotes and eukaryotes, parasites, plants and animals using a wide variety of approaches that include molecular biology, genetic manipulation, microscopy and imaging, and advanced computational tools.

Find a supervisor in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology

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