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Department of Biological Sciences


Our biology department boasts an eleven-room greenhouse facility devoted to research, teaching and crop care. Both faculty and students benefit from the full-service greenhouse and comprehensive inventory of horticultural supplies.

Since the 1960s, NIU has been cultivating the DEK herbarium that is internationally recognized for its collection of over 19,000 specimens. We are proud to maintain exchange relationships with herbaria worldwide, helping expand ours and others' collections. 

Research Labs

The biology department is proud of the graduate and undergraduate research with over 25 active laboratories including the the following:

Study Abroad & Research in Madagascar

The study abroad program in Madagascar provides students with the opportunity to learn first-hand about primate biodiversity, extinction, forest fragmentation and conservation in Madagascar, one of the world’s foremost biodiversity hotspots. 

As a result of her research in Madagascar, Karen Samonds, assistant professor of biological sciences, was filmed for a documentary series titled “Voyage of the Continents,” depicting how, over many millennia, geology and evolution have interacted to forge life as we know it on Earth.


Biological Sciences collaborates with several top-ranked institutions in our area, researching subjects in the fields of ecology, biology, sustainability and botany.