Although the name Department of Animal Biology is relatively new, this area of biology has a long tradition of excellence at the University of Illinois.
Victor E. Shelford, a faculty member in the Department of Zoology from 1914 to 1947, was instrumental in the development of the field of animal ecology in North America. His emphasis on empirical studies in both academic and research programs has continued to the present.
The School of Integrative Biology focuses on an integrative approach to fundamental problems that can make a significant contribution to the solution of outstanding scientific and societal problems. As part of that School, the Department of Animal Biology’s faculty teach and conduct research in
- behavioral ecology
- population and community biology
- molecular evolution
- population genetics
- phylogenetic systematics
- evolutionary ecology
Current research involves a wide range of organisms, from crustaceans through mammals. Affiliate faculty from the Illinois Natural History Survey provide opportunities for graduate research in such applied areas as fisheries and wildlife management, conservation biology, as well as in ecology, behavior, and evolution.
Research facilities include laboratories well equipped for molecular biology, a modern avian behavior laboratory, greenhouses, and nearby research areas with mature forest, restored tall-grass prairies, and extensive areas for manipulative studies.