Modern research laboratories and high-end technology in the Trani Center support faculty and student research ranging from molecular biology to ecosystem dynamics. The Center for Environmental Studies is housed in the Trani Center and is closely allied with the department’s research and instructional activities. Also supporting research are the Trani Center greenhouse, an aquatics facility with numerous freshwater and marine tanks and an animal facility maintained and supervised by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. The Environmental Technologies Laboratory provides students and faculty access to the latest hardware and software for environmental remote sensing, geographic information systems, and other ecoinformatics applications. The Mass Spectrometry Center, located adjacent to the Trani Center, provides additional support for proteomics and biotechnology research.
VCU’s Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences, located 30 minutes from campus, comprises 342 acres of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems along the James River. The focal point of the mission of the Rice Center is support for research associated with the environmental and ecological sciences. It provides an outstanding resource for field-based research by both faculty and graduate students in the department.
The Virginia BioTechnology Research Park, home to many biotechnology, bioscience, and related companies and research institutions, is a technology center dedicated to fostering development of Virginia’s bioscience industry. Faculty and students enjoy the benefits of this life science research incubator, particularly as it allows them to connect their research to private and government concerns.
As one of the top research universities in the nation, Virginia Commonwealth University has made a commitment to the ongoing explorations of the life sciences. In the Department of Biology, research is abundant — from aquaculture and vegetation to gene expression and remote sensing — faculty and students in the department devote great energy to advancing scholarship, whether at the undergraduate or graduate level.