Biological Sciences

Graduate Studies

Our department offers outstanding and well funded opportunities for graduate research and training at both the M.Sc. and Ph.D. levels. Our award-winning faculty and superb research facilities will prepare you for success as a graduate student and beyond.

Choose the Department of Biological Sciences for Graduate School!

Recent Graduate Student Accomplishments


Recent Graduate Student Accomplishments

Three Minute Thesis (3MT)

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is an academic competition that assists current graduate students with fostering effective presentations and communication skills. Participants have just three minutes to explain the breadth and significance of their research project to a non-specialist audience.


3MT was developed by The University of Queensland in 2008, and is now held in nineteen countries around the world. As of 2015, over 139 universities from Sweden to Columbia, Japan to Iran have participated in this fun, highly informative and very entertaining event.


On Thursday January 25, 2018, the Department of Biological Sciences hosted the inaugural 3MT Event. Fourteen graduate students communicated their research in the unique three minute format and gained practical experience at presenting their research to an audience of varied backgrounds. This event facilitated interactions among our graduate students and served as an excellent advertisement for the diversity of exciting research ongoing in the labs of Biological Sciences.


2018 Participants

Brooke Biddlecombe, Anna Bishop, Shane Carey, Zach Dumar, Sofia Karabatsos, Nikki Van Klaveren, Dustin Lillico, Erin MacDonald, Patrick Neuberger, Alireza Saidi-Mehrabad, Janet Sperling, Phillip Sun, Catherine Tays and Alyssa Weinrauch


Competition Results

1st Place:  Catherine Tays (Stein Lab)

Turning Greenhouse Gas into Green Products

See Video Here


2nd Place:  Dustin Lillico (Stafford Lab)

Seek and destroy: how immune cells patrol their environment using membranous tentacles

See Video Here


3rd Place: Erin MacDonald (Tank Lab)

Composition and biodegradation of carbon in permafrost-affected terrains

See Video Here


People's Choice:  Janet Sterling (Magor Lab)

Uncovering covert communities of tick transmitted bacteria

See Video Here

Past Graduate Student Events

Recruitment Weekend - March 9 - 11, 2017

The Department of Biological Sciences has been working hard in its efforts to bring a promising and ambitious group of students to launch their graduate careers in Fall 2017.  From March 9 – 11 the Department hosted 17 diverse, highly-qualified prospective students and provided them with an opportunity to meet with their supervisors and colleagues.

Applicants were assessed by their submitted applications and the most qualified individuals were invited to participate in our first Recruitment Weekend initiative. Friday morning consisted of departmental orientation with Executive Staff and then lunch with their potential labs. In the afternoon, students participated in campus tours and then joined members of the faculty and graduate student population for 3-Minute Thesis presentations during our welcome reception. We received many compliments about the friendliness, organization, and overall effectiveness of the experience. Accordingly, we owe a huge THANKS to all faculty, staff, graduate students who met with students and represented our department so well to make the weekend such a resounding success!


Three Minute Thesis (3MT) - April 13, 2017

The 2017 3MT UAlberta Finals were held at Convocation Hall on Thursday, April 13, 2017.

Four students from the department competed in the competition this year:

Danyel Evseev 27:20
Nathan Grant 1:07:10
Spencer Balay 1:15:10
Amanda Jorgensen 1:29:05

You can watch the live stream recording here.  To watch DBS competitors, scroll to the indicated times beside each name to see a specific speaker.

Congratulations to all participants!


Celebration of Excellence - April 20, 2017

Staff, faculty and students gathered to celebrate at the annual Celebration of Excellence.  Over 70 students were recognized for their achievements on April 20th at Alumni House.

For a list of all winners please click here

Congratulations to all of our award winners!