About the Department of Biological Studies

Department of Biological Sciences




About the Department of Biological Studies


Research Facilities

The department is well equipped with state of the art laboratory equipment for molecular, microbiological, physiological and biochemical research. A greenhouse, plant growth chamber and facilities for terrestrial (lizards, tortoises, amphibians) and aquatic animals (fish, crayfish) are available to students. The department participates in the use of the Wildlife Research Station in Algonquin Provincial Park, a multi-use facility where graduate students from several Universities conduct ecological and physiological research.

The department's specialized equipment holdings include the following:

  • A walk-in plant tissue culture room and associated tissue culture facility
  • An aquatic animal research facility including laminar flow tanks with temperature-controlled dechlorinated water
  • On-site liquid Nitrogen Generator
  • Environmental chambers for low temperature studies on biological processes
  • Zeiss fluorescence microscopes and state of the art computer imaging systems;
  • A confocal microscope
  • A two-photon laser scanning microscope
  • A scanning electron microscope
  • Computer controlled electrophysiological research stations for stimulation and recording of muscle, nerve and whole animal electrical activity
  • Microplate readers, fluorescence imagers and a real-time PCR facility
  • Biophysical spectrometers for high sensitivity absorbance, linear dichroism, circular dichroism, photoacoustic and picosecond time-resolved fluorescence
  • A parallel computing PC cluster for mathematical modeling of biological systems

The Mathematics and Science Faculty also maintains a central technical services unit that includes a broad range of capabilities for the development and construction of specialized pieces of equipment. The staff of technical services includes four professional machinists, a glassblower and four electronics personnel including a microcomputer specialist.

Cool Climate Oenology & Viticulture Institute

Associated with the Department of Biological Sciences, is the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute ( CCOVI). CCOVI is housed in Inniskillin Hall, whose research facilities include a biotechnology laboratory, viticulture laboratory, a state of the art sensory evaluation laboratory, pilot winery and a 43,000 bottle wine cellar which includes the Canadian Wine Library.

Brock University established the Cool Climate Oenology & Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) in 1996 in collaboration with the Canadian grape and wine industry. In addition to CCOVI's research programs, a complete range of academic programs are available through the Department of Biological Sciences, including an Honours B.Sc. program with Co-op, Certificate in Grape and Wine Technology, M.Sc. and Ph.D. With partnerships firmly established, CCOVI is the focal point of academic training and research for the Canadian grape and wine industry. 

Support Institutions

Brock University, opened in 1964, is located in St. Catharines (pop. 130,000), Ontario, Canada. It is characterized by an architecturally unique complex of buildings with a fully equipped athletic facility with an Olympic-sized pool and an indoor rowing centre. Brock is within easy driving distance of a number of other universities and colleges both in southern Ontario and northern New York State. In addition, major government research facilities including provincial and federal agricultural laboratories and the Canada Centre for Inland Waters, are within the immediate area. The Brock Library has an extensive and specialized science section. The inter-library loan service, operated by the Library, gives daily access to the holdings of both local and national libraries and research institutions.