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The Department of Animal and Plant Sciences is home to one of the biggest communities of whole-organism biologists in the UK. Our research covers animals, plants, humans, microbes, evolution and ecosystems, in habitats ranging from the polar regions to the tropics. This work aims to shed new light on the fundamental processes that drive biological systems and help solve pressing environmental problems.
Researchers work closely with organisations ranging from the UK Environment Agency and the Royal Horticultural Society, to Heineken and Shell. We're developing fundamental understanding of biological processes at scales from the molecular to the global, drawing on techniques as diverse as DNA sequencing and remote sensing, and applying this understanding to critical environmental problems.
The department houses a number of specialist research facilities. The Arthur Willis Environment Centre provides state-of-the-art 'GroDome' plant growth facilities comprising 16 discrete compartments with the capacity to simulate a range of current environments as well as future climate scenarios. The NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facilities here in Sheffield provides molecular genetics facilities and training to the UK community in the science areas that fall under the remit of the NERC.
We are also training the next generation of biologists through our range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees across biology, ecology and conversation, plant sciences and zoology.
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Biodiversity is threatened by climate change and other consequences of the growing human population. To solve this, and some of the other global challenges facing humanity, we need researchers with an in-depth understanding of ecosystems. Read more
The connection between how organisms have evolved and how they behave is a fundamental principle of biology. It can show us why organisms are the way they are, and answer deep questions about the diversity of life on earth. Read more
Plants are central to the global ecosystem. In Sheffield, we study them from every angle. from the molecular level up to whole organisms, in the context of ecosystems, industry and major global challenges. Read more
Entomology is increasingly at the forefront of addressing global challenges such as food security and disease transmission. By using insects as model organisms across science we can make discoveries that impact society for the better. Read more
How will we feed nine billion people by 2050? It’s a challenge with complex solutions. In the UK alone, it’s estimated that £1.2bn is lost annually to the value of our soils due to mismanagement. Read more