Biology and Geography

Dean Prof. Dr. Bernd Sures
Dean Prof. Dr. Bernd Sures

The Faculty of Biology focuses on three main areas of research: Medical Biology, Water and Environmental Research, and Empirical Teaching and Learning Research in the Didactics of Biology. In these areas, the Faculty cooperates closely with the relevant central research facilities of the University, the ZMB (Centre for Medical Biotechnology), the ZWU (Centre for Water and Ecosystems), and the ZLB (Teacher Training Centre).  The focus in the Faculty’s 20 research groups extends from molecular biology through organs and organisms to ecosystems, thereby covering a broad range of issues in contemporary biology.
Of the major research projects, Research Training Group 1431, “Transcription, chromatin structure and DNA repair in development and differentiation”, has been extended for a further four and a half years (coordination by the Genetics research group). In the same context, the “Chromatin and Epigenetics” convention was held at Zeche Zollverein from 7 to 10 July 2010 and attended by 150 participants.
The new BMBF project entitled “Entwicklung molekularer MRT-Sonden zur frühen Detektion von Metastasen” [Development of molecular MRT probes for early detection of metastases] is being coordinated by the Biochemistry group. The EU project, “Water bodies in Europe: Integrative 
Systems to assess Ecological status and Recovery” (WISER), in which a total of 25 international partners are taking part, is being coordinated by the Applied Zoology/Hydrobiology research group. The “Teaching and Learning of Science” is also continuing with the involvement of the Didactics of Biology team.
In October 2010, the University’s new Botanical Garden was opened at the Grugapark in Essen. 
It is home to around 3,500 plant species on a total area of 3,300m², divided between two greenhouse complexes (one teaching and one S1 research greenhouse), and 2,300m² of open space with marshland, farmer’s, dyer’s and medicinal plant gardens and sandy grassland.