The discipline of Biosciences is one of a select group participating in BBSRC's Excellence with Impact scheme.

See how we are working with fishermen, non governmental organisations and national fisheries agency in Peru to promote the conservation of marine biodiversity and sustainable fishing. View full size.

Professor Charles Tyler describes his work on the effects of environmental contaminants on wildlife. Watch full size.

Caitlin Artic Survey

Dr Ceri Lewis is working with Polar explorer Pen Hadow’s Catlin Arctic Survey to investigate climate change and the effects of carbon dioxide on the Arctic Ocean, on an ice base only 750 miles from the North Geographic Pole. Find out more about her trip.

Our research

The University of Exeter is committed to excellence in Biosciences research. We are a strong and strategically smart academic community. As a world-leading research centre, we combine ground-breaking studies and the pursuit of knowledge with high-quality teaching, reinforced by state-of-the-art facilities, and excellent academic support.

Our research ranges from fundamental studies of how biological molecules function, to developing an understanding of how organisms interact with one another and within the ecosystems they occupy. We take full advantage of the attributes of our location in the South West as a unique environment in which to undertake environmental, ecological and conservation studies.

Underlying our cutting-edge research activities is a commitment to making the outcomes of our research beneficial and accessible to key stakeholders including our students, the wider academic community and the public.

The current value of ongoing research within Biosciences is more than £40 million funded from research councils (BBSRC, EPSRC, NERC, MRC), charities (eg, Leverhulme Trust, Wellcome Trust), UK government (eg, DEFRA, Royal Society, DSTL), the EU Commission, and industrial companies (eg, Shell Research Ltd, Syngenta).

Our investment in research

Biosciences excellence at the University of Exeter is underpinned by significant investment in our research. We have created distinct research groupings while continuing to foster interdisciplinary research across the University, and beyond. Biosciences plays a central role in two of the University of Exeter’s interdisciplinary science research themes, Climate change and sustainable futures and Systems biology, which are highly relevant to tackling 21st century global challenges and affect people globally; our world-leading research aims to help tackle the issues involved in these areas by using an interdisciplinary approach, combining researchers’ skills across the University. Through these we have benefitted from academic appointments, funding for 50 PhD studentships and a £1 million investment in platform technologies. Find out more about our extensive facilities.

Research groups

Our research groups reflect the interests and expertise of our staff. This approach ensures that we are able to optimise the knowledge of our academic experts and take full advantage of our cutting-edge facilities and equipment. Our activities are spread across the Streatham Campus in Exeter and the Penryn Campus in Cornwall, which is home to the £30 million Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI)

Research groups based at the Streatham Campus, Exeter:

Research groups based at the Cornwall Campus:

We also have a research strength on Biodiversity and Renewable Energy, Human Biological and Cultural Evolution and have established a Wildlife Research Co-Operative.

Systems biology and Climate change and sustainable futures are over-arching themes directing research within the discipline. These areas of research are highly relevant to modern times and affect people globally; our world-leading research aims to help tackle the issues involved in these areas by using an interdisciplinary approach, combining researchers’ skills across the University.

Research centres

The discipline has a number of research centres which run focused research and teaching:

  • The Exeter Biocatalysis Centre is a multidisciplinary centre established to study the structure, mechanism and commercial application of enzymes

PhD study in Biosciences

We welcome people to study for a PhD in Biosciences. A PhD offers an exciting opportunity to work at the cutting-edge of research; within Biosciences we will provide you with a very supportive environment in which to pursue your research. Find out more about a PhD study in Biosciences on our campuses in Cornwall and Exeter, and our Masters by Research.

Research seminars

All are welcome to attend our research seminars which run each term at each of our campus. The seminars cover a variety of topics.