UG Newsletter

Undergraduate Newsletter
Department of Biology
October 2019 Issue

This month we focus on career and upcoming award opportunities!

Looking for a job?
Wondering about career options or maybe considering Graduate School…then you need to visit:

Looking for study and travel opportunities?
The International Programs Office coordinates academic exchanges and study abroad experiences predominantly for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. For students wishing to enhance their degree program with a formalized component in International Studies, the IPO coordinates the Senate-approved International Studies Certificate.

Explore opportunities through Queen’s University Biological Station
The Queen's University Biological Station (QUBS) is one of the premier scientific field stations in Canada. For almost 70 years, researchers and students have gathered at QUBS to conduct leading-edge research and participate in courses spanning ecology, evolution, conservation, geography, and environmental science.  Don’t forget to check out available awards for field-based undergraduate research experience.

Thinking about Graduate Studies?
Queen’s University is one of Canada's leading research-intensive institutions, with an especially strong graduate program in the Department of Biology. Here you will find a stimulating and dynamic research environment with an interactive and supportive atmosphere for graduate student research at both MSc and PhD levels.

It is never too early to think about investigating whether graduate studies is the next career move for you.  The first step is to learn as much as you can about graduate studies in our department by visiting our website that contains information about the programs, their requirements, and financial support, among other subjects.  The second step is to investigate what interests you the most in Biology, and to contact professors performing research in those areas.  Ideally, you should set up a face-to-face meeting with individual professors to see if you have common interests.

You may also be interested in attending Think Grad Studies Day – October 10th, where you can join in the activities to experience what being a graduate student at Queen’s is like first hand.  You can find detailed information at:

Please contact me – D. Lefebvre, Chair of Graduate Studies in Biology or Joanne Surette – Graduate Assistant if you need any further information (;

Summer Research Award Opportunity
NSERC Undergraduate Summer Research Awards (USRA): Canada’s Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) underwrites these prestigious awards to stimulate student interest in research and to help cultivate tomorrow’s scientists. USRAs involve independent research and are taken up in NSERC-funded laboratories.  The awarding of USRAs is carried out internally through Queen’s Biology.   The 2019-2020 application forms and details will be announced later this term.  General requirements follow.

The award is $4,500.00 plus a minimum supervisor top up of $3,340.00 plus required fringe benefits (vacation pay is included).

•    Students must work 16 consecutive weeks (35 hours per week).
•    Student are not permitted to do thesis research while holding an award.
•    Students are not permitted to take courses during working hours throughout the term of their award.  

•    Must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.
•    Must be registered in an honours degree program in BIOL at the time of application and must be in at least year 2 of study.
•    Must have obtained at least a “B” (or B-) (65-79%) average in their previous years of study.
•    If you are registered in health sciences (M.D., D.D.S., and B.Sc.N.) or have a higher degree in the natural sciences or engineering you are NOT eligible.   Graduating BIOL students are eligible providing they have not started a program of graduate studies. 

Fellowship Opportunity
Ocean Path Fellowship is an exciting opportunity for 2-3 graduating students from Queen’s (one of only 4 universities in Canada eligible) to engage in an intensive 12-month leadership program designed to support them in implementing a community development project anywhere in the world.  Successful candidates will receive up to $25,000 in funding and receive formal training in community change at the Coady International Institute.  

Please visit for full details.  The DEADLINE for applications is NOVEMBER 14, 2019.  Contact Information:  Katie Fizzell, Career Services, Tel:  613-533-6000 Ext.32841 | Email: |

Wondering who to speak to first regarding core course activities?

For your convenience, here are the first contact email addresses for the listed core courses.
BIOL 102:
BIOL 103:
BIOL 200:
BIOL 205 and 206: and
BIOL 212:
BIOL 300:  Laura Nagel (

Program Associates for core courses
BIOL 102:  Barb Vanderbeld ( Rm: Biosci 2321B
BIOL 103:  Laura Nagel ( Rm. Biosci 2322A
BIOL 200:  Anna Rooke ( Rm. 2321A
BIOL 205 and 206: Fern Gauthier ( Rm: Biosci 3321
BIOL 212:  Barb Vanderbeld (, Fern Gauthier (, Anna Rooke (
BIOL 300:  Laura Nagel ( Rm: Biosci 2322A

Co-ordinator-Professors for core courses
BIOL 102:  W. Snedden
BIOL 103:  C. Moyes
BIOL 200:  P. Grogan
BIOL 205:  I. Ching-Sang
BIOL 206:  J. Friedman
BIOL 212:  C. Moyes
BIOL 300:  P. Martin


Academic Skills Workshops & Events Fall 2019 -
Full schedule can be found at:

Enhance Your Degree with an Internship 2019/20 -

Biology Degree Plans
Review your degree plan requirements and make sure you are selecting courses you need.  Degree plan requirements can be found at:

Biological Foundations List - IMPORTANT!

It is very important to keep this GPA requirement in mind throughout your program, starting with first year.  To be admitted to 400 and 500 level Biology courses, you will need a minimum GPA of 2.0 in any previously taken courses from Biological Foundations list.

The Biological Foundations List is BIOL 102, 103, 200, 212, (201, 202), 205, 206, 300, 330, 334, 339, and 341 (BIOL 302, 303).  

Helpful Links

Information on Applying for a Course Prerequisite Waiver

Arts and Science Academic Deadlines

Arts and Science Calendar

Frequently Asked Questions

QUBS Quick Links


Looking for a job?  Quick Link
Looking for study and travel opportunities?  Quick Link

BIOLOGY Undergraduate Office
Mon to Friday 8:30 to noon and 1:00 to 3:00pm
Rm. 3109d, BIOSC Complex

I've spent more time than many will believe [making microscopic observations], but I've done them with joy, and I've taken no notice those who have said why take so much trouble and what good is it?

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

It's a parts list... If I gave you the parts list for the Boeing 777 and it had 100,000 parts, I don't think you could screw it together and you certainly wouldn't understand why it flew

Eric Lander

What is true for E. coli is also true for the elephant

Jacques Monod

The world becomes full of organisms that have what it takes to become ancestors. That, in a sentence, is Darwinism

Richard Dawkins

Shall we conjecture that one and the same kind of living filaments is and has been the cause of all organic life?

Erasmus Darwin

Nature proceeds little by little from things lifeless to animal life in such a way that it's impossible to determine the line of demarcation


Cells let us walk, talk, think, make love, and realize the bath water is cold

Lorraine Lee Cudmore

In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history

Charles Darwin

It is my belief that the basic knowledge that we're providing to the world will have a profound impact on the human condition and the treatments for disease and our view of our place on the biological continuum

J. Craig Venter

Imagine a house coming together spontaneously from all the information contained in the bricks: that is how animal bodies are made

Neil Shubin

A grain in the balance will determine which individual shall live and which shall die - which variety or species shall increase in number, and which shall decrease, or finally become extinct

Charles Darwin

The stuff of life turned out to be not a quivering, glowing, wondrous gel but a contraption of tiny jigs, springs, hinges, rods, sheets, magnets, zippers, and trapdoors, assembled by a data tape whose information is copied, downloaded and scanned

Steven Pinker

We wish to discuss a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid. (D.N.A.). This structure has novel features which are of considerable biologic interest

Rosalind Franklin

We are biology. We are reminded of this at the beginning and the end, at birth and at death. In between we do what we can to forget

Mary Roach

The systems approach to biology will be the dominant theme in medicine

Leroy Hood

I've always been interested in animal behavior, and I keep reading about it because it's so surprising all the time - so many things are happening around us that we neglect to look at. Part of the passion I have for biology is based on this wonderment"

Isabella Rossellini

Because all of biology is connected, one can often make a breakthrough with an organism that exaggerates a particular phenomenon, and later explore the generality

Thomas Cech

Nothing in Biology makes sense except in the light of evolution

Theodosius Dobzhansky

Biology is now bigger than physics, as measured by the size of budgets, by the size of the workforce, or by the output of major discoveries; and biology is likely to remain the biggest part of science through the twenty-first century

- Freeman Dyson

Nothing can be more incorrect than the assumption one sometimes meets with, that physics has one method, chemistry another, and biology a third

- Thomas Huxley