UG Newsletter

Undergraduate Newsletter
Department of Biology
October 2021 Issue

We trust that you are staying healthy, managing your academics, and resting properly! This year, following Thanksgiving, we have a week-long fall break from October 12 to 15 to re-charge.


Pathy Foundation Fellowship Opportunity


$40,000 in funding for self-directed community project

One year. One project. Unleash your potential!

The Pathy Foundation Fellowship provides professional leadership training and support for graduating students to lead a community development project anywhere in the world.

The 12-month fellowship is for graduating students who have:

  • the capacity and potential to develop as effective change-agents;
  • meaningful connection with a community of their choosing anywhere in the world; and
  • an innovative idea of how this community could be strengthened.

Successful candidates will receive up to $40,000 in funding.

Applications are now open and are due on November 11!

Upcoming Events: The Pathy Advisor, Jess Franco, a former Pathy fellow and Queen’s alum, will be hosting the following virtual info sessions and student hours this fall:

Info Sessions:

  • September 15 @ 11 am EST
  • September 22 @ 3 pm EST
  • September 29 @ 1 pm EST
  • October 7 @ 11 am EST
  • October 14 @ 12 pm EST
  • October 21 @ 1 pm EST

Student Advising Hours:

  • September 21, 28
  • October 5, 12, 19, 26
  • November 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10

To register or book, click here.

For more information, visit:

For general questions, you can also book a 1-1 student advising appointment with the Queen’s Pathy Coordinator by emailing


Join the BISC this Year!

Looking to get out and add a more worldly perspective to your studies? A term at the Bader International Study Centre (BISC), Queen’s UK Castle campus, is the opportunity for you!

Enjoy the BISC’s smalls class sizes, close contact with professors, research opportunities, and experiential learning in the BISC’s Winter General or Castle Summer+ program.

Looking for engaging electives? The BISC’s online courses BISC 100/3.0 Thinking Locally (Fall) & BISC 101/3.0 Acting Globally (Winter) tie into a number of degree plans and examine global issues from national and international perspectives. Interested? Get a sneak peek at BISC 100 & 101 here.

Applications are open now for the BISC’s Winter and Summer 2022 programs! For BISC 100 and BISC 101 online, change the course career to “Undergraduate Online” and select “BISC First Year Program” as the course subject when searching online BISC courses on SOLUS, no application is required. Learn More

If you have questions about the Castle or the application process, contact

Brochures for:

Winter Term at the Castle

Health Studies at the Castle

Psychology at the Castle


Summer 2022 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 2021-22 application forms and details are available through Awards and Opportunities.

The award is $6000.00 plus a minimum supervisor top-up of 14.25/hour plus required fringe benefits (vacation pay is included).


•    Students must work 16 consecutive weeks (35 hours per week).

•    Students 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.         


Wondering about how many courses you can take from other Faculties and Schools towards your degree plan/program?
A maximum of 6.0 units from courses offered by other Faculties and Schools may be counted towards the Program and/or Plan requirements of any degree in the Faculty of Arts and Science, in addition to any such courses allowed as either Core or Option course requirements.

The courses listed in the document below are approved for students in the Faculty of Arts and Science.


Not sure if you have picked up the right courses for your degree plan?
It is important that you check your degree plan/program requirements before the September add/drop date (Sept. 20) to ensure you are on target.  Please review your degree plan/program requirements using SOLUS.  This is a great tool and will help keep you on track.  


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, & 341 (302, 303).  

To be admitted to BIOL 400 and 500 level Biology courses you will need a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in any previously taken courses from this list.


Need help with your studies? 
Please visit Student Academic Success Services (SASS) at SASS offers academic support to students who wish to develop their skills in critical thinking, reading, learning, studying, writing, and self-management. 

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.


Wondering how to contact your course program associate regarding work associated with the lab component of core courses?

BIOL 102:

BIOL 103:

BIOL 200:

BIOL 205:

BIOL 206:

BIOL 212:

BIOL 300: 

Important Links 
Updates on COVID-19: 

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 
Monday to Friday 9:30am – 12:00pm & 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Rm. 3109d, BIOSC Complex

Past Newsletter Issues

September 2020

October 2020

November 2020

December 2020

January 2021

February 2021

March 2021

April 2021

May 2021

June/July 2021

August 2021

September 2021

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