As part of the continued investment in state-of-the art facilities for students and staff, Edge Hill’s Biology Department recently moved into their new accommodation and began to take advantage of using the latest facilities and resources for themselves.
The purpose-built facility, which opened in time for the current academic year, includes a microscopy lab, which houses a fluorescent microscope and a scanning electron microscope, a lab arranged to undertake DNA analysis, and two insectaries that allow control of heat and humidity so that mosquito colonies can be maintained. These will be used to investigate the genetics basis of malaria resistance.
“We have always taken pride in the amount of practical work that our biologists undertake, so by providing them with access to this cutting-edge equipment we can only further develop and enhance their experience,” says Paul Ashton, Head of Biology, adding “the students returning to university have all been impressed with their new setting, while students joining us for the first time have said that choosing Edge Hill was definitely the right decision.”
Although it’s been a busy time moving into the new building, Paul explains that it has all been worth it and many benefits have been felt already, “We have transformed our new base into a working department that provides teaching labs, research labs, offices and some social spaces too. It has been pretty hectic but extremely worthwhile and the greater provision of teaching and research space is one of the benefits being felt already”, continuing, “our new microbiology research lab is something students are taking advantage of for project work, as well as the specialist labs that are now available; there is definitely a sense that the Department is a special place to work.”
Further recognition that the Biology Department is an excellent place to study has been acknowledged in the 2013 National Student Survey, which ranked Biology at Edge Hill as top in the North West for academic support, learning resources, teaching and personal development.
“We’ve always known that we have had a lot to offer our students, so the investment in all of our new facilities can only enhance this” continues Paul, adding, “to complement our new resources we now offer undergraduate degrees in Human Biology and Ecology alongside our well-established Biology programme, with a BSc (Hons) in Genetics being available to join this September.”
As a result of all the new resources, staff and courses, the Biology department continues to be an exciting and innovative place to study with a growing research portfolio.
Paul concludes “I would encourage anyone who is thinking about coming to study with us at Edge Hill, or who just wants to see what the Department has to offer, to come along one of our open days or talks held throughout the year.”
To find out more about studying Biology at Edge Hill, visit ehu.ac.uk/studybiology