Biological and Environmental Sciences

Biological and Environmental Sciences


Addressing the fundamental biological consequences of environmental change.

Study Information

At a Glance

Degree Qualification

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The School of Biological Sciences has a global reputation for empirical and experimental research in biological and environmental sciences, spanning from gene to global scales, from deep in the earth and sea to high altitude, and from the Arctic to the Antarctic. We have expertise in terrestrial, marine and freshwater organisms, exploring how they function, evolve and interact with their changing environment.

We offer a strong training programme to complement your research, including courses in scientific methods and statistics, cohort building retreats and postgraduate conferences.

We welcome applications from self-funded students at any time. Funded PhD projects are advertised regularly on

We offer a small number of our postgraduate research degrees by distance learning. These are ideal for students who are unable to relocate to Aberdeen or based in an international organisation. Please contact a potential supervisor or if you would like to discuss options.

Our Research

Research in the School of Biological Science is structured through 4 key clusters: ecology, evolution, environment and ecophysiology.

These research clusters bring together staff and students with shared research interests, to encourage multidisciplinary collaboration.


Ecology research within the School has a broad focus on understanding the impact of natural and anthropogenic processes on the abundance, dynamics and distribution of individuals, populations and species.

Key areas of research focus are:

  • Individual Variation
  • Population Dynamics and Trophic Interaction
  • Fisheries Ecology
  • Conservation Ecology
  • Tropical and Temperate Forest Ecology
  • Theoretical Ecology and Modelling
  • Life History Variation

Our Ecological Research


The School has world leading expertise in modelling ecoevolutionary dynamics in structured, natural populations. Our research also provides insight into the evolutionary adaptation of organisms to environmental change and understanding the causes and consequences of variation in levels of neutral and adaptive genetic diversity among individuals and populations.

Key areas of research focus are:

  • Modelling Ecoevolutionary Dynamics
  • Functional and Ecological Genomics
  • Molecular Ecology

Our Evolutionary Research


The School of Biological Sciences is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for research that addresses the global challenges of environmental change and environmental impacts.

Key areas of research focus are:

  • Soil Microbial Diversity
  • Soil Carbon
  • Ecosystem Processes
  • Marine Biogeochemistry
  • Biosensors and Bioremediation
  • Soil Physics
  • Environmental Modelling

Our Environmental Research


Studying the integrative processes and function of life at all levels of structural complexity from the molecular level through to the whole organisms. We then frame functional diversity in evolutionary, environmental, ecological and behavioural contexts.

Key areas of research focus are:

  • Fish Immunology and Physiology
  • Animal Energetics
  • Host, Pathogen and Parasite Interactions

Our Ecophysiology Research

Entry Requirements

If English is not your first language you must also show evidence of attaining standards in English.

English language criteria

Research Impact

Professor Paul Thompson and his team have been instrumental in mitigating the impacts of offshore installations on marine mammals in EU protected areas.

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There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers and Employability Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

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