The Department of Biological Sciences occupies offices and laboratories in the 10-story Johnson Science Tower and the three story Walker Science Building. Well-equipped laboratories provide facilities for research in molecular, cellular, organismal and ecological fields of study.

Biology Collections 

Ichthyological and botanical collections are housed at the Lake Thoreau Environmental Center. The University's Museum of Ichthyology houses one of the largest fish collections in the Southeast region with nearly 500,000 specimens representing approximately 600 species. The collection emphasizes freshwater species from Mississippi, with holdings from all 10 drainages, coastal estuarine and marine species, particularly from Horn Island, a barrier island off the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Our Herbarium emphasizes research and teaching collections of vascular plants from Mississippi and other southeastern states.

Modern, state-of-the-art transmission and scanning electron microscopy facilities are located in the Johnson Science Tower and with the School of Polymer Science. 

The Small Animal Research Facility, located in John Science Tower, includes large and small wards, a laboratory, and quarantine and hazard wards capable of BioSafety Class 3 research.

BSC GardenA greenhouse, located on the east side of Walker Science Building, and the Teaching Garden, located on the east and north sides of Walker Science Building, support botanical activities. 

MFGN Imaging and Genomics Facility

Created in 2002 through funding form the National Institutes of Health, this modern facility is part of the Mississippi Functional Genomics Network, a multidisciplinary, statewide collaborative biomedical research effort and features a state-of-the-art Zeiss LSM 510 confocal laser scanning microscope, a Typhoon 9400 high-performance gel and blot imager, Genepix 4200A microarray scanner, a VersArray colony picker and arrayer system, ChemiDoc XRS gel documentation system, NanoDrop ND-1000 UV/Vis Spectrophotometer, Agilent 2100 bioanalyzer, computer visualization technology, and bioinformatics server.


The Zeiss 510 META CLSM allows researchers to view fluorescently tagged proteins or other molecules in living cells. The high resolution and confocal optics of the CLSM combined with sophisticated software makes it possible to produce detailed 3-D images of live cells showing localization of tagged proteins and subcellular structures. The 501 Meta combines an expanded laser system with an advanced META detector for better multi-fluorescence imaging and separation of fluorochromes which could not be imaged together on other instruments. The META detector also allows better separation of background autofluorescence from fluorescent dye emission. The Zeiss META has 6 laser "lines" of excitation (405, 458, 488, 514, 543, and 633nm). The 405 laser allows for imaging DAPI and other blue-emission fluorochromes.


Wet Lab Facility. Over 3,000 square feet of space is partitioned into individual wet lab rooms devoted to teaching and research. Four of the wet labs are equipped with automatic water-quality monitoring and recording equipment. A modular steam system is adaptable to various experimental designs. A large walk-in environmental chamber and two reach-in environmental chambers include programmable light and temperature regimes. Water to the wet lab is supplied by a large reverse osmosis system. 

Natural Science Park, located three miles west of the Hattiesburg campus, includes a wet lab facility, artificial stream system, large flight aviary, fields for growing plants, and several acres of mixed pine - hardwood forests available for research and teaching.

The Lake Thoreau property, +/- 130 acres and located about 5 km west of campus, is available for teaching and field research. The property consists primarily of upland longleaf pine forest dissected by a few small hardwood drains and one impoundment of about 8 acres. Located near the western end of the East Gulf Coastal Plain, the site is home to several species near their range limits and preserves a longleaf pine ecosystem which has dwindled to less than 5% of its original extent in the U.S. The lake and adjacent areas have a diversity a aquatic and wetland plants suitable for training students in wetland delineation.

Natural Areas. The Ragland Hills Nature Conservancy, National Forests, the Crosby Arboretum, Black Creek Wilderness Area, and Pascagoula River are within minutes of the university's Hattiesburg campus. Mississippi has 369 miles of tidal shoreline along the northcentral Gulf of Mexico. The mainland coast is protected by a chain of barrier islands lying 9 to12 miles offshore, several of which are included with the Gulf Islands National Seashore. This stretch of coast, which is part of the largest estuarine region in North America, is a dynamic area in which to do research.

 Leaf River