School of Biology


Organisms have evolved to function in their natural environment. Genetic information is translated, through development, into a phenotype that functions within the organism's particular environment. Within the School of Biology, we study different parts of this process (from genetics, through development, cellular biology, physiology, life history and ecology to evolution). In a rapidly changing world, with ever greater demands on resources, there are numerous scientific problems that demand our attention. How can we produce sufficient crops to feed a growing population, and can we do this in a way that is sustainable for the environment? Can we understand the biology of disease vectors – like malarial mosquitoes – with a view to their control and a reduction in the million or so people killed by the disease each year? The rise of genome-sequencing begs important questions about the functioning of those genes that have been sequenced, and the translation of genetic information into the phenotype that functions in an ecological setting. This is a flavour of the wide range of research being undertaken within the School.

The School consists of approximately 50 academic staff. We host the Faculty’s research groups in Plant Sciences, Ecology and Evolution and Heredity, Development and Disease. Since a great strength of the University of Leeds and our Faculty is the ability to conduct interdisciplinary research, staff in our School contribute to other Faculty research groups as well as interdisciplinary centres across the University. For example, the University Interdisciplinary Earth & Biosphere Institute is a grouping of scientists with interests in the effects of biotic and environmental changes on a spectrum of time and space scales, from short term to geological, and from nano-scale to global.

We undertake high quality research on societal issues that matter. We apply our research outcomes for societal benefit and some of the many outcomes can be seen here. For example, we have:

We are always interested in hearing from potential postgraduate students, research fellows and academics who may be interested in relocating to Leeds. Prospective undergraduate students should direct enquiries to the undergraduate school.

Professor Ian Hope School Director

For matters regarding Undergraduate Teaching contact the Undergraduate School. For matters regarding Postgraduate Teaching contact individual staff/supervisors of the Postgraduate School


School of Biology,
Miall Building,
University of Leeds

School PA: Louisa Oates
+44(0)113 343 2880