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Department of Biology

Resources & Facilities


The Department of Biology is housed in the newly renovated and expanded Hoyt Science Center, a building that is well equipped to provide contemporary educational experiences in biology and the other sciences. The Hoyt Science Center is also home to Chemistry, Environmental Science, Neuroscience, Psychology, Physics, Mathematics and the School of Nursing. The building includes discipline-specific laboratories, collaborative study spaces, a planetarium, and seminar/conference rooms.

An important part of the educational venture in Biology at Westminster is the opportunity for students to have hands-on laboratory experience with up-to-date equipment. For this purpose, the Department of Biology has specialized teaching labs for Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, Cell and Molecular Biology and Ecology. Each of the teaching labs is fully equipped to instruct up to twenty-four students in settings designed for individualized instruction. All Biology faculty also maintain their own faculty/student research labs allowing for on-going independent and collaborative investigations. The department also has a museum, a resource library for graduate studies and health professions, two greenhouses, and an animal housing suite with specific rooms for maintaining aquatic organisms, reptiles, amphibians, and insects to support the program.

The department contains sophisticated modern equipment unique for colleges the size of Westminster within teaching labs, research labs and our new core research facility. Examples of equipment in the department are:

  • Olympus BX60 fluorescence microscope with Olympus digital camera
  • Leica DM 750 fluorescence microscope with Infinity 3s Lumenera digital camera
  • BIO RAD ZOE Fluorescent Cell Imager
  • Zeiss Axiovert 35 inverted microscope
  • BIO RAD T100 thermal cyclers (for PCR)
  • BIO RAD Chemi Doc XRS+ gel imaging and analysis station
  • Bio Tek Synergy H1 microplate reader
  • Thermo Scientific Precision cell culture incubators
  • Laminar flow tissue culture chamber
  • Thermo Scientific ultra-low temperature freezer
  • AD Instruments PowerLab data acquisition systems for animal/human physiology

In addition to the fine facilities in the Hoyt Science Center, the Biology students have access to Westminster's Outdoor Laboratory, which is operated by the Center for the Environment and includes the Field Station, a Nature Center, Brittain Lake, and the 40-acre College Woods.

The Field Station, designed for field biology and environmental studies, includes a year-round weather station, a bird blind, the Lucille Beerbower-Frey Nature Trail, an apiary, and the Bill and Virginia Offutt Microforest.