Slider photo credits: Adam Haberski (Slide 1), JR Ancheta (Slides 2, 3,& 5), Peter Mather (Slide 4)



in the Classroom


Margaret Murie Life Science Building LobbyThe Biology and Wildlife Department is located in the Margaret Murie Building with state-of-the art classrooms and laboratories where students engage in inquiry-based learning and are challenged to pursue their own research passion in a capstone experience. 

We have online courses too!

in the Field


Field work with snowshoe haresUAF is America’s Arctic University. Students and faculty in the Biology and Wildlife Department are at the forefront of documenting and understanding the changing Arctic – its people, plants, animals, and landscape.  

in the Community


Handing out hand lenses in ShishmarefTeaching and research in the Biology and Wildlife Department are intertwined and embedded within the Alaskan communities where we work. Faculty and students endeavor to improve the lives of Alaskans – from developing diet interventions to minimize chronic disease, to understanding how climate change is impacting subsistence resources.


UAF is Alaska’s premier research university and the only PhD-granting institution in the state.  Research in the Department of Biology and Wildlife spans the breadth of the biological sciences, from molecular biology to ecosystem science.  Investigating emerging viral pathogens, microbes that detoxify environmental contaminants, the molecular genetics of obesity and diabetes, impacts of climate change on polar organisms and ecosystems, and more, our faculty work alongside graduate, undergraduate and high school students to address key issues of vital interest to Alaska and beyond.




  • Welcome to the fall semester!

    August 23, 2021

    Welcome back to students, faculty and staff! If you are attending in-person courses, don't forget your mask.

  • Outstanding biology and wildlife undergraduates announced

    March 24, 2021

    Congratulations to our 2021 Outstanding Undergraduate Students!

    Sage Robine - Biological Sciences

    Alexandria Sletten - Wildlife Biology and Conservation

  • UAF graduate student's wolverine study receives national recognition

    February 11, 2021

    Tom Glass, a PhD student in the Biology and Widllife department, works with the Wildlife Conservation Society to understand the effects of climate change on wolverines. Their work was featured in the New York Times: interactive/2021/02/11/ climate/wolverines-climate- change.html

  • UAF and UAA faculty lead the hunt for COVID-19 strains

     February 11, 2021

    Before the coronavirus pandemic, University of Alaska professors Devin Drown and Eric Bortz were studying African Swine Fever, which threatens the global pork supply. Lisa Smith was researching HIV’s effects on the brain. Will George was studying coronaviruses in Alaska bats. Now, all four are part of Alaska’s quickly-intensifying hunt for new, more contagious variants of the coronavirus — the painstaking process of sequencing the virus’ genes, which state officials say is essential to keep the virus in check. Read more...

  • Skip Walker wins the 2021 Emil Usibelli Distinguished Research Award!

    January 21, 2021

    Walker first came to Alaska’s North Slope as an oil field roustabout in 1969 before earning a biology degree. His subsequent graduate research included botanical field work near Barrow, and Walker has studied Arctic vegetation ever since. In 1999, he came to UAF and created the Alaska Geobotany Center, where he researches and maps Arctic vegetation and studies its relationship to permafrost, snow, sea ice and disturbances such as roads and petroleum development.

    “Want to experience the Arctic? There is no better way than to accompany Skip Walker,” wrote Brian Barnes, the director at the Institute of Arctic Biology, in his nomination letter. “UAF’s Usibelli Awards are about true excellence; Dr. Skip Walker is an outstanding example of excellence in research at UAF.”

  • Keep yourself and others safe

    August 19, 2020
    Don't forget your mask! Face coverings and 6' distancing are mandatory inside Murie and other buildings on campus.
Murie Building
Sunrise reflected in the Margaret Murie Life Science Building. Photo credit: Diane Wagner 2014