In the broadest sense, plant biology is the study of plants and all their aspects. Plants range from tiny microorganisms occupying the soil, air, and water to the giant trees of the forest and giant kelps of the sea. Because of this great diversity of life forms and the corresponding diversity in their habitats, there are many subdisciplines of plant biology and as many kinds of plant biologists.
One of the most exciting and attractive features of the program in the Department of Plant Biology at Southem Illinois University at Carbondale is the impressive variety of subdisciplines from which you may choose. The department has recently reorganized its courses based upon three nodes: Ecology, Molecular and Biochemical Physiology, and Systematics and Biodiversity. Both undergraduate and graduate curricula may be organized around this nodal structure. Undergraduates who do not wish to specialize may elect the General Plant Biology option. Our goal is to provide a versatile and modern curriculum and research experience that allows the student to tailor his or her program around particular educational needs and career goals. As shown below, our diversity provides the student with many choices!
The Department of Plant Biology provides broad opportunities for both field and laboratory study. For example, our strengths in field plant biology include:
Although a degree in plant biology provides opportunity for employment in a variety of interesting areas, it also provides a basis for lifelong understanding and enjoyment of plants and the environments we all share. Plant biology is therefore an excellent major for you if you wish to pursue a broad and very relevant liberal education program. A major, a minor, or merely selected courses in plant biology can be very rewarding to students whose primary interests are in other areas.
A degree in plant biology opens the door to many positions in educational institutions, federal, state, and local govennmental agencies, and a variety of industries. As is the case in most fields, highly technical jobs in plant biology often require training beyond the baccalaureate degree.
The need for well-trained specialists in certain areas of plant biology has never been greater, and the outlook for the future is very promising. For example, existing demands on all our natural resources have resulted in a demand for people trained in the botanical aspects of environmental sciences, agriculture, conservation, biogeography, land reclamation, water resources, and many other fields. The advent of the biotechnology era has brought with it a demand for specialists in plant physiology and biochemistry, especially in the areas of nutrition, metabolism, growth regulators, tissue culture, biomass production, and environmental stress. There is currently an increased demand for specialists in molecular genetics.
Since society's greatest need is for a constant supply of wholesome, nutritious food, the biotechnology industry uill continue to direct its interests and energies toward the production and improvement of food products. Running a close second to the need for food is the need for new and better medicinal drugs and new methods for their mass production. Since plants are our only primary source of food and since most of our medicinal drugs are obtained from plants, the food and pharmaceutical industries will need a continuous supply of well-trained plant biologists.
Following is a listing of many agencies and institutions that have need for trained plant biologists:
The SIUC Department of Plant Biology with support from allied departments, can provide individualized programs in plant sciences that will prepare students for the great vanety of careers listed above. Over the past several years we have placed our students in virtually all the types of positions listed. Successful graduates of the SIUC plant biology programs have had no problem being admitted into excellent graduate programs at major universities of their choice.
For more information please call, write, or e-mail.
Undergraduate Advisor Department of Plant Biology Mailcode 6509 Southern Illinois University at Carbondale Carbondale, Illinois 62901-6509 Phone 618 536 2331 Fax 618 453 3441 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
SIUC / College of Science / Plant Biology /
Last updated: 26--Mar-03 / dln