Mission and Vision

To inspire scientific discovery that empowers humanity to transcend global challenges

Our core values


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We advance the frontiers of biological science and inspire the next generation to go further.


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In the pursuit of excellence we are committed to honesty, responsibility, openness and high ethical standards.


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We value diversity and respect the views and aspirations of others.


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While maintaining a diverse disciplinary balance, we forge synergistic critical strengths in key areas of scholarship.

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Our vision 2020

Leveraging the unique strengths of the University of Waterloo, we will be the integrative force in Canada that catalyzes innovation at the interface between biology and the physical and applied sciences.

Our strategic plan 2011-2020

The Department of Biology at the University of Waterloo is in the midst of an exciting time of faculty renewal. In 2012-2013, seven faculty members have left the Department due to retirements or relocation. Over the past four years, we have made research faculty hirings in computational neuroscience, cell biology/nanobiology, computational genomics and aquatic ecology, as well as a lecturer in invertebrate biology.

The core of this vision is to identify areas that are unique and appealing for student enrolment growth, of strategic importance to the University, and leverage Biology’s unique disciplinary position leading to new strategic directions.

The Department strategy going forward is based on:

  • Maintenance of strength in traditional areas of expertise (foci);
  • Building on emerging areas of Biology to establish new foci;
  • Filling gaps by providing broad training in the modern discipline of Biology. In particular, meeting the needs of professional programs and evolving teaching and research programs in other units and Faculties;
  • Featuring the convergence of modern Biology; areas that might traditionally have been quite distinct are sharing more and more technical and conceptual overlap.

Achieve and maintain international leadership

The Department of Biology will strive to achieve and maintain an international leadership position in these focus areas:

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Evolution, ecology, and aquatic ecology
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Microbiology and metagenomics
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Physiology and development