Biodiversity and Conservation Biology Major

You can view current program requirements hereCurrent students are encouraged to use Degree Explorer to assess or confirm program requirements. 

About this Program

Today, in an era of unprecedented global change, natural ecosystems are under attack. Thousands of species are threatened with extinction and many more have experienced unprecedented declines. The current “biodiversity crisis” represents perhaps the greatest threat yet encountered to the long-term cultural, societal, and economic stability of all nations. In addition to the goods we harvest from our ecosystems, we also depend on numerous services, such as water purification, pollination, pharmaceuticals, and carbon sequestration with staggering dollar value associated with these ecosystem services. How to conserve species and make sustainable use of our natural ecosystems is a complex and multifaceted issue. Extinctions typically involve many factors, including habitat loss and fragmentation, small population sizes, deterioration of genetic quality, changes in behaviour, increased susceptibility to disease, and pathogen spill-over. Global climate change has added more pressure to the already daunting challenge. 

Students in the Biodiversity and Conservation Biology Major receive training to become ecologically informed and responsible citizens, to appreciate the increasing complexity and uncertainty of the world in which we all live, and be in a position to make informed policy decisions about sustainable development, global environmental change, control of invasive species, and the conservation of genetic diversity and ecosystem integrity. Successful stewardship of life on earth can succeed only when it is rooted in the basic scientific knowledge derived from the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology, which address the central question of the origin and maintenance of biological diversity, from molecules to ecosystems.

Graduates of this program will be prepared to pursue, careers in museums, universities, colleges, primary and secondary schools, environmental consulting firms, environmental law, science journalism, national or provincial parks, zoological parks, government and non-governmental agencies, resource management agencies, private industry, research labs, and public utilities as well as graduate studies in conservation biology, taxonomy and systematics, ecology, and evolutionary biology.