The Department of Zoology is recognised internationally for its research on ecological and evolutionary biology. This research spans all levels from molecules to ecosystems, and tackles fundamental problems in disease biology, evolutionary mechanisms, conservation biology, biodiversity, evolutionary developmental biology and animal behaviour. The Department of Zoology recently celebrated its 150th anniversary, and although it maintains its historic name its research programmes no longer focus solely on animals, but have expanded to cover animals, plants, bacteria, viruses and ecosystems. This diversity is echoed in teaching: the Department of Zoology and Department of Plant Sciences jointly deliver a broad-ranging and highly regarded undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences. Within its broad research portfolio, the Department incorporates several research institutes: the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology (EGI), the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU), the Biodiversity Institute (BIO) and the Institute for Emerging Infections.
The Department of Zoology currently has approximately 70 academic staff and senior research fellows. It also houses a very large and interactive group of post docs (~100) and graduate students (~100). The main Department is located in the Tinbergen Building in the University’s Science Area. The Department also runs the John Krebs Field Station in Wytham Woods and the Recanati-Kaplan Centre in Tubney which houses WildCRU. Linked to the Tinbergen Building is the multi-disciplinary Peter Medawar Building for Pathogen Research with high-grade containment facilities. The Department is unusual in having about the same number of independently funded Research Fellows as the number of Faculty. External research income to the Department is derived from over 50 different funding agencies, with the principal funders being the European Research Council, the Royal Society, the Wellcome Trust, NERC and BBSRC. Recent success with the prestigious European Research Council (ERC) is particularly notable; the Department currently holds ten ERC grants: six Advanced Investigator awards and four Starter Investigator awards. In 2010 the Department was given an Athena Swan Silver award in recognition of its success at promoting the careers of women (http://www.zoo.ox.ac.uk/athena_swan).