Welcome to Biology at Nipissing

Students at Nipissing explore Biology through enriched lab and field activities—gaining practical experience through hands-on interaction. Those who are most interested in ecological or environmental forms of Biology can amass diverse field experiences through outdoor labs, field trips, Field Camps, and research studies performed in numerous nearby ecosystems. Students who are most interested in laboratory, greenhouse, or health-related Biology, can gain a wealth of skills and experience through exciting cutting-edge activities and research projects performed in our indoor research facilities, using top-of-the-line analytical equipment.

Faculty at Nipissing focus their diverse abilities and experiences on optimizing their teaching and research to enrich student learning. Our professors have studied and published in a wide range of academic topics, won research grants, written textbooks, worked with various industries, advised governments, and have been honoured with teaching awards.

We are a Department of Biology and Chemistry, and although our current emphasis is on Biology, we have established a large number of Chemistry courses to support all aspects of Biology.​​​

New Courses in Biology & Chemistry

BIOL 2346: Techniques in Forestry

This course will provide students with an overview of the approaches and techniques used to study and manage forest ecosystems. Topics will include orienteering, ecological land classification, forest mensuration, silvicultural tree marking, long-term monitoring of permanent plot networks, wildlife habitat and biodiversity indicators, and dendrochronology.

BIOL 3447: Silviculture

Examine practices used to control the establishment, growth, species composition, and health of forests to meet diverse needs and values while following ecosystem-based management approaches to reforestation. Topics include silvicultural systems, stand development, site productivity, tree growth/architecture, tree improvement, seeding and planting stock, natural and artificial regeneration; site preparation, and tending.

CHEM 2056: Physical Chemistry

Students acquire a basic understanding of chemical thermodynamics and kinetics. Topics in thermodynamics include ideal and non-ideal gases, the three laws, physical transformations of pure substances, simple mixtures, chemical equilibrium, and chemical kinetics.

CHEM 4206: Electrochemistry

The physical properties of charged electrode/solution interfaces and the chemical processes that occur as a result of changes in electrical energy at those interfaces. Topics include a review of electrode processes of electrochemical cells, redox reactions of inorganic and organic substances, electrochemical instrumentation, electric double-layer structure and adsorption, electrode reaction kinetics and potential sweep methods.

Certificate in Forest Resource Management and Conservation

This certificate is available to any graduating student who has otherwise met the requirements for the certificate. The certificate in Forest Resource Management and Conservation will be awarded at the time of graduation. Learn More...

Certificate in Neuroscience

If you are interested in studying the brain and nervous system functions, and complete specific courses within the Honours BSc in Biology or the Honours BSc in Psychology programs, you can earn a certificate in Neuroscience. The required courses provide you with an opportunity for interdisciplinary research that explores the processes of the brain at all phylogenetic levels and help to prepare you for graduate school in Neuroscience or a related field.

Certificates available to all Nipissing students

a fish eye view of the greenhouse

Nipissing Univ​ersity Greenhouse Complex

The Nipissing Greenhouse Complex is a state-of-the-art greenhouse that features three large growth zones containing multiple moveable benches. Each zone features independent computer controlled temperature, humidity and lighting that can be custom programmed for each plant and growing condition. The state of the art Argus System uses dedicated control hardware and software for maximum safety and reliability.

Plant Gro​wth Facility​

The Plant Growth Facility is located on the roof of Nipissing U​niversity's H-Wing. This facility houses two Conviron PGR14 computer controlled growth chambers. These chambers are capable of being programmed to regulate humidity, temperature and light over a 24-hour period.

Animal Research Facility

Nipissing University has a state-of-the-art high security Animal Research Facility where animals can be humanely studied by means of research projects that have been scrutinized and approved by the Animal Care Committee. This group is, in turn, overseen by the Canadian Council on Animal Care.

​​​Cent​ral Analytical Facility

​The Central Analytical Facility was created through a Canadian Foundation for Innovation initiative which brought together various stakeholders including Nipissing University, the Governments of Canada and Ontario, Varian Canada, Perkin Elmer and Fisher Scientific.

Research Groups

Academic Support Services

Our goal is to support your academic and personal development. Look for assistance with accessibility services, learning style assessments, writing skills, writing formats, study strategies, time management, note-taking skills, academic resources, group seminars, peer support, career development activities, and more. Learn More...

Financial Support Services

Achieve your goals on time and on budget. We’ll help you fund your education through scholarships, awards, bursaries, government assistance, and work study programs. Learn More...

Scholarships, awards, and bursaries for students in Biology programs

Internationalize your Degree

If you want to experience a year or a semester at one of our partner schools across the globe, we have support services and programs to help you get there. If you want to assist International students with adjusting to life in Canada, we’ll connect you. Check out your options...

Personal Counselling Services

Our registered counsellors offer free, year-round personal counselling services, specialized therapeutic groups, referral services and a host of wellness, educational and awareness events to all full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students. Learn More...


Our top-rated residences will make you feel right at home. You will make fast friends with your residence community. Our student leaders, Residence Dons, and award winning residence staff give tutorials on everything from the basics of laundry and cooking to making connections within the community. Learn More...

Professional Internships

BIOL 4886 Internship I and BIOL 4887 Internship II

Many of you may be planning on professional careers in Health and the Environment. The Department of Biology & Chemistry supports you in gaining hands-on experience in your area of interest through a Professional Internship Program. This involves 10 hours a week for a 12-week semester of professional placement. You must be in Honours standing and in year 3 or 4 of your program to participate.

Recent health placements have included such diverse areas as veterinary practice, medical lab and pathology experience, pedorthotics, dentistry and public health. Environmental students have provided ecological consultation for major construction companies, researched endangered species with environmental agencies, and worked with municipal engineers to ensure a supply of clean and safe drinking water.

Veterinary Schools now require applicants to have had two placements with different veterinary practices to be considered for admission. A Professional Internship in a medical area enhances your application profile for medical school and the allied health professions. Perhaps most important of all, Professional Internships give you the opportunity to “road test” a profession and find out if it is really what you are looking for.

“I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.” Confucius

Experiential learning is an effective medium that enhances and reinforces classroom learning. In addition, skills and competencies in the areas of communication, teamwork, analysis, work ethic, and problem solving are all learning outcomes that assist with finding the right career path for you.

Third and fourth year Arts and Science Students will be interested in our 3 credit course, UNIV 3006 Experiential Learning for Arts and Science Students. Within this course, academic assignments and at least 60 hours of placement in the community within a field that is related to your course of study is offered.

Nipissing Promise

Students enrolled in the Nipissing University Promise program will be invited to return to Nipissing, tuition free, for up to 30 additional credits if six months after completing their four-year undergraduate degree program with a 70 percent average and all required elements of the program, they have not secured career-related employment.

For more information please visit The Nipissing Promise.

Leadership and Community Engagement

If you are eager to get involved beyond the classroom, take part in the annual Undergraduate Research Conference, which gives you the opportunity to present your work to peers, professors, and family members. You may also have opportunity to work as a Research Assistant to help a professor conduct research and gain valuable experience at the same time.

Record of Student Development

Involvement and experiential learning lead to more personal and academic success by connecting classroom learning to real world experience. Volunteer on your campus and within the community and be officially recognized for all that you do. The Record of Student Development (RSD) documents that you have completed a series of involvement outcomes that all employers are looking for. Achieving all the competencies associated with the RSD will help you communicate the depth of your experiences as you apply to career opportunities.

Employers are looking for people with the following proven abilities:

  • Analytical Skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-Solving skills
  • Strong Work Ethic
  • Teamwork

To register and see the full list of RSD competencies visit

Nipissing University Student Union (NUSU)

Students attending Nipissing University in North Bay and long distance students are members of the Nipissing University Student Union. Our organization strives to represent students democratically, provide a communication framework, and lobby for legislative change on issues that affect students.


Exercise and healthy competition always help to clear the mind.


Nipissing’s Athletics Department offers a wide range of intramural activities to keep you on your game


Club sports are available to all Nipissing students and are both recreational and competitive.


Go Lakers! Our varsity athletes always bring their “A” game. Get your friends together and come out to cheer on your favourite teams.


Whether you are a gym enthusiast or a weekend warrior, Nipissing has just what you need.


Full-time Faculty

Adjunct Faculty


Diane Brownlee Biology

"My education at Nipissing has truly made me the student I am today. Nipissing offered individualized hands-on experiences to help each student find their individual niche and interest. I was given many opportunities at Nipissing to explore various fields of biology to help me identify my own skills that I can contribute to the field of biology. Following my degree, I completed a Masters of Science in Biology at York University. The critical thinking skills that were developed at Nipissing were crucial to my success in this very independent program. Currently, I am enrolled in the Masters of Occupational Therapy program at the University of Toronto learning new ways that my degree can be applied.

The base that Nipissing has provided me is unique; it was an amazingly supportive environment that still supports me to this day. I owe my love of biology to my professors at Nipissing University, their contagious passion, and their never-ending support for learning."

Diane Brownlee, BSc (Hon.) ‘13, MSc ‘15, MSc OT '17

"My classroom studies really supported my interests outside of school and definitely fuelled my involvement in the development of the student-led Ecovillage [residence townhouses devoted to reducing energy consumption] and the launch of the Flip-a-cup program [reusable mugs regularly washed by the cafeteria]. I really believe that even small changes can decrease our impact and ecological footprint. Whether promoting campus sustainability or assisting consumers in making environmentally friendly choices, all have a significant impact on the environment."

Melissa Lacey, BSc '08

"My undergraduate experience at Nipissing helped prepare me to pursue graduate research studies. The teaching-intensive Biology program provided me with a strong understanding of the field, and I had several opportunities to engage in research projects, which enhanced my ability to think both critically and scientifically. Having these experiences and a firm understanding of Biological principles, I was able to engage in PhD studies in New Zealand right out of Nipissing's degree program. Now three years into it, I am nearing completion of a PhD in Pathology at the University of Otago, New Zealand's leading University in research. I am being trained in the field of Free Radical Biology among some of the field's leading experts, in a lab that is internationally renowned and respected in the field. Nipissing University provided me with a strong platform to succeed and fulfill my dreams of becoming a research scientist."

Melissa Stacey, BSc (Hon.) '06
PhD Candidate in the department of Pathology, University of Otago, Christchurch, NZ.

Graduates have gone on to successful careers in medicine, consulting, wildlife management, public health, and forestry. Our students have won prestigious scholarships, published thesis work in international scientific journals, and accepted awards at international conferences. Our students also have a high success rate in applying for postgraduate studies and receiving highly competitive scholarships.

Environmental Science / Environmental Studies

Nipissing University’s MES/MESc program offers students degrees in either Master of Environmental Studies or Master of Environmental Sciences. Both programs offer the training and development of graduates capable of contributing to the study of the environment and environmental issues and to the environmental problem solving of the future.

Career and Academic Options

  • Graduate Studies (Master and Doctoral degrees in the fields of biology and health)
  • Professional School (Medicine, Education, Law, MBA, Physiotherapy, Dentistry, Optometry, etc.)
  • Careers in biology, research, wildlife management, environmental management, forestry and consulting