The Department of Biology of the University of Crete (www.biology.uoc.gr) was founded in 1981, and today is internationally recognized as a center of an up-to-date university education and research in the field of Biology. Its goal is to combine guaranteed university teaching with a high standard of research and to be a part of the explosive development in current Biology on an international level.
One considerable relative advantage of the Department is the direct collaboration it has with the research teams of two collaborative research institutes of international renown that are sponsored by the General Secretary of Research and Technology, the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB) which belongs to the Foundation of Research and Technology (FORTH) and the Hellenic Centre of Marine Research (HCMR) as well as the National Institute of Agrarian Research and the Natural History Museum of the University of Crete. These centers all provide valuable scientific and educational services on Eastern Mediterranean environmental matters.
The Department of Biology is divided in three sections:
- Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Cellular and Developmental Biology.
Research activities in this Section are focussed on the molecular and cellular aspects of life. The interests of the various groups include protein structure, gene regulation, development and genomics. A wide range of model systems is used, such as mammals, insects, plants and yeast. Most groups in the Section collaborate closely with the IMBB (Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology), at which 9 of the 12 Faculty members hold a joint appointment.
- Biology of Organisms, Populations, Environmental and Marine Biology.
The research activities in this Section include biochemistry, molecular physiology, biotechnology and taxonomy of plants, evolutionary biology, ecology, marine biology and neuroscience. More specifically, the following research groups are included:
- Biotechnology and Applied Biology.
Research in this section focuses on applied aspects of organismal and molecular biology, particularly in what concerns problems related to the Greek economy. The efforts of the six research groups focus on four main topics: a. Aquaculture and fisheries research, b. Plant protection, c. Enzyme Biotechnology and d. Biosensors
The Biology Department consists of 26 Professors and Lecturers, 9 technicians and administrative officers and more than 50 researchers and PhD students. The faculty members participated in more than 100 competitive research programs during the last decade in the fields of molecular biology, plant biology, physiology/biochemistry, biotechnology, marine biology.
The Aquaculture laboratory, whose director is Prof. Kentouri, has since 1989 performed research at different levels (local, regional, national and European) on the biology, the development and the behaviour of several marine finfish species reared with different techniques (54 projects in total have been completed).