Skip to: Main Content Search Navigation Secondary Navigation
College of Arts & Sciences
Department Header Top

About Environmental & Plant Biology

Hayley Herock does undergraduate research in the lab.

Hayley Herock does undergraduate research in the lab.


Ohio University offers one of the premier undergraduate and graduate programs in plant biology, with state, national and international stature.

In the most recent report from the National Research Council of the National Academies “A Data-Based Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States” by Ostriker et al. (2010), the Environmental & Plant Biology graduate program (along with Physics) was ranked as one of the two best graduate programs at OHIO and had an R ranking of 34 out of 118 plant science programs in the nation. The Ph.D. program fared well in virtually all of the metrics used to assess the quality of graduate programs. In addition, based on a national survey conducted in October 2007, of 43 universities with undergraduate plant biology programs, the department ranked third in the number of undergraduate majors behind Humboldt State University (California) and the University of California at Berkeley. In short, both the undergraduate and graduate programs in Plant Biology are among the strongest in the country.

From the Chair

The Department of Environmental and Plant Biology is a dynamic place in which faculty, staff and students engage in academic life. All three facets of teaching, research and service are highly valued and are a focus of our efforts as a department.

Internships are a centerpiece for our majors and had a large cohort of students who were placed in positions around Ohio and in other parts of the country.

As well, our commitment to teaching is recognized with faculty receiving both college and university awards for excellence in teaching.

Research remains an important part of PBIO’s mission. Our faculty continues to seek outside funding and in FY13 all associate and full professors were PIs or Co-PIs on continuing grant funding. Our faculty ontinues to incorporate both graduate students and undergraduates into their research programs as evidenced by the number of papers co-authored by students and the number of presentations at regional, national and international meetings.

Our faculty is active in service to the university, college and their own disciplines. As an example, more than half of our faculty serve as editors or associate editors for academic journals. We continue to strive for excellence in all facets of departmental life.

Dr. Morgan Vis
Professor and Chair of Environmental & Plant Biology


The mission of the Department of Environmental & Plant Biology is excellence in education, research, and service, focusing on plants and their interactions with the environment. The department strives to provide broad, high quality training in botany, including fungi, algae, mosses, and vascular plants. Coverage includes structure, function, genetics, development, evolution, systematics, and ecology through integrated study at the molecular, organismal, and ecosystem levels.

Complementing this breadth of coverage is the development of four departmental research focus groups: Plant Cell Wall Biotechnology, Evolutionary Plant Developmental Biology, Phylogenetic Systematics, and Eastern Deciduous Forest Ecology. These groups were strategically developed to foster research and teaching excellence in distinct areas of strength, recruit high quality faculty and students to the program, enhance our national and international reputation, and secure external research funding.

The department seeks to advance our knowledge of plants for the benefit of society, the environment and industry, and to train the next generation of plant scientists.

Departmental Social Media

College of Arts & Sciences