The Biology Department has numerous facilities and equipment for use both in teaching as well as faculty and undergraduate research.
All of these facilities and modern research equipment are intended for undergraduate use, allowing students to gain firsthand experience in modern techniques and technologies used in biological research.
The Biodiversity Center at Drake University houses both a herbarium collection (see Greenhouse) and a vertebrate collection including over 3,000 specimens of snakes, turtles and other herps, several hundred mammal study skins, and over 600 bird specimens, mainly representing the regional biodiversity of the Upper Midwest. The avian collections are rapidly growing, and students at Drake have the opportunity to become involved in learning preparation and care of the collections through enrollment in Bio 064: Museum Curation, as well as independent study. The collection includes a large workspace for students, complete with computer stations for data analysis.
The cell culture facility is used in both laboratory classes and student research. The facility contains a biosafety cabinet for proper handling of animal cells as well as incubators for maintaining and growing the cell cultures. There is also an inverted microscope with camera for recording digital images of cells living and moving.
The Drake greenhouse is located on the northwest corner of Olin Hall and contains hundreds of plants that are diverse in terms of their geography (including plants from six continents), complexity (from simple plants like algae and ferns to more advanced plants like complex flowering plants), and size (from plants smaller than a fingernail to trees). Separate from the main collection room, there is a cactus and succulent room, spaces for individual research projects, and preparation areas.
The Exercise Sciences and Sports Medicine Laboratory is dedicated to studying all forms of exercise from running to weightlifting to exergaming. Along with the treadmills, bicycles, squat rack and other standard gym equipment that you’d expect in an athletic setting, we also have a variety of scientific instruments for measuring and monitoring the body during exercise including a metabolic cart (for monitoring oxygen and carbon dioxide), force plates, an electromyography system (for measuring muscle electrical activity), and an electrogoniometry system (for measuring joint angles during exercise).
Our most recent renovated labs are primarily designated for introductory biology labs, but a mix of upper level courses are also taught in these spaces throughout the academic year, including J-term. They were intentionally designed to maximize student learning and exploration of cell/molecular biology, microbiology, botany, ecology, evolution, and anatomy and physiology. The student workstations around the perimeter and in the center of the room provide the perfect environment for students to collaborate on projects and inquiry-based labs in the same way as “real” scientists.
The molecular biology core equipment facility contains modern molecular biology equipment for use in both laboratory classes and student research. Our equipment includes technology for DNA amplification (thermocyclers ) and imaging (gel document station), detection and measurement of proteins or other compounds from samples (fluorescent plate reader, nanodrop spectrophotometer, chemiluminescent documentation station), and visualization equipment (fluorescent microscope).
Open study areas on each floor offer glimpses onto campus and a comfortable space to do some last-minute studying before an exam, relax between classes, or meet with friends for a focused study session. Each features an assortment of seating and large white board with large windows providing natural lighting and views of campus life.
The Langford Student Resource Room was established in the spring of 2008 by Jay Langford, PH'44, known for his passionate support of students' lifelong learning and community building. This room is used extensively by students who are enrolled in science classes to study, collaborate with their peers, work on their laboratory reports, and learn from and interact with faculty and laboratory assistants.
Morgan E. Cline Atrium of Pharmacy and Science was dedicated in April 2013. Morgan C. Cline generously donated the funds for this connection between the Morgan E. Cline Hall of Pharmacy and Science and Harvey Ingham Hall. The main floor of the Atrium is home to the Hy-Vee Student Learning Commons providing student study spaces, small group meeting places, and high tech collaboration areas.