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About the Department

The Department of Biology offers first degree (B.Sc. Hons) and postgraduate (M.Sc., M.Phil. and Ph.D) degree courses, and carries out research in the biological sciences. The current head of department is Dr Sandro Lanfranco. Its present complement includes nine full-time members of academic staff, as well as other visiting and part-time members.


The aim of the Department of Biology is to provide our students with the best possible teaching programmes in order to instil a sound theoretical and practical background to the subject as well as provide them with the necessary skills which would enable them to effectively contribute towards changing needs and requirements within the biological sciences. Moreover, through its research programmes, the Department is making a direct contribution to the sustainable management of natural resources, and economic development. Each academic staff member is actively involved in teaching and scientific research. This ensures that they remain academically adjourned within their respective fields of interest. Students at the Department actively participate in staff research activities. This has greatly helped their academic preparation as well as enhancing their professional skills; as a result many of the graduates are presently employed in key positions within the private and public sectors.


The fields of interest of the department are wide ranging and include the following:

  • applied biotechnology; particularly with respect to micropropagation, composting, phytoremediation & microalgal culture
  • bioactivity of plant extracts, particularly with respect to apoptosis induction, antimicrobial and germination inhibitors
  • ecological assessment and monitoring
  • fisheries biology and marine aquaculture
  • marine ecology, faunistics of the Maltese Islands, and biogeography
  • marine and terrestrial botany
  • marine pollution and environmental quality
  • population genetics; biodiversity and bioconservation


Over the past decade, the Department has developed into a centre of excellence particularly with respect to the marine biological sciences, and a considerable proportion of the research work concerns marine environmental resources, and requires extensive field work and specialised techniques. 

The Department is currently going through a period of expansion and we expect to increase the number of available courses, and enhance teaching and research facilities.



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