Biology Department

Interested in biology?

The Augustana University Biology Department supports scholars who study living systems and the biosphere with innovative research and laboratory opportunities. The department centers on exploration of the natural world, experiential learning and scientific discovery.

Biology at AU

Biology at AU

Programs of Study

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Latest News

Dr. Michael Amolins ‘07 has made a wealth of Augustana connections in his life. He always remembers where it all started and why he stays connected.

Augustana University will offer South Dakota’s first undergraduate program in bioinformatics as both a major and minor beginning in the fall — adding to the list of interdisciplinary academic programs being developed as part of Augustana’s strategic plan Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030.

Augustana University is proud to announce that Dr. Carrie Olson-Manning, associate professor of biology, has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Award — one of the NSF’s most prestigious, which supports “early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education, and lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.”

Biology Research & Grants

There are many opportunities for students in biology to engage in research. These include summertime on-campus or off-campus research experiences and hands-on internships at local biotech companies. These experiences have led to our students presenting at national conferences and/or co-authoring peer-reviewed publications.

Augustana supports research through several grants, including an NIH grant providing $500,000 per year for undergraduate research and new equipment.

Biology Research at AU

Biology Research Opportunities at AU

  • Local biotechnology employers — SAb, Alumend, OmegaQuant, POET, Fernson Brewing Company

          Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (BRIN)

  • Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (BRIN)
    • Augustana has welcomed 24 students, on average, every summer for the last five years thanks to funding from BRIN, funded by the National Institutes of Health. The biology department hosts 10-week fellowships each summer, where students work collaboratively with faculty to explore various research questions and use cutting-edge technologies in the Froiland Science Center. Department members also conduct field research and collaborate widely with regional and national universities.

         SD EPSCoR

  • EPSCoR
    • The goal of EPSCoR is to create strategic partnerships between federal and state agencies, higher education institutions and private industries to create long-term improvements in scientific research, infrastructures, R&D capacity and national competitiveness. Augustana faculty and students have a longstanding collaboration with this program.

          Sanford Research

  • Sanford Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR)
    • Sanford Research offers the SPUR, which provides opportunities for undergraduate students interested in research careers to participate in research. Many Augustana students are alumni of this research program here in Sioux Falls.
  • Other research institutes | Students frequently apply to funded reasearch programs off-campus at world-renowned institutions and gain first-hand experience with cutting-edge science. These programs also strongly position students for matriculation into graduate programs at these research universities. Students have recently done research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard Medical School, University of Texas, Vanderbilt and the University of California-San Diego.