The Department of Biological Sciences is housed primarily in the Life Sciences Building that recently was expanded by a major addition, and in Choppin Hall, which also houses the Department of Chemistry. The laboratories are designed for conducting modern research in diverse fields including biochemistry and molecular biology; cell, organismal and integrative physiology; ecology, systematics, and evolutionary biology; plant biology; microbiology and molecular genetics. Several large facilities with technical help and state-of-art instrumentation facilitate research at LSU and include laboratories for Functional Genomics (DNA sequencers, real time PCR, Scan Array and Microarray equipment), NMR analysis and mass spectrometry (Kratos high-resolution, Finnigen tandem, and Bio-Ion Plasma Desorption time-of-flight mass spectrometers), and confocal, light and electron microscopy (in the Socolofsky Microscopy Center).
Common instruments and facilities include tissue culture facilities, media preparation facilities, darkrooms, walk-in cold rooms, plant-growth chambers, animal facilities and aquatic facilities. Research support comes from the Louisiana State University Gene Probes and Expression Systems Laboratory, the Protein Facility , and the Macromolecular Computing Analysis Facility. The personnel of the Department of Experimental Statistics are available to help design experiments and analyze data. Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices (CAMD) provides a unique capacity for structural biology investigations.
The recent addition of a Beowulf cluster provides a computer system that will run at 2.1 TeraFlops, or 2.1 trillion floating-point operations per second. This would rank it among the six or seven fastest computers in the world and second among academic institutions worldwide. An initiative in Biological Computing is a part of this new investment by the State of Louisiana.
Students and faculty also have access to the research collections of the Museum of Natural Science (with more than 350,000 specimens) and the LSU Herbarium (home to many specimens of land plants, lichens, and fungi) as well as many of the research facilities of the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station and Louisiana Sea Grant. Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) provides support for marine/estuarine research and maintains two research vessels for offshore research and numerous smaller boats for inshore sampling. Field research by departmental members is conducted in numerous tropical, subtropical, temperate and high-latitude locations. Biological Sciences faculty collaborate with scientists throughout LSU including the Departments of Animal Science, Chemistry, Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, Oceanography and Coastal Science, the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, the Audubon Sugar Institute, the Institute for Environmental Studies, Civil and Environmental and Chemical Engineering, and the School of Veterinary Medicine, as well as universities and research centers throughout the nation and world.
Department Common Equipment