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The Department of Biology believes that diversity is crucial to our pursuit of academic excellence. We are deeply committed to creating a diverse and inclusive community where all can thrive. Diversity at all levels of our department – students, staff, and faculty – enhances our teaching, mentoring, the research questions we ask, the hypotheses we generate, and the experimental and theoretical approaches we employ to test and refine these hypotheses. Diversity in our department drives creativity and innovation to benefit the people of North Carolina, and the world.

The department supports the University’s mission to build a diverse and inclusive community as described in Chancellor Guskiewicz’s vision: “Carolina is taking actions that speak for our intentions. We will work together to create and sustain the kind of community where all feel welcomed, respected and free to pursue their goals and dreams. We are committed to coordinated processes and programs that celebrate all forms of diversity and build upon Carolina’s equitable and inclusive learning environment.” Aligned with this mission, the department supports UNC’s policy, which states that “The University is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment and to ensuring that educational and employment decisions are based on individuals’ abilities and qualifications. Consistent with these principles and applicable laws, it is therefore the University’s policy not to discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status as consistent with the University’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct. No person, on the basis of protected status, shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation under any University program or activity, including with respect to employment terms and conditions. Such a policy ensures that only relevant factors are considered and that equitable and consistent standards of conduct and performance are applied.”


As UNC-Chapel Hill continues to reckon with its past, it is important that we share the following important acknowledgments:


We want to acknowledge that this is Indigenous land and was first inhabited by the First Peoples of this Land, our American Indian People. This land was stolen from them.

North Carolina is home to the largest population of any state east of the Mississippi River. North Carolina is home to eight state-recognized tribes, which include:

  • Occaneechi Band of Saponi Indian Nation
  • Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe
  • Waccamaw Souian Indian Tribe
  • Sappony Tribe
  • Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina
  • Meherrin Indian Nation
  • Coharie Indian Tribe
  • Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians
  • It is also home to the Tuscarora.

    We recognize and respect their brilliance, gifts, and contributions past, present, and future. They are a living legacy.


    We acknowledge that, as the nation’s the first public university founded during a period of African enslavement in the US, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was built by African descended people who were kidnapped from their homeland, treated as property, and whose labor was exploited. Further, the University admitted the first Black graduate students to the Law School in 1951 and the first Black undergraduate students were not admitted until 1955. The University hired its first Black faculty member in 1966. The Carolina Black Caucus was established in 1974 by Black faculty and staff to help engage, empower, and advocate for Carolina’s Black community.

    We acknowledge injustice and honor Carolina’s Black Pioneers as well as the generations of African descended faculty, staff, and students who continue to expand their legacy.


    Services for students with disabilities. Utilize reporting forms to submit requests pertaining to accessibility. See this specific form to report a physical access barrier or issue.


    The Department of Biology considers mentoring a critical component to the development of a vibrant, diverse and inclusive community of scientists. Please visit our mentoring resource page to read more about how we foster the implementation of this concept.


    Diverse experiences, backgrounds, viewpoints, and contributions are key elements for the success of any enterprise. The Graduate School at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is committed to sustaining a diverse graduate student body and fostering a climate of inclusion and acceptance. We aim to contribute to the successful degree completion of each student through targeted academic and professional development programs. For more information, please visit the Graduate School’s Diversity and Student Success Program website.

    Diversity Initiatives Committee

    Hastie, Eric

    Teaching Assistant Professor

    Laederach, Alain


    McCoy, Sophie

    Assistant Professor

    Servedio, Maria R.


    Shiau, Celia

    Associate Professor

    Slep, Kevin

    Associate Professor
    Associate Chair, Diversity & Inclusion

    Kevin Slep, Associate Chair, Diversity & Inclusion

    Associate Professor
    (919) 962-4858