The Department of Biological Sciences at UCT was established in 2013 with the merging of the long-standing Botany and Zoology Departments. The Department has a large academic staff complement, numerous research associates, and a large and vibrant complement of postdoctoral fellows and postgraduate students. In total, we comprise approximately 30 academic and 25 support staff, and train more than 150 postgraduate, 30 honours, and 500 undergraduate students in the fields of terrestrial and marine ecology, evolutionary biology, and ecophysiology.

The Department houses the Bolus Herbarium, the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, and two research units/institutes, the Plant Conservation Unit (PCU) and the Institute for Communities and Wildlife in Africa (iCWild). In addition, it hosts the Marine and Antarctic Research Centre for Innovation and Sustainability (MARiS). Research strengths include marine biology, conservation biology, biodiversity science, ecology, evolutionary biology, ornithology, palaeobiology, physiology, and systematics.