The Department of Zoology was established in 1934 as part of the Course of Natural History of the School of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters. First hosted at the basement of the Faculty of Medicine, the Department was transferred to the Palace “Alameda Glete”, where it remained until 1955 when it was finally transferred to the building Ernest Marcus. In 1970, the Department of Zoology was incorporated into the newly established Institute of Biosciences.
Between 1936 and 1960, the research in the Department flourished focusing on invertebrates such as cnidarians, arthropods, mollusks and worms. From 1970, with new faculty members, new research topics were incorporated, including studies in anatomy, systematics, evolution, biogeography, ecology and behavior of vertebrates. Since 1970, with the implementation of the Graduate Program in Zoology, several new research topics were established, making the department a premiere institution for ground-breaking research and academic excellence in Zoology.
Currently, the research conducted at the Department are focused on the study of biology, morphology, functional anatomy, behavior, systematics, evolution, development and conservation of free-living protists, invertebrates (cnidarians, Mollusca, Annelida, Platyhelminthes, Crustacea, Arachnida and Insecta) and vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) of fresh water, marine, land and cave, especially in South America. Research in ecology and evolution of the fauna of major Brazilian ecosystems such as the Amazon and Atlantic Forests, Caatinga, Cerrado, as well as freshwater ecosystems, is another key goal of the Department.
The Department also has a long-standing tradition in education, offering 21 courses in the Undergraduate Program in Biological Sciences and many specialized courses for graduate students. Furthermore, outreach activities include lectures, media interviews, counseling to governmental agencies and private companies, advising for the development of conservation plans and engagement with policy makers and the public.
Currently, the major research lines of the Department of Zoology include:
- Systematics and Ecology of Amphibians
- Study of Brazilian Subterranean Fauna
- Reproductive Biology, Postembryonic Development of Anomuran Decapods
- Biology and Systematics of Cnidarians
- Conservation Biology, Habitat Fragmentation, Natural History and Diversity of Mammals
- Systematics Evolution and Biogeography of Coleopterans
- Natural History and Behavior of Arachnids (Opiliones and “Small Orders“)
- Systematics, Evolution and Biogeography of Arachnids, with Emphasis on Opiliones
- Marine Evolution
- Diversiﬁcation of Elasmobranch Parasites
- Taxonomy and Evolution of Amphibians and Reptiles
- Systematics of Characiformes (Teleostei: Ostariophysi)
- Systematics, Biogeography and Evolution of Chondrichthyes
- Systematics of Marine Fish
- Anatomy and Systematics of Marine Bivalves
- Taxonomy of Copepod Crustaceans
- Comparative and Functional Anatomy, Systematics, Evolution and Biology of Birds
- Taxonomy of Polychaetes (Families Sabellidae, Serpulidae, Syllidae and Terebellidae)
- Systematics and Biogeography of Diptera
- Evolution and Embryonic Development of Invertebrates
- Systematics and Evolution of Amoebozoa
- Systematics of Terrestrial Turbellarians
- Scientiﬁc Education and Dissemination in Zoology
- Activities and Learning in Non-formal Spaces of Education
Visit the Website of the Department of Zoology: http://www.ib.usp.br/departamento/zoologia.html (Only in Portuguese)