The Department of Biological Sciences at UCT was established in 2013 as a result of a merger between the long standing Botany and Zoology Departments. The department has a large academic staff compliment, a large group of research associates, and a vibrant group of postdoctoral fellows and postgraduate students. The Department houses the Bolus Herbarium, the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology (a DST/NRF Centre of Excellence), and two formal URC research units - the Plant Conservation Unit (PCU) and the Animal Demography Unit (ADU) and hosts the Marine Research Institute (Ma-Re). Research strengths range from marine biology, conservation biology, biodiversity, ecology, entomology, evolutionary biology, palaeobiology, physiology and systematics. The Department hosts NRF/DST South African Research Chairs in Evolution & Systematics and in Marine Ecology & Fisheries.