Message from the Department Head

David Velinsky

Welcome to the newest department at Drexel University! The Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science (BEES) is a result of the recent affiliation between Drexel University and the Academy of Natural Sciences, the oldest natural history museum and research institution in North America. The department motto, “Field Experience, Early and Often,” is at the core of our undergraduate and graduate curricula: we provide students with a field-based education that balances basic and applied research in the natural and environmental sciences. Whether it’s searching for 200-million-year-old fish, studying army ant migration, or marching through tidal marshes, students will engage in hands-on fieldwork throughout their years at Drexel. Students will also have access to the vast collections (over 17 million specimens) at the Academy of Natural Sciences, some collected by the likes of James Audubon and Joseph Leidy.

In support of the diverse career goals of our majors, the department offers an array of exciting courses in biodiversity, conservation biology, geoscience, environmental science, paleontology, and ecology. BEES faculty are also engaged in research throughout the world, providing undergraduate and graduate students with abundant opportunities to participate in cutting-edge research programs. Research and education sites are located in areas like Mongolia, Belize and Bioko Island of Equatorial Guinea, and even in our own backyard in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey. Each location provides a unique opportunity for students to learn about our planet and the ways they can help protect and conserve our environment.

If you’re interested in discussing our exciting and stimulating program, I would be glad to talk with you or show you around campus. To arrange a visit, you may call the Drexel Visit Center at 1.800.2.DREXEL or submit a Campus Visit Request form. Or feel free to contact the Department of BEES directly by emailing or by calling the College of Arts and Sciences Director of Recruitment, Gary Johnson (215.571.3514).

David Velinsky, PhD
Contact David Velinsky, PhD | Faculty Profile