The Department of Zoology is the oldest seat of learning imparting instructions at the Postgraduate level in Pakistan. The Postgraduate Programme at the Department was launched in 1908. In addition, it was the first centre to start teaching Zoology in this part of the Subcontinent until 1920 when the University of the Punjab established its Department of Zoology. The Zoology Department of the University of the Punjab was also housed in the building of the Department of Zoology at the then Government College Lahore and continued functioning here till 1963. During these years, the Zoology faculties of Government College Lahore and the University of the Punjab jointly managed the Postgraduate Programme.
In 1963, the Department of Zoology initiated its independent M.Sc Zoology Programme as a result of the untiring efforts of Dr. Nazir Ahmad (who had been promoted to Principal, Government College Lahore), Prof. Naseer-ud-Din Ahmad (Professor and Chairperson, Department of Zoology) and Dr. Ahsanul Islam (Professor of Zoology). Since the Department of Zoology had been affiliated with the University of the Punjab during all these years, it offered courses approved by the Board of Studies in Zoology of the University of the Punjab.
After attaining the status of an autonomous institution in 1997, and that of a University in 2002, curricula were upgraded and modernised in accordance with international standards.
LIFE SCIENCES LIBRARY
The GC University Life Sciences Library located in the building of Institute of Biotechnology GC University Lahore has a rich and updated collection of books related to different fields of life sciences like Botany, Zoology, Bio-technology and Environmental Sciences etc, in addition to research journals including several volumes of the Linnasan Society. The Library holds exclusive research material on various subjects like Plant Morphology (bryophytes and angiosperms), Genetic Engineering, Crop Improvement and Environmental Studies, etc.
In the central and postgraduate libraries of the University, networked PCs are linked to a wide range of software, communication and print services. There is speedy access to the Internet that links the GCU libraries to many digital information networks connecting national and international universities.
Stephenson Natural History Museum
The Department of Zoology has one of Asia’s oldest and largest natural history museums; the Stephenson Natural History Museum, established by Dr. Lt. Col. Stephenson in 1906. It has more than 5,000 preserved specimens. It is a Museum used for teaching and research purposes at the various level. It also has some unique specimens like a two-headed duckling, two-headed calf, three-legged hen, etc. In addition, the Museum has a good collection of butterflies and bird skins. New specimens are added to the Museum on a regular basis. A new section called “The Fauna of Pakistan” has also been set up.
The Department of Zoology has so far produced more than 1250 Zoologists with an M.Sc Degree. Our Zoologists have produced 750 theses and published more than 550 research papers. The Department has an experienced faculty actively involved in research activities in the fields of Toxicology, Immunology, Microbiology, Fisheries, Cell and Molecular Biology, Systematic Zoology, Medical Entomology and Paleontology.
The Department has established the following Research Groups:
• Immunology and Hematology Group
• Entomology Group
• Paleontology Group
• Microbiology Group
• Physiology & Fisheries Group
The Department has been publishing a scientific journal, "Biologia: Pakistan", which is an internationally refereed research journal, for the last 50 years. This journal is an organ of the Biological Society of Pakistan, headquartered at the Biological Laboratories of GC University Lahore. The journal is included in the list of national journals recognised by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC). The Department has a good collection of international journals that are received in exchange for Biologia: Pakistan.
HEC Approved Supervisors
The Department has four HEC approved PhD supervisors. Their fields of specialisation are Immunology, Biochemistry, Toxicology, Molecular Biology, Molecular Vector Biology, Fisheries, Environmental Toxicology, Fish Immunology and Entomology.
There are six general laboratories for Intermediate and Under/Postgraduate students. In addition, there are six research laboratories for conducting research at the Postgraduate level. The Department has recently procured modern sophisticated apparatus like fluorescent microscope with photographic attachment, tissue processing plant, Cryostat, Atomic Absorption, Spectrophotometer Visible and Ultraviolet, Ultracentrifuge, PCR and Gene Manipulator for conducting research activities on an advanced level.
Animal Maintenance and Rearing Facilities
The Department has an Insectary, a Frogary, a Fish Farm, a Rabbit House and Controlled Environment Rooms for conducting experiments under controlled conditions.
A foreign link has been developed between the Fish Immunology Laboratory of the Department and the Fish Immunology Research Centre, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, UK, through the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) and the British Council. Under this Programme, faculty members and PhD scholars will conduct research jointly in the field of Fish Immunology.
Degree holders are usually absorbed in the market as lecturers, medical representatives and researchers at research organisations. They also get jobs at fisheries, wildlife and public health departments, etc.