The Department of Zoology of the University of Dhaka is one of the first and oldest institutions in the field of basic sciences in the country located at the premises of Lord Curzon Hall campus. Since its inception in 1954, the department has been the best learning seat for zoology in the country and producing graduates of global competence. Currently, the department has 27 faculty members, 18 technicians and non-academic staffs. The faculty members of the department have received PhD and post doctoral training from reputed universities in developed countries like the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan and Norway, etc. At present each year, 100 new students are getting enrolled at the department.
Branches of Zoology: The department provides quality education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels offering the degrees of BS (Honours), MS, MPhil, PhD and postdoc under different specialized branches of Zoology. The branches are-
Genetics & Molecular Biology
Research facilities: The Department is fairly equipped with laboratory facilities for leading research in diverse aspects of Life Sciences. In addition to research laboratories, the department has field facilities under different collaborations along with a zoological garden and pond located at Curzon Hall area for practical demonstration and empirical research.The department also houses one of the oldest animal teaching museums in the country named after Emeritus Professor Kazi Zaker Hussain which has preserved an extensive collection of more than two thousand animal specimens including a number of rare species. The seminar library has been named after H K Yousafzai, the founding head of the Department of Zoology. It has more than three thousand books on biology and more than twenty thousand research papers and theses. In addition, students can access with computer databases (ASFA, Fishbase, etc), internet with e-library connection, photocopy and book loan facilities.
The department practices interdisciplinary research on different fields of the core and applied branches of zoology on the basis of joint collaboration with various renowned universities and organizations at home and abroad. Each year, a significant number of students in the department receive scholarships and honors at the university, national and international levels. Teachers and researchers regularly implement different research projects with Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission, Bangladesh Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, National Institute of Biotechnology, Bangladesh Jute Research Institute, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, National Institute for Preventive and Social Medicine, Space Research and Remote Sensing Organization, and Fisheries Research Institute, ICDDRB, BIRDEM and BSMMU besides other universities of the country. Overseas research collaborations are also operated through MOUs with various well-known universities and institutions across the world. These include Oxford University, Cambridge University, Imperial College, Manchester University in the United Kingdom; Maryland University, Johns Hopkins University in the United States, Norwegian Bergen University, Monas University in Australia, etc. are notable.They faculty members are regularly book chapters and publishing articles in international standard peer-reviewed research journals. Recently, they have developed genetic databases of different animals in Bangladesh with the discovery of new species. The department has contributed to the conservation and unraveling of the genome mystery of the national fish Hilsa of Bangladesh.
Zoological Society: The Department took the initiative to establish the country’s foremost scientific circle the Zoological Society of Bangladesh (ZSB) soon after the creation of Bangladesh.ZSB provides assistance to the zoologist for knowledge sharing platforms and helps the government and society on national issues. The society regularly publishes the Bangladesh Journal of Zoology, Bangla Newsletter and various books on zoological interests in addition to the proceedings for the national and international conferences every year.
In collaboration with ZSB, the department has been organizing National Zoology Olympiad since 2014. The department also hosts and supports an alumni association of zoology graduates called Dhaka University Zoology Alumni Association (DUZAA).
Dhaka University Nature Conservation Club (DUNCC): DUNCC is patronized by the student-teacher of the department to develop the attitude and talent for conservation of nature and animals. Students also involves in various activities and competitions at home and abroad. Scholarships and stipends are available in the department for meritorious as well as needy students provided by alumni and donors. The department arranges workshops, seminars, memorials, cultural programmes, sports, debates etc on a regular basis.
Contribution to nation: Apart from teaching and research, faculty members are contributing substantially to the government policy making systems in various capacities such as establishing new departments, institutes and zoological museums, etc. Many of the former faculties and students have pursued careers in academic and research organizations and others have established themselves in the public and private sectors around the world. Notably, Professor Dr A. K. M. Aminul Haque is an eminent marine biologist who founded the first Faculty of Fisheries at the East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) Agricultural University in the region and India in 1966-67. Professor Haque served as the honourable vice-chancellor of the Bangladesh Agricultural University and was the National Professor of Bangladesh. Professor Dr Mostafzur Rahman was the founding Chairman of the Department of Zoology at the University of Rajshahi in 1972. Former faculty, Dr. Abdul Latif Bhuiyan of the University of Dhaka played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Department of Zoology of the University of Chittagong in the late seventies and in 1973, Dr. Shafiq Haider Choudhury of this department became the first head/chairman of the department at the beginning of the academic program at Chittagong University. Professor Latif Bhuiyan later founded the first Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of Chittagong in 1983. Professor Md. Kazi Zaker Husain, a renowned wildlife biologist, naturalist and eminent educationist, introduced the Wildlife Biology branch for postgraduate studies at the Department in 1967. He played a vital role in persuading the government of Bangladesh to enact the Bangladesh Wildlife (Preservation) Order, 1973. He was also a member of the advisory committee of Dhaka Zoo and Bangladesh National Museum.He led the establishment ofthe Animal Museum near the Bangabandhu Bridge with the assistances of teachers and post graduate students of this department. At present, the expert faculties of this department are leading the establishments of a modern animal museum for the Padma Multipurpose Bridge premises. Professor Husain also served as Professor Emeritus at the department until his death. Leading zoologist and internationally acclaimed entomologist Professor Dr. Mahmud-ul Ameen greatly contributed to the zoological education and research in the country publishing books and articles. Prof. Ameen also actively associated with the preparatory phase of the malaria eradication programme of the country. In 1996-97, an independent Department of Fisheries was established at the University of Dhaka under the initiative of the teachers of this departmentandProf. Md. Shafi was the founding chairman of the Department. Former Alumni Mr. Muslehuddin Ahmed was the pioneer in establishing private university in the country and was the founder of North South University, Dhaka. Mr Quazi Azhar Ali was one of the founder members of Bangladesh Medical College and served as the Vice-Chairman of Bangladesh Heart Foundation at Mirpur, Dhaka.Dr. A. S. M. Saleh Uddin, a former teacher of this department, is currently an emeritus professor at York University in Canada and Editor-in-Chief of the renowned Canadian Journal of Zoology. Departmental faculty Professor Dr. Gulshan Ara Latifa conducted the research project of the country's first UGC-HEQEP supported project on biodiversity and established the country's first full-fledged animal-DNA Barcoding Laboratory at the department. An Open Butterfly Park in the Bhawal National Park, Gazipur was established by Professor Dr. Md. Abul Bashar. Dr Tapan Kumar Dey, an alumnus of the department and retired Deputy Chief Conservator of Forests, played a key role in establishing modern zoos, i.e. Safari Parks in the country. The department led a unique 20 years National Institute of Health, USA project on the ecology of Cholera bacterium with ICDDRB, John Hopkins University and Maryland University of USA. Besides for the strengthening of Fisheries, UGC led and UK Government supported Support for University Fisheries Education and Research (SUFER) project uplifted the fisheries education of the department.
Academic contribution: In essence, the department is making a significant contribution in the zoology education with providing standard research opportunitiesaccording to the national and international arena, and has contributed to the formulation of all kinds of leading books and the creation of terminology for the spread of zoological education in Bangla and its various applied branches. These books on basic zoology, entomology and fisheries by the faculties of this department is high demand in the country and Bangla speaking neighboring countries. This department has always been involved in the development of national curricula and textbooks for schools and colleges education. In recognition to its outstanding educational and research contribution, the former and current faculty members have received prestigious national and international accolades including National Professor, Independence Day Award, Bangabandhu Award for Wildlife Conservation, Global 500 Role of Honour etc. The department is firmly committed to continue to hold these excellences in teaching and research.
Role in liberation war: In addition, both teachers and students played a sacred and glorious role during our great liberation war in 1971 and also fought for the international recognition of our mother tongue. Accordingly, Md. Motiur Rahman, former Honorable Minister of Religious Affairs, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Professor Dr. Mia Mohammad Abdul Kuddus and Professor Dr. Mokshed Ali Howlader and others actively participated in the liberation war for the independence of Bangladesh. Ex-ambassador Sayed Moazzem Ali, Professor Kafil-uddin Ahmed and Professor Dr. Ayesha Khatun played the major role for the recognition of Bangla as International Mother Language by UNESCO in 1999.