Department of Zoology
About the Department
The Department of Zoology was established as a constituent section of the Mohammadan Anglo Oriental (MAO) College in 1906 and subsequently it was upgraded as an independent unit, imparting teaching at undergraduate level in 1922. The Department of Zoology is now almost 97 years old. Dr. Mohammad Sharif took over as the first Head of the Department in 1923. Dr. Sharif left for Calcutta in 1925 to join the Zoological Survey of India and Mr. Inayat Ali Khan succeeded him as the next Head of the Department. Prof. Mohammad Babar Mirza joined the Department as Head in January 1930 and moulded the destiny of the Department during long thirty one years of his tenure. Through his untiring efforts he placed the Department on the global map as a well-known Centre for teaching and research in Zoological Sciences. Soon after the commencement of postgraduate teaching in 1930's and shifting of the Department to its present premises, Prof. M.B. Mirza carved out the specializations of Entomology and Helminthology in 1931 and 1932 respectively, and, later Parasitology and Ichthyology & Fisheries in 1951 and 1956 respectively. He retired from the services in May, 1961 and subsequently, Prof. M.A. Basir took over as Head of the Department and established Plant Nematology as a distinct discipline for postgraduate teaching and research. He was succeeded in October, 1966 by Prof. Shah Mashhood Alam who served the Department for about 38 years. During this period, the Department acquired particular prominence as a well-reputed Centre for research in Entomology. Thereafter, Prof. Nawab Hasan Khan succeeded Prof. S. M. Alam in July 1981 as Chairman (a new nomenclature) of the Department and he provided boost to Plant Nematology and Genetics as distinct disciplines for postgraduate teaching and research.
The period of Prof. Athar H. Siddiqui as Chairman witnessed the dawn of a new era of modern biology. Prof. M.S. Jairajpuri, who was also appointed as Director, Zoological Survey of India and founder Vice-Chancellor, Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), Hyderabad was a renowned academician and founder Coordinator and Director of Institute of Agriculture, AMU and he was also the Chairman of the Department. Prof. Mumtaz A. Khan, Prof. M.M. Agarwal, Prof. A.K. Jafri, Prof. Jameel Ahmad Khan and Prof. Durdana S. Jairajpuri carried out their tasks with great aplomb and success. Their efforts brought the Department on extremely sound footing. The contribution made by Prof. M. Hayat, Prof. Asif A. Khan and Prof. Absar M. Khan provided a new infrastructural fillip to the Department during their tenures as Chairman. Prof. Irfan Ahmad, Prof. Iqbal Parwez and Prof. Wasim Ahmad added their noteworthy efforts in infrastructure and remodelling of courses. Hence, from a small one room-offspring, it has grown into a well-developed Centre of teaching and research, with all the essential requisites for the pursuits of advance biology. Its schools of specialization in Entomology, Genetics, Ichthyology & Fisheries, Nematology and Parasitology have attained new heights and acquired international recognition.
Presently, the Department is under the dynamic leadership of Prof. Mohammad Afzal and with his creative guidance, the Department is attaining new heights in terms of teaching and infrastructural development in modern/applied research. Faculty members of the department are actively involved in various research areas such as Human Genetics, Population Genetics, Genetic Epidemiology, Genetic Toxicology, Proteomics, Cancer, Stem Cells, Translational Research, Neuropharmacology, Fish Nutrition and Feed Technology, Fish Biology, Limnology, Aquatic Toxicology, Ecophysiology, Phytoremediation, Mycoremediation, Insect and Nematode Diversity and Ecology, Integrated Pest Management, Behaviour and Physiology of Insects and Nematodes, Molecular and Biochemical aspects of Malaria, Toxoplasmosis, Immunodiagnosis of Helminth Parasites. The Department of Zoology also has collaborations with reputed Universities and Institutes in USA, Germany, UK, Spain, Belgium, China, Japan, Korea and the Netherlands, besides key national centres like AIIMS, NII, CDRI, IITR among others. Some of the faculty members are recipient of various National and International Awards such as E.K. Janaki Ammal National Award, Vigyan Ratan Award, SP Gupta Gold Medal, ONTA Special Award, Shakuntala Amir Chand Prizes, Indian Academy of Biomedical Sciences Award and Young Scientist Awards. Few faculty members are fellows of prestigious National Academy of Sciences such as Indian National Science Academy (INSA), New Delhi; National Academy of Science, Allahabad; Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore. In the last four years, approximately 380 research papers along with a publication in Nature by Prof. Wasim Ahmad, several books, monographs and book chapters have been published in reputed National and International Journals/Books. We have founder editors of the journal, Biology and Medicine and Journal of Insect Systematics from this department.
The Department has also produced more than 65 Ph.Ds/M.Phils during last five years. Besides, the Department of Zoology has received grants of more than Rs. 3.5 crores during the last five years from various national and international R & D agencies such as UGC, DST (including DST-PURSE), DBT (including DBT Builder Program), CSIR, ICAR, CCRUM, AYUSH, MOEF, CST (UP), ICMR, BBSRC (UK) etc. The strength of the Department lies in its highly qualified and devoted teaching staff, diverse research interests in basic and applied sciences, modern teaching aids along with dedicated Post-Docs and research students. Recently, the US News Education has ranked AMU at 294th in the world for studying Biology and Biochemistry. The Faculty of Life Sciences has been ranked 'number one Faculty of the Nation' in Times Higher Education-India ranking 2018. The department has facility for human karyotyping for cytogenetic disorders and other biochemical disorders, conducted in the Section of Genetics by Prof. Mohammad Afzal's research group. The reports are already published in respective journals. The department wants to undertake interdisciplinary research programme in neuroscience, evolutionary biology, theoretical biology, complexity theory among others.