Aren't there a lot of pathways into a biology-based research focus? I work in an engineering department of a large university and we have a bioengineering center as well as biochem and engineering research that looks to biology for insight into developing new materials. And that's just over in engineering (and there's probably a whole lot more than this) and doesn't count coming in through marine science or environmental studies.
Do you find that much of your research is directed by industry and if so, does that affect negatively the questions you can ask as well as the answers you will publish?
Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.