Biology

The Department of Biology offers students a broad array of Biology courses and a choice of five Biology concentrations.

  • A group of six students uses binoculars to identify birds in Costa Rica

    Students spot new species on the Tropical Ecology and Conservation class' spring break trip to Costa Rica

  • A male biology student participates in a termite behavior lab experiment

    Students investigate termite trail behavior in BIOL 160 lab

  • Dr. Connolly’s Vascular Plant Taxonomy class identifying plants around campus

  • Biology students pose before presenting their capstone projects to department faculty

    Students prepare to present their capstone projects to Biology Department faculty

Course offerings include topics in cellular biology, molecular biology, organismal biology, physiology, botany, marine biology, ecology, evolution, and environmental science. Students have the opportunity to focus their course of study in one of the following concentrations: General Biology, Wildlife and Environmental Biology, Biotechnology, Pre-Health Biology, and Biology Secondary Education.

In addition to regular course work, every Biology major participates in an intensive two-semester research program. Through first-hand experience students come to understand the scientific process and appreciate the complexity and diversity of biological systems. This research experience also gives the students invaluable training in scientific writing, data analysis, and oral presentation skills.

The Department also participates in two interdisciplinary programs offered by the University: the Environmental Science and Policy major co-sponsored by the Biology and Geography Departments, and a Neuroscience minor sponsored in conjunction with the Department of Psychology and Philosophy.

The Biology minor may be elected by non-Biology majors when biology course work would complement the major program. For non-science majors the Department offers several general education courses on a variety of topics including human biology, marine organisms, plants, and environmental issues.

Spotlight on Biology

Student Spotlight
Gabrielle Cochrane
Gabrielle Cochrane '20

Biology

"Over the summer I had the opportunity to intern at Southwick's Zoo's Bird Husbandry and Enrichment Department. I learned about parrot behavior, anatomy, health, husbandry, enrichment, and training. During my time here I was able to pick a bird to have a training project with. This bird was Jolly the military macaw. My projects this summer were to train him to walk to either side of a table and recycle a bottle, voluntary stethoscope behavior, and to work on a redirection of aggressive behavior that had been heavily reinforced before Jolly joined the zoo."

Alumni Spotlight
FSU alum Priscilla Moreno poses in front of Peace Corps sign
Priscilla Portugal-Moreno '16

Peace Corps Volunteer

"I am located in a rural farming village in southern Botswana, where I work at a primary school helping students with English literacy and life skills. I also volunteer at the local clinic, helping with the Child Welfare Clinic by assisting a Nurse with home visits and helping teach new parents about their children’s nutritional needs."

Faculty Spotlight
Professors Bryan Connolly and Rick Beckwitt travelling in the Galapagos
Rick Beckwitt and Bryan Connolly

Biology Faculty

Doctors Beckwitt and Connolly spent winter break traveling to the Galapagos Islands to study plant and marine life. Afterward, they traveled to Loja, a city in the southern part of mainland Ecuador. There they met with colleagues at UTPL Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja to discuss how the two universities can collaborate.