Build a Great Life with the Study of Life

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    Fall 2018 inductees to the FSU Chapter of Tri-Beta, Biological Honor Society

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    Ecology students collecting data out in Baiting Brook

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    Vascular Plant Taxonomy foggy and misty canoe trip on the Ashland Reservoir

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    2018 Biology graduating class

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


1.  Describe principles of biology
2.  Solve problems using laboratory and/or field techniques
3.  Analyze data objectively
4.  Evaluate scientific literature
5.  Communicate in written and oral form
6.  Relate biological knowledge to ethical/social issues

Spotlight on Biology

Student Spotlight
Gabrielle Cochrane
Gabrielle Cochrane '20


"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
Chelsea Steinbrecher-Hoffmann
Chelsea Steinbrecher-Hoffmann '18


Chelsea Steinbrecher-Hoffmann recently started at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center’s Bird Banding Laboratory in August 2018. She earned an associates of science degree from Front Range Community College in Fort Collins, Colorado in 2008. Before her time at BBL, Chelsea was a broadcast journalist and public affairs specialist in Okinawa, Japan for the United States Marine Corps from 2008 to 2012. In 2018, she earned a Bachelor of Science in biology with a minor in communication from Framingham State University in Massachusetts. While at FSU, Chelsea studied ornithology, and found her passion for birds and field work.

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.