Welcome to Biology

The Science of Life

Welcome to our community of scholar-educators at Gustavus' Nobel Hall of Science. From protein regulation to large mammal behavior, from reproductive biology to climate change, the Biology Department provides students with a rigorous education that includes hands-on training in biological techniques, quantitative analyses, professional writing, and scientific reasoning.

The Biology Department places a strong emphasis on breadth of education (see our course list) while encouraging in-depth preparation (e.g., student research experiences and professional development) for graduate and professional studies.

Bio Banner - all images under a Creative Commons attribution license

Who We Serve

The staff and faculty of the Department of Biology work hard to ensure a quality experience for everyone touched by the life sciences.  Specifically, our mission serves:

  • Gustavus Biology students - Our department supports majors in Biology, Biology with Honors, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Life Science Teaching.  We also provide minors in Biology and Neuroscience.  Many students serve their peers by working in our greenhouse, with our specimen collections, as tutors, and by membership in Beta Beta Beta (the Biology Honors Society) and Sigma Xi
  • Interdisicplinary programs - Biology collaborates with other departments to enable exciting interdisciplinary majors in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, majors and minors in Environmental Studies, and the Neuroscience minor. Some of our past graduates have successfully combined Biology with other fields, such as Chemistry, English, Religion, Statistics, and more.  
  • The Gustavus Adolphus College community - Biology offers BIO-100 Biology Explorations to help non-majors fulfill the Natural Science Perspectives (NASP) requirement for graduation.  All BIO-100 offerings train students as science practitioners and as consumers of scientific information, yet each Explorations class engages a unique topic, from advanced genetics to environmental conservation.  Our faculty have created innovative classes in the First Term Seminar (FTS) program for first-semester students, with topics ranging from early explorers to environmental justice. And our dedication to general education is also exemplified by our Interim Experience offerings each January. Members of the Biology Department have taught January IEX courses both on campus (e.g., science in the media, horticulture, aquatic stewardship) and abroad (e.g., Bolivia, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Guatemala, Tanzania).
  • Minnesota and the World - We strongly identify with the Core Values of Gustavus, as evidenced by our volunteerism in local science education and environmental improvement. Our faculty are dedicated scholars, collaborating with research institutions, national and foreign wildlife parks, nonprofits, and government agencies. Select students have presented their work at regional and national scientific conferences. The research efforts of our students and faculty aim to provide the global community with new answers related to evolution, cancer, biodiversity, disease, and other issues. We have brought Gustavus students and others face-to-face with global issues through travel IEX courses and semester-long programs in India and Malaysia led by Biology faculty.

The 2016-17 Biology Department