The Biology Department offers a balanced curriculum. Students study life at all levels - from molecules to cells, from microorganisms to plants and animals, and from individuals to populations. With the help of faculty advisors, students choose courses that fulfill both the degree requirements and their individual goals. The biology curriculum comprises slightly more than twenty-five percent of the course work required for graduation.

Biology majors begin with a five quarter sequence of required biology courses two of them with laboratories. The first three quarters focus on ecology,evolution physiology & genetics. The last two quarters students have "hands on" opportunity to learn about these subjects in a laboratory environment. After completing the core courses, students choose seven or more upper-division courses from a long list of electives.

Courses include strong writing components, experiments with modern equipment, and the critical analysis of data and scientific literature. Laboratory sections enroll twenty-four or fewer students, promoting close interactions between students and their professors. Assignments often require students to present their findings utilizing styles of professional scientific meetings or journals. Such activities prepare students for their future careers by developing the critical thinking and language skills needed by scientists.

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Submissions from 2017

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Genomic Analysis of Factors Associated with Low Prevalence of Antibiotic Resistance in Extraintestinal Pathogenic Escherichia coli Sequence Type 95 Strains, Craig M. Stephens, Sheila Adams-Sapper, Manraj Sekhon, James R. Johnson, and Lee W. Riley

Submissions from 2016

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Transcriptome and Biochemical Analysis of a Flower Color Polymorphism in Silene littorea (Caryophyllaceae), Inés Casimiro-Soriguer, Eduardo Narbona, Mª L. Buide, José C. del Valle, and Justen B. Whittall

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Choreography of silk spinning by webspinners (Insecta: Embioptera) reflects lifestyle and hints at phylogeny, David McMillan, Kyle Hohu, and Janice Edgerly-Rooks

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Reproductive success through high pollinator visitation rates despite self incompatibility in an endangered wallflower, Miranda K. Melen, Julie A. Herman, Jessica Lucas, Rachel E. O’Malley, Ingrid M. Parker, Aaron M. Thom, and Justen B. Whittall

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Surface and wetting properties of embiopteran (webspinner) nanofiber silk, Thomas M. Osborn Popp, J. Bennett Addison, J. S. Jordan, V. G. Damle, K. Rykaczewski, S. L. Chang, G. Y. Stokes, Janice Edgerly-Rooks, and Jeffery L. Yarger

Submissions from 2015

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The spinning apparatus of webspinners – functional-morphology, morphometrics and spinning behaviour, Sebastian Büsse, Thomas Hörnschemeyer, Kyle Hohu, David McMillan, and Janice Edgerly-Rooks

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On flavonoid accumulation in different plant parts: variation patterns among individuals and populations in the shore campion (Silene littorea), José C. del Valle, Mª Luisa Buide, Inés Casimiro-Soriguer, Justen B. Whittall, and Eduardo Narbona

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Draft Genome Sequence of a Community-Associated Methicillin- Resistant Panton-Valentine Leukocidin-Positive Staphylococcus aureus Sequence Type 30 Isolate from a Pediatric Patient with a Lung Infection in Brazil, Craig M. Stephens, Paul Jang-Yeon Cho, Veronica Afonso de Araujo, Ivete Martins Gomes, Selma Maria de Azevedo Sias, Claudete A. Araújo Cardoso, Lee W. Riley, and Fábio Aguiar-Alves

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Complete Genome Sequences of Four Escherichia coli ST95 Isolates from Bloodstream Infections, Craig M. Stephens, Jeffrey M. Skerker, Manraj S. Sekhon, Adam P. Arkin, and Lee W. Riley

Submissions from 2014

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Structural characterization of nanofiber silk produced by embiopterans (webspinners), J. Bennett Addison, Thomas M. Osborn Popp, Warner S. Weber, Janice Edgerly-Rooks, Gregory P. Holland, and Jeffery L. Yarger

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Transcriptome Analysis of a Petal Anthocyanin Polymorphism in the Arctic Mustard, Parrya nudicaulis, Timothy Butler, Cynthia Dick, Matthew L. Carlson, and Justen B. Whittall

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Draft Genome Sequences of Antibiotic-Resistant Commensal Escherichia coli, Meghan Garrett, Jennifer Parker, and Craig M. Stephens

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Description of four new species of the genus Ptilocerembia Frederichs, 1923 (Embioptera: Ptilocerembiidae) from Thailand, Pisit Poolprasert and Janice Edgerly-Rooks

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A comparison of the Caulobacter NA1000 and K31 genomes reveals extensive genome rearrangements and differences in metabolic potential, Craig Stephens, Kurt Ash, Theta Brown, Tynetta Watford, LaTia E. Scott, and Bert Ely

Submissions from 2013

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Maternal territoriality achieved through shaking and lunging: an investigation of patterns in associated behaviors and substratevibrations in a colonial embiopteran, Antipaluria urichi, Khaaliq A. Dejan, John M. Fresquez, Annika M. Meyer, and Janice Edgerly-Rooks

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Cryptic genetic subdivision in the San Benito evening primrose (Camissonia benitensis), Cynthia A. Dick, Julie A. Herman, Ryan E. O'Dell, Adriana Lopez-Villalobos, Chris Eckert, and Justen B. Whittall

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Choreography of silk spinning behavior in webspinners (Embioptera): phylogenetic signal or a microhabitat dance?, Janice Edgerly-Rooks

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Parthenogenetic and sexual species within the Haploembia solieri species complex (Embioptera: Oligotomidae) found in California, Alicia M. Hodson, Sarah E. Cook, Janice Edgerly-Rooks, and Kelly B. Miller

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Regulation of D-galacturonate metabolism in Caulobacter crescentus by HumR, a LacI-family transcriptional repressor, Craig Stephens, Aaesha I. Sheikh, Deborah Caswell, Cynthia Dick, Spencer Gang, Justin Jarrell, Ankita Kohli, Amanda Lieu, Jared Lumpe, Meghan Garrett, and Jennifer Parker

Submissions from 2012

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Spinning behaviour and morphology of the spinning glands in male and female Aposthonia ceylonica Enderlein, 1912 (Embioptera: Oligotomidae), Janice Edgerly-Rooks, Sebastian Büsse, and Thomas Hörnschemeyer

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The phylogeny and classification of Embioptera (Insecta), Janice Edgerly-Rooks, Kelly Miller, Cheryl Hayashi, Michael Whiting, and Gavin Svenson

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Reproductive Ecology and Severe Pollen Limitation in the Polychromic Tundra Plant, Parrya nudicaulis (Brassicaceae), Justin R. Fulkerson, Justen B. Whittall, and Matthew L. Carlson

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Exploration of substrate vibrations as communication signals in a webspinner from Ecuador (Embioptera: Clothodidae), C. B. Proaño, S. Cruz, D. M. McMillan, and Janice Edgerly-Rooks

Submissions from 2011

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Origins and Consequences of Serpentine Endemism in the California Flora, Brian L. Anacker, Justen B. Whittall, Emma E. Goldberg, and Susan P. Harrison

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Comparison of fibroin cDNAs from webspinning insects: insight into silk formation and function, Matthew A. Collin, Janice Edgerly-Rooks, and Cheryl Y. Hayashi