Biology is an exciting and dynamic field focusing on the study of living things and their environments. The Department strives to set a standard of excellence in biology and natural resources education as a unit within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Degree Options:

We offer undergraduate degrees in Biology, Fisheries and Aquatic SciencesNatural Resources Management, or Wildlife Biology and a graduate degree in Biology.

Students interested in ecology and environmental sustainability will find many opportunities to pursue their interests in our undergraduate programs, which include emphases in General Biology, Biomolecular Processes, and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, in addition to degrees in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Natural Resources Management, and Wildlife Biology. Undergraduate students also may complete emphases in Pre-Veterinary MedicineTeacher Certification, or Pre-Medical and Pre-Professional preparation through our undergraduate program. The Biology MS degree program also offers optional emphases in either Aquatic Sciences or Natural Resources.

Department News and Events

Biology Department Seminar Series
Winter 2022

Thursday, Jan. 27: Douglass Rovinsky
(Monash University [Australia])
“The wolf that wasn't: Reframing the thylacine”
(Zoom seminar)

Thursday, Feb. 10: Kat Krynak
(Ohio Northern University) TBD
(Zoom seminar)

Thursday, Feb. 24: Dan McFarlane
(Western Michigan University)
"Faking Niagara Falls: Experts, Environments, and Energy"

*All seminars are from 12:00-1:00pm in 4402 KHS or via Zoom as noted

Research Opportunities:

Faculty in the Biology Department are involved in a broad range of research providing many opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to engage in a variety of projects. These areas of research include animal behavior, aquatic biology, bioethics, botany, climate, conservation, development, ecology, environmental sustainability, evolutionary biology, genetics, microbiology, natural resources management, natural resources policy, restoration ecology, and science education.

Laker Effect Profile - Professor Eric Snyder

Feeding Habits of Prominent Feeder Songbird, Black-Capped Chickadees


Dr. Jenny Jenkins and student researchers are setting up field research this winter in the Arboretum on the Allendale Campus to gain more insight into the feeding habits, and even the personalities, for common songbirds: black-capped chickadees.

BIO Major gives a virtual presentation at BOTANY 2021 Conference

Botany 2021 virtual presentation

Noah Holkeboer gave a virtual presentation titled "Strengths and limitations of using photographs to study tree architecture: destructive confirmation and pilot study of four species" at the Botany 2021 Conference.

Wildflower Hike at Aman Park

Aman Park

Dr. Todd Aschenbach led a group of BIO and NRM students on a wildflower hike at Aman Park where the trillium are just starting to wane and the bluebells are starting to peak. Get out there to see them soon if you can!

GVSU professor studies ways to support forest resilience at two LCWM nature preserves

Nyamai Research

Dr. Priscilla Nyamai conducted a long-term study to assess ways to restore biodiversity and support the resilience of oak forest systems at the B.D. White and Brower Lake Nature Preserves.

Decades-long GVSU tree swallow study continually benefits science, students


Dr. Michael Lombardo drew data from decades-long research at a tree swallow study site along the southern part of the Allendale Campus for a recently published paper on the most favorable fledging circumstances for the birds to return to the nesting area.

Biology graduate student's research on genetics of chimpanzees

Genetics of chimpanzees in captivity

A research collaboration focusing on animals in captivity forged between a faculty member and an undergraduate student has continued with innovative research as the student pursues a graduate degree.

Twitter feed for @BiologyGVSU

Profile picture for @BiologyGvsu
GVSU Biology
Dr. Jenny Jenkins is getting ready to study personality in chickadees by examining how individuals respond to predator calls or decoys at a winter feeder, so they need to band them to individually identify each bird! This chickadee isn't impressed with the fancy band!
Profile picture for @BiologyGvsu
GVSU Biology
Biology faculty member, Bob Hollister, is looking for undergraduates to do research documenting vegetation in northern Alaska. All expenses will be paid and students will be paid approximately $1,000 per month. For more details see…

Follow @BiologyGVSU on Twitter