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About

In the Department of Biological Sciences, challenging science courses are just one part of a holistic approach to learning. Our curriculum integrates traditional study with individual mentorship in the lab and service learning and sustainable projects in the community, for a truly interdisciplinary experience.

GW Biology DEI Statement

We, in the Department of Biological Sciences at the George Washington University, are committed to fostering a welcoming environment and providing equitable opportunities for all members of our community. As a department, we value and celebrate diversity in all its many forms. Our differences make us stronger and better able to understand the world around us. As residents of the D.C. metro area, we are fortunate to live and work in a region that is home to an incredibly diverse population of people and cultures. In this department, we strive to listen to and elevate the voices of people historically excluded from science and to build a vibrant and inclusive community of teachers and scholars that value individuals differing in race, ethnicity, nationality, religious beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, disability status, age, neurodiversity, and socioeconomic status.

We recognize that this statement is aspirational and may not address the full spectrum of ways in which an individual’s identity and experiences intersect with their education and scholarship. Because we are very much a work in progress, we encourage you to join our ongoing conversations surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion so that together, we can create a more welcoming and supportive environment that respects and values diversity in its many forms.

 


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"Perhaps the most exciting part of our work is the immediacy of it all. Never before has there been a greater need to understand wetlands ecosystems, as it might soon be too late.​​​"

Kathryn Norman

MS '18


Biology Department Making Headlines

The mainland ground anole Anolis tandai from Brazil. (Photo: Ivan Prates)

Q & A: New Research Explores Evolutionary History of Central and South American Anoles

Jonathan Huie, a CCAS doctoral student, recently published a paper that bucks long held assumptions about which environments are hotbeds for extreme morphologies.

Artist's reconstruction of the Mongolian alvarezsaur Shuvuuia deserti hunting for insects at night.

Did Dinosaurs Hunt in the Dark?

An international research team including biology professor James Clark studied how a tiny desert-living dinosaur used precise vision and owl-like hearing for nocturnal hunting.

A Brood X cicada

GW Researchers Bust Myths about Looming ‘Cicada Invasion’

Periodical cicadas will play an important ecological role across the Eastern United States when they emerge this spring, and no—they don’t bite.
A row of wind turbines in the distance across a field of flowers

On Climate, GW Scientists See Biden Plans as Fresh Air

The incoming administration has proposed a broad strategy to address climate change. The Biology Department's Tara Scully and other GW scientists say the new administration can reach crucial environmental goals — but time is running out.
A barren landscape with dead tree trunks growing out of a marsh

Ghosts of the Coast: Artists and Scientists Bring ‘Ghost Forests’ to Life

Biology Professor Keryn Gedan is joining artists and scientists on Virginia’s Eastern Shore to draw attention to “ghost forests” along the Chesapeake Bay.“They are evocative, very visible signs of climate change,” Gedan said. “In some ways, a scientific paper just can’t capture the spooky feeling you get when you are out in the marshes surrounded by all these dead trees.”

Liam Searcy

Adapting to a Different Kind of Fall Semester

From remote learning to virtual club meetings, Columbian College students are approaching an unprecedented semester with optimism, determination and a commitment to making the most of new experiences. Biology students like Liam Searcy and Eugenie Pflieger share their stories of how they are approaching the challenges that COVID-19 brings.
Senior biology major Alison Pagalilauan (left) and senior physics major Ujwal Kumar

Getting Creative: Biology Student Continues Research From Home

Rising senior biology major Alison Pagalilauan was engrossed in her research on analyzing meta-genomic data from steam vent samples collected in Hawaii’s Kilauea East Rift Zone when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down campus. Since then, Pagalilauan has used an online interface to continue her research from her home in New Jersey.
Group picture of students; text "To our graduates Congratulations. You are the heart of this department. Thanks for everything"

Congratulations, Class of 2020!

Video presentation of the 2020 Biology graduates at The George Washington University Department of Biological Sciences. Dr. Lill presents the names of awards winners and all of our graduates, while other faculty members also share their congratulation messages with the Class of 2020.

Image of a ruler next to a fungi sample

New Study Reveals How Wood Decay Drives Carbon Cycle

Through a combination of lab and field experiments, Associate Professor of Biology Amy Zanne and a team of researchers have developed a better understanding of the factors accounting for different wood decomposition rates among fungi. Their findings reveal how deciphering fungal trait variation can improve the predictive ability of early and mid-stage wood decay, a critical driver of the global carbon cycle.

Luke Fey wearing a mask and plastic face shield

Biology Alumni on the COVID Frontlines: Two New York Physicians Fight On

As the coronavirus turned New York hospitals into crisis zones, Doctors Luke Fey, BS ’13, and Alexandra Cummings, BS ’14, put themselves in harm’s way to confront a global medical emergency. “We’ve rallied together to fight the virus,” said Cummings, a pediatric resident at Cohen Children's Medical Center. “This is something we’ll remember forever and — cross your fingers — never face again.”