A student wearing a backpack walks between leafy trees


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.


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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

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 oanalyzing 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.”

Ichosia Biotechnology

Biology Student Working on a Potential Replacement for Blood in the Transfusion System

Ichosia, a startup developed by sophomore microbiology major Lucas Vining-Recklitis with the help of three other students, is developing a genetically engineered red blood cell product for blood transfusions treatments.
Mudskipper fish and tiger salamander close up

Fins and Limbs Tell Evolutionary Tale

How did our earliest ancestors take their first small steps from water to land? Biology’s Sandy Kawano follows the trail of “walking fish” on their giant leaps for humankind.