The Division of Biological Sciences

Biology, as the study of living systems, reveals the fundamental principles that govern the complexity within our cells, in the diverse organisms around us, and across vast landscapes. Thus, biology also provides the insights and tools necessary to address real-world problems, from conserving rare species to understanding the mechanisms of human disease. In the Division of Biological Sciences, we are committed to fundamental research excellence, to training the next generation of scientists and leaders through innovative graduate and undergraduate programs, and to fostering biological literacy in our communities.

DBS News

Professor Doug Emlen's Extreme Animal Weapons Documentary to Air on PBS/NOVA (November 22nd)

Professor Doug Emlen with Elk Antler

From lobster claws and dog teeth to bee stings and snake fangs, every creature depends on a weapon. But some are armed to extremes that make no practical sense—whether it’s bull elks with giant 40-pound antler racks or tiny rhinoceros beetles with horns bigger than their body. What explains giant tusks, horns, and claws that can slow an animal down and even impair health and nutrition? NOVA investigates the riddle of outsize weaponry and uncovers a bold new theory about what triggers an animal arms race. In creatures as varied as dung beetles and saber-toothed tigers, shrimp and elephants, the same hidden factors trigger the race and, once started, these arms races unfold in exactly the same pattern. Join scientists as they crack the secret biological code that underlies nature’s battleground.  Airing November 22, 2017 at 9 pm on PBS