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 & Events

DBS Seminars

OBEE Noon Seminar Series
Wednesday Feb. 22, 2017 
12:00, 202 Rankin Hall 
Beth Roskilly (OBEE):Vascular anatomy, growth and drought vulnerability in conifers

Gerard Sapes (OBEE)Why do plants die under drought?

OBEE E&E Seminar Series
Wednesday Feb. 22, 2017 
4:00, ISB 110
Jennifer Sunday (UBC): The ecology of species distributions: Testing our understanding across scales

CMMB Seminar Series
Monday Feb. 27, 2017 
12:00, Chemistry 212 (note new location)
Eric Schultz (UM): Mutagenesis and evolutionary approaches for examining Human Cytomegalovirus entry and spread

Legs as gills, guts as a heart: plumbing the secrets of sea spiders puts DBS in the news


Sea spiders (image: Tim Dwyer) grow to Frisbee-size in the frigid waters of the Antarctic, using pores on the surface of their long legs to "breathe" in this oxygen-poor environment. But how the sea spiders circulate that oxygen was mysterious, as they lack a strong heart and advanced circulatory system. OBEE Assoc. Prof. Art Woods and colleagues made a splash recently by reporting that the guts of sea spiders (uniquely) double as auxiliary hearts, with the movement of food washing blood throughout their bodies. Read more about the study in Science News and more about sea spiders and polar gigantism hereMore DBS News.