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 faculty share some GOOD news about UM with Missoula community

A guest opinion column signed by all DBS faculty appeared in the today's (3/15/17) Missoulian. While acknowledging that UM and every program within it faces significant challenges at this time, the column emphasizes a reality that Biology students and faculty experience daily -- "the quality of our faculty and the education we give our students have never been better". (Photo: DBS senior and Udall Scholar Mariah McIntosh, who studies how plants respond to soil microbes).


Legs as gills, guts as heart: plumbing the secrets of sea spiders 


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, more about sea spiders and polar gigantism here.  For the inside scoop on the joy of science under Antarctic ice, check out this recent interview of Art in Outside Magazine.  More DBS News.