College of Arts and Sciences

School of Biological Sciences


Thanks for visiting the website of the School of Biological Sciences (SBS).

Our faculty and students are engaged in exciting research, insightful education, and important public outreach that cover widely the range of biology.

  • For undergraduate students, SBS is the home to majors in biology and zoology, and each of those majors includes various options. Those options provide opportunities for students interested in health sciences, including pre-medical, pre-dental, pre-veterinary, and pre-physical therapy tracks.
  • For graduate students, SBS offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in botany and zoology. We have excellent educational and research facilities.
  • Using the links on this homepage you can discover more about experiences in SBS and the education and research opportunities we offer. We hope you will explore our website and please feel welcome to visit us on campus.

Student Learning Outcomes


Biology Courses

Photo Gallery

SBS Seminar Series

Fall 2014 schedule
All seminars are in Abelson Hall Room 201 at 4:10 pm.


PhD Fellowships available
Nitrogen Systems: Policy-oriented Integrated Research and Education (NSPIRE). Interdisciplinary research focused on nitrogen cycle processes in the environment integrated with experiential learning of public policy.

News from SBS

School of Biological Sciences faculty member Jesse Brunner was recently interviewed for an article on climate change in Washington State Magazine, titled The Scrambled Natural World of Global Warming, A Travelogue.

 [Updated 11/25/2014]

Dr. Patrick Carter from the School of Biological Sciences received the National Academic Advising Association Faculty Academic Advisor Certificate of Merit at the annual meeting of that organization in October.  This award, which is presented to outstanding advisors in the US and Canada, was presented to Dr. Carter to recognize his excellence in undergraduate academic advising and in research mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students at Washington State University.

 [Updated 11/04/2014]

May 2014 School of Biological Sciences PhD graduate Dr. Kristen Irwin recently published part of her dissertation in collaboration with her major advisor Dr. Patrick Carter in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology.  Dr. Irwin is currently a staff scientist at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland.  The citation for their work is:

Irwin, K.K., and P.A. Carter. 2014.  Artificial selection on larval growth curves in Tribolium castaneum: Correlated responses and constraints. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 27:2069-2079.

 [Updated 11/04/2014]

Dr. Patrick Carter from the School of Biological Sciences recently published a paper in Biometrics with his colleague Dr. Daniel Gervini in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee.  The citation for their work is:

Gervini, D. and P.A. Carter. 2014. Warped functional analysis of variance. Biometrics 70:526-353.

 [Updated 11/04/2014]

Justine Rupp received WSU ACADA award for Administrative Advisor of the year. She will be nominated as WSU’s entry for the regional award for Administrative Advisor.

 [Updated 10/22/2014]

Professor Hubert Schwabl received new NSF funding for 3 years to continue a field project on red-backed fairy-wrens in Australia and white-shouldered fairy-wrens in Papua New Guinea in collaboration with Mike Webster, Cornell U. and Jordan Karubian, Tulane U. The paper is titled, “Collaborative Research: Social Environment Effects on Hormones and the Integrated Behavioral Phenotype.” This research has been continuously funded by NSF since 2003 and supported several now graduated SBS PhD students, Claire Varian Ramos, Willow Lindsay, Douglas Barron. The new funding allows for the study of hormonal mechanisms of sexual dimorphism in behavior and morphology and includes a subcontract with Manfred Gahr of the Max-Planck-Institute for Ornithology, Germany to investigate gene expression in the brain.

 [Updated 09/29/2014]

Congratulation to School of the Environment students Angela Kroon, James Moore, Joe Pitkin, and Rachel Glaeser who recently completed their MS degrees under the supervision of SBS Professor John Bishop and SBS Associate Professor Cheryl Schultz. Angela Kroon’s thesis (supervised by Prof. Bishop) was titled "Trophic interactions between birds, arthropods, and willows during primary succession on Mount St. Helens"; James Moore's thesis (co-supervised by Prof. Bishop and former SoE Asst. Prof. Jahi Chappell) was titled "The ecological context and personal valuation of backyard food gardens in Portland, OR"; Moore entered SBS’s Zoology PhD program in August. Joe Pitkin's thesis (supervised by Prof. Bishop) is titled "Does The Early Worm Get the Herb? Correlates of Lupinus Lepidus Herbivory on Mount St. Helens”; and Rachel Glaeser’s thesis (supervised by Prof. Schultz) is titled “Characterizing a contentious management tool: the effects of a grass-specific herbicide on the silvery blue butterfly”.

 [Updated 09/29/2014]

Professor John Bishop delivered the keynote address at the banquet of the WSU Master Gardener Advanced Education Conference on September 19th in Tacoma, WA, with a talk entitled "The Paradox of Enrichment and Other Stories of Colonization from Mount St. Helens’ Pumice Plain”. [Updated 09/29/2014]

Professor Asaph Cousins published numerous articles this year in the The Journal of Aquatic Botany, the Journal of Experimental Botany, Plant Physiology, Photosynthesis Research, New Phytologist, and Plant Cell and Environment.

 [Updated 09/27/2014]

Professor Michael Knoblauch was recently highlighted in a New York Times describing his 20-year research to prove a hypothesis about how nutrients are transported in plants.

 [Updated 09/27/2014]

Professor Donna Holmes had three articles published in the third edition of the Encyclopedia of Human Biology. Holmes, D.J. and A.C. Cohen. 299. Overview. Aging and Gerontology. In M. Simon and J. Abelson, Editors. Encyclopedia of Human Biology, 3rd Edition. Elsevier Press, Oxford (in press). A.C.
Cohen and D.J. Holmes. 666. Aging: Evolution. In M. Simon and J. Abelson, Editors. Encyclopedia of Human Biology, 3rd Edition. Elsevier Press, Oxford (in press).
Holmes, D.J. 319. Sex and gender differences in health, longevity and aging. In M. Simon and J. Abelson, Editors. Encyclopedia of Human Biology, 3rd Edition. Elsevier Press, Oxford (in press).

 [Updated 09/10/2014]

In 2014, Professor Donna Holmeswas elected the 2016 Chair-elect of the Biological Sciences Section of the Gerontological Society of America and will visit with them in Washington, DC in November. She will begin organizing the annual meeting of GSA in fall of 2015. She was also appointed to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the American Aging Association and attended their annual meeting in San Antonio, TX. She was the Keynote Speaker at the Graduate Student Awards Reception at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and presented at BGSU on “Human aging and health in evolutionary medical perspective.”

 [Updated 09/10/2014]

Dr. Michael Skinnerwas awarded the Eastlick Distinguished Professorship.

 [Updated 09/10/2014]

Graduate students Jamie Gehring and Kim Rigano co-authored an article with Professor Charlie Robbins, that was published as the cover piece for Cell Metabolism: "Grizzly Bears Exhibit Augmented Insulin Sensitivity while Obese Prior to a Reversible Insulin Resistance during Hibernation," . WSU Drs. Nelson, Jansen, and Robbins were authors on the paper, as were Kim Rigano and I. The story was covered by over a dozen agencies, including NPR, the BBC, the London Times, CNBC and the Guardian.

 [Updated 09/10/2014]

School of Biological Sciences, Washington State University, PO Box 644236, Pullman WA 99164-4236, 509-335-3553, Contact Us
The SBS main office is located in 312 Abelson Hall on the Pullman campus.