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A Sampling:

Food Ecology
Examines environmental issues related to food and food production.

Bioinformatics: Information Technology in the Life Sciences
Examines the intersection of biology and information technology; includes collaborative projects between biology and computer science students.

Epigenetics, Development, and Diseases
Focuses on the epigenetic phenomena (e.g., RNA interference and genomic imprinting) on development, embryonic stem cells, animal cloning and heritable human diseases.

Conservation Biology
A case-study approach where students apply ecological understanding to the management of natural ecosystems; topics include genetics and population biology of rare species, fire ecology and management, landscape ecology and global climate change.

Comparative Animal Physiology
A study of internal physiological systems (e.g., respiration, circulation and muscle systems).

Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
Comparative analysis of vertebrate structure with emphasis on evolution and function.

The Illustrated Organism
Descriptive graphic and written analysis of plants and animals; direct observation in field, studio and laboratory settings integrating biology and visual arts.

Developmental Biology
Principles of embryonic development with emphasis on experimental design.

Introduction to Neurobiology
Function of neurons, nervous systems and sense organs, with emphasis on vertebrates.

Cancer Cell Biology
Investigates the molecular basis of cancer by comparing normal cells to cancer cells with respect to growth control mechanisms, signal transduction, and cell-cell and cell-environment interactions.

Molecular Genetics
An understanding of many of the commonly-used techniques in the "toolkit" of the molecular geneticist; emphasis on recent advances in cellular response to environmental stimuli, tumor formation and human genetic disease.

Department of Biology
Department of Biology
Science & Engineering 324
807 Union Street
Schenectady, NY 12308
(518) 388-6241
Union offers over 50 courses in the full range of biological sciences.
Union offers over 50 courses in the full range of biological sciences.

Biological Sciences

See where Union takes you:
  • Anesthesiologist, Maimonides Medical Center
  • Marine Habitat Research Specialist, National Marine Fisheries Service
  • Research Assistant, Harvard Institute of Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine Physician, Wayne State University
  • Medical Writer, Yale New Haven Hospital
  • Biocoustician, Alaska Fisheries Science Center
  • Veterinarian, Valley Animal Hospital
  • Resident OB/GYN, Tufts New England Medical Center
  • Professor, Utah State University
  • Assistant District Attorney, Bronx County
  • Oncological Research Scientist, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research
Faculty Research
O2 and Bugs
Professor Scott Kirkton's research offers insight into the relationship between respiratory function and molting.
Could less O2 mean smaller bugs?

Studying the Biological Sciences at Union is both exciting and rewarding on a variety of levels, which includes gaining hands-on laboratory experience, making new discoveries through research and gaining an international perspective in a constantly evolving field.

Sirya Bhumi '15

"I learned so much in the lab about the inner workings of dragonflies' movement during my summer research with Professor Robert Olberg. I learned to micro-dissect, put in electrodes to stimulate the specific neurons and – on a lighter note – the art of catching these speedy creatures."

Sriya Bhumi '15

Compared to colleges of similar size, the range of courses offered at Union is exceptional – cell and molecular biology, neurobiology, bioengineering, plant and animal organismal biology, environmental biology, developmental biology, and ecology and evolutionary biology, to name a few. Consequently, our students are able to explore their interests and aptitudes in many different areas.

Our Common Curriculum courses range from "Understanding Cancer" to "Food and Health in the 21st Century" to a field course combining supervised observation and service learning experiences in various health care settings with on-campus seminars. Biology is central to numerous interdisciplinary programs: Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Environmental Science and Policy, and Neuroscience.

Union's equipment and research laboratories are first-rate. Many Biology faculty research labs are housed in the Peter Irving Wold Center, Bioengineering Center or Center for Neuroscience. Our undergraduates have access to such advanced instruments as a laser confocal microscope, video-microscopy workstations with digital image processing and microinjection capabilities, PCR workstations and much more.

An NSF Major Research Instrumentation Grant has enabled the College to acquire a continuous flow Delta V Plus isotope ratio mass spectrometer and supplemental components to support interdisciplinary research and undergraduate student research training.

Many students carry out independent research under direct faculty supervision, which leads also to participation in Union’s annual Steinmetz Research Symposium and national scientific meetings, as well as to publication as co-authors in scientific and professional journals.

Our accomplished faculty have received research grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and other prestigious foundations.

In addition, Union's proximity to the Adirondacks, Albany Pine Bush, Mohawk and Hudson rivers, and many natural lakes offers innumerable field research opportunities.

As a Biological Sciences major, you will find that your classroom, laboratory and close working relationship with our faculty will provide a solid foundation for success in graduate and professional schools and in any number of careers, including medicine, biotechnology, veterinary science, dentistry, research science, environmental conservation and public policy.