Biology at AU

Offering both undergraduate and graduate programs, the Department of Biology provides students with the opportunity to participate in hands-on research.

Biology at American University

The Department of Biology provides courses in the life sciences, emphasizing advances in molecular genetics, embryology, ecology, development and evolutionary biology. Faculty members have expertise in a variety of areas, and conduct research in developmental biology, evolutionary biology, neurobiology, microbiology, ecology, oceanography, and molecular biology. 

Anatomy Model

Students are encouraged to participate in research projects at all levels. Biology students at AU have the opportunity to visit and intern in some of the nation's most prestigious scientific institutions such as the National Institute of Health (NIH), and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. For those interested in postgraduate studies, the Department of Biology offers a research-intensive Master of Science program that equips students with the skills and knowledge to excel in their chosen area of study. We are currently accepting applications for the MS program and students are encouraged to reach out to individual faculty before applying to discuss research interests and ongoing projects. 

MS Biology MS Biotechnology BS Biology


News & Notes

  • Ashley Bastin won the award for Undergraduate Physical Sciences Final Work at the Mathias Student Research Conference.
  • Scientists at work in labs in AU's Hall of ScienceScientific Research and Discovery at AU’s Hall of Science: Advanced equipment and collaborative opportunities for departments of neuroscience, biology, chemistry, and environmental science departments
  • JC “Chace” WhiteRapping for Biology: After watching a rap video written and produced by JC “Chace” White for Essentials of Biology for the Modern World, you may never think about cancer cells in the same way again.
  • Abraham Correa-MedinaScholar-Athlete Abraham Correa-Medina: Bio Alum’s path to medical school filled with success on the mat, in class, and at NIH biomedical research fellowship.
  • Students working on carbon electrodes in Prof. Zestos lab.Fast Sensor Has Potential Use as a Clinical Tool: Prof John Bracht teams with chemist Alexander Zestos on new method using carbon fiber microelectrodes for detection of RNA and DNA.
  • Students working on carbon electrodes in Prof. Zestos lab.125,000 Square Feet Dedicated to Science: See photos and video of the new Hall of Science, dedicated to biology, environmental science, chemistry, and neuroscience.


Alumni Spotlight: Brendan Riske, MS in Ecology & Evolution


Alumni Spotlight: Brendan Riske, MS in Ecology & Evolution ’19

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Science ·

AU Launches STEM Time Lecture Series, Wednesday Evenings

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Recent Faculty Publications

  • Sepahvand, V., Momtazi, F. and Tudge, C.C. (2020). A new species of ghost shrimp of the genus Michaelcallianassa Sakai, 2002 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Axiidea: Callichiridae) from subtidal waters of the Persian Gulf, Iran. Zootaxa 4810(2): 383-388 (DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4810.2.12).
  • Ng, M**, K DeCicco-Skinner, and VP Connaughton. 2020. Using zebrafish to assess the effect of chronic, early developmental exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of 5-fluorocuracil and leucovorin. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology. DOI: 10.1016/j.etap.2020.103356

More Faculty Publications