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Emeriti Professors: Bruce S. Baker, Winslow R. Briggs, Allan M. Campbell, David Epel, Donald Kennedy, Peter Ray, Joan Roughgarden, Robert Schimke, Norman K. Wessells, Dow O. Woodward, Charles Yanofsky

Emeriti Professor (Teaching): R. Paul Levine

Chair: Robert D. Simoni

Professors: Barbara A. Block, Steven M. Block, Larry B. Crowder, Martha S. Cyert, Gretchen C. Daily, Mark W. Denny, Rodolfo Dirzo, Paul R. Ehrlich, Marcus W. Feldman, Russell D. Fernald, Christopher B. Field, Wolf Frommer, Judith Frydman, William F. Gilly, Deborah M. Gordon, Elizabeth A. Hadly, Philip C. Hanawalt, H. Craig Heller, Patricia P. Jones, Richard G. Klein, Ron R. Kopito, Sharon R. Long, Liqun Luo, Susan K. McConnell, Fiorenza Micheli, Harold A. Mooney, W. James Nelson, Stephen R. Palumbi, Dmitri Petrov, Robert M. Sapolsky, Carla J. Shatz, Michael A. Simon, Robert D. Simoni, George N. Somero, Tim P. Stearns, Stuart H. Thompson, Shripad Tuljapurkar, Peter Vitousek, Virginia Walbot, Ward B. Watt

Professor (Teaching): Carol L. Boggs

Associate Professors: Dominique Bergmann, Or Gozani, Mary Beth Mudgett, Noah A. Rosenberg, Mark J. Schnitzer, Kang Shen

Assistant Professors: Hunter B. Fraser, Tadashi Fukami, Christopher Lowe, Ashby Morrison, Jan M. Skotheim

Courtesy Professors: Joseph Berry, Daniel Fisher, Arthur R. Grossman, Alfred Spormann, Irving Weissman, Wing Wong

Courtesy Associate Professors: Kathryn Barton, Zhiyong Wang

Courtesy Assistant Professors: David Ehrhardt, Martin Jonikas, Jonathan Payne, Sue Rhee

Lecturers: Daria Hekmat-Scafe, Waheeda Khalfan, Shyamala D. Malladi, Patricia Seawell, Andrew Todhunter, James Watanabe

Consulting Professors: Cathy Laurie, Marc Tessier-Lavigne

Librarian: Michael Newman

Main Department Office and Phone: Gilbert Building, Room 109 – (650) 723-2413

Student Services Office and Phone: Gilbert Building, Room 108 – (650) 723-1826 (graduate students); (650)723-5060 (undergraduates)

Mail Code: 94305-5020

Web Site:

Courses offered by the Department of Biology are listed under the subject code BIO on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site.

The department provides:


The mission of the undergraduate program in Biology is to provide students with in-depth knowledge in the discipline, from molecular biology to ecology. Students in the program learn to think and analyze information critically, to draw connections among the different areas of biology, and to communicate their ideas effectively to the scientific community. The major exposes students to the scientific process through a set of core courses and electives from a range of subdisciplines. The Biology major serves as preparation for professional careers, including medicine, dentistry, veterinary sciences, teaching, consulting, research, and field studies.


The department expects undergraduate majors in the program to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes. These learning outcomes are used in evaluating students and the department's undergraduate program. Students are expected to demonstrate:

  1. the ability to use discipline-specific tools and content knowledge to analyze and interpret scientific data, to evaluate the significance of the data, and to articulate conclusions supportable by the data.
  2. the ability, independently and collaboratively, to formulate testable scientific hypotheses and to design approaches to obtain data to test the respective hypotheses.
  3. the ability to communicate content understanding and research outcomes effectively using various media.


For graduate-level students, the department offers resources and experience learning from and working with world-renowned faculty involved in research on ecology, neurobiology, population biology, plant and animal physiology, biochemistry, immunology, cell and developmental biology, genetics, and molecular biology.

The M.S. degree program offers general or specialized study to individuals seeking biologically oriented course work, and to undergraduate science majors wishing to increase or update their science background or obtain advanced research experience.

The training for a Ph.D. in Biology is focused on learning skills required to be a successful research scientist and teacher, including how to ask important questions and then devise and carry out experiments to answer these questions. Students work closely with an established adviser and meet regularly with a committee of faculty members to ensure that they understand the importance of diverse perspectives on experimental questions and approaches. Students learn how to evaluate critically pertinent original literature in order to stay abreast of scientific progress in their areas of interest. They also learn how to make professional presentations, write manuscripts for publication, and become effective teachers.


The facilities and personnel of the Department of Biology are housed in the Gilbert Biological Sciences Building, Herrin Laboratories, Herrin Hall, Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, James H. Clark Center, Lorry I. Lokey Laboratory Building, Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment & Energy Building (Y2E2), and the Carnegie Institution of Washington (all on the main campus); and Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove on Monterey Bay.

Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve (JRBP) is located near Stanford University's campus in the eastern foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The preserve encompasses geologic, topographic, and biotic diversity within its 1,189 acres and provides a natural laboratory for researchers from around the world, educational experiences for students and docent-led visitors, and refuge for native plants and animals. See

Hopkins Marine Station, located 90 miles from the main University campus in Pacific Grove, was founded in 1892 as the first marine laboratory on the west coast of North America. For more information, including courses taught at Hopkins Marine Station with the subject code BIOHOPK, see the "Biology, Hopkins Marine Station" section of this bulletin.

The department's large collections of plants (Dudley Herbarium), fish, reptiles, and amphibians, as well as smaller collections of birds, mammals, and invertebrates, are housed at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, where they, and extensive collections of the academy, are available to those interested in the systematics of these groups. Entomological collections, restricted to those being used in particular research projects, are housed in the Herrin Laboratories. No general collections are maintained except for teaching purposes.

The Falconer Biology Library in Herrin Hall ( contains over 1,200 current subscriptions and an extensive collection of monographs and reference works. A specialized library is maintained at Hopkins Marine Station.

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