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Biology at American University

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

Students are encouraged to participate in research projects at all levels. Students have the opportunity to visit, observe, and intern in some of the nation's most prestigious biological research centers, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

More than 95% of AU biology graduate students have assistantships, stipends, or other financial aid and finish the program in less than two years. Learn more.

News

Colin Saldhana sits on the AU quad.

Science ·

AU Professor Appointed New Program Director at National Science Foundation

Professor of Biology Colin Saldanha has been appointed a program director for the NSF. He will be on a team that oversees neuroscience grants.
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Zebra Finch

Research ·

Gene Discovery Boosts Understanding of Zebra Finch Biology

Using sophisticated genome-sequencing techniques, American University researchers identified a gene in the zebra finch that could pave the way for further research into what makes a bird male or female.
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The Design and Build Lab (DaBL) is part of a movement to get people working with their hands. Three shelves with scientific instruments, beneath the periodic table.

Science ·

Full STEAM Ahead

AU science professors incorporate art into classes and the new Don Myers building.
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Recent Faculty Publications

Niemiller, M.L.*, M.L. Porter, J. Keany, H. Gilbert, D.W. Fong, D.C. Culver, C. Hobson, K.D. Kendall, M.A. Davis, and S.J. Taylor. 2017. Evaluation of eDNA for groundwater invertebrate detection and monitoring: a case study with endangered Stygobromus (Amphipoda: Crangonyctidae). Conservation Genetics Resources. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12686-017-0785-2

Carlini, D.B.*, and D.W. Fong. 2017. The transcriptomes of cave and surface populations of Gammarus minus (Crustacea: Amphipoda) provide evidence for positive selection on cave downregulated transcripts. PLoS ONE 12(10): e0186173. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0186173

Pedersen, AL. & Saldanha CJ. (2017). Reciprocal interactions between prostaglandin E2- and estradiol-dependent signaling pathways in the injured zebra finch brain. J. Neuroinflammation. 14(1): 262

Gould, CJ, J Wiegand, and VP Connaughton. 2017. Acute developmental exposure to 4-hydroxyandrostenedione has a long-term effect on visually-guided behaviors. Neurotoxicology and Teratology. 64: 45-49.

More Faculty Publications