The Department of Biology

Recent Research Photo Link

Biology students and faculty at Amherst are engaged in studyingContact: Biology Dept. Amherst College
Amherst, MA 01002-5000
(413) 542-2097

how living organisms function, develop, reproduce, interact, behave, and evolve. We offer courses for students with career interests in biology, and courses for students who are not majoring in science but who wish to study modern biology as part of liberal arts education.


Close collaboration between faculty and students is a hallmark of Biology at Amherst.  We have a robust departmental honors program often involving research completed during both the summer and senior year. Faculty and students frequently travel to and give presentations at national scientific conferences, and publish jointly authored articles. We also have a great track record of sending students to the best graduate and professional schools in the country.  

The following sites have more detailed information about student research opportunities:

  • Amherst College Summer Research Opportunities: information about the Dean of the Faculty Summer Research Program (SRP) and the Summer Science Undergraduate Research Fellows Program (SURF). 
  • Biology Research News: brief snapshots of recent and ongoing research in the department. (Featured in the image-link at the top of the page.)
  • Faculty Profiles: details faculty research interests, current Amherst College courses, and recent publications.
  • Publications: lists recent publications by faculty member, with particular emphasis on those publications with Amherst College students as co-authors. 
  • Student Honors Research: lists of Biology Honors students' thesis titles and advisors, by class year.  
  • Student Job Interest Form: students often work part time as a research assistant during the academic year; submit this online form if you're interested.  
  • Nationwide Summer Research Opportunites: lists links and application deadlines for hundreds of summer fellowships in a variety of areas of study in Biology.


Additional information about the department for current Biology majors:

  • The 3+4 Committee: a student-faculty group tasked with improving interdepartmenal communication.  While primarily an outlet for majors' comments, concerns, and suggestions for the Department and the classes that we offer, the committee also sponsors numerous academic and social events each year.  
  • Major: a checklist of course requirements for Biology majors.
  • Prizes and Awards: details prizes available for Biology majors, typically those seeking funding for new or ongoing research projects. 
  • Seminars: profiles of approaching speakers for Biology's Monday seminars. Attendance is mandatory for senior Biology majors. 


Female student working at microscope.

 Last Updated:
20 Feb 2015 TLR




SEA Information Session Flyer
Biology Major Rebecca Konijnenberg '16 will talk about her time at SEA, a study abroad program designed for all majors interested in maritime studies.  Refreshments will be provided. Access to McGuire available through Merrill.  (20 Feb 2015)

Wednesday, March 4th
7:00 p.m.
MCLS 428


Honors Invitational, 2015-16
Are you interested in RESEARCH in the biological sciences? The biology faculty will discuss the 2015-16 Honors Program, their own research fields and how to sign up for the program. (20 Feb 2015)

Wednesday, February 25th
7:30 p.m.


Professor Ethan TemelesProfessor Ethan J.Temeles, Thomas B. Walton, Jr. Memorial Professor of Biology, will be offering a virtual lecture entitled, "Food, Sex, and a Hummingbird: The purple-throated carib of the Lesser Antilles" on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 12:30 p.m, ET. His talk is the first of Amherst College's Virtual Lecture Series of the 2014-15 academic year. An abstract of the talk and online registration instructions can be found here(29 August 2014)

Food, Sex, and a Hummingbird: The purple-throated carib of the Lesser Antilles

12:30 p.m. ET
Tuesday, September 30, 2014




Professor Ethan GrafAmherst News & Events recently featured a proflie of Professor Ethan Graf's research in brain circuitry in Drosophila.
(2 July 2014)





 See Biology News Archives for older stories. Last Updated:
20 February 2015 TLR


McGuire Life Sciences Building