The Biology Department

Boletus mushrooms with the Biology Building in the background.

Incoming Students 2023-2024

Are you an incoming WWU student for 2023-2024? Check out the Incoming Biology Students page to learn how to declare a Biology Major, the application process, and other helpful advising tips.

The Biology Department encompasses areas ranging from molecular biology to ecosystem ecology. This breadth is reflected in our curriculum and in faculty and student research. Our joint mission of teaching and research strongly complement each other and provide students with an educational experience of very high quality.

In support of the mission of Western Washington University and the College of Sciences and Engineering, the mission of the Biology Department is to provide an outstanding learning environment that integrates education, scholarship, and service in order to actively engage students in the biological sciences and foster their development as lifelong learners.

The faculty in the College of Science and Engineering has established a fund to provide support for Black students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Black people face unique and systemic barriers to succeeding in STEM, contributing to historical and ongoing underrepresentation in undergraduate and graduate STEM programs, and in STEM careers. The impetus for the fund is the 2020 protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Through this scholarship we can, together, make an impact on the educational goals of Black students at WWU for generations to come.

To donate, go to the WWU Foundation page.

The Biology Department Summer 2023 Main Office (BI315) Hours: 

  • Monday-Thursday 9:00 - Noon  and 1:00 - 4:00
  • Friday - Closed

We are available to answer your questions via phone and email: 

  • Monday - Friday 8:00  - 5:00 

Biology Main Line -  360.650.3627 or email biology@wwu.edu 

Biology Staff Advisors - 360.650.6165 or email biologyadvising@wwu.edu

Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

Biology News Spotlight

Illustration of a map of Washington state with locations of the Washington Whale Trail. An illustration of an orca whale is placed over the map.

Spring 2023 brought a new course offering to the Honors Department. In Scientific Illustration, an Honors Seminar taught by Biology Department faculty member, Georgianne Connell, students learned how to use illustrations to communicate scientific findings to the public through two forms: as infographic art for educational purposes and as thematic art to create an interest about a topic. Eight selected works from this course are now on display in the Biology building third floor foyer. Read more about this course in Biology Department News.

Student sits at desk with hands on laptop computer

The Pollard Lab recently published a paper in the journal GeneticsNatural variation in codon bias and mRNA folding strength interact synergistically to modify protein expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae was co-authored by Western Biology Associate Professor Dan Pollard, Ph D., and Western alumni Anastacia Wienecke and Maggie Barry. Read more in Biology Department News.

Man stands next to a submarine on a deck of a ship.

WWU News article From the bottom of the ocean to Washington DC features Mitch Hebner, fellow for John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program and WWU Biology Grad School Alumni, and Biology Department Grad Program Advisor, Dr. Shawn Arellano.

Bee rests on human hand

Biology Grad student Annie Jolliff's research on bumblebees in Whatcom and Skagit counties is featured in Go Skagit article

Photo by Annie Jolliff

Biology Department Research and Publications