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Bulletin Archive

This archived information is dated to the 2009-10 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.


Emeriti: (Professors) Bruce S. Baker,* Winslow R. Briggs, David Epel, Donald Kennedy, Peter Ray, Robert Schimke, Norman K. Wessells, Dow O. Woodward, Charles Yanofsky;** (Professor, Research) R. Paul Levine**

Chair: Robert D. Simoni

Professors: Barbara A. Block, Steven M. Block, Allan M. Campbell, Martha S. Cyert, Gretchen C. Daily, Mark W. Denny, Rodolfo Dirzo, Paul R. Ehrlich, Marcus W. Feldman, Russell D. Fernald, Christopher B. Field, William F. Gilly, Deborah M. Gordon, Philip C. Hanawalt, H. Craig Heller, Patricia P. Jones, Richard G. Klein, Ron R. Kopito, Sharon R. Long, Liqun Luo, Susan K. McConnell, Harold A. Mooney, W. James Nelson, Stephen R. Palumbi, Joan Roughgarden, Robert M. Sapolsky, Stephen H. Schneider, 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: Judith Frydman, Elizabeth A. Hadly, Fiorenza Micheli, Dmitri Petrov, Kang Shen

Assistant Professors: Dominique Bergmann, William F. Burkholder, Hunter B. Fraser, Tadashi Fukami, Or Gozani, Ashby Morrison, Mary Beth Mudgett, Mark J. Schnitzer, Jan M. Skotheim

Courtesy Professors: Joseph Berry, Daniel Fisher, Wolf Frommer, Arthur R. Grossman, Terry Root, Irving Weissman, Wing Wong

Courtesy Associate Professors: Kathryn Barton, Alfred M. Spormann

Courtesy Assistant Professor: Zhiyong Wang

Lecturers: Waheeda Khalfan, Shyamala D. Malladi, Patricia Seawell, James Watanabe

Consulting Professors: Cathy Laurie, Marc Tessier-Lavigne

Librarian: Michael Newman

* Recalled to research.

** Recalled to active duty.

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

Student Services Office and Phone: Gilbert Building, Room 108; (650) 723-1826

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: (1) a major program leading to the B.S. degree; (2) a minor program; (3) a coterminal program leading to the M.S. degree; (4) a doctoral program leading to the Ph.D. degree; and (5) courses designed for the non-major.


The mission of the undergraduate program in Biology is to provide students with in-depth knowledge in the discipline, spanning 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 for being 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, the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, the James H. Clark Center, the Lorry I. Lokey Laboratory Building, the Carnegie Institution of Washington on the main campus, and at the 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

The 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, immediately following this section.

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 the Hopkins Marine Station.

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