Biology

The biology department offers students a solid foundation in modern biology and provides opportunities for advanced and independent investigation within the context of a robust liberal arts curriculum. At Hobart and William Smith, we have the technological, natural, financial and people resources to make your scientific endeavors count.

Student Resources

Biology Teaching Fellows
Hours: Sun. - Thurs. 7-10 pm
Location: Eaton 110

Photo Gallery

Biology Research Profile:
Grace Marshall '19

Grace Marshall '19

Hometown: Petoskey, Michigan
Major: Biology and Philosophy double major
Honors Project: Personality-Based Movement Behavior in Plethodon cinereus

This project aims to better understand dispersal patterns of terrestrial organisms and how human interference with the landscape has influenced those patterns. Grace’s work has been focusing on how movement behavior changes under stressful environments, including collecting information on risk that salamanders take on when dispersing.

“Don’t be afraid to take on a research program(s) that are not directly related to your post-graduate aspirations. The important things about research are the skills you learn and the knowledge you gain about a particular topic. Be brave, take risks, and most importantly, have fun.”

Meet Our Faculty

The Biology Department’s mission is to provide students with the skills necessary to understand the complexity of the biological world and its interconnectedness. Through hands-on laboratory and field-based coursework as well as research collaborations with the faculty, you will gain exciting new knowledge from experts in the field. Scroll below to meet our team of scientists, scholars and above all, teachers. Meet the entire department >

More faculty
More faculty

Biology News

Young ’18 Tracks the Birds of Ecuador’s Pacific Forests

Wed, 09 Jan 2019

Jama-Coaque Bird Observatory 3In the rainforest, dry forest, bamboo forest and cloud forest, Adrienne Young ’18 has been observing and banding birds through an internship at Jama-Coaque Bird Observatory in coastal Ecuador. The…

HWS Hosts Water Quality Conference

Fri, 04 Jan 2019

CushmanThe Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges will host a research conference titled, “The Big Three: Nutrients, Contaminants and Invasive Species,” designed to bring together local and…

Ryan Authors Comprehensive Mammalogy Manual

Thu, 29 Nov 2018

Ryan James1With his most recent book, Mammalogy Techniques Lab Manual, published this fall by Johns Hopkins University Press, Professor of Biology James Ryan offers student-scientists a guide to practical techniques used…

Spotlight: Recent Grad

Recent Grad

Hannah DelFavero '15

Current Position: Second Year Osteopathic Medical Student

Current Location: Old Westbury, N.Y.

Majors: Biology

View Full Profile

Sample Courses

Class Complete Course List
 

Introductory Topics
These courses, while focused on a range of topics, are designed to help you (1) distinguish between scientific inquiry and other modes of inquiry; (2) articulate in general terms the central concepts of biology, including the process of evolution through natural selection; the central role of DNA, RNA, and proteins in living organisms; and the inheritance of genetic information; (3) ask relevant biological questions, develop scientific hypotheses, and design experiments to test hypotheses; and (4) explain the relevance of biological knowledge to society. Each course includes laboratory sessions.

Health Professions

Pre-Health at HWS

Hobart and William Smith Colleges is an ideal place to prepare for a career in the health professions. Over the past five years our placement rate for medical, dental and veterinary school applicants has exceeded 80%, well above national averages. Many recent graduates are also now successful physical therapists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, occupational therapists, and a variety of other clinical practitioners.

Learn More


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.