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Skidmore College

About Biology

Biologists develop and test scientific models that deepen our understanding of life. Biological expertise is needed, to an unprecedented degree, to address many of the most pressing challenges associated with living in today's world. Our goal is to educate and empower students to successfully pursue these fundamentally important aims as they relate to the sciences, health professions, industry, and society. Committed to excellence, we embrace a teacher-scholar approach informed by our research and scholarship. We employ a wide range of classic and innovative teaching pedagogies to cultivate student learning. Laboratories associated with our courses offer bona fide experience and training in scientific design, methodology and execution, interpretation and communication. In research collaborations with faculty, students work in our state-of-the-art labs, the Skidmore Microscopy Imaging Center, and the adjacent 250+ acre North Woods. They explore molecular and cellular processes, structure-function relationships, behavior and ecology, and evolutionary patterns, leveraging traditional and nontraditional lab-model organisms, as well as exotic and local species and ecosystems. Our graduates can be found in top medical schools and doctoral programs across the country, and beyond.

Note: The Department offers three intradepartmental concentrations: integrative biology; molecular biology, cell biology, and genetics; and ecology, evolution, and behavior. 

Interesting Classes I Might Take

  • Biology of Food*
  • Ecology of the Adirondacks*
  • Microbes and Society*
  • Inside Equus & the Biology of Wild Horses*
  • Birds and Bees: The Biology of Sex*
  • Marine Biology*
  • Parasites, Epidemics and Public Health*
  • Endocrinology
  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Plant Biotechnology
  • Ornithology
  • Frontiers in Molecular
  • Neuroscience
  • Biological Clocks
  • Genome Biology: Chromatin Structure, Function, and Epigenetic Regulation

* represent 100-level exploration courses

Full course list here

Beyond the Classroom

Recent faculty-student collaborative research: 

  • Amoebae as model systems to study metal-dependent bacterial killing by macrophages
  • Effects of social interaction on fruit fly circadian activity rhythms—or, fruit fly flash mobs
  • Analysis of current methods used in digit-ratio research: Literature review from 2011 to 2013
  • Evolutionary ecology of sexual ornamentation in Common Yellowthroats (Geothlypis trichas)
  • Investigation of ethanol-induced axon pathfinding defects during zebrafish development
  • Adhesion and phenotype elasticity in the unicellular green alga Penium margaritaceum
  • Activity-level changes induced by developmental lead exposure do not show transgenerational inheritance in C57BL/6J or BALB/CJ mice
  • 3-Dimensional geometric morphometrics using photomodeler

Recent internships: South Texas Research Alliance (Laredo, Texas) on the efficacy of cancer drugs; Wadsworth Laboratories (Albany, N.Y.) on control of transcription in yeast; and Harvard Medical School (Cambridge, Mass.) on transgenic mouse models for neurodegenerative disease

Popular study abroad programs: Danish Institute for Study Abroad, Copenhagen (Denmark); University of Melbourne (Australia); and Organization of Tropical Studies (Costa Rica)

Success After Skidmore

Careers: A sampler of what our alumni do

  • Foot and ankle surgeon, Suffolk, Va.
  • Optometrist, NYC
  • Resident pharmacologist, cancer chemotherapeutics, Abbott Labs, Abbott Park, Ill.
  • Operations manager, Accumed Diagnostic Laboratory, South Amboy, N.J.
  • Professor of biology, Adelphi University, Garden City, N.Y.
  • Physician's assistant, Albany Medical Center, Albany, N.Y.
  • Staff nurse/gynocology, Albany Medical Center, Albany, N.Y.
  • Scientist, Amgen, Thousand Oaks, Calif.
  • Veterinary oncologist, Animal Emergency & Referral Associates, Fairfield, N.J.
  • Director, Breast Center, Anne Arundel Medical Center, Annapolis, Md.
  • Director of bird conservation, Audubon New York, Ithaca, N.Y.
  • Nurse practitioner/radiology, Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Mass.
  • Science reference librarian, SUNY-Binghamton, Binghamton, N.Y.
  • Laboratory director, Bioreliance, Rockville, Md.
  • Assistant professor of psychology/director of Memory Neurological Lab, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Mass.
  • Middle school science teacher, Boulder Valley Schools, Boulder, Colo.
  • Assistant professor of biology, Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, Mass.
  • Biology teacher, Brockton Public Schools, Brockton, Mass.
  • Critical care nurse/RN, Bronx Lebanon Hospital, Bronx, N.Y.
  • Cardiologist, Cardiology Consultants of Philadelphia, Upland, Pa.
  • Research fellow, CDC/New York State Department of Health, Albany, N.Y.
  • Clinical social worker, Child & Family Services-Pioneer Valley, Easthampton, Mass.
  • Pediatrician, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Coatesville, Pa.
  • Neurologist, associate professor, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Dermatologist, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, NYC
  • Associate medical director/Psychiatry Division, Connecticut Valley Hospital/Department of Mental Health, Middletown, Conn.
  • Senior extension associate, Cornell University Department of Horticulture, Ithaca, N.Y.
  • Associate director of toxicology, Covance Laboratories, Madison, Wis.
  • Physical therapist, CRS, Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Coordinator of ethical, legal, and social issues in genetic counseling, Dana Farber
    Cancer Institute, Boston, Mass.
  • Pathologist, Diagnostic Pathology Medical Group, Sacramento, Calif.
  • Math teacher, Edmund Burke School, Washington, D.C.
  • International public health policy manager, European Organization for Rare Diseases, Paris, France
  • Medical writer, Excerpta Medica, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Phlebotomist, Franklin Memorial Hospital, Farmington, Maine
  • Principal market planning manager, Genentech, Inc., San Francisco, Calif.
  • Patient education liaison, Genzyme, Cambridge, Mass.
  • Genetic researcher, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.
  • President and CEO, Health Intelligence Partners, Chicago, Ill.
  • Pharmacist, Helen Hayes Hospital, West Haverstraw, N.Y.
  • Chairman of gastroenterology, Lahey Clinic Medical Center, Burlington, Mass.
  • Post-doc scientist, Department of Public Health, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
  • Professor of medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minn.
  • Anesthesiologist, Medical Development Corp, Hudson, Fla.
  • Senior program officer, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.
  • Non-game wildlife biologist, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Raleigh, N.C.
  • Director, Dysautonomia Center, NYU School of Medicine, NYC
  • Plastic/reconstructive surgeon, Shrewsbury, N.J.
  • Urologist, Queens Urology, NYC
  • Naturalist, River Legacy Living Science Center, Arlington, Texas
  • Professor of biological sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, N.Y.
  • Child and adolescent psychiatrist, SUNY-Buffalo, Buffalo, N.Y.
  • Family practice physician, Sutter Medical Group, Citrus Heights, Calif.
  • Assistant director of Africa programs, Peregrine Fund, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Exercise physiologist, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • Assistant professor of plant and soil sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, Del.
  • Professor/oceanography, University of Maryland, Cambridge, Md.
  • Botanist, URS Corporation, Oakland, Calif.
  • District ecologist, US Forest Service, North Fork, Idaho
  • Post-doctoral scientist, Division of Statistical Genetics, Washington University
    School of Medicine, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Associate professor of psychiatry and neurology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.

Graduate Schools:A sampler of where our alumni go

  • Cold Spring Harbor Watson School of Biological Sciences
  • Columbia University, nursing/women's health
  • Cornell University, doctor of veterinary medicine
  • Cornell University, Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology
  • Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, MPH/DVM
  • Johns Hopkins University, CSN in nursing
  • Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, M.S. in genetic counseling
  • Ohio State University, Ph.D. in veterinary microbiology/parasitology
  • Stanford University, Ph.D. in bioscience
  • SUNY-Stony Brook School of Medicine, M.D.
  • SUNY Upstate Medical University, M.D.
  • University of Arizona, Ph.D. in clinical psychology
  • University at Buffalo, M.D.
  • UCLA, biochemistry and molecular biology
  • University of California-Davis, Ph.D. in animal behavior
  • University of Chicago, Ph.D. in cancer biology
  • University of Connecticut, M.D.
  • University of Maryland, Ph.D. in biology
  • University of Missouri-St. Louis, Ph.D. in biology
  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Ph.D. in biological biomedical sciences
  • University of Pennsylvania, doctor of veterinary medicine
  • Yale University, Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology


Meet the Biology faculty members.