Outline of biology

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Drosophila melanogaster, commonly used as a model organism

Biology – The natural science that studies life. Areas of focus include structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy.

History of biology


Chemical basis

Outline of biochemistry


Outline of cell biology


Outline of Genetics


Outline of evolution (see also evolutionary biology)


Plant form and function

Animal form and function


Outline of ecology


  • Anatomy – study of form in animals, plants and other organisms, or specifically in humans. Simply, the study of internal structure of living organisms.
  • bioastronomy
  • Bioarchaeology – study of human and animal remains from archaeological sites.
  • Biochemistry – study of the chemical reactions required for life to exist and function, usually a focus on the cellular level.
  • Biocultural anthropology – the study of the relations between human biology and culture.
  • Biogeography – study of the distribution of species spatially and temporally.
  • Biolinguistics – study of biology and the evolution of language.
  • Biological economics – an interdisciplinary field in which the interaction of human biology and economics is studied.
  • Biophysics – study of biological processes through the methods traditionally used in the physical sciences.
  • Biotechnology – new and sometimes controversial branch of biology that studies the manipulation of living matter, including genetic modification and synthetic biology.
    • Bioinformatics – use of information technology for the study, collection, and storage of genomic and other biological data.
    • Bioengineering
      – study of biology through the means of engineering with an emphasis on applied knowledge and especially related to biotechnology.
    • Synthetic biology – research integrating biology and engineering; construction of biological functions not found in nature.
  • Botany – study of plants.
    • Photobiology – scientific study of the interactions of light (technically, non-ionizing radiation) and living organisms. The field includes the study of photosynthesis, photomorphogenesis, visual processing, circadian rhythms, bioluminescence, and ultraviolet radiation effects.
    • Phycology – scientific study of algae.
    • Plant physiology – subdiscipline of botany concerned with the functioning, or physiology, of plants.[1]
  • Cell biology – study of the cell as a complete unit, and the molecular and chemical interactions that occur within a living cell.
    • Histology – study of the anatomy of cells and tissues of plants and animals using microscopy.
  • Chronobiology – field of biology that examines periodic (cyclic) phenomena in living organisms and their adaptation to solar- and lunar-related rhythms.
    • Dendrochronology – study of tree rings, using them to date the exact year they were formed in order to analyze atmospheric conditions during different periods in natural history.
  • Developmental biology – study of the processes through which an organism forms, from zygote to full structure
    • Embryology – study of the development of embryo (from fecundation to birth).
    • Gerontology – study of aging processes.
  • Ecology – study of the interactions of living organisms with one another and with the non-living elements of their environment.
  • Epidemiology – major component of public health research, studying factors affecting the health of populations.
  • Evolutionary biology – study of the origin and descent of species over time.
    • Evolutionary developmental biology – field of biology that compares the developmental processes of different organisms to determine the ancestral relationship between them, and to discover how developmental processes evolved.
    • Paleobiology – discipline which combines the methods and findings of the life sciences with the methods and findings of the earth science, paleontology.
      • Paleoanthropology – the study of fossil evidence for human evolution, mainly using remains from extinct hominin and other primate species to determine the morphological and behavioral changes in the human lineage, as well as the environment in which human evolution occurred.
      • Paleobotany – study of fossil plants.
      • Paleontology – study of fossils and sometimes geographic evidence of prehistoric life.
      • Paleopathology – the study of pathogenic conditions observable in bones or mummified soft tissue, and on nutritional disorders, variation in stature or morphology of bones over time, evidence of physical trauma, or evidence of occupationally derived biomechanic stress.
  • Genetics – study of genes and heredity.
    • Quantitative genetics – study of phenotypes that vary continuously (in characters such as height or mass)—as opposed to discretely identifiable phenotypes and gene-products (such as eye-colour, or the presence of a particular biochemical).
  • Geobiology – study of the interactions between the physical Earth and the biosphere.
  • Marine biology – study of ocean ecosystems, plants, animals, and other living beings.
  • Microbiology – study of microscopic organisms (microorganisms) and their interactions with other living things.
  • Molecular biology – study of biology and biological functions at the molecular level, with some cross over from biochemistry.
  • Neuroscience – study of the nervous system, including anatomy, physiology and emergent proprieties.
    • physiological, genetic, and developmental mechanisms
      of behavior in humans and other animals.
    • Cellular neuroscience – study of neurons at a cellular level.
    • Cognitive neuroscience – study of biological substrates underlying cognition, with a focus on the neural substrates of mental processes.
    • Computational neuroscience – study of the information processing functions of the nervous system, and the use of digital computers to study the nervous system.
    • Developmental neuroscience
      – study of the cellular basis of brain development and addresses the underlying mechanisms.
    • Molecular neuroscience – studies the biology of the nervous system with molecular biology, molecular genetics, protein chemistry and related methodologies.
    • Neuroanatomy – study of the anatomy of nervous tissue and neural structures of the nervous system.
    • Neuroendocrinology – studies the interaction between the nervous system and the endocrine system, that is how the brain regulates the hormonal activity in the body.
    • Neuroethology – study of animal behavior and its underlying mechanistic control by the nervous system.
    • Neuroimmunology – study of the nervous system, and immunology, the study of the immune system.
    • Neuropharmacology – study of how drugs affect cellular function in the nervous system.
    • Neurophysiology – study of the function (as opposed to structure) of the nervous system.
    • Systems neuroscience – studies the function of neural circuits and systems. It is an umbrella term, encompassing a number of areas of study concerned with how nerve cells behave when connected together to form neural networks.
  • Physiology – study of the internal workings of organisms.
  • Systems biology – computational modeling of biological systems.
  • Theoretical Biology
    – the mathematical modeling of biological phenomena.
  • Zoology – study of animals, including classification, physiology, development, and behavior. Subbranches include:
    • Arthropodology – biological discipline concerned with the study of arthropods, a phylum of animals that include the insects, arachnids, crustaceans and others that are characterized by the possession of jointed limbs.
      • Acarology – study of the taxon of arachnids that contains mites and ticks.
      • Arachnology – scientific study of spiders and related animals such as scorpions, pseudoscorpions, harvestmen, collectively called arachnids.
      • Entomology – study of insects.
      • Carcinology – study of crustaceans.
      • Myriapodology – study of centipedes, millipedes, and other myriapods.
    • Ethology – scientific study of animal behavior, usually with a focus on behavior under natural conditions.
    • Helminthology – study of worms, especially parasitic worms.
    • Herpetology – study of amphibians (including frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, and gymnophiona) and reptiles (including snakes, lizards, amphisbaenids, turtles, terrapins, tortoises, crocodilians, and the tuataras).
      • Batrachology – subdiscipline of herpetology concerned with the study of amphibians alone.
    • Ichthyology – study of fishes. This includes bony fishes (Osteichthyes), cartilaginous fishes (Chondrichthyes), and jawless fishes (Agnatha).
    • Malacology – branch of invertebrate zoology which deals with the study of the Mollusca (mollusks or molluscs), the second-largest phylum of animals in terms of described species after the arthropods.
    • Mammalogy – study of mammals, a class of vertebrates with characteristics such as homeothermic metabolism, fur, four-chambered hearts, and complex nervous systems. Mammalogy has also been known as "mastology," "theriology," and "therology." There are about 4,200 different species of animals which are considered mammals.
      • Cetology – branch of marine mammal science that studies the approximately eighty species of whales, dolphins, and porpoise in the scientific order Cetacea.
      • Primatology – scientific study of primates
      • Human biology – interdisciplinary field studying the range of humans and human populations via biology/life sciences, anthropology/social sciences, applied/medical sciences
      • Biological anthropology – subfield of anthropology that studies the physical morphology, genetics and behavior of the human genus, other hominins and hominids across their evolutionary development
        • Human behavioral ecology – the study of behavioral adaptations (foraging, reproduction, ontogeny) from the evolutionary and ecologic perspectives (see behavioral ecology). It focuses on human adaptive responses (physiological, developmental, genetic) to environmental stresses.
    • Nematology – scientific discipline concerned with the study of nematodes, or roundworms.
    • Ornithology – scientific study of birds.


Lists of notable biologists
Lists of biologists by subject

See also

Related outlines



External links