Department of Biological Sciences

Two up-close renderings of a fly's eye
Students in Jeffrey Hildebrand and Nancy Kaufmann’s lab course get valuable real-world experience—and recently, a publication credit—as they uncover why neural tubes fail to close during development.
Alvin Liu crouching near a body of water, next to shrubbery
In his new book, longtime plant collector and Pitt junior Alvin Liu offers an in-depth look at the wild carnivorous plants that thrive in the New Jersey Pinelands.
A student with blue-green and black hair uses lab equipment
Simply acknowledging that college is challenging during introductory science courses has helped to close racial and gender achievement gaps. The intervention, begun in a Pitt biology course, is being adopted at universities around the country.
A person wearing headphones and a face mask in an orange sweater performs tests at a desk
Though not without its challenges, Kristin Butela says students in her Foundations of Biology Lab course are collaborating and communicating their work better than in years’ past, in part due to adjustments under Flex@Pitt.
A woman in glasses with trees in the background
In a pair of studies, ecologist Jessica Stephenson found that both animals and humans instinctually hunker down in small groups when infection looms—but that impulse can come with a price.
An instructor displays how to use a device for a pupil
A new set of guidelines, a lab manual and multiple groups at Pitt are working to reduce bias in academic science and increase diversity in STEM fields.