The Department of Biology offers students opportunities to learn and work with scientists who are making important contributions to knowledge. We emphasize research in areas like cellular and molecular biology, developmental biology, ecology and evolution, human biology, marine biology, neuroscience and behavior, and bioinformatics. 

research faculty
sponsored research dollars for FY22
faculty awards for FY22 

Guide to Finding Undergraduate Research Opportunities


Our Research Labs

Barber Lab – Evolution of Host-Microbe Interactions
Barkan Lab – Molecular Genetics of Chloroplasts and Photosynthesis
Bohannan Research Group – Microbial Biodiversity
Bowerman Lab – Cytoskeletal Function/Regulation in C. elegans
Bradshaw-Holzapfel Lab – Genetics of Blood-borne Diseases & Climate Change
Cresko Lab – Evolutionary Genomics
Diez Ecology Lab – Population & Community Ecology
Doe Lab – Drosophila Development
Eisen Lab - ZFIN
Emlet Lab – invertebrate Organisms
Galloway Lab – Trophic Relationships
Garcia Lab – Epigenetics
Grimes Lab – Development & Disease
Guillemin Lab – Host-Microbe Interactions
Hallet Lab – Restoration and Community Ecology
Herman Lab – Synapse Formation in Drosophila
Jaralab – Auditory Cognition & Behavioral Flexibility
Johnson Lab - Hypoxia, Genomics, Gene Regulation
Kern-Ralph Colab – Population Genetics
Libuda Lab – DNA Repair
Lockery Lab - Biological Basis of Decision-Making
Louca Lab – Microbial Ecology & Evolution
Maslakova Lab – Evolution of Larval Development
Mazzucato Lab – Cognition and Behavior
McCormick Lab – Systems Neuroscience 
McGuire Lab – Microbial Ecology
Miller Lab – Neural Circuits
Murray Lab – Computational Neuroscience
Niell Lab – Neural Circuits for Vision
Noma Lab – Eukaryotic Genomes
Phillips Lab – Genetic Mutations
Ponisio Lab – Community Ecology and Wild Bee Conservation
Postlethwait Lab – Zebrafish Genetics
Ralph Lab – Population Genetics
Roy Lab – Fungi & Plants
Selker Lab – Epigenetics, Genome
Singh Lab – Evolutionary Genetics
Spero Lab – Bacterial Physiology
Stankunas Lab - Vertebrate Organ Development and Regeneration
Streisfeld Lab – Ecological & Evolutionary Genetics
Sutherland Lab – Plankton
Sylwestrak Lab – Motivated Behavior
Von Dassow Lab – Cell Behavior During Animal Development
Westerfield Lab - Molecular Genetic Basis of Human Diseases
Wood Lab - Biological Oceanography
Young Lab – Marine Invertebrates
Zemper Lab - Gut Science

Interdisciplinary Research Institutes

Chris Doe headshot

"In the Doe Lab, my research team and I investigate central nervous system development. The supportive and interactive colleagues in Biology are always willing to help mentor our students, read grants and papers, and provide feedback on lab projects. "

-Chris Doe, Professor of Biology at the Institute of Neuroscience 

people with fieldwork equipment in estuary

Research Across Disciplines

The University fosters collaboration among students, staff and faculty in Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Human Physiology, Physics and Psychology. Four separate research institutes unite faculty with biological interests into shared lab spaces: 

  • Institute of Ecology and Evolution
  • Institute of Molecular Biology
  • Institute of Neuroscience
  • Oregon Institute of Marine Biology

Interdisciplinary Opportunities

MIchael Sidikpramana portrait

Budding Neuroscientists Grow Here

"The Institute of Neuroscience has been a welcoming and supportive environment to develop my skills as a budding neuroscientist interested in the neural basis of behavior and perception. Faculty and students alike nurture imaginative ideas here, which leads to exciting and rigorous science being done in the department. It has been a pleasure being a member of this scholarly, collaborative, and fun community."

–Michael Sidikpramana, PhD candidate in Biology, 2026

the OIMB research team group portrait on the deck of a research boat at sea

Recent Publications

Recent research by Biology faculty includes a variety of topics relating to deep sea ecology, bees, and sea dragon’s genes. Read about the latest research from our department.

Recent Publications


September 22, 2023
BIOLOGY, ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES - The Hallett Lab is collecting samples to test a new, more sustainable way to farm hazelnuts. Steve Haring, a postdoctoral researcher in the Hallett Lab, is studying what happens when cover crops, such as native wildflowers, are used as beds around the trees.
August 18, 2023
BIOLOGY - When gut bacteria isn't in the right place, it can lead to abnormal bacterial behavior and gut inflammation, according to a study by a team of researchers led by UO microbiologist Jarrod Smith in the laboratory of biology professor Karen Guillemin published July 28 in the journal Cell Host and Microbe. The findings point to possible mechanisms behind intestinal conditions like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
August 10, 2023
BIOLOGY - Chris Doe's lab is featured in the National Institutes of Health's Director's Blog. In the post, the author explores an image of a larval fruit fly's developing nervous system. The fruit fly provides clues into the development and repair of the human nervous system.