Biology

Biology Program News

Writer and activist Derrick Jensen delivers President’s Sustainability ConvocationDerrick Jensen, widely considered a star of the deep ecology movement, will give an address called “What is Sustainability” on...
Professional Recognition Reception honors faculty achievementLifelong learning is a central focus for Centre College’s students and faculty. Professors at the College are innovative, taking risks and...
Professional Recognition Reception honors faculty achievementLifelong learning is a central focus for Centre College’s students and faculty. Professors at the College are innovative, taking risks and...
[VIDEO] Summer internship explores bat habitats, career in field biologyConducting research in a classroom laboratory is one thing; exploring the habitats and survival patterns of bats—in the middle of...
Ann Lubbers

The discipline of biology encompasses many subject areas ranging from the study of molecular and cellular functions to the ecological interactions among organisms.

As biology majors, students gain a solid background in the discipline while also gaining an appreciation for the application of biological principles to our world. Students planning on majoring in biology will prepare for the major with appropriate courses in mathematics, chemistry, and physics.

As first-years and sophomores, students will be introduced to the breadth of the discipline in the introductory biology course and will gain a foundation in the areas of cell biology and genetics. Upon declaration of the major, students will complete a series of courses focusing on specific areas of study within the discipline. These courses will include elective courses in cell and molecular biology, organismal biology, and ecology and evolution. At the senior level, our majors all enroll in the capstone senior seminar course.

The Facilities

Centre College has outstanding facilities that allow our students to gain an excellent introduction to basic laboratory techniques in all major areas of biological study. The biological sciences facilities are located in Young Hall. Laboratories are well equipped to serve the needs of the various biology courses that are offered.

The laboratory equipment available for use by our students include microscopy laboratories which provide students with access to state-of-the-art instrumentation for tissue culture, fluorescence microscopy, digital image analysis and scanning-electron microscopy; an aquatic research laboratory that enables intensive investigations of both marine and freshwater organisms; and the greenhouse and botany lab for plant-related studies. The nearby Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge is used regularly by classes, and is also a good place for independent study projects.

Special Features

Although biology is a discipline that can be pursued at just about any college or university, the biology experience at Centre is unique in many ways. First, there is the biology faculty itself—as enthusiastically committed to their respective disciplines as they are to the philosophy of a liberal arts education. The relatively small class sizes mean individual attention from the faculty themselves. Unlike students at larger institutions, the biology major at Centre really has an opportunity to get to know the faculty. The biology faculty is more than willing to work with each student individually to determine the types of courses that will best serve that student’s post-graduation aspirations and goals. For students with specific professional interests, such as medical, dental, or veterinary schools, the pre-health professions committee members will provide guidance to ensure that the proper courses are taken. Students interested in getting research experience are strongly encouraged to engage in a collaborative research project either during the academic year or in the summer. Students selected for these collaborative opportunities have often presented the results of their research at state and national meetings of professional scientific societies.

Off-Campus Opportunities

Centre biology students have engaged in primate research in Barbados, observed volcanoes in New Zealand, and studied coral reefs in the Bahamas. The three-week CentreTerm in January makes these intensive field experiences possible with minimum interruption to the normal sequence of courses required of the biology major. The biology program also offers several internship opportunities during CentreTerm. These involve intensive research participation at some of the outstanding university labs in the country, including the University of Arizona, University of Arkansas, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Louisville. With careful planning, it is also possible for the aspiring biology major to participate in the college’s long-term off campus experiences in Europe, China, and Central/South America.

Tri-Beta Honor Society

Beta Beta Beta is a society for students, particularly undergraduates, dedicated to improving the understanding and appreciation of biological study and extending boundaries of human knowledge through scientific research. Since its founding in 1922, more than 162,000 persons have been accepted into lifetime membership, and more than 406 chapters have been established throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. The Kappa Nu chapter of Beta Beta Beta was installed at Centre College on April 22, 1999 by Dr. Donald Roush, District II Director for the Southeast Region.

2015-2016 Officers
President: Mey Mey Kong
Vice President: Mariah Harrod
Secretary: Emma Presberg
Treasurer: Brittany Sears
Historian: Gentry Brown

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Kelly O’Quin

National Office Website

Read about the BIOLOGY program:

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Your Major Took You Where?

A Sampling of Recent Centre Graduates

EMPLOYER

POST-GRADUATE STUDY

Kleinhart Institute for Hand & Microsurgery Ohio State University (D.V.M.)
Barrier Island Environmental Education Program University of Louisville School of Dentistry (D.M.D.)
Clarenson Flavor Engineering Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.)
Norton Health Care CPA Lab Texas State University (M.S., conservation genetics)
Thomas Thoroughbred Farm University of Michigan (Ph.D., ecology and evolutionary biology)
Monument Chemicals Sullivan University (Pharm.D.)

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