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Undergraduate Programs

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College of Natural Sciences
Dean 2
2450 Campus Road
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-8303
Fax: (808) 956-4745
E-mail: biology@hawaii.edu; marine-biology@hawaii.edu
Web: www.hawaii.edu/biology; www.hawaii.edu/marine_biology


S. D. Maynard, PhD (Director)—marine education, experiential education, biological oceanography, aquaculture, fisheries, ocean policy, maritime archaeology and history, marine bioproducts engineering, scientific diving
H. Ako, PhD—aquaculture, environmental biochemistry and biotechnology
M. Alam, PhD—microbial physiology and biotechnology
W. W. L. Au, PhD—marine bioacoustics and echolation
J. H. Bailey-Brock, PhD—invertebrate zoology, reef ecology, Polychaetes
C. Birkeland, PhD—coral reef biology, fisheries
D. Borthakur, PhD—plant-microbe interaction, plant biotechnology
K. W. Bridges, PhD—systems ecology
J. H. Brock, PhD—invertebrate zoology, reef ecology, polychaetes
S. M. Callahan, PhD—bacterial genetics
R. L. Cann, PhD—evolutionary genetics, MtDNA, molecular phylogenetics
D. Carlon, PhD—evolution, population biology, invertebrate biology
G. D. Carr, PhD—biosystematics, cytotaxonomy, chromosome evolution
D. A. Christopher, PhD—photosynthesis, photosensory signal transduction, gene regulation, genomics
S. Conant, PhD—ornithology, ecology, behavior, conservation biology
K. Cole, PhD—ichthyology, behavioral ecology, reproductive biology, morphology and morphogenesis, space biology
I. M. Cooke, PhD—cellular neurophysiology, neurosecretion
C. C. Daehler, PhD—population biology, invasive plants, plant herbivore interactions
H. G. de Couet, PhD—molecular genetics and cytoskeleton
S. P. Donachie, PhD—marine microbiology and microbial diversity
D. C. Duffy, PhD—conservation, restoration ecology
A. K. Fok, PhD—cell biology
L. A. Freed, PhD—evolutionary and behavioral ecology, ornithology, conservation biology
E. G. Grau, PhD—comparative endocrinology, environmental physiology
M. G. Hadfield, PhD—reproduction and development of invertebrates
D. S. Haymer, PhD—molecular genetics of Diptera
K. N. Holland, PhD—physiology, behavior, ecology of aquatic organisms
C. L. Hunter, PhD—marine biology, coral reef ecology
P. J. Jokiel, PhD—coral reef biology, biogeography and ecology
S. C. Keeley, PhD—molecular systematics, evolution in island systems
C. M. Kinoshita, PhD—process engineering, bioenergy, bioremediation
R. A. Kinzie III, PhD—coral reef biology, marine ecology, limnology
T. W. Lyttle, PhD—structure of Drosophila heterochromatin, evolution of chromosomal rearrangements
W. C. McClatchey, PhD—Pacific ethnobotony, ethnopharmacology
M. Merlin, PhD—biogeography, natural history of the Pacific
C. W. Morden, PhD—molecular systematics and evolution of plants and algae
P. E. Nachtigal, PhD—behavior and sensory processes of marine mammals
J. D. Parrish, PhD—community ecology, fishery biology
P. Q. Patek, PhD—cellular immunology
G. Presting, PhD—molecular biosciences and bioengineering
F. M. Robert, PhD—microbial ecology and bioremediation
S. Robinow, PhD—neurogenetics
J. Seifert, PhD—biochemical toxicology
A. R. Sherwood, PhD—algal biology
C. M. Smith, PhD—physiological ecology of marine macrophytes, marine ecology, cell biology
J. Stillman, PhD—ecological and evolutionary physiology, marine invertebrate biology, adaptation to environmental stress
J. S. Stimson, PhD—population ecology, marine ecology
T. Tricas, PhD—marine animal behavior
A. Wikramanayake, PhD—developmental biology
C. Womersley, PhD—environmental physiology, biochemical adaptation, parasitology
G. J. Wong, PhD—mating systems and biosystematics of basidiomycetes

Degrees Offered: BA (including minor) in biology, BS in biology, BS in marine biology

The Academic Program

The Biology Program (BIOL) is a cooperative program whose faculty members are from the Biology Program and the Departments of Botany; Cell and Molecular Biology; Microbiology, Molecular Biosciences and Biosystems; Engineering; and Zoology. It provides an academic home to students who wish to pursue a broad training in the biological sciences. It offers a BA degree for pre-professional students, a BS degree with five specializations: cell and molecular biology, ecology/evolution/conservation biology, marine/aquatic biology, organismic biology and general biology, a BS degree in marine biology, and a minor in biology.

Biology is of fundamental importance in a science or liberal arts education, as it provides students with a keener insight into and a deeper appreciation of the many facets of living systems. Most students plan to use their training as preparation for professional work, such as aquaculture, biotechnology, biological research, dentistry, marine biology, medicine, optometry, park services, pharmacy, and teaching. Our graduates have an outstanding record of acceptance in advanced degree programs at dental, medical, pharmacy, and graduate schools. Many of our graduates also become teachers after obtaining a post-baccalaureate teaching certificate at the College of Education.

The biology curricula are designed to provide students with a strong background in the principles of biology and with rigorous upper-division instruction in a number of basic areas. This combination of breadth and in-depth instruction allows students to develop the intellectual foundations and the skills necessary to deal with the specific biological concerns of today and the flexibility to meet the needs of the various professions. From this base, our graduates can pursue future specialization with confidence.


Student advising is mandatory. Prospective majors should come to Dean 2 for advising immediately, so as to design a curriculum that satisfies program requirements.

Undergraduate Study

BA Degree in Biology

Requirements (C [not C-] grade minimum)

  • BIOL 172, 265, 275, and 375 plus laboratories
  • 20 credit hours in approved courses, including one each from botany, microbiology, physiology, and zoology, and one or more laboratory courses at the 300 level or above

Related Requirements (D [not D-] grade minimum)

  • CHEM 161, 162, 272 plus laboratories and 273
  • PHYS 151 and 152 or 170 and 272 plus laboratories
  • MATH 215 or 241
  • ICS 101/101L

BS Degree in Biology

Requirements (C [not C-] grade minimum)

  • BIOL 172, 265, 275, and 375 plus laboratories
  • One course each from morphology/systematics and physiology
  • BIOC 441 or BIOL 402 or BIOL 405
  • 15 credit hours in approved courses in one of the following tracks or concentrations:
  • cell/molecular biology
  • ecology, evolution and conservation biology
  • general biology
  • marine/aquatic biology
  • organismic biology
  • 1 or 2 credits of directed research in approved disciplines
  • One or more laboratory courses at the 300 level or above
  • The above courses to include one or more courses at the 300 level or above each from botany, microbiology, and zoology

Related Requirements (D [not D-] grade minimum)

  • CHEM 161, 162, 272 plus laboratories and 273
  • PHYS 151 and 152 or 170 and 272 plus laboratories
  • MATH 215 and 216 or 241 and 242
  • ECON 321 or MATH 243
  • ICS 101/101L

BS Degree in Marine Biology

Requirements (C [not C-] grade minimum)

  • BIOL 172, 265, 275, and 375 plus laboratories
  • OCN 201
  • BIOL 301 plus laboratory
  • ZOOL 439
  • BOT 480
  • ZOOL 475 plus laboratory
  • BIOL 402 or 405 or BIOC 441
  • MICR 401 plus laboratory
  • BIOL 403 or 4 credits of directed research in approved disciplines
  • BIOL 404
  • 2 credits of directed research in approved discipline
  • 6 credit hours in approved courses

Related Requirements (C [not C-] grade minimum)

  • CHEM 161, 162, 272 plus laboratories and 273
  • PHYS 151 and 152 plus laboratories
  • MATH 215 and 216
  • ECON 321

Minor in Biology

Requirements (C [not C-] grade minimum)

Students must complete BIOL 172, 265, 275, and 375 plus related laboratories; and a minimum of 3 credits from the following:

  • BIOL 363, 399, 401, 402, 405, 406/406L, 407/407L, 409, 425, 441, and 499
  • Approved upper level botany, biochemistry, microbiology, physiology, and zoology course

BIOL Courses