Welcome to The Biology Department

Recent Events:

Winter Study 2023

During Winter Study, Holland lab members set up an experiment with 5th grade students at Lanesborough Elementary to test the effects of grape flavoring as a bird deterrent. Pictured left to right: Prof. Cynthia Holland, Aracely Watson ‘25, Michael Fallon ‘24, Hisham Tadfie ‘23, Miriam Li ‘23, and Cameron Darnell ‘25. Photo credit: Sean MacDonald

Conservation Biology samples tree diversity

Photo: Joan Edwards

Students in Conservation Biology recently sampled tree diversity as part of their lab work, locating a magnificent sugar maple. Pictured from left to right are SJ Brusini ’23, Robin Henrikson ’24, and Sophia Trone ’24.

Biology Quilt unveiled in the Hopper Science Center

Biology Quilt (Photo credit: Lois Banta)

Biology staff member Debra Rogers-Gillig, who has served as a technical assistant in the department for 31 years, created a stunning 10′ x 10′ quilt for the Hopper Science Center focal wall. The quilt panels represent the lab courses in our curriculum.

Ecology students venture to The Dome!

The Dome
At the top of The Dome (Photo credit: Allison Gill)

Wearing new safety vests as they traveled through the woods, our Ecology students recently made their way to the top of The Dome in nearby Vermont. Ecology climbs to the top of The Dome to characterize how forest structure changes across elevational gradients and observe the transition between temperate hardwood and boreal forest.

Summer 2022 Poster Session

Each summer, approximately 35-40 Williams students pursue research in Biology, working intensively with a faculty mentor on the faculty member’s research for 9-10 weeks.  These students are part of a vibrant summer program in which a total of about 190 students pursue research projects under the direction of Williams science and math faculty members. The summer research program culminates in a science division-wide poster session. Pictured are Luke Young-Xu ’25, Max Song ’23 and Maki Yoshimura ’23.

Thesis students present at the Ecological Society of America meeting

Ecological Society of America meeting
August 2022, Montreal (Photo credit: Allison Gill)

Over the summer, students in Professor Allison Gill’s lab attended the Ecological Society of America meeting in Montreal, Canada. Students presented ongoing work on carbon and nitrogen cycling at Hopkins Forest, a local reserve located in Williamstown. Pictured at the meeting are recently-graduated Biology thesis students Patrick Hodgson ’22 and Aaron Stanton ’22, and incoming thesis students Angela Hsuan Chen ’23 and Maddie Annis ’23.


News & Announcements

Honors & Summer Research Info session

Save the date! This year’s Honors & Summer Research Info session will be on Wednesday, January 18 (time and location TBD). Biology Majors can learn about honors research opportunities and/or summer research directly from faculty who will be taking students. ...

Dr. Rebecca Dutch presents Nov 18th as the BIMO Class of 1960 Scholar seminar speaker

Dr. Rebecca Dutch from the University of Kentucky will join us to speak about “Human metapneumovirus: Lessons from the virus you haven’t heard of” 

Recording: Pre-Registration Information session for Spring ’23

Please click here to watch a recording of the Pre-Registration Information session held Monday, October 31.

Dr. Shannon LaDeau of Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies to speak November 4th

Dr. LaDeau’s research explores how environmental conditions shape populations of disease-carrying animals such as mosquitoes and ticks, to reduce human exposure to Zika, West Nile virus, Chikungunya, Lyme disease, and other infections.
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