Outline of biology

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Biology – The natural science that involves the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy.

Branches of biology[edit]

Branch of biology – subdiscipline of biology, also referred to as a biological science. Note that biology and all of its branches are also life sciences.

  • Anatomy – study of form in animals, plants and other organisms, or specifically in humans. Simply, the study of internal structure of living organisms.
  • Astrobiology – study of origin, early-evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. Also known as exobiology,and bioastronomy.
  • Bioengineering – study of biology through the means of engineering with an emphasis on applied knowledge and especially related to biotechnology.
  • Bioinformatics – use of information technology for the study, collection, and storage of genomic and other biological data.
  • Biomechanics – the study of the mechanics of living beings.
  • Biochemistry – study of the chemical reactions required for life to exist and function, usually a focus on the cellular level.
  • Biogeography – study of the distribution of species spatially and temporally.
  • Biophysics – study of biological processes through the methods traditionally used in the physical sciences.
  • Biotechnology – new and sometimes controversial branch of biology that studies the manipulation of living matter, including genetic modification and synthetic biology.
    • Synthetic biology – research integrating biology and engineering; construction of biological functions not found in nature.
  • Botany – study of plants.
  • Cell biology – study of the cell as a complete unit, and the molecular and chemical interactions that occur within a living cell.
  • Cognitive biology – study of cognition.
  • Chronobiology – field of biology that examines periodic (cyclic) phenomena in living organisms and their adaptation to solar- and lunar-related rhythms.
    • Dendrochronology – study of tree rings, using them to date the exact year they were formed in order to analyze atmospheric conditions during different periods in natural history.
  • Cryobiology – study of the effects of lower than normally preferred temperatures on living beings.
  • Developmental biology – study of the processes through which an organism forms, from zygote to full structure
    • Embryology – study of the development of embryo (from fecundation to birth).
    • Gerontology – study of aging processes.
  • Ecology – study of the interactions of living organisms with one another and with the non-living elements of their environment.
  • Epidemiology – major component of public health research, studying factors affecting the health of populations.
  • Evolutionary biology – study of the origin and descent of species over time.
    • Evolutionary developmental biology – field of biology that compares the developmental processes of different organisms to determine the ancestral relationship between them, and to discover how developmental processes evolved.
    • Paleobiology – discipline which combines the methods and findings of the natural science biology with the methods and findings of the earth science paleontology.
      • Paleoanthropology – the study of fossil evidence for human evolution, mainly using remains from extinct hominin and other primate species to determine the morphological and behavioral changes in the human lineage, as well as the environment in which human evolution occurred.
      • Paleontology – study of fossils and sometimes geographic evidence of prehistoric life.
      • Paleopathology – the study of pathogenic conditions observable in bones or mummified soft tissue, and on nutritional disorders, variation in stature or morphology of bones over time, evidence of physical trauma, or evidence of occupationally derived biomechanic stress.
  • Genetics – study of genes and heredity.
  • Histology – study of the anatomy of cells and tissues of plants and animals using microscopy.
  • Immunology – study of immune systems in all organisms.
  • Marine biology – study of ocean ecosystems, plants, animals, and other living beings.
  • Microbiology – study of microscopic organisms (microorganisms) and their interactions with other living things.
  • Molecular biology – study of biology and biological functions at the molecular level, with some cross over from biochemistry.
  • Neuroscience – study of the nervous system, including anatomy, physiology and emergent proprieties.
  • Oncology – study of cancer processes, including virus or mutation, oncogenesis, angiogenesis and tissues remoldings.
  • Photobiology – scientific study of the interactions of light (technically, non-ionizing radiation) and living organisms. The field includes the study of photosynthesis, photomorphogenesis, visual processing, circadian rhythms, bioluminescence, and ultraviolet radiation effects.
  • Physiology – study of the internal workings of organisms.
  • Population biology – study of groups of conspecific organisms.
  • Pharmacology – study of uses, effects, and modes of action of drugs
  • Parasitology – study of parasites and parasitism.
  • Psychology – study of behavior and mind, including conscious and unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought.
  • Radiobiology – study of the action of ionizing radiation on living things.
  • Structural biology – a branch of molecular biology, biochemistry, and biophysics concerned with the molecular structure of biological macromolecules.
  • Theoretical Biology – the mathematical modeling of biological phenomena.
  • Systems biology – computational modeling of biological systems.
  • Zoology – study of animals, including classification, physiology, development, and behavior. Subbranches include:
    • Arthropodology – biological discipline concerned with the study of arthropods, a phylum of animals that include the insects, arachnids, crustaceans and others that are characterized by the possession of jointed limbs.
      • Acarology – study of the taxon of arachnids that contains mites and ticks.
      • Arachnology – scientific study of spiders and related animals such as scorpions, pseudoscorpions, harvestmen, collectively called arachnids.
      • Entomology – study of insects.
      • Carcinology – study of crustaceans.
      • Myriapodology – study of centipedes, millipedes, and other myriapods.
    • Ethology – scientific and objective study of animal behaviour, usually with a focus on behaviour under natural conditions.
    • Helminthology – study of worms, especially parasitic worms.
    • Herpetology – study of amphibians (including frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, and gymnophiona) and reptiles (including snakes, lizards, amphisbaenids, turtles, terrapins, tortoises, crocodilians, and the tuataras).
      • Batrachology – subdiscipline of herpetology concerned with the study of amphibians alone.
    • Ichthyology – study of fishes. This includes bony fishes (Osteichthyes), cartilaginous fishes (Chondrichthyes), and jawless fishes (Agnatha).
    • Malacology – branch of invertebrate zoology which deals with the study of the Mollusca (mollusks or molluscs), the second-largest phylum of animals in terms of described species after the arthropods.
    • Mammalogy – study of mammals, a class of vertebrates with characteristics such as homeothermic metabolism, fur, four-chambered hearts, and complex nervous systems. Mammalogy has also been known as "mastology," "theriology," and "therology." There are about 4,200 different species of animals which are considered mammals.
    • Nematology – scientific discipline concerned with the study of nematodes, or roundworms.
    • Ornithology – scientific study of birds.

History of biology[edit]


Outline of ecology


Outline of evolution

Organismal Biology[edit]

(also known as Functional biology)

Cellular and molecular biology[edit]

Outline of cell biology

Outline of biochemistry

Outline of genetics



See also[edit]

Related outlines


  1. ^ Frank B. Salisbury; Cleon W. Ross (1992). Plant physiology. Brooks/Cole Pub Co. ISBN 0-534-15162-0. 

External links[edit]