We Are Biology



Biology is the study of the organization and operation of life at cellular, organismal, and population levels. An understanding of biology leads to an appreciation of the complexity of the world of life and the role that human beings have within it. The department provides courses in biology that serve the needs of the general student as well as those specializing in the field. Students who concentrate in biology can design their programs to be the focus of a broad and liberal education, to prepare for graduate studies in a sub-discipline, to become certified as a secondary biology teacher, or to obtain pre-professional training in medicine, dentistry, and other health-related fields.

Fall 2020 Course Plans

Reasons to Choose Biology at UM-Flint - Dr. Steve Myers


Fighting back: Holly Attebury’s cancer research studies began at UM-Flint

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When Holly Attebury’s father passed away from pancreatic cancer, she knew that she wanted to make a difference in researching treatments for the highly aggressive disease. Walking away from a successful career in advertising, Attebury enrolled in UM-Flint’s B.S. in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology program in 2016.

MSB Expansion will transform STEM learning at UM-Flint

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In the MSB Expansion, many instructional labs can be used in both lecture and lab formats, allowing a class to transition seamlessly from talking about a topic to working on that issue in real time. The space abandons conventional formats in favor of student-centered design that removes barriers to learning.

Wrecking Havoc: Invasive Species in Michigan

Video and Story By Logan McGrady On February 26, 2020

February 24-28 is National Invasive Species Awareness Week, a time to learn more about the exotic species that are having adverse effects on the local environment as well as the economy. Heather Dawson, associate professor of Biology, talks invasive species in Michigan.

Nicole Blankertz, senior Wildlife Biology major, measures the diameter of a tree on the UM-Flint campus.

UM-Flint faculty, students help U-M on the path to carbon neutrality

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Caleb Short and Nicole Blankertz are completing this work as part of a biosequestration internal analysis team, a group comprised of six students from UM-Flint and Ann Arbor and led by UM-Flint Biology faculty members Heather Dawson and Rebecca Tonietto. The team is charged with providing key insights on the biosequestration capabilities of U-M land holdings to the President’s Commission on Carbon Neutrality (PCCN). 

Environmental DNA from Waterways Could Be a New Tool in Monitoring Feral Pigs

By ANDREW BLOK on February 19, 2020

Invasive feral swine can damage ecosystems, disrupt plant and animal populations, and transmit diseases. Monitoring of feral swine populations requires expensive and labor-intensive techniques such as aerial surveys, field surveys for sign, trail cameras, and verifying landowner reports. Environmental DNA (eDNA) provides an alternative method for locating feral swine. Research was conducted and published by graduate student Amberly Hauger, Dr. Karmen Hollis-Etter, Dr. Gary Rolof of MSU, Dr. Andy Mahon of CMU, and Dwayne Etter (MDNR).

Research group evaluating biosequestration potential on U-M lands

By  ADAM FISHER On February 3, 2020

“Not all of carbon neutrality is focused on emissions and what we’re putting out,” explained Rebecca Tonietto, assistant professor of biology at UM-Flint and co-faculty lead of the team. “So much of this natural world and our plant life is actually taking it in.

“It’s a really exciting team to be on because we’re highlighting this positive baseline of the value of our natural systems and our green spaces on Michigan landholdings.”

Dr. Jerry Sanders

Biology Professor Searches for a Better Way to Treat a Rare Brain Cancer


In the UM-Flint Biology department, a team of researchers have been looking into an alternative and hopefully more effective treatment for a particularly vicious type of cerebral cancer. 

Jerry Sanders, UM-Flint biology professor and lead researcher, is interested in how the immune system can help eliminate cancer. Through his research, Sanders is committed to finding a safer and more efficient method of curing and killing Glioblastoma.

Molecular Biology student awarded CEW+ Scholarship

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Georgina Brown is one of six University of Michigan-Flint students who were awarded U-M CEW+ Scholarships this fall. She’s currently working with Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology, Dr. Joe Sucic, on gene coding research. Brown aspires to go to medical school and provide health care to underserved communities.