Biology Department

Biology is the study of living organisms from their molecular makeup to their relationships with each other and with their abiotic, or non-living, environment. Biology majors at St. Olaf study plants, animals, microorganisms, and the underlying cellular and molecular principles that unify living systems, focusing on commonalities and differences among them. The Biology Department offers a variety of courses and experiences that enable students to learn fundamental biological principles and processes and prepare well for a range of careers. Comments or questions about Biology can be directed to the Department Chair, Dr. Jean Porterfield, at We hope you enjoy browsing our site!