The Investigative Biology Requirement

All students in the Biology major must complete the Investigative Biology requirement, which is a capstone experience involving upper-level research in a specific field of biology. There are several ways to complete this requirement:

B BIO 495 (Investigative Biology)

This 5-credit class is the default option and automatically fulfills the requirement. There is an average of two sections offered per quarter and is similar to a regular class. The class will be working together as a large group or as several smaller groups to develop and carry out a research project based on the specialization of the instructor. See "Instructors & Course Descriptions" below.

B BIO 499 (Undergraduate Research) / Other Credited Research

You may complete 5 credits of B BIO 499 research credit instead of B BIO 495. It is also possible to use other kinds of research towards this requirement, as long as it is biology-related. In most cases, students and their research mentor agree to spread the work out across two or more quarters.

  • You must petition to have your Undergraduate Research count for the Investigative Biology requirement. Please use our online petition form to submit your research for consideration.
  • You must present your research at UW Bothell to have it count for the Investigative Biology requirement. The School of STEM Research Symposium is held every quarter on the last day of finals week. If you plan to present at this event, please contact us at stemadv@uw.edu to be added to the list of presenters.

Non-Credit Internship, Paid Position, or Volunteer Research Experience

You may use 150 or more hours of non-credit research experience instead of B BIO 495. If you find an opportunity, please contact us at stemadv@uw.edu to check if it will count for the requirement.

  • You must petition to have your non-credit research count for the Investigative Biology requirement. Please use our online petition form to submit your research for consideration.
  • You must present your research at UW Bothell to have it count for the Investigative Biology requirement. The School of STEM Research Symposium is held every quarter on the last day of finals week. If you plan to present at this event, please contact us at stemadv@uw.edu to be added to the list of presenters.

Instructors & Course Descriptions

You must have instructor permission to join a B BIO 495 (Investigative Biology) course. Please contact the instructor via their email address (below) to ask for more information about the course and for permission to join. They will inform your advisor to register you for the class once permission is granted.

Cynthia Chang

Quarter usually offered: Autumn

Email Address: cynchang@uw.edu

Research completed in this course addresses fundamental questions in plant ecology and evolution, and generally entails doing a large-scale greenhouse experiment understanding the impacts of simulated global climate change on plant communities.

Doug Wacker

Quarter usually offered: Autumn

Email Address: dwacker@uw.edu

Research involves the study of how free-living vertebrates, typically birds, interact with each other and their environments. The specific topics covered vary from year to year, but I anticipate that future projects will extend my work to better understand 1) the contextual and behavioral relevance of crow vocal communication and/or 2) the effects of circulating androgens and stress steroids on social behavior in song sparrows.

Thelma Madzima

Quarter usually offered: Autumn

Email Address: madzima@uw.edu

Research aims to understand the mechanisms of epigenetic regulation associated with plant responses to abiotic stress (drought, cold, salt stress). Projects involve analysis of gene expression and DNA methylation of stress responsive genes in Zea mays.

Jeff Jensen

Quarter usually offered: Winter

Email Address: jsjensen@uw.edu

Population genetics and conservation of Lake Washington basin kokanee salmon. Class projects will assess genetic and morphological variation of kokanee salmon in the Sammamish river and Lake Washington, conduct field surveys, and sample and analyze environmental DNA.

Kristina Hillesland

Quarter usually offered: Winter

Email Address: hilleskl@uw.edu

Students will investigate the process and outcomes of coevolution using microorganisms that must propagate without the presence of oxygen. Projects involve maintaining and organizing sterile cultures of microorganisms, using anaerobic techniques, analyzing large datasets, and may include gas chromatography, genome sequence analysis, and PCR.

Marc Servertnick

Quarter usually offered: Spring

Email Address: mds56@uw.edu

Research concerns embryonic development and regeneration in the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis. Projects involve characterizing patterns of gene expression in developing embryos, analyzing genes expressed during regeneration, and other questions around embryonic development.

Jesse Zaneveld

Quarter usually offered: Spring

Email Address: zaneveld@uw.edu

Research investigates the fascinating symbiotic relationships between animals and microbes. Most projects so far have used the starlet sea anemone Nematostella vectensis as a model organism for studying symbiosis between reef-building corals and microbes. I also welcome bioinformatic project proposals involving bacterial evolution and ecology.