The Biological Sciences Graduate Program (BISI) offers outstanding opportunities for research and discovery within and across contemporary disciplines. Faculty mentors help students investigate exciting questions, in directions driven by each student’s interests and curiosity. Enthusiastic and interactive colleagues, agile minds, and cutting-edge technologies work together to advance and apply science. The goal of the Biological Sciences Program is to enable students to obtain the best training in their intended research areas, to work closely with outstanding faculty, and to prepare for successful futures contributing to innovative advances and effective teaching in the life sciences.

University of Maryland offers strong collaborations and enriched opportunities for research with distinguished institutions.

In addition to being a vibrant hub of science, medicine, biotech, and environmental research and policy, the D.C. area’s rich and diverse culture make it an especially lively, friendly, accessible community for students to thrive professionally and personally. The campus is “inside the beltway,” situated a swift 20 minutes (by convenient Metro ride from College Park) from the heart of the nation’s capital. 


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Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.
— Marcus Aurelius

Hover on a calendar day to see BISI events and seminars.


  • BISI Matriculating Class of 2013 (click here)
  • UMD student Nathan Jud featured in New York Times..more.
  • BISI video award Winners
  • Top 10 conference paper for Kun Wang (CBBG) ...more
  • Haoyue Zhang (MOCB) wins best poster...more.

Concentration Areas

Each student is part of, and advised though, one of the interdisciplinary concentration areas:

  • BEES: Behavior, Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics
  • CBBG: Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, and Genomics
  • MOCB: Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • PSYS: Physiological Systems



Student Profile


Cora Johnston BEES Concentration Area Gruner Lab

Cora Johnston
BEES Concentration Area
Gruner Lab


Cora Johnston
Gruner Lab

My research evaluates how resource landscapes affect community formation and subsequent interactions, particularly regarding shifts in resource availability or use due to environmental change and organismal development. I am currently focusing on how shifting wetland ecosystems are affecting assembly and interactions between crab species along the tropical-temperate divide.


Faculty Profile


Prof. Bill Fagan  Biology Department

Prof. Bill Fagan 
Biology Department


Dr. Bill Fagan
Biology Department

Dr. Fagan's research meshes field biology with theoretical models to address critical questions related to conservation. Current projects include: Monitoring longterm changes in the biodiversity of penguins and seabirds in the Antarctic peninsula; using a database approach to study how conservation knowledge about well-studied species can be used to inform conservation efforts for lesser-known species; Monitoring the ecological recovery of the volcano Mount St. Helens and the impact that insects have had on the ability of plant life to recover; Leading an NSF-funded program to increase the exposure that undergraduate biology students get to mathematics.