Integrative Biology

University of California, Berkeley

Overview

The Department of Integrative Biology offers a program of instruction that focuses on the integration of structure and function that influences the biology, ecology, and evolution of organisms. It investigates integration at all levels of organization from molecules to the biosphere and in all branches of the tree of life: plants, animals, fungi, and microbes.

The department draws from many traditional and emerging fields and levels of biological organization in forging new research directions and answering traditional questions in new ways. The faculty has special strengths in the disciplines of functional morphology, organismal physiology, animal behavior, biomechanics, ecology, systematic biology, paleobiology, population genetics, and evolution.

Research Facilities

The Botanical Garden, located on 34 acres in Strawberry Canyon, provides opportunities for research with living plants, supplies teaching material for classes on campus, and serves as an outdoor laboratory for students. Independent student and internship opportunities are available in horticulture and plant conservation. The garden is organized primarily by geographic region: California, South America, Mexico/Central America, South Africa, Australasia, Mediterranean, Eastern North America, and Asia. Specialized collections include succulents and cacti, carnivorous plants, orchids, ferns, roses, tropical plants, a Chinese medicinal herb garden, and an herb garden. Laboratory and greenhouse facilities are available at the Botanical Garden Plant Conservation Research Center. For further information about events, programs, and opportunities, visit the Botanical Garden website. Inquiries can be addressed to the director by mail at UC Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Drive #5045, Berkeley, CA 94720-5045, by email to garden@berkeley.edu, or by phone at 510-643-2755.

The Cancer Research Laboratory (CRL) is a research institute on the Berkeley campus that carries on a research, teaching, and service program designed to foster interdepartmental participation in cancer research. The central research program represents a multidisciplinary approach to an understanding of the mechanism of neoplastic transformation using a variety of systems. Graduate student and postdoctoral research programs are supported in various areas of tumor biology: biochemistry, cell biology, endocrinology, genetics, immunology, molecular biology, and tumor virology. Currently, CRL provides advanced technical resources to cancer and biomedical researchers in the areas of advanced microscopy, flow cytometry, gene targeting/transgenic mouse technology, human stem-cell facility, and an infectious disease facility. Instrumentation in the facilities is operated by highly-trained staff who offer instruction in the methods and techniques associated with each facility. For more information, visit the CRL website.

The Center for Interdisciplinary Bio-inspiration in Education and Research (CIBER) has been established to lead in the development of a new field of Integrative Systems Biomechanics that moves biology toward greater integration with other disciplines such as physics, mathematics, and engineering to a degree not seen before. The discipline focuses on the physics of how organisms function and interact with their environment. The goal is to discover basic physical principles that can be applied to a diversity of organisms and unique innovations. The fluid and solid mechanics of organisms are examined using direct experimentation, comparative and phylogenetic approaches, and both mathematical and physical modeling. Using this approach, the next generation of scientists and engineers will gain experience in collaboration across disciplines, as well as how to extract principles in biology that inspire novel design in engineering. In addition to developing innovative methods of teaching and research, CIBER has established an interdisciplinary teaching laboratory that allows students in undergraduate as well as graduate courses to address challenging problems that will give them a meaningful interdisciplinary learning experience. These facilities are being used in a number of existing and new courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. For more information on CIBER, visit their website.

The Center for Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry (CSIB), located on campus, is an analytical facility established as a University education, research, training, and service unit. The center provides high-precision, state-of-the-art instrumentation for analyzing the stable isotope composition of a diverse array of materials (e.g., plant and animal tissue samples, soils, atmospheric gasses, water, specific compounds, organic matter, etc.), as well as space for purifying, extracting, and preparing sample material for analysis. The center also serves as a focal point for research and training for many programs at Berkeley (e.g., in Biology, Ecology, Paleontology, Anthropology, Geography, Chemistry, Hydrology, Atmospheric, and Soil Sciences). The specialized equipment housed in the facility serves a broad range of student, postdoctoral, and faculty needs. This equipment includes several gas phase isotope ratio mass spectrometers (IRMS); these mass spectrometers have the capabilities of analyzing the isotopic composition of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur in biological and geological samples, gases (biogenic and atmospheric), and water. In addition to the instrument laboratory, the center houses a fully-equipped sample extraction and preparation laboratory for handling a full range of sample types. For more information, visit the CSIB website.

The Field Station for Behavioral Research is a research institute that supports behavioral studies on animals under natural and seminatural conditions. Situated on 20 acres of wooded hillside at the top of Strawberry Canyon two miles from the central campus, the field station maintains and observes a variety of animal species. Faculty from several Berkeley departments including Integrative Biology conduct research at the station. Its facilities are available for graduate and postdoctoral research with the approval of the director. People interested in the field station may contact the director via the Department of Integrative Biology.

The Gump South Pacific Research Station, French Polynesia, is located on Moorea (17° 30' S 149° 50' W), one of the Society Islands, 15 km northwest of the main island of Tahiti. Moorea offers diverse habitats ranging from coral reefs, lagoons, coastal beaches, freshwater streams, wetlands, and mountain forests. The Gump Station occupies 14 hectares (35 acres) of land from the shore to 149m (489 ft.) at the entrance to Cook's Bay, providing excellent access to the ocean, lagoon, and island interior. A range of housing options (shared dormitories or private bungalows) and laboratories allow long- and short-term research and education in a diversity of fields, including marine, freshwater, and terrestrial biology; evolutionary and conservation biology; archaeology; anthropology; ethnobotany; geology; and geomorphology. Facilities include boats and 4WD vehicles. A waterfront marine laboratory contains an open seawater system and equipment for UC Scientific Diving. A large climate-controlled research building contains offices, library/conference room, and several laboratories including space for morphological work (high-quality microscopes) and molecular genetic analyses. The station is connected to the Internet via multiple ADSL lines and has WiFi access in all common areas. For further information, contact Dr. Neil Davies, Executive Director at ndavies@moorea.berkeley.edu. More information can be found on the station's website.

The Human Evolution Research Center (HERC) is dedicated to the study of human origins and evolution. HERC represents an international focal point for field and laboratory research and education. It is a center for the study of the process and products of human evolution. Research by HERC includes both field and laboratory investigation. The center’s collections and facilities provide support to faculty and students working on important, large-scale investigations. These include The Middle Awash Project and The Revealing Hominid Origins Initiative (RHOI). For more information on HERC and RHOI, visit the HERC website and the RHOI website.

The Jane Gray Research Greenhouse is operated by the Department of Integrative Biology and comprises approximately 2,400 square feet of state-of-the-art research space used for projects by faculty and students. The climate management system is computer-controlled and monitors temperature, humidity, light energy, and wind speed and direction. The system’s responses to these conditions can be controlled centrally or from a remote location through an on-screen ARGUS interface to gas heaters, evaporative coolers, vents, fans, and sunshades. The facility provides an ideal resource for plant growth investigations that require closely controlled and monitored conditions. For more information, visit the greenhouse's website.

The Museum of Paleontology (UCMP), a research institute for faculty, staff, students, and qualified visiting scholars, has one of the largest collections of fossil protists, invertebrates, plants, and vertebrates in the nation, as well as large collections of modern vertebrate skeletal elements and invertebrates. The collection is worldwide in scope and especially strong in materials from western North America. Research activities include systematic, paleobiogeographic, paleoecologic, biostratigraphic, evolutionary, and theoretical paleobiologic studies. Fieldwork on all continents by researchers and students associated with the museum continues to sustain substantial collection growth. Special facilities include molecular biology and fossil preparation laboratories, as well as specialized laboratories for microfossils, pollen, and cast production.

UCMP has an active education and outreach program which uses the web as its primary venue for sharing science with a broader audience. The UCMP website contains a wealth of information on evolution, paleontology, systematics, and associated sciences, as well as access to collections data and specimen images. Requests for the use of the collections or facilities should be mailed to the Director, Museum of Paleontology, Valley Life Sciences Building, University of California, Berkeley; Berkeley, CA 94720.

The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology is an Organized Research Unit affiliated with the Department of Integrative Biology and the Berkeley Natural History Museums. It was established in 1908 and has grown to be one of the largest and most important collections of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals in the world. The museum has no public exhibits; it is primarily a research organization and a center for graduate and postdoctoral education. The museum's space in the Valley Life Sciences Building includes all of the collections as well as administrative and research offices for faculty, postdoctoral, and graduate students. In addition, there are laboratories for molecular genetics and biodiversity informatics. Research activities center on problems in evolutionary biology, with an emphasis on systematics, ecology, functional and developmental morphology, behavior, population and conservation biology, and biogeography. Integration of field and laboratory methods is encouraged. For more information, write to the Director, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, UC Berkeley; Berkeley, CA 94720, or for the Hastings Reservation, write to Dr. Mark Stromberg, Carmel Valley, CA 93925. More information can be found on the museum's website.

The University and Jepson Herbaria offer a worldwide reference-research collection, laboratories, archive, and library that form a foundation for basic research in systematic botany, ecology, phytogeography, evolution, and comparative genomics. These resources are available not only to faculty, staff, and students but also to visiting scholars and biologists throughout the United States and other countries. Resources include the following:

  1. The collection itself, more than 2.2 million specimens with special strengths in the angiosperm flora of California and elsewhere around the Pacific Rim as well as in cryptogamic groups including ferns, bryophytes, fungi, and algae.
  2. Modern laboratories for all types of plant studies ranging from morphology/anatomy to molecular systematics. 
  3. Extensive electronic resources, including an online flora of California and interface for accessing electronic records from all California herbaria, the world's standard index of algal nomenclature, to the tree of life for green plants.

Visit the website at for more information. Inquiries should be addressed to Director, University and Jepson Herbaria, University of California, Berkeley; Berkeley, CA 94720.

The University of California Natural Reserve System (NRS) was founded in 1965 to establish and maintain significant examples of California's diverse aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems for university-level teaching, research, and public service. The 33 reserves are open to all qualified individuals and institutions for scholarly work in disciplines ranging from geology and environmental sciences to anthropology and art. For more information on the NRS, contact the UC Office of the President at 510-987-0150, or visit the UC Office of the President website. For specific information regarding the four reserves administered by the Berkeley campus, contact faculty reserve manager Mary Power at 510-643-7776 or mepower@berkeley.edu. The Berkeley campus administers the following four reserves:

  • The Angelo Coast Reserve in Mendocino County is one of the most diverse reserves, with 26 terrestrial and four aquatic habitat types. Located along a belt of highly-deformed, well-defined coastal ridges cut by the South Fork of the Eel River, the reserve contains the largest virgin Douglas fir community left in the state as well as four undisturbed watersheds. It is part of the UNESCO California Coast Ranges Biosphere Reserve. For more information, contact Peter Steel at 707-984-6653 or psteel@nature.berkeley.edu.
  • The Chickering American River Reserve in Placer County is located in the sub-alpine headwaters basin of the North Fork of the American River. The reserve has diverse topography, soil, and moisture regimes on sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic substrates. It supports approximately 1,000 plant species, unusual red fir and mixed-conifer old-growth forest communities, and a variety of large mammals. Long-term research continues on the endangered wolverine. For more information, contact Robert Rhew at rrhew@berkeley.edu.
  • The Hans Jenny Pygmy Forest Reserve in Mendocino County supports elfin forests of endemic pygmy cypress, bishop pine, and unusual evergreen shrub species on highly podzolized old marine terrace soils. This reserve is adjacent to lands managed by The Nature Conservancy. For more information, contact Ronald G. Amundson at 510-643-7890 or earthy@nature.berkeley.edu.
  • The Hastings Natural History Reserve in Monterey County contains a representative sample of California's interior Coast Range ecosystem with annual and perennial grasslands, oak woodlands, chaparral, and running streams. The reserve has 620 vascular plant species and 166 bird species. While noted for its 50-year research history on vertebrate ecology and oak woodland biology, the reserve is also conducting important research on native grassland restoration. For more information, contact Vincent Voegeli at 831-659-2664 or vincent@hastingsreserve.org.

Undergraduate Program

Integrative Biology: BA

Graduate Program

Integrative Biology: PhD

Visit Department Website

Courses

Integrative Biology

Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Faculty

David D. Ackerly, Professor. California biodiversity, climate change, adaptation.
Research Profile

Doris Bachtrog, Associate Professor. Evolution of sex and recombination, Y degeneration, dosage compensation, sexually antagonistic variation.
Research Profile

Bruce G. Baldwin, Professor. Biology, systematics and evolution of vascular plants, floristics, conservation biology, evolutionary processes, historical biogeography, evolutionary ecology.
Research Profile

Anthony D. Barnosky, Professor. Conservation biology, ecology, climate change, paleontology, paleobiology, paleoecology, evolution, macroecology, global change, mammals, extinction, biogeography.
Research Profile

George Bentley, Associate Professor. Hormones and behavior, neuroendocrinology of reproduction.
Research Profile

Jeffrey L. Boore, Adjunct Professor. Molecular biology, genetics, biology, conservation biology, genomics, evolution, genomes, DNA sequencing, systematics, population genetics, phylogeny.
Research Profile

Michael Robert John Boots, Professor.

+ Rauri C. K. Bowie, Associate Professor.

George A. Brooks, Professor. Exercise and environmental physiology, metabolism, lactate shuttle, crossover concept, lactate, lactic acidosis, traumatic brain injury, obesity, diabetes, the Warburg Effect in cancer, aging biology, isotope tracer technology, arterial-venous difference measurements, clamp technology, muscle biopsies, cell culture, mitochondrial biogenesis, energy substrate partitioning, carbohydrate metabolism, lipid metabolism, fatty acid reesterification, menopause.
Research Profile

Todd Dawson, Professor. Physiological plant ecology, evolutionary plant ecology, ecosystem processes, adaptations of plants, carbon, water, nitrogen.
Research Profile

Robert Dudley, Professor. Metabolism, biomechanics, butterflies, energetics, flight, gliding, hummingbirds, insects, paleophysiology.
Research Profile

Ivo Duijnstee, Assistant Adjunct Professor.

Michael B. Eisen, Professor. Genomics, genome sequencing, bioinformatics, animal development.
Research Profile

Paul V. A. Fine, Associate Professor. Speciation, plant ecology, plant evolutionary biology, floristics and phytogeography.
Research Profile

Seth Finnegan, Assistant Professor.

+ Robert J. Full, Professor. Energetics, comparative biomechanics, arthropod, adhesion, comparative physiology, locomotion, neuromechanics, biomimicry, biological inspiration, reptile, gecko, amphibian, robots, artificial muscles.
Research Profile

Oskar Hallatschek, Assistant Professor.

+ Tyrone Hayes, Professor. Genetics, amphibians, developmental endocrinology, steroid hormones, metamorphosis, sex differentiation, hormonal differentiation, African clawed frog, Japnanes Kajika, Pine Barrens treefrog.
Research Profile

Leslea Hlusko, Associate Professor. Primate evolution, paleontology, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, mammalian evolution, quantitative genetics, dental evolution, tooth development.
Research Profile

John P. Huelsenbeck, Professor. Computational biology, evolutionary biology, phylogenetics.
Research Profile

Daniela Kaufer, Associate Professor. Neuroscience, stress, neural stem cells, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, blood brain barrier, prosocial behavior.
Research Profile

Mimi A. R. Koehl, Professor. Biomechanics, insects, invertebrate functional morphology, fluid dynamics, aerodynamics, marine animals, filtration, gliding vertebrates.
Research Profile

Britt Koskella, Assistant Professor.

+ Eileen A. Lacey, Associate Professor. Evolutionary biology, population, mammals, behavioral ecology, vertebrates, molecular genetics, subterranean rodents, Argentina, Chile.
Research Profile

Cindy Looy, Assistant Professor. Paleoecology, paleobotany, palynology.
Research Profile

Charles Marshall, Professor.

Jimmy Mcguire, Associate Professor. Historical biogeography, evolutionary biology, Southeast Asia, population genetics, hummingbirds, functional morphology, vertebrate systematics, phylogenetic analysis, life history evolution, Bayesian methods, Southeast Asian flying lizards.
Research Profile

Brent D. Mishler, Professor. Evolutionary biology, development, ecology, systematics, phylogeny, comparative genomics, green plants, bryophytes, mosses, reproductive biology, phylogenetics, chloroplast DNA, classification, species concepts, biodiversity, Darwin.
Research Profile

Michael Nachman, Professor. Population genetics, evolution, genomics, mammalian evolution.
Research Profile

Rasmus Nielsen, Professor. Statistical and computational aspects of evolutionary theory and genetics.
Research Profile

Kevin Padian, Professor. Evolutionary biology, paleontology, systematics, functional morphology, Mesozoic vertebrate paleontology, terrestrial vertebrate fauna, pterosaurs, Mesozoic era, bones of extinct reptiles.
Research Profile

Nipam Patel, Professor. Genetics, evolution, crustaceans, insects, arthropods, homeotic (Hox) genes, segmentation, embryonic pattern formation, neural patterning.
Research Profile

Mary E. Power, Professor. Freshwater ecology, food webs, trophic dynamics, northern California rivers, watersheds.
Research Profile

Carl Rothfels, Assistant Professor.

Michael Shapira, Assistant Professor in Residence. Molecular biology, aging, host-pathogen interactions.
Research Profile

Ellen L. Simms, Professor. Evolution, plant ecology, microbial ecology, ecological genetics, symbiosis, herbivores, pathogens, mutualists.
Research Profile

Wayne Sousa, Professor. Community ecology, estuarine host-parasite interactions, canopy gaps, Caribbean coast of Panama.
Research Profile

Chelsea Specht, Associate Professor. Molecular evolution, adaptation, plant systematics, evolution of development (evo-devo), evolution of form and function, plant morphology, comparative phylogenetics, floral developmental evolution, diversification rates.
Research Profile

Jonathon Stillman, Assistant Adjunct Professor. Marine environmental physiology, global change biology, functional genomics.
Research Profile

Tim White, Professor. Anthropology, Africa, paleontology, paleoanthropology, human evolution, human osteology, taphonomy, zooarchaeology, cannibalism, American Southwest, Ethiopia.
Research Profile

Caroline Margaret Williams, Assistant Professor. Evolution, physiology, ecophysiology, metabolism, insect, winter, adaptation, thermal biology.
Research Profile

Lecturers

Kelly Agnew, Lecturer.

Thomas J. Carlson, Lecturer SOE. Molecular biology, ethnobotany, Africa, North America, ecology, medicine, systematics, evolution of human disease, ethnoecology, ethnoepidemiology, Asia, Pacific Islands, South America, nutritional ethnobotany, pharmacology, ecosystem management.
Research Profile

Christopher Hobbs, Lecturer.

Stephen Lew, Lecturer.

Stefania Mambelli, Lecturer.

Lisa A. Margerum, Lecturer.

Tim Markowitz, Lecturer.

Michael S. Park, Lecturer.

Helian Joel Ratsirarson, Lecturer.

Andrew C. Rush, Lecturer.

Christopher Schmitt, Lecturer.

Emeritus Faculty

Roy L. Caldwell, Professor Emeritus. Ecology, evolution, Invertebrates, animal behavior, behavioral ecology, marine biology, stomatopods, crustaceans, cephalopods, octopus, mating systems, communication, sensory ecology, aggressive behavior, coral reef restoration.
Research Profile

William A. Clemens, Professor Emeritus. Evolution of mesozoic, cenozoic terrestrial biotas, mesozoic mammals, phylogenetic interrelationships, locomotor evolution, evolutionary diversification.
Research Profile

+ Marian C. Diamond, Professor Emeritus. Environment, neuroanatomy, immune functions, hormones, mammalian forebrain structures, Cambodian orphanage, cerebral neocortex.
Research Profile

Carole S. Hickman, Professor Emeritus. Systematics, evolutionary paleobiology, morphology, molluscs, macroevolutionary trends and patterns, Cenozoic Era, fossil record, evolutionary history and structure.
Research Profile

Steven L. Lehman, Professor Emeritus. Motor control, stroke patients, cells, muscles, muscle fatigue, repetitive motion disorders.
Research Profile

Paul Licht, Professor Emeritus. Steroid hormones, comparative endocrinology, endocrine system, steroidal metabolism of tissues, thyroid, vitamin D, binding proteins.
Research Profile

William Z. Lidicker, Professor Emeritus. Conservation biology, ecology, mammalogy.
Research Profile

David R. Lindberg, Professor Emeritus. Developmental biology, evolutionary biology, ecology, comparative morphology, phylogenetic studies, molecular techniques, patellogastropoda, evolution in patellacean faunas, California land snail taxa, gastropoda.
Research Profile

Jere Lipps, Professor Emeritus. Ecology, paleontology, molecular phylogenetics, evolution of marine biotas, paleoenvironments, coral reef, Antarctic habitats, seismic histories, astrobiology, Charles Darwin.
Research Profile

Charles S. Nicoll, Professor Emeritus. Cancer, mammals, hormones, growth regulation, diabetic subjects, insulin, reproductive cycles of women, non-human primates.
Research Profile

+ James L. Patton, Professor Emeritus. Evolutionary biology, North America, biogeography, South America, morphology, mammalogy, phylogenesis, speciation, populations, genome structure, molecular divergence, gopher population dynamics.
Research Profile

Thomas M. (Zack) Powell, Professor Emeritus. Aquatic ecology, fish, Invertebrates, oceanography, lakes, estuaries, ocean, planktonic ecosystems, climate, remote sensing.
Research Profile

Thelma Rowell, Professor Emeritus.

Rudolf Schmid, Professor Emeritus. Botany, plant science.
Research Profile

Montgomery Slatkin, Professor Emeritus. Evolutionary theory, genetic evolution, natural populations of plants and animals populations, human populations, natural selection structure genomes.
Research Profile

Glenys Thomson, Professor Emeritus.

James Valentine, Professor Emeritus.

David Wake, Professor Emeritus. Evolutionary and conservation biology.
Research Profile

Marvalee H. Wake, Professor Emeritus. Development, evolution, systematics, amphibians, reproductive biology, vertebrate evolutionary morphology, fishes, reptiles, comparative analysis, biodiversity issues.
Research Profile

Donald P. Weston, Professor Emeritus. Pesticides, invertebrate ecology, ecotoxicology, pollutant exposure, bioaccumulation, management of contaminated sediments, environmental effects of antibiotics, deposit-feeding invertebrates.
Research Profile

Contact Information

Department of Integrative Biology

3040 Valley Life Sciences Building

Phone: 510-642-3281

Fax: 510-643-6264

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Robert Dudley, PhD

5018 Valley Life Sciences Building

Phone: 510-642-1555

wings@berkeley.edu

Graduate Student Advising

Graduate Affairs Office

299 Life Sciences Addition

Phone: 510-643-7330

ibgradsao@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Advising

Undergraduate Affairs Office

3060 Valley Life Sciences Building

Phone: 510-643-1667

ibusso@berkeley.edu

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