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College of the Sciences
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Department of Biological Sciences
Science Building, Room 338
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7537
(509) 963-2731

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Your Evolution Begins With CWU

With a degree in Biological Sciences from Central Washington University, you’ll develop a strong understanding of biological concepts relevant to you and your future, both as a biologist and as a citizen.  Evolution is the unifying theme of our curriculum; here you will gain an appreciation for scientific inquiry, developing skills in a wide variety of biological disciplines. 

The CWU Department of Biological Sciences faculty, staff and facilities support your goals by offering small class sizes, hands-on laboratory and field work, daily interaction with expert faculty, and opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate research.  Our biologists contribute in a myriad of ways to our scientific knowledge and how we impact our world—and we want you to be part of it.

Biology Chair
Dr. Holly Pinkart
(509) 963-2710


Science Seminar Series Presents:

"Dynamic Mechanisms for Cellular-Scale Structure and Organization in Bacteria Cells" 
May 19th, 12:00-1:00pm in Science Building, Room 147
Presenter:  Dr. Nathan Kuwada, CWU Department of Physics


Course Schedules for Summer and Fall 2023

Summer 2023 Course Schedule for Biological Sciences and Craft Brewing


Poster for summer 2023 course, Biology 201: Human Physiology. Gray shape of half of a human body runs the length of the left hand side of the page with heart and veins outlined in red and blue and the skeletal system in white.


Course Flyer for BIOL 362.  Flyer has four images of different biomes in the pacific northwest


Course Flyer for BIOL 467 Field Techniques.  Flyer has two images of students learning at a stream bank and in a grassy field



Fall Quarter Course Schedule for Biological Sciences and Craft Brewing


Good News

  • CWU alum Catherine Treichel (BS 2017) published Top-down design of protein architectures with reinforcement learning in Science. She was also accepted into the Global Wildlife Health and Conservation (MSc) program at the University of Bristol. 
  • Binder AK, Peecher DL, Qvigstad AJ, Gutierrez SD, Magana J, Banks D & Korach KS. Differential Strain-Dependent Ovarian and Metabolic Responses in a Mouse Model of PCOS. Endocrinology. 2023; 164(4). 
  • Dr. Kris Ernest's research with colleagues on capacity for pikas and other small mammals to adapt to climate change has been published in Biological Conservation: Beever, EA, JL Wilkening, PD Billman, LL Thurman, KA Ernest, et al. 2023.  Geographic and taxonomic variation in adaptive capacity among mountain-dwelling small mammals: Implications for conservation status and actions.  Biological Conservation 282 (2023) 109942 
  • Congratulations to Dr. Lixing Sun on the publication of his new book, The Liars of Nature and the Nature of Liars: Cheating and Deception in the Living World (Princeton University Press, 2023).  This book explores how lying and cheating have contributed to evolution and biodiversity, and concludes with identifying the kinds of cheating that spur innovation and cultural vitality in human society. Dr. Sun has been interviewed on NPR, and his book was reviewed by Elizabeth Kolbert in The New Yorker magazine and by David Barash in The Wall Street Journal. 

Cover of Dr. Lixing Sun's new book (2023) The Liars of Nature and the Nature of Liars.  White background with dry leaf with

  • Graduate student Kyle Sease (mentor Dr. Lucinda Carnell) presented his work on the effects of phthalate replacements on neurons at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Seattle, March 25-28) and was featured in Neuroscience News. Kyle was recently admitted to a neuroscience doctoral program at the University of Montana.
  • Undergraduate student, Marlee Weets (mentor, Dr. April Binder), won Best Presentation at the American Association for Advancement of Science (Pacific Division) Meeting held March 21-24 for her work on the effects of testosterone on pregnant mice. She was awarded $1000 and invited to present her work at the AAAS national meeting in February 2024 (Denver, CO).
    Marlee Weets stands to the right of her award winning AAAS poster.  She wears a gold ribbon sash and a big smile.
  • CWU Biology alumnus and McNair Scholar Bryan Plankenhorn was awarded an NSF Graduate Student Fellowship for his PhD work at the University of Rhode Island School of Oceanography.
  • Natalie Conroy (undergraduate student, B.S. Biology expected Spring 2023) has been accepted to WSU Veterinary School.
  • Thomas McIntyre (M.S. Biology 2019) has accepted a new job as a wildlife biologist with Jacobs Engineering Group based in Issaquah. 
  • Jenna Chapman (M.S. Biology 2022) was hired as Junior Wildlife Biologist for Whitetail Environmental, which does wildlife monitoring and research on the Yakima Training Center.
  • CWU Geology staff member, Nick Zentner, featured Biology Master's student Adrian Slade recently on his popular YouTube channel.  The interview discusses Adrian's research and her promotion and love of rattlesnakes.
  • CWU Biological Sciences faculty member, Dr. Paul James and Joe Blodgett (Biology B.S. 1997), participated in podcast series “THE WILD” hosted by Chris Morgan. 

Listen to the episode: "Make it like it was: Clean, cold and flowing Gold Creek of Snoqualmie Pass" 

Chris is the host and co-creator of 'THE WILD with Chris Morgan’ , a podcast that transports people back to nature through exquisite storytelling about wildlife, conservation, and the wonders of our wild planet. Within its first year, the podcast hit the top 1% of all podcasts and has become a hub for Chris’s storytelling through audio and film; all part of his mission to reconnect people with nature, so they fall in love with it, and want to protect it.
Listen to Episodes | Chris MorganWildlife 

Dr. Jenny Dechaine

Dr. Blaise Dondji Coaching Ellensburg Youth During Soccer BAWA Fundraising Event

See Also:

Alumni Video Spotlight 


  • Helen Lau, CWU Biology Masters alum, is featured in The Nature Conservancy video "WA Women and Climate Action".

  • CWU Biology alums, Anjanette Wilson, Brian Hiatt, Bud Taylor, and Shelley Lankford assist the State Department of Health, working to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. Full Story

  • CWU Biology alums, William Meyer and Helen Lau, discuss an upcoming wetlands restoration partnership project of the Gold Creek Valley near Snoqualmie Pass. 



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