The IB graduate program emphasizes an integrative approach to biology, and most of its faculty have research programs that can be categorized into one of four general areas. These are:
- Comparative Biomechanics: the application of mechanical principles and methods from engineering and physics to study and understand how forces acting on and within organisms impact their design.
- Evolution and Developmental: understanding how information coded into the genome is translated into the patterns seen in organisms, with a special emphasis on the interface between evolution and development, an area sometimes called “EvoDevo.”
- Behavioral Neurobiology: understanding how the nervous system regulates and controls the behavior of animals. Our neurobiology program emphasizes the relationship between the nervous system and behavior (or neuroethology), and the application of quantitative methods to understanding neural function (computational neuroscience).
- Vertebrate Paleontology: documenting and understanding evolutionary patterns and processes through analyses of the fossil record.
As part of the Darwinian Sciences cluster, IB students typically frame their research in an evolutionary context. Most students will emphasize one of the above areas in their work; however, a special feature of training in Organismal Biology and Anatomy is the exploration of common themes and points of interaction between these areas. Consequently, IB students are encouraged to explore the full range of areas of inquiry that relate to their research interests.