Integrative Biology (IB), formerly known as Organismic and Evolutionary Biology (OEB), embraces Biology as a whole, aiming to make sense of, and connect, the many different levels—molecular, cellular, genetic, developmental, anatomical, physiological, ecological, phylogenetic—at which biological systems are analyzed. In particular, the focus is on evolution, the historical process that ties together all of biology: from the adaptive consequences of a single amino acid substitution in a protein to grand events in the history of life, such as the Cambrian Explosion, when, 540 million years ago, animal life evolved rapidly from simple to complex. Adaptive evolution is a response to the demands of the environment, whether this is the environment within a cell or an ecological community of interacting organisms. Integrative Biology therefore is inherently inter-disciplinary, encompassing mathematical and computational biology, genetics, evolution, and ecology as well as functional and genetic approaches to morphology and development.
Integrative Biology is offered as both a concentration and a secondary field.
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