About Organismal Biology

About this course

Organismal Biology is an active-learning class where you will explore the evolutionary history of all life on Earth through the lenses of development and reproduction, signaling and communication, and physiology and organ systems. As we explore the diversity of life on Earth, you’ll be able to identify biological patterns and explain how you are both similar to and different to the breadth of diversity of life on Earth. This course will help you develop critical scientific skills that include hypothesis testing, experimental design, data analysis and interpretation, and scientific communication. Class time will include a variety of team-based activities designed to clarify and apply new ideas by answering questions, drawing diagrams, analyzing primary literature, and explaining medical or ecological phenomena in the context of organismal biology. We will spend class time on building your comprehension of the material you find the most difficult, based on pre-class assessments.

What’s the blue text?

This textbook is editorially agile to keep pace with the course as it develops. We craft content for readers carefully, and then seek reader feedback. If you see blue text while you read, that reflects text (or images) changed in real time during the semester to help you better work with and learn the course material.

About this book

Organismal Biology is an online, open education resource written and curated by faculty in the School of Biological Sciences at Georgia Tech and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


  • Shana Kerr, PhD, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Emily Weigel, PhD, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Chrissy Spencer, PhD, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Dave Garton, PhD, Georgia Institute of Technology

How to cite this book

Kerr, S.C., Weigel, E., Spencer, C.C., & Garton, D. 2023 edition. Organismal Biology, First published online in 2017. https://organismalbio.biosci.gatech.edu/