Engaged Biology

Engaged Biology takes what you’re learning in your courses and puts it into practice through internships, research, study away, winter term, career exploration, and beyond.

Here’s a sampling of recent projects, field experiences, and post-graduate destinations for biology majors.

RISE at Oberlin
Research. Internships. Study Away. Experiential Learning.

Ways Biology Majors Rise


  • Investigation of reproductive and lifespan effects in C. elegans with altered nutritional capacities
  • Volatile components of bird preen gland secretions and community-level interactions in disease transmission
  • How do you describe a new species? Botanical illustration of gysophilic plants from Chihuahuan Desert, Mexico
  • The complete mitochondrial genomes of two crayfish in the genus Orconectes: O. rusticus and O. sanbornii
  • Finding the sweet spot: Characterizing the role of glucose metabolism in Legionella-host interactions
  • Using gene expression patterns to study homology between the eutherian and metatherian prostate glands
  • Assembly of filaments that allow the Inheritance of toxin genes in Bacillus bacteria
  • The effects of auxin transport on root elongation and lateral root formation in Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Impacts of EAB-induced ash mortality on long-term composition trends in a northeast Ohio forest, 1974-2015
  • Bird chatter as an indicator of safety: Do eastern gray squirrels rely on public information?
  • A consensus approach to identifying gene families present in the last universal common ancestor


  • The Sierra Club, New York City
  • Mountain Lake Biological Station REU Program, Virginia
  • U.S. Department of Public Health, Washington, DC
  • Tropical Ecology and Evolution REU Program, University of Puerto Rico

Study Away

  • New Zealand Earth Systems, New Zealand
  • University of St. Andrews, Scotland
  • The School for Field Studies, Biodiversity and Development in the Amazon, Peru
  • Rainforest, Reef, and Cultural Ecology, Australia

Experiential Learning

  • Oberlin biology majors graduate with knowledge of key biological concepts and underlying fundamentals applied across all levels of organization, with critical thinking and functional skills needed to carry out the scientific process from inception through communication of results, and with an understanding of the ways in which biology interrelates with other sciences, disciplines, and society.

First Destinations of Recent Biology Majors

  • Medical and Graduate Schools:
    • Princeton, molecular biology
    • Baylor College of Medicine
    • UC Riverside, ecology evolution and organismal biology
    • Cornell, genetics, genomics and development
    • University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health
    • Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine
    • MIT, biology
  • Positions:
    • Program analyst, NIH
    • Research assistant, HHMI/Harvard Medical School
    • Assistant collections manager, Columbia–Fulbright Fellow; Yale Peabody Museum
    • Interpreter, Prospect Park Zoo
    • Project assistant, Global Health Strategies
    • Research assistant, Grand Canyon National Park