50 Branches of Biology and Their Definitions & Meaning

What is Biology?

Biology is the study of life. Biology is such a large field that there are many branches of biology order to focus on those certain branches and to further study and learn about them. Biology is a very important part of today’s world, as it is what allows us to understand how living organisms function. Understanding the branches of biology is what allows us to learn more about organisms, understand and stop the spread of new diseases, and so much more.

Importance of Biology

Biology is what allows us to understand all living organisms. With this knowledge, we are able to further advance in research and findings, which ultimately allows us to better comprehend why things happen the way they do. Biology is important to humans as it allows us to understand the human body and know what measures we can take to maintain a healthy body. Biology also allows us to understand when something is wrong within the human body, which can then be used to develop a solution to the problem.

For example, when one gets sick with a bacterial infection, they are prescribed antibiotics to help them recover from the infection. But have you ever thought about how this medicine came about? Or how we knew what is causing the infection?

Biology is the answer to these questions. Bacteria are living organisms and are studied in the branch of bacteriology. From this study, biologists are able to find out how bacteria grow, function, replicate, and affect the human body. From this research, biologists were able to synthesize a medication to fight off a bacterial infection, and antibiotics were made.

The impact that biology has on medications is to a great extent. Medications are what allow doctors to help individuals who are fighting systemic diseases to small sicknesses, and this is all due to the research and work put behind the different branches of biology.

Famous Biologists and Their Contributions

There are a number of famous biologists. Let’s look at a few of them:

  • Oswald Avery: This biologist discovered that DNA carries hereditary information and is passed down from generation to generation.
  • Rachel Carson: This biologist made a discovery in the environmental branch of biology and discovered the effect that chemicals have on the environment and the food we eat.
  • Marie Curie: This biologist made a discovery related to the elements that we now see on the periodic table, and she was one of the first biologists to experiment with radiation and the treatment of tumors. Today, this experiment is widely used in the treatment of cancers and tumors, and we can appreciate the value of this discovery.
  • Charles Darwin: This biologist studied the concept of evolution in species and studied the origins of species.
  • William Harvey: This biologist discovered that the blood leaves the heart, travels around the body, and comes back to the heart, forming a circuit.

Branches of Biology

50 Branches of Biology and Their Definitions & Meaning

Biology is the scientific study of life. It includes several relevant branches. Below is a list of major branches of biology with a brief description of each:

In this post we will discuss various Branches of biology from A to Z. From this point of view general statistics knowledge is very important in any competition and biology sub-divisions are an important aspect of general statistics knowledge.

  1. Agriculture – the science and practice of producing crops and livestock from the natural resources of the earth
    • Anatomy – the study of animal forms, such as the human bodyanatomy definitionAnatomy is the study of biological structures. Image prepared by Maria Victoria Gonzaga of Biology Online
  2. Astrobiology – the branch of biology concerned with the effects of outer space on living organisms and the search for extraterrestrial life.
  3. Biochemistry – the study of the structure and function of cellular components, such as proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, and other biomolecules, and of their functions and transformations during life processes.
    Tutorial: Chemical Composition of the Body
  4. Bioclimatology – a science concerned with the influence of climates on organisms, for instance, the effects of climate on the development and distribution of plants, animals, and humans
  5. Bioengineering – or biological engineering, is a broad-based engineering discipline that deals with bio-molecular and molecular processes, product design, sustainability, and analysis of biological systems.
  6. Biogeography – a science that attempts to describe the changing distributions and geographic patterns of living and fossil species of plants and animals.
    Tutorial: New Zealand’s Unique Geographical History
  7. Bioinformatics – information technology as applied to the life sciences, especially the technology used for the collection, storage, and retrieval of genomic data
  8. Biomathematics – mathematical biology or biomathematics is an interdisciplinary field of academic study which aims at modeling natural, biological processes using mathematical techniques and tools. It has both practical and theoretical applications in biological research.
  9. Biophysics – or biological physics is an interdisciplinary science that applies the theories and methods of physical sciences to questions of biology
  10. Biotechnology – applied science that is concerned with biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use
  11. Botany – the scientific study of plants
    Tutorial: Plant Biology
  12. Cell biology – the study of cells at the microscopic or molecular level. It includes studying the cells’ physiological properties, structures, organelles, interactions with their environment, life cycle, division, and apoptosis.
    Tutorial: Biological Cell Introduction
  13. Chronobiology – a science that studies time-related phenomena in living organisms
  14. Conservation Biology – concerned with the studies and schemes of habitat preservation and species protection for the purpose of alleviating extinction crisis and conserving biodiversity
  15. Cryobiology – the study of the effects of low temperatures on living organisms
  16. Developmental Biology – the study of the processes by which an organism develops from a zygote to its full structure.
    Tutorial: Developmental Biology
  17. Ecology – the scientific study of the relationships between plants, animals, and their environment.
  18. Ethnobiology – a study of the past and present human interactions with the environment, for instance, the use of diverse flora and fauna by indigenous societies
  19. Evolutionary Biology – a subfield concerned with the origin and descent of species, as well as their change over time, i.e. their evolution
  20. Freshwater Biology – a science concerned with the life and ecosystems of freshwater habitats.
    Tutorial: Freshwater Ecology 
  21. Genetics – the science that deals with heredity, especially the mechanisms of hereditary transmission and the variation of inherited characteristics among similar or related organisms.
    Tutorial: Genetics and Evolution
  22. Geobiology – a science that combines geology and biology to study the interactions of organisms with their environment
  23. Immunobiology – a study of the structure and function of the immune system, innate and acquired immunity, the bodily distinction of self from nonself, and laboratory techniques involving the interaction of antigens with specific antibodies
  24. Marine Biology – the study of ocean and sea (marine) plants and animals and their ecological relationships
  25. Medicine – the science which relates to the prevention, cure, or alleviation of disease
  26. Microbiology – the branch of biology that deals with microorganisms and their effects on other living organisms
  27. Molecular Biology – the branch of biology that deals with the formation, structure, and function of macromolecules essential to life, such as nucleic acids and proteins, and especially with their role in cell replication and the transmission of genetic information
  28. Mycology – the study of fungi
  29. Neurobiology – the branch of biology that deals with the anatomy and physiology and pathology of the nervous system
  30. Paleobiology – the study of the forms of life existing in prehistoric or geologic times, as represented by the fossils of plants, animals, and other organisms
  31. Parasitology – the study of parasites and parasitism
  32. Pathology – the study of the nature, causes, processes, development, and consequences of diseases
  33. Pharmacology – the study of the preparation and use of drugs and synthetic medicines
  34. Physiology – the biological study of the functions of living organisms and their parts
    Tutorial: The Human Physiology
  35. Protistology – the study of protists
  36. Psychobiology – the study of mental functioning and behavior in relation to other biological processes
  37. Toxicology – the study of how natural or man-made poisons cause undesirable effects in living organisms
  38. Virology – the study of viruses
  39. Zoology – The branch of biology that deals with animals and animal life, including the study of the structure, physiology, development, and classification of animals
    • Ethology – the study of animal behavior
    • Entomology – the scientific study of insects
    • Ichthyology – the study of fishes
    • Herpetology – the study of reptiles and amphibians
    • Ornithology – the study of birds
    • Mammalogy – the study of mammals
    • Primatology – the science that deals with primates

Watch this vid about branches of biology:


Answer the quiz below to check what you have learned so far about the branches of biology.

Biologists study the structure, composition,  growth, metabolism origin, geographical distribution, and evolution of living organisms.  Three main divisions of biology are Microbiology, Botany and zoology under the umbrella of which many branches and sub-branches come. Here in this topic, we will cover definitions and examples of main branches such as morphology, anatomy, genetics, embryology, biotechnology, pharmacology, parasitology, physiology, etc. Biology overlaps with physics, chemistry, math, economics, and forms biophysics, biochemistry, biomathematics, bioeconomics respectively. These interdisciplinary branches will also be discussed here. 

  • Zoology 

Branch of Zoology

  1. Protozoology
  2. Ichthyology
  3. Mammalogy.
  4. Ornithology
  5. Entomology
  6. Herpetology
  • Botany

Branch of Botany

  1. Taxonomy
  2. Anatomy
  3. Pathology
  4. Genetics
  5. Physiology
  6. Ecology
  7. Palaeology
  8. Embryology
  9. Morphology
  10. Histology
  • Microbiology

Branch of Microbiology

Microbiology is divided into two branches: (i) pure branch and (ii) applied branch. The categories are listed below.

(i) Pure Science Branches of Microbiology
  1. Immunology
  2. Bacteriology
  3. Mycology 
  4. Genetics
  5. Protozoology
  6. Parasitology
  7. Algology
(ii) Applied Branches of Biology
  1. Epidemiology
  2. Medical Microbiology
  3. Air Microbiology
  4. Pharmaceutical Microbiology
  5. Aquatic Microbiology
  6. Industrial Microbiology
  7. Agriculture Microbiology
  8. Food Microbiology
  9. Soil Microbiology

What is Biology?

We know that our universe consists of stars, planets, suns and our world is in a small corner of the universe. I am asking the question of what made our world so beautiful, so the answer would be life. There is only life on earth and biology is the study of life.

The word biology comes from two Greek words, bio, meaning life, and logos, meaning learning. But if we talk about life, it does not mean that we understand only people, we also understand trees, animals, birds and various microorganisms. Next, we discuss the various branches of biology from A to Z and sub-Branches of Biology A to Z.

Branches of biology from a to z

A
Anatomy: The study of the structure of living things and their parts
Astrobiology: The Study of the Living Universe
B
Biotechnology: The study of technologies related to biology
Botany: The scientific study of plants
Biochemistry: The study of chemical processes in or related to living organisms
Biophysics: The study of physical processes and phenomena in living organisms
Bionics: The study of mechanical systems that function as living things or as part of a living organism
Bioinformatics: The study of interpreting biological information using computer science.
C
Cell Biology: The Study of Cell Structure and Function
Chemical Biology: The study of the use of chemistry to solve biological problems
Computational biology: the study of using biological information to develop algorithms for understanding biological systems
Conservation Biology: The Study of Environmental Conservation and Biodiversity on Earth
Chronobiology: the study of the effects of time on biological events, as well as internal biological rhythms and clocks
D
Developmental Biology: The study of the processes of growth and development in plants and animals

E

Evolutionary Biology: The study of evolutionary processes and the diversification and adaptation of life over time
Ecology: The study of how organisms and how they interact with their environment
Environmental Biology: The study of evolution, habitats, and adaptations of living organisms
G
Genetics: The study of genes, genetic variation, and heredity in living things
Geobiology: the study of how physical, chemical, and biological processes affect each other in natural habitats
Gerontology: The study of aging, its physical, mental, social, psychological and cultural effects, etc.
H
Human Biology: The study of the human species, its evolution, genetics, heredity, anatomy, and more
Human genetics: the study of the human genome and the transmission of genes from one generation to another
me
Immunology: The study of the immune system of all organisms
me
Lichenology: The study of lichens
M
Marine Biology: The study of marine organisms and marine life
Mycology: The study of fungi
Microbiology: The study of microorganisms, that is, tiny life forms
Molecular biology: the study of the chemical structures of molecules and biological processes
N
Neurobiology: The study of the nervous system and cellular functions
Nutrition: The study of foods, their nutrients, and their effects on health and disease
P
Pathology: The study of disease or injury
Physiology: The study of how the human body works
Paleobiology: The Study of Applied Biology in the Life Sciences Earth Sciences Paleontology
Physiology: The Study of Algae
Parasitology: The study of parasites, their hosts, and their relationships
Plant Physiology: The study of the functions and behavior of plants in terms of their internal structures and functions
Photobiology: The study of the beneficial or harmful effects of light on living organisms
R
Radiobiology: The study of ionizing radiation and its interaction with humans
s
Structural biology: the study of the structure of biological molecules
Soil Biology: The study of living organisms in soil
Systems Biology: The Study of Biological Systems
T
Taxonomy: The study of naming, classifying, organizing, and describing living organisms
V
Virology: The study of viruses as well as viral diseases
Z
Zoology: The study of the plant kingdom

Here is the list of 25 main branches of Biology

1- Zoology

2- Botany

3- Microbiology

4-Morphology

5- Anatomy

6-Histology

7- Cell Biology

8- Physiology

9- Genetics

10- Embryology

11-Taxonomy

12- Paleontology

13- Environmental Biology

14- Sociobiology

15- Parasitology

16- Biotechnology

17- Immunology

18- Entomology

19- Pharmacology

20- Molecular biology

21- Biophysics

22- Biochemistry

23- Biomathematics

24- Biogeography

25- Bioeconomics

Divisions of biology

The umbrella of biology mainly covers three vast fields which are called divisions of biological sciences.  These are defined as follows.

Animal farming not only enables small farmers self-sufficient for protein food but their sale also provide instant money when needed

1 ZOOLOGY (/zuˈɒlədʒi, zoʊ-/) This division of biology deals with the study of animals. For Example Wild animals, farm animals, pets, etc

 2- BOTANY (/BAWT-(ə)-nee/)  This division of biology deals with the study of plants. 

For Example, The study of your favorite plants i.e. rose, maple tree, onion, etc. Plants may be herbs, shrubs, trees, creepers, flowering, non-flowering, vegetable plants, fruits plants, etc.

3- MICROBIOLOGY (/MIKE-rō-bī-AWL-ə-jee/)  This division of biology deals with the study of microorganisms such as bacteria, microscopic fungus, algae, etc.

Main branches of biology

Main branches of biology

1- Morphology: (/mɔːˈfɒlədʒi/) This branch deals with the study of the form, size, shape, and structure of living organisms. e.g. skin color, height, the shape of limbs, etc.

2- Anatomy (/ə-NAT-ə-mee/)  The study of internal structures of living organisms by dissection is called anatomy e.g. internal structure of the kidney.

3- Histology (/hist-TAWL-ə-jee/)  The microscopic study of structural tissues of organisms is called histology e.g. study of muscles, adipose, connective tissue, etc.

4- Cell biology: The study of the structures and functions of cells and cell organelles is called cell biology. This branch also deals with the study of cell division. e.g. muscle cells.

5- Physiology (/fizz-ee-AWL-ə-jee/)  This branch deals with the study of the functions of different parts of living organisms e.g. working of muscles.

DNA, a heredity molecule. It controls heredity by nature’s secret codes hidden in the nucleotide sequence.
DNA is a heredity molecule. It controls heredity by nature’s secret codes hidden in the nucleotide sequence.

6- Genetics  (/dʒəˈnɛtɪks/) The study of genes and their roles in inheritance is called genetics. Inheritance means the transmission of characters from one generation to the other e.g. Blood group genetics.

chick development stages from egg to fully developed chick in 21 days. differentiation and organogenesis can be clearly seen

7- Embryology (/em-Bree-AWL-ə-jee/)  It is the study of the development of an embryo to a new individual e.g. study of various stages of chick development.

8- Taxonomy (/takˈsɒnəmi/) It is the study of the naming and classification of organisms into groups and subgroups. e.g. identification of the taxonomic position of a newly discovered animal species in an area.

9- Paleontology (/pæl.i.ɒnˈtɒl.ə.dʒi/) It is the study of fossils, which are the remains of extinct organisms e.g. estimating the age of the dinosaur’s skeleton. 

10- Environmental biology: It deals with the study of the interactions between organisms and their environment. For Example, the effect of pollution on human health or human activities increases pollution on the planet.

Mongoose mothers can put even their own life at risk while protecting their pups 25 branches of biology from a to z
Mongoose mothers can put even their own life at risk while protecting their pups

11- Socio-biology: This branch deals with the study of the social behavior of the animals that make societies. For Example the protective behavior of mothers over their offspring, the killing of cubs by a male lion to reduce competition in their offspring.

12- parasitology (/pare-ə-sə-TAWL-ə-jee/)  This branch deals with the study of parasites e.g. study of mosquitoes, and bacteria. worms harming the bodies of animals are all parasites. Plants also have other parasitic plants i.e. Cuscuta. 

The process by which the DNA of an organism is cut and a gene, perhaps from another organism, is inserted, is called Gene splicing. It is often used in industry to allow single-celled organisms to produce useful products, such as human insulin.

13- Biotechnology (/baɪ.əʊ.tekˈnɒl.ə.dʒi/) It deals with the practical application of living organisms to make substances for the welfare of mankind. Its best example is using bacteria for producing human hormones such as Insulin, growth hormones, etc.

14- Immunology (/IM-yə-NAWL-ə-jee/)  It is the study of the immune system of animals, which defends the body against invading microbes. For Example: How White blood cells engulf foreign particles is actually an immunity study.

Dysdercus cingulatus is a true bug generally called the red cotton stainer. It is a dangerous sucking pest of cotton mainly and attacks other plants as well, such as okra, citrus, jute, etc. Adults and older nymphs of this bug feed on the emerging bolls and the cotton seeds, also transmitting cotton-staining fungi that deteriorate lint quality.

15- Entomology (/en.təˈmɒl.ə.dʒi/) It is the study of insects. For Example: If someone wonder why ants form Que and how honeybees search for insects, all this comes in Entomology. 

16- Pharmacology (/fɑː.məˈkɒl.ə.dʒi/) It is the study of drugs (medicines) and their effects on the systems of the human body. For Example: If a doctor is studying the effects of cinchona bark extract on malaria patients, he is studying pharmacology.

17-Molecular biology (biochemistry/ˌbaɪ.əʊˈkem.ɪ.stri/ ) 

It deals with the study of the molecules of life. For Example Study of the role of water, proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids molecules in maintaining life.

Interdisciplinary branches of biology

Well: “Biology is not as simple”

It also makes links with the other disciplines of science, thus giving birth to new biology disciplines or branches. This enables us to understand biology in a better way in light of the principles of the other sciences. Branches that are formed due to interlinking of biology with other fields are following. 

1- Biophysics: It deals with the study of the principles of physics, which are applicable to biological phenomena. For example limbs of animals work on the principle of the lever in physics.

2- Biochemistry: It deals with the study of the chemistry of different compounds and processes occurring in living organisms. For Example Study of photosynthesis and respiration.

3- Biomathematics / Biometry: It deals with the study of biological processes using mathematical techniques and tools. For Example: “To analyze the data of the animal’s population”.

4- Biogeography: It deals with the study of the occurrence and distribution of different species of living organisms in different geographical regions of the world. For Example, Acacia is found in the desert.

5- Bioeconomics: It deals with the study of organisms from an economical point of view.  For Example the cost or profit value of the yield of wheat.

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