Branches of Biology

12 minute read
Branches of Biology

Biology is one of the three main disciplines of the Science stream after Physics and Chemistry which studies life and living organisms. It is the natural science that explores the physical structure, molecular interactions, chemical composition, development, physiological mechanism, and evolution of living matter. There is a wide range of specialized fields in Biology. However, all the branches of Biology study an essential element, i.e. cells which are the smallest fundamental unit of life. Composed of many branches or disciplines, it is considered one of the most complex disciplines to study. However, since it encompasses the concepts of a wide range of sub-fields, the scope of biology as a career is very vast. Through this blog, you will learn about various branches of biology and their scope in the growing world.

The branch of biology which is concerned with the interrelationship between plants and animals is called Ecology.

What is Biology?

Biology is a field of study that examines living things and their essential functions. Botany, conservation, ecology, evolution, genetics, marine biology, medicine, microbiology, molecular biology, physiology, and zoology are just a few of the many disciplines that make up biology.

Branches of Biology from A to Z

Branches of Biology

A
Anatomy: Study of the structure of living things and their parts
Astrobiology: Study of the living universe

B
Biotechnology: Study of technology related to biology
Botany: Scientific study of plants
Biochemistry: Study of chemical processes within or related to living organisms
Biophysics: Study of physical processes and phenomena in living organisms
Bionics: Study of mechanical systems that work like living things or as part of a living organism
Bioinformatics: Study of interpreting biological information through computer science

C
Cell Biology: Study of cell structure and functions
Chemical Biology: Study of the use of chemistry to solve biological problems
Computational Biology: Study of using biological information to develop algorithms to comprehend biological systems
Conservation Biology: Study of environmental conservation and biodiversity on the earth
Chronobiology: Study of effects of time on biological events as well as internal biological rhythms and clocks

D
Developmental Biology: Study of the growth and development processes of plants and animals

E
Evolutionary Biology: Study of evolutionary processes and diversification and adaptation of life over time
Ecology: Study of how organisms and how interact with the environment around them
Environmental Biology: Study of evolution, habitats and adaptations of living organisms

G
Genetics: Study of genes, genetic variation and heredity in living beings
Geobiology: Study of how physical, chemical and biological processes influence each other in natural habitats
Gerontology: Study of ageing, its physical, mental, social, psychological and cultural effects, etc.

H
Human Biology: Study of human species, their evolution, genetics, heredity, anatomy and other aspects
Human Genetics: Study of the human genome and transmission of genes from one generation to another

I
Immunology: Study of the immune system in all organisms

L
Lichenology: Study of Lichens

M
Marine Biology: Study of marine organisms and marine life
Mycology: Study of fungi
Microbiology: Study of microorganisms, i.e. minute life-forms
Molecular Biology: Study of chemical structures and biological processes of molecules

N
Neurobiology: Study of nervous systems and cell functions
Nutrition Science: Study of food, its nutrients and their effects on health and diseases

P
Pathology: Study of disease or injury
Physiology: Study of how the human body functions
Paleobiology: Study of applied life science biology on the earth science palaeontology
Phycology: Study of algae
Parasitology: Study of parasites, their hosts and their relationships
Plant Physiology: Study of plant function and behaviour, in terms of their inner structures and functions
Photobiology: Study of beneficial or bad impact of light on living organisms

R
Radiobiology: Study of ionizing radiation and its interactions with human beings

S
Structural Biology: Study of the structure of biological molecules
Soil Biology: Study of living organisms in the soil
Systems Biology: Study of biological systems

T
Taxonomy: Study of naming, classifying, arranging, and describing living organisms

V
Virology: Study of viruses as well as virus diseases

Z
Zoology:
Study of the plant kingdom

Name the branch of zoology that deals with the study of fishes.
Ichthyology is the study of fishes. Know more about Branches of Zoology here!

25 Branches of Biology

Here are the major 25 branches of biology:

  1. Anatomy
  2. Botany
  3. Taxonomy
  4. Zoology
  5. Microbiology
  6. Mycology
  7. Phycology
  8. Parasitology
  9. Virology
  10. Physiology
  11. Theoretical Biology
  12. Cell Biology
  13. Genetics
  14. Ecology
  15. Evolution
  16. Biochemistry
  17. Biophysics
  18. Molecular Biology
  19. Structural Biology
  20. Biotechnology
  21. Plant Physiology
  22. Immunology
  23. Marine Biology
  24. Photobiology
  25. Radiobiology
Anatomy
Anatomy
Credits: Alamy

Anatomy is one of the main branches of biology that allows an individual to understand the structure and the parts of organisms including animals, human beings, and living organisms. Moreover, it investigates how a living body adapts and maintains balance with the physical environment and human health.

Botany
botany
Credits: Pinterest

Botany is another major branch of biology to scientifically studies plants, their structure, histology, physiology, genetics, and ecology. Moreover, the course covers the economic importance of various ecosystems and the impact of plants on the environment. After 12th, you can pursue BSc in Botany to start a career in this field.

Taxonomy
taxonomy
Credits: Earth.com

It is one of the most important branches of Biology that deals with categorising and naming different organisms based on their characteristics.

Zoology
zoology
Credits: Liberal arts colleges

Zoology is one of the essential branches of Biology which is concerned with the study of animal behaviour, physiology, structure, classification, and distribution. The best courses to pursue in this field are BSc followed by MSc Zoology.

Microbiology
Microbiology

Microbiology is the study of life and actions of microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, etc. Through Microbiology courses you will get to understand their metabolism and growth in a detailed way.

Mycology
mycology

Mycology is the scientific study and research of fungi. Fungi are a group of multicellular organisms that cannot make their food and play a major role in nutrient cycling in an ecosystem.

Phycology
Phycology
Credits: Parkwalk Advisors

Phycology is the scientific study of algae which is known as a diverse group of aquatic living beings who can perform photosynthesis.

Parasitology
parasitology
Credits: Frontiers

Parasitology is one of the branches of Biology and Medicine that works to understand parasitic organisms that live and feed on the host.

Virology

Virology is the most common branch of Biology that deals with the study of viruses and viral diseases.

Physiology

Physiology is one of the lesser-known branches of Biology that studies the normal functions of various parts of living organisms.

Theoretical Biology

Theoretical Biology or Mathematical Biology is an interdisciplinary field of scientific research with applications in medicine, biology, and biotechnology and is a lucrative option when considering the branches of Biology. 

Cell Biology

Cell Biology talks about the structure and function of the cell and the study revolves around the basic concept of biology that the cell is the fundamental unit of life.

Genetics

Genetics is described as the study of genes, genetic variations, and principles of heredity in living organisms. You will also be introduced to the concept of molecular genetics and genetic mapping which are important when it comes to the branches of Biology.

Ecology

Ecology deals with the study of the interaction of living organisms such as plants, animals including humans and microbial populations with one another and their physical environment.

Evolution

Evolution is the study of heritable changes and diversification in different kinds of organisms over multiple generations. 

Biochemistry

Biochemistry is the intersection of biology and chemistry that studies various chemical and physicochemical processes that occur within the living body. This subject is best suited for students who are planning to work in medical and pharmacological fields.

Biophysics

Biophysics deals with the application of the laws of physics to biological occurrences or phenomena.

Molecular Biology

Molecular Biology is the discipline of biology that deals with the structure of proteins and nucleic acids and their functions.

Structural Biology

Structural Biology is the branch of biochemistry, biophysics, and microbiology that allows individuals to study the molecular structure of biological macromolecules.

Biotechnology

Biotechnology refers to the exploitation of biological processes such as microorganism genetic manipulation for the production of hormones, antibodies, and industrially relevant products.

Plant Physiology

Plant Physiology is the sub-discipline of Botany that deals with the physiology and functioning of plants.

Immunology

Immunology is one of the branches of biology and medicine concerned with immunity. Individuals learn immunology mechanisms like finer points of tissue transplantation and cancers. Also, immunology works on exploring the causes of autoimmunity responses. 

Marine Biology

Marine Biology involves the scientific study of the behaviour and interactions of life forms and marine creatures with the oceans, seas, and other forms of the marine environment.

Photobiology

Photobiology is the scientific study of the interactions of living organisms with light including visible, infrared, and ultraviolet radiation.

Radiobiology

Radiobiology involves the study of the action of ionizing radiation on living beings and their health effects.

The branch of biology that deals with the study of cells are Cell Biology or Cellular Biology.

All Branches of Biology

Following is the list of all branches of biology:

Science Organized form of Knowledge or systematic knowledge i.e. knowledge through the process
Biology The branch of science which deals with the study of living beings
Zoology The branch of science which deals with the study of animals
Morphology The branch of science which deals with the study of total general structures and forms including shape, size and appearance
Anatomy The branch of science which deals with the study of internal structures after cutting or dissection
Histology The branch of science which deals with the study of tissue i.e. microscopic anatomy
Cytology The branch of science which deals with the study of cells and their organelles
Acarology Study of tics and mites
Actinobiology The branch of science which deals with the study of radiation effects on an organism
Aerobiology Study of Flying organisms
Agroforestry This branch deals with the form of land use on which herbaceous crops and trees crops are cultivated
Agronomy The science that deals with the crop plants
Agrostology Study of grasses
Angiology The science that deals with the study of blood vascular system
Anthology Study of flowers
Anthropology Study of apes and man
Apiculture Study of beekeeping
Araneology Study of spiders
Arthrology Study of joints
Aschelitinthology Study of roundworms
Bacteriology Study of bacteria
Batrachology Study of frog
Biochemistry Branch of science that deals with the study of chemical reactions in relation to life activities
Biometrics Statistical analysis of different results of biological experiments
Biotechnology Use of biological organisms in commercial processes for producing fine chemicals such as drugs, vaccines and hormones etc. On a large scale and at a reasonable cost.
Bryology Study of Bryophytes
Carcinology Study of crabs and crustaceans
Cardiology Study of heart
Chondriology Study of Cartilage
Chromatology Study of Pigments
Cardiology Study of Coelenterata
Conchology Study of shells
Craniology Study of skulls
Cryobiology Study of effects on life at very lower temperature
Dendrology Study of shrubs and trees
Dermatology Study of skin
Ecobiology Study of problems of existence of life in outer space
Ecology Study of the relationship between organisms and the environment
Embryology Study of embryo i.e. developmental stages after fertilization or birth of young ones
Endocrinology Study of endocrine glands and their secretions
Entomology Study of insects
Enzymology Study of enzymes
Ethnology Study of man-kinds
Ethology Study of conditions of animals or behaviour of animals, in a natural contest
Etiology Study of diseases
Eugenics Study of improvement of the human race by applying laws of heredity. It is applied before birth. Eugenics is related to future generation
Euphenics Study of improvement of the human race by drug treatment or gene engineering i.e. medical engineering of a genetic disorder
Euthenics Study of improvement of the human race by improving the environment. It applied after birth and is related to the present generation
Evolution The branch of science that deals with the study of the origin of new from old i.e. origin, variation, inter-relationship between organisms of past and present days
Exobiology Space biology is also known as exobiology
Floriculture Study of flower-yielding plants
Genetics Study of heredity and variations
Gerontology Study of growing old
Gynaecology Study of female reproductive organs
Haematology Study of blood
Helminthology Study of helminths
Hepatology Study of liver
Herpetology Study of lizards and other reptiles
Hypnology Study which deals with sleep
Histochemistry Study of the chemical nature of tissues
Horticulture Study of flowering and fruits plants
Ichnology Study of fossil footprints
Immunology Study of resistance of organisms against infection
Kalology Study of sensory or sensory-emotional values sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste
Karyology Study of nucleus
Lepidopterology Study of moths and butterflies
Lichenology Study of lichens
Limnology Study of freshwater lakes, ponds and streams in relation to plants and animals
Malacology Study of mollusks
Mammology Study of mammals
Mastology Study of breasts
Melanology Study of pigments
Molecular Biology Study of life sciences on the molecular level (i.e. RNA and DNA level)
Mycology Study of fungi
Myrmecology Study of ants
Neonatology Study of the new-born up to 1 month of age
Nephrology Study of kidney
Neurology Study of the nervous system
Nidology Study of nests of birds
Nisology Study of diseases
Odontology Study of teeth and gums
Olericulture Study of vegetable-yielding plants
Oncology Study of cancer
Oneirology Study of dreams
Ontogeny Study of embryonic history
Oology Study of egg of birds
Ophthalmology Study of eyes
Organocology Study of development of organs under embryology
Organology Study of organs
Ornithology Study of birds
Osteology Study of bones
Otorhinolaryngology Study of ear, nose and throat
Paedology Study of larval stages
Palaezoology Study of fossils and their distribution in time.
Palaeozoology Study of fossils of animals
Palynology Study of pollen grains in relation to taxonomy and evolution
Parasitology Study of parasites
Pathology Study of various diseases in human beings
Parazoology Study of poifera (sponges)
Pedology Study of soils
Pharmacognosy Branch of science dealing with the medicinal plants
Pharmacology Study of synthesis and effect of medicines on organisms
Phenology Study of organisms as affected by seasonal climates e.g. of bird migration, the opening of flowers etc.
Phrenology Study of mental faculties of the brain including feelings
Phycology (algology) Study of algae
Phylogeny Study of evolutionary history
Physiology Study of functions of various parts within the organisms
Pisciculture Study of rearing of fishes
Platyhelminthology Study of flatworms
Pomology Study of fruits
Poultry Study which deals with the keeping foul
Proctology Study of hindgut including rectum and anus
Protistology Study of protests. Its field of study overlaps with more traditional disciplines of algology, mycology and protozoology
Pteridology Study of pteridophytes
Rainology Study of the nose and olfactory organs
Saurology Study of lizards
Sericulture The silk industry concerned with the culture of silk moth and pupa
Serology Study of serum; interaction of antigens and antibodies in the blood
Sepentology (Ophiology) Study of snakes
Silviculture Study of the development of forests
Sitology Study of dietetics
Speciology Study of species
Spermology Study of seeds
Splanchnology Study of visceral organs
Stomatology Study of forgetting including buccal cavity and stomach
Synecology Study of bony joints and ligaments
Taxi dermatology Study of skin and stuffing
Taxonomy The breach of science which deals with the study of the classification of organisms
Teratology Study of foetal malformations
Torpedology Study of skates and rays
Toxicology Study of narcotics and the influence of narcotics on various organisms
Traumatology Study of wounds and turnover
Trichology Study of hair
Trophology Study of nutrition
Urobiology Study which deals with the preservation of deals bodies in liquids by chemicals
Urology Study of wine including diseases and the abnormalities of the urinary and urinogenital tract
Virology Study of virus
Zoogeography The branch of science which deals with the study of the distribution of animals on earth
Biophysics Study of physical aspects of living organisms
Cytogenetics Study of the cytological basis of inheritance
Ctetology Study of acquired characteristics of organisms
Ichthyology Study of fish and its culture
Kinesiology Study of muscle movements
Phytogeography Study of plants distribution on earth
Palaeobotany Study of distribution and characteristics of fossils
Psychobiology Study of behavioural aspects of animals
Sarcology Study of muscles
Syndesmology Study of bone joints and ligaments
Tectology Study of structural organization of body
Zoophytology Study of drifting micro-organisms such as diatoms.

Branches of Biology and Their Fathers 

Branches of biology
Credits: Bioscience.com

Here are the different branches of Biology and their fathers:

Branches of Biology Fathers 
Palaeontology Leonardo di Vinci
Botany Theophrastus 
Immunology Edward Jenner
Medicine Hippocrates
Microbiology Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek
Taxonomy Carl Linnaeus
Histology Marie François Xavier Bichat
Indian Mycology Edwin John Butler
Zoology Aristotle
Modern Botany Linnaeus
Indian Ecology Ramdeo Misra
Indian Phycology Parthasarthy Iyengar
Bacteriology Louis Pasteur
Plant Physiology Stephen Hales
Botanical Illustrations Krateuas
Mutation Theory Hugo de Vries
Modern Genetics Thomas Hunt Morgan
Cytology Robert Hooke
Modern Embryology Karl Ernst von Baer

Why Study Different Branches of Biology?

Biology is a study of life and various life forms providing deep scientific knowledge of how all living and nonliving beings interact with each other in an environment. Specialization in the field of Biology will thus help you understand the concepts related to the sustainability of life, food quality, causes of illness, environment, and ecosystem, development of medicines, etc. Let us understand some of the key reasons to opt for branches of biology as a career:

  • It helps you understand the changes in human bodies, their physical appearances, and various metabolic reactions within the body.
  • From Botany and Anatomy to Biotechnology and Genetics, it provides diversity in careers.
  • Large-scale problems like the existence of pollution, increasing population, growth of infections and diseases, food supply shortage, etc. can be studied and solutions can be discovered using the application of various branches of biology.
  • Creates a path for scientific investigations thus enhancing your chance of establishing a flourishing career in Research.
  • Encourages the concepts of basic living. It coaches individuals to plant trees in order to create a healthy environment. With knowledge about the temperature of the human body, you can build shelters effectively.

Careers in Biology

Whether you’re interested in studying animals, educating families about birth defects or designing medical devices, various branches of Biology will present themselves as areas of interest to explore. The diverse scope of Biology allows professionals to make an enormous number of scientific contributions. Below is a list of job opportunities for enthusiasts and experts in Biology:

  • Biochemists and Biophysicists
  • Bioinformatics Scientists
  • Geoscientists
  • Conservation Scientists and Foresters
  • Environmental Specialists and Scientists
  • Microbiologists
  • Biomedical Engineers
  • Biological Science Teachers
  • Genetic Counselors
  • Veterinarians
  • Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists
  • Biological Technicians
  • Chemical Technicians
  • Forensic Science Technicians
  • Medical Laboratory Technologists

Below is a list of universities and colleges offering courses for life science and Biology studies:

University Country QS WU Ranking  2023
Massachusetts Institute of Technology USA 1
Stanford University USA 3
Harvard University USA 5
Yale University USA 18
University of California – Berkeley USA 27
Johns Hopkins University US 24
University of Alberta Canada 110
University of Queensland Australia =50
La Trobe University Australia 316
Newcastle University United Kingdom 112
University of British Columbia Canada 47
Massey University New Zealand 292

Are you interested to learn more about the vast world of biology? Then taking up a course from various branches of biology can benefit you in a huge way. Experts at Leverage Edu can help you identify the right course in Biology that aligns with your interests thus assisting you in taking the first step towards your dream career. Call us immediately at 1800 57 2000 for a free 30-minute counselling session.

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