About Biological Principles

About this course

Biological Principles is an active-learning class that will introduce you to basic principles of modern biology, including evolution, ecological relationships, biomacromolecules, bioenergetics, cell structure, and genetics. 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 biological principles. 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. 

Connection to the UN Sustainable Development Goals 

The UN SDGs, or United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, are a set of 17 global goals that were adopted by all United Nations Member States as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. The pages within this book have been deliberately connected to these goals to show the relevance of course content to solving real-world problems.

List of 17 SDGs with Icons

Learn about Georgia Tech’s commitment to teaching and research that advances the UN SDGs in our Institute Strategic Plan.

How to cite this book

Biological Principles 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.

Creative Commons License

Choi JC, CC Spencer, SC Kerr, E Weigel, J Montoya. 2023 edition. Biological Principles, First published online in 2015. bioprinciples.biosci.gatech.edu.


Jung Choi, PhD, Georgia Institute of Technology

Chrissy Spencer, PhD, Georgia Institute of Technology

Shana Kerr, PhD, Georgia Institute of Technology

Emily Weigel, PhD, Georgia Institute of Technology

Joe Montoya, PhD, Georgia Institute of Technology