142 Biology

Also see Biology OER in development.
Science of Biology with Lab and General College Biology with Lab: These documents map OER (curated by librarians and vetted for content and alignment by subject matter experts) to specific outcomes/competencies or items for these courses (BIO 105 and BIO 111, Colorado).
Last update: Jan 23/24


Biological Sciences Open Textbooks (Various CC licences) by various

From Galileo Open Learning Materials.


Biology Course Hub Site (CC BY) by various.

Links to the course sites for Biology courses taught at Keene State College in Keene, NH.

Introduction to Biology (CC BY-NC-SA) by Carnegie Mellon University

This introductory course defines biology and its relationship to other sciences. We examine the overarching theories of life from biological research and also explore the fundamental concepts and principles of the study of living organisms and their interaction with the environment. We will examine how life is organized into hierarchical levels; how living organisms use and produce energy; how life grows, develops, and reproduces; how life responds to the environment to maintain internal stability; and how life evolves and adapts to the environment.

Modern Biology (CC BY-NC-SA) by Carnegie Mellon University

The Modern Biology course covers specialized and somewhat advanced topics in the fields of cellular biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics. It does not cover organismal biology or taxonomy. The course is carefully planned to provide the background that biology students will need for advanced biology classes. Non-biology majors will also find this course useful as it explains many of the concepts and techniques currently discussed in the popular press.

The Story of the Woolly Mammoth (CC BY) Created by Chloe Young

A resource pack consisting of three lessons, set out over three detailed presentations accompanied by student worksheets, that focus on the extinction of the Woolly Mammoth as a means of teaching students about Biodiversity and Interdependence.

To Bee or not to Bee (CC BY) Created by Natash Michaelides

A series of workshops that aims to express the importance of bees to our planet by teaching about pollination, bee diversity, and the adaptions that honey bees have made in their hives to allow them to be efficient in their jobs. There are three detailed lesson plans based on the following topics: pollination, bee diversity, and hexagons in the beehive.


This is a British Columbia created resource.Animal Dissection Images (CC BY-SA) by various

A collection of animal dissection images created by BCIT. Images include bony fish, clams, dogfish, frogsm pigeons, rats, and squids.

Biology 351 Anatomical Illustrations (CC BY-NC-SA)  Authors: Most, Corrina, Tran, Katherine, Seweryn, Olivia, Hagan, Graham

These anatomical illustrations were created by Biological and Pre-Medical Illustration (BPMI) students that had previously attended the course, BIOL351: Comparative Chordate Anatomy. The students worked closely with the lab instructor to develop detailed anatomical illustrations of the specimens studied in the lab, which allowed the students to showcase their work. The images were then incorporated in the lab handbook for the course and made more widely available as open educational resources.

Bioscience Image Library (CC0)  owned by Berkshire Community College Bioscience Image Library

The Biology Image Library is a growing collection of over 900 text-supported microscopic and macroscopic images and videos drawn from commercially prepared slide collections and live specimens commonly used in the study of Biology, Botany, Zoology, Histology and Microbiology.

Pacific Open Images (CC BY-NC-SA) owned by University of the Pacific

These open images were created by faculty at the University of the Pacific.

Supplementary Materials

Animal Dissection Images Library (CC BY) owned by Berkshire Community College Bioscience Image Library

A collection of dissection images from the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Bioinformatics & Raspberry Pi (CC BY) created by Dr Heleen Plaisier, Dr Daniel Barker, and Dr Stevie A Bain

The 4273π project provides materials for teaching and learning bioinformatics, including an SD card image for the low-cost Raspberry Pi computer. The resource is tailored for bioinformatics use and includes open educational resources for computational biology.

Supercytes (CC BY-NC-SA) University of Edinburgh

Supercytes is a card game and resource pack (with animated cartoons) about having fun with Biology and encouraging an early interest in science. The resource is designed for use in schools (ages 9-18) (or school science clubs).


Applied Bioinformatics (CC BY) by David A. Hendrix

From Oregon State University. Please note that this is the first edition of the text. Applied Bioinformatics is frequently updated, and the current edition may be downloaded from the Applied Bioinformatics site.

Biology LibreTexts Library (CC BY-NC-SA) by various

A collection of open textbooks, assignments, and other educational resources on biology subjects.

This is a Canadian created resourceBumble bees of Unama’ki (CC BY-NC-SA) by Hannah Kosick

This buzzing guide for naturalists introduces the young and the young at heart to bumble bees in Cape Breton. Through interactive quizzes, videos, and text, readers learn all about bumble bees in their community and discover what they can do to protect them.

Concepts of Biology  (CC-BY)  by Charles Molnar and Jane Gair

In this survey text, directed at those not majoring in biology, we dispel the assumption that a little learning is a dangerous thing. We hope that by skimming the surface of a very deep subject, biology, we may inspire you to drink more deeply and make more informed choices relating to your health, the environment, politics, and the greatest subject that are all of us are entwined in, life itself. This text also includes 80 interactive H5P activities that you can use to evaluate your understanding as you go.

Environmental Biology (CC- BY) by Joni Baumgarten

This open textbook covers the most salient environmental issues from a biological perspective. The text is designed for an introductory-level college science course or as a course for non-science majors. Topics include the fundamentals of ecology, biodiversity, pollution,  climate change, food production, and human population growth and the biological concepts that allow a student to understand the large challenges facing our society.

Evolutionary Developmental Biology (CC BY-NC-SA) authored, remixed, and/or curated by Ajna Rivera.

The fields of Development and Evolution cannot be truly separated. When we study Developmental Biology we are mostly looking at a fine-tuned mechanical and genetic process that has been selected on for eons. Not only can evolution select on the final product – a working, fertile adult – but also can act at each developmental stage. It is easy to see how evolution acts through natural selection on adults, but how can it act on development itself?

Female Biology  by Jennifer Dever (CC BY-NC-ND)

This is a textbook designed for an upper-level course in female biology.  It focuses on the evolutionary underpinnings of the female sex and covers topics ranging from the genetic basis of sex to sexual selection. Female-specific health issues are also introduced. Readers should have a general knowledge of biology.

Human Biology (CC-BY-NC))  by Christine Miller

This textbook is ideal for an introductory level Human Biology course. It is aligned with the British Columbia Adult Basic Education learning outcomes for Provincial Level Biology, which is the equivalent of Grade 12 Anatomy and Physiology. This textbook begins with an introduction to sciences and the scientific method, and then addresses the human body in increasing scale: from biological molecules, to cells and tissues, to organs and all eleven organ systems; with an overarching focus on health. Each chapter begins and ends with a case study related to the chapter topic.  The text employs clear writing, case studies for each chapter, interactive self-marking study activities, highlights of Indigenous knowledge and examples, pop-up glossary, and links to resources for extending learning.  Images are meant to be inclusive and were chosen with equity/diversity/inclusion in mind.

An Interactive Introduction to Organismal and Molecular Biology (CC BY-NC-SA) by Andrea Bierema

This textbook is interactive, meaning that although each chapter has text, they also have interactive HTML5 content, such as quizzes, simulations, interactive videos, and images with clickable hotspots. Students receive instant feedback when they complete the interactive content, and therefore, can learn and check their understanding all in one place.

Introducing Mathematical Biology (CC BY) by Alex Best

Mathematical modelling plays an increasingly important role in almost any area of life sciences, and this interactive textbook focuses on the areas of population ecology, infectious diseases, immunology and cell dynamics, gene networks and pharmacokinetics. It is aimed at anyone who is interested in learning about how to model biological systems, including undergraduate and postgraduate mathematics students who have not studied mathematical biology before, life-sciences students with an interest in modelling, and post-16 mathematics students interested in university-level material. Some mathematical knowledge is assumed, and the mathematical models used are all in the form of ordinary differential equations.

Introduction to Systems Biology: Handout for Flipped-classroom Teaching (CC BY) by Thomas Sauter (author) and Marco Albrecht (author)

This book is an introduction to the language of systems biology, which aims to facilitate the understanding of biochemical networks, metabolic modeling and system dynamics. This handout is all about self-paced learning, supports the flipped-classroom concept, and kick-starts with scientific evidence on studying. Each chapter comes with links to external YouTube videos, learning checklists, and Integrated real-world examples to gain confidence in thinking across scientific perspectives. The result is an integrated approach that opens a line of communication between theory and application, enabling readers to actively learn as they read.

This is a Canadian created resourceLibrary Skills for 2nd Year Biological Sciences (CC BY) by Lauren Stieglitz

This tutorial covers the library skills required for students in 200-level Biological Sciences courses with these objectives:

    • Understand the difference between popular and scholarly sources and know the different types of scholarly sources
    • Know how to read a scholarly article
    • Learn how to effectively search for articles and access library material from home
    • Know how to properly cite sources and avoid plagiarism

A Primer for Computational Biology (CC BY-NC-SA) by Shawn T. O’Neil

This book aims to teach these basics of scientific computing: skills that even in fields such as computer science are often gained informally over a long period of time. This book is intended for readers who have passing familiarity with computing. While these concepts will likely be useful to researchers in many fields, I frame most of the discussion and examples in the analysis of biological data, and thus assume some basic biological knowledge, including concepts such as genes, genomes, and proteins.

Principles of Biology (CC-BY) by Lisa Bartee; Walter Shriner; and Catherine Creech

The Principles of Biology sequence introduces biology as a scientific discipline for students planning to major in biology and other science disciplines. Laboratories and classroom activities introduce techniques used to study biological processes and provide opportunities for students to develop their ability to conduct research.


This is a British Columbia created resource.Biology textbook playlist (CC BY) by Charles Molnar

A YouTube playlist containing a collection of biology-related videos featuring biology instructor Charles Molnar at Camosun College in Victoria, British Columbia.

iBiology (CC BY-NC-ND) by the iBiology team.

Open-access free videos that convey the excitement of modern biology and the process by which scientific discoveries are made. The aim is to let you meet the leading scientists in biology, so that you can find out how they think about scientific questions and conduct their research, and can get a sense of their personalities, opinions, and perspectives.

Media Attributions

This chapter is adapted from Biology in OER by Discipline Directory by Edited by Lauri M. Aesoph and Josie Gray.


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OER by Subject Directory Copyright © 2022 by Saskatchewan Polytechnic is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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