Biology is often called the science of life. From bacteria to whales, biologists study all kinds of organisms. Have you ever wondered why bees dance? Or how chickens can be the closest modern relatives to dinosaurs? The buzzing world of biology is full of complex wonders like these!
If you need to craft a biology essay, this article is for you. Here you can learn about areas of research in biology. Besides, here you will find 220 compelling biology topics to write about. Read on to refresh your knowledge of microbiology, epidemiology, and more.
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📚 Areas of Research in Biology
Biologists operate on a vast scale. Naturally, there are plenty of research areas. Let’s sort them out:
- Microbiology. Microbiologists examine minute organisms. Many of them, such as viruses, can cause infectious diseases. Because of this, microbiology is strongly linked with immunology.
- Anatomy. Anatomical research focuses on the structure of tissues and organs.
- Cell and molecular biology. Cells are the basis for every living being. The key topic in this area is the molecular organization of cells.
- Environmental biology. Our environment needs support, and environmental biologists provide it. They study ecosystems to find out how humans affect nature. Scientists in this area also observe how organisms react to their surroundings.
- Marine biology. This branch is concerned with life in the deep seas. Oceanography is a crucial part of marine biology.
- Botany. This study is also called plant biology. It studies the properties of organisms that need sun and water to survive. Common categories of plants include trees, shrubs, and flowers.
- Evolutionary biology. All that lives is always evolving. Organisms create, merge, and delete genes. Evolutionary biologists monitor these changes.
- Developmental biology. Research in this area includes studying tissue regeneration and cell growth.
- Epidemiology. Epidemiologists investigate diseases and health conditions. Key questions include: Where does a disease originate from? How does it transmit? What risks are there?
With this overview in mind, you’re ready to choose an interesting biological topic.
🍎 Biology Topics for High School
From peas to platypuses: high school biology covers a wide range of topics. In your biology essay, you’ll have the chance to familiarize yourself with any of them. Your options are almost endless! Consult our list of 20 popular ideas to get your research started:
- Compare the types of cell reproduction.
- How did Gregor Mendel discover heredity?
- Cell structure: prokaryotes vs. eukaryotes.
- Enzymes: what do we need them for?
- Explain how photosynthesis converts CO2 into O2.
- How does the human metabolism work?
- What are the differences between meiosis and mitosis?
- How do you predict the probability of inheriting a gene?
- Describe the structure of DNA.
- What is PCR used for?
- Biotechnology: the mechanisms behind cloning.
- Survival of the fittest: what does natural selection mean?
- Discuss the latest evidence for Darwin’s theory of evolution.
- The tree of life: how does this concept depict the relationships between species?
- What kind of strategies do organisms use to get nutrition?
- Dinosaurs and their modern relatives: what do we know about them?
- How does our nervous system transport information?
- Explain the mechanisms behind the carbon cycle.
- Examine the human impact on biodiversity.
- What factors regulate population dynamics?
🦠 Microbiology Research Topics for Students
The world of microbiology consists of tiny organisms. Researchers study microbes and other simple life forms such as bacteria and fungi. This way, they aim to solve environmental as well as medical issues.
- How do microbes develop resistance?
- Give an overview of our immune system’s defense mechanisms.
- Contrast the types of microbiomes.
- What are the industrial applications for microbiology?
- How do you degrade soil pollutants using microbes?
- Investigate examples of agents that kill bacteria.
- What makes yeast versatile?
- The differences between virions and viroids.
- What are acellular agents?
- Give an overview of the biochemical properties of fungi.
- What are possible causes for asthma?
- The relationship between stress and our immune system’s performance.
- How do vaccines work?
- Examine the structure of archaeal genes.
- Why is microbial diversity important?
- How do microbes contribute to an ecosystem?
- The role of microbes in food contamination.
- How do bacteria turn milk into yogurt?
- Applications of microbial biotechnology.
- Describe the four groups of protozoa.
💀 Anatomy & Human Biology Topics
Human biology studies people as single organisms and in the context of populations. Two of its essential parts are anatomy and anthropology. The latter studies the evolution of humankind. The former is more concerned with body structure. Combine all three subjects to gain a 360° view of humanity!
- Describe the functions of the respiratory system.
- What happens to your body if you’re anemic?
- Outline the history of the human population.
- How does medical anthropology help us understand health?
- Reading bones: what types of information can osteologists gather?
- Biomechanics: what makes humans move?
- Compare the proposed effects of various current trends in nutrition.
- Explore the psychological factors that influence one’s health.
- How does your brain control your behavior?
- Synapses: structure and mechanisms.
- Explain how kidneys filter blood.
- What regulates muscle contraction?
- Discuss the new reproductive technologies from an anthropological perspective.
- Describe the structure of a skeletal muscle fiber.
- The cerebral cortex: what does it do?
- Brain, hormones, and emotions.
- Functions of the sodium-potassium pump.
- Examine what blood consists of.
- What happens when your heart skips a beat?
- Is the growth in the human population out of control?
🔬 Cell & Molecular Biology Research Topics
Your body’s fundamental structure is made up of cells. Their properties are in the center of interest for cell biologists. They investigate a cell’s life cycle and its vital functions. On a molecular level, this includes the role of chemical processes in cell activity.
- How does cancer affect the body’s cell growth?
- The protein paradox: what is the right amount of protein?
- How do cells heal bones?
- The ethics of stem cell research.
- Investigate the communication methods between cells.
- Explore the link between the environment and our DNA.
- Current trends in molecular biochemistry.
- Telomerase: will it ever be possible to reverse aging processes?
- What do we know about axon guidance?
- Where does our brain keep the memories?
- Why do cells become sticky?
- High-resolution microscopy: ways to advance molecular research.
- How do cilia move cells?
- Treating glaucoma: is surgery always necessary?
- The role of microtubules in the nervous system.
- Diffusion: means of transport within cells.
- What does the central dogma of molecular biology state?
- Trace the steps of DNA translation.
- Why do cells need to eat their dead counterparts?
- How does protein biosynthesis work?
♻️ Environmental Biology Topics to Research
Environmental biologists ensure our harmonic coexistence with nature. They are also in charge of monitoring wastewater disposal and pollution levels. This branch is closely related to ecology.
- Discuss the importance of light in different bodies of water.
- Aftermath of building the Hetch Hetchy valley dam.
- The devastating impact of deforestation in the Amazon.
- Analyze the consequences of desertification.
- How do genetically modified insects influence the environment?
- What would happen if all the bees die?
- Compare several methods of wastewater disposal.
- What were the ecological effects of Indonesia’s Mega Rice Project?
- The Great Pacific Garbage Patch: will we ever get rid of it?
- How do worms indicate the state of an ecosystem?
- Why is it important to conserve biodiversity?
- DDT: how did it affect wildlife in the US?
- What causes toxic algae bloom?
- Compare the adverse health effects of common contaminants in the air.
- The Aral Sea: how did it disappear?
- How do genetically engineered crops impact the environment?
- Indoor air pollution: causes and risks.
- The pros and cons of using natural gas.
- Trace the ecological footprint of cotton production.
- What are the ways to ensure food security without harming the environment?
🐬 Marine Biology Topics for a Paper
Fun fact: the vast majority of our oceans are still unobserved. Research in marine biology encompasses all organisms living close to or under water. Do you want to participate in uncovering the mysteries of the deep sea? This section is for you!
- How does luminescence in marine vertebrae work?
- Dolphins: how do they communicate?
- The impact of military sonar on whales.
- What makes the Galapagos Islands so unique?
- Compare different camouflage techniques of marine animals.
- How do aquatic organisms live together in coral reefs?
- Causes of high mercury concentrations in fish.
- Investigate the impact of overfishing in China.
- Explain how rising sea temperatures affect marine life.
- Contrast the survival strategies of various penguin species.
- The ethics of seafood farms.
- Examine bacteria’s contribution to biological processes in the sea.
- What are the types of invasive species?
- The contribution of birds to a stable marine ecosystem.
- Identify the biggest threats to marine biodiversity.
- Inspect the predatory behavior of starfish.
- How do corals form?
- The importance of phyto- and zooplankton to ponds.
- Whales: how did they evolve?
- What are the four types of oceanography?
🌻 Plant Biology Research Topics
Plant biology, you guessed it, investigates plants. These green organisms are incredibly versatile. From redwood trees to algae, plants come in all sizes and shapes. Scientists use botanical knowledge to improve our food and medicine supplies. They also help to conserve forests, parks, and wilderness areas.
- What causes diseases in plants?
- What are the benefits of studying algae?
- Recently, scientists engineered a plant to glow by itself. How does it work?
- What makes some plants toxic?
- Compare various defense mechanisms of flowers.
- Deciduous trees: what are the advantages of leaf loss?
- How do Butterworts acquire nutrition?
- Carnivorous plants: methods of luring prey.
- Types of negative feedback in plants.
- Give examples of thigmotropism. How does it work?
- What problems are associated with the definition of kingdoms?
- Investigate the anatomical structure of plant roots.
- Phytohormones: how do they influence plant growth?
- Plants and music: does sound have any measurable effects on plant development?
- How do plants produce starch?
- Why do weeds grow excessively?
- Investigate plant disease management and intervention.
- Industrial applications of synthesized plant mechanisms.
- Cacti: how do they survive in the desert?
- Examine the biological properties of medicinal herbs.
🧬 Hot Topics in Evolutionary Biology to Write About
Evolutionary biologists observe change in all living organisms. If you want to know why life on Earth is so versatile, evolutionary biology has the answer. Research areas cover ecology and genetics, as well as paleontology.
- How does stabilizing selection ensure the same phenotype for a species during evolution?
- Discuss Tinbergen’s four questions.
- What are the benefits of sexual reproduction?
- Cancer: why does it persist?
- Society and evolution: are they connected?
- Southeast Asia and the limited occurrence of the alcohol dehydrogenase gene.
- Is there a scientific reason to divide humans into races?
- Track the evolution of aging throughout human history.
- How does speciation work?
- Genetic drift and its effects on variation.
- Describe problems concerning the Modern Synthesis.
- Selective sweeps: how likely are they to cause disease?
- What does the Red Queen hypothesis state?
- How do you determine age in herbaceous plants?
- Life history theory: how does a species’ life history influence its evolution?
- What are the ways for a species to achieve its maximum fitness?
- How did the bees learn to communicate information by dancing?
- Investigate the evolution of stamina in animal locomotion.
- How does an animal’s physiology adapt to its geographic range?
- Compare the evolutionary process of endotherms and ectotherms.
👶🧑 Developmental Biology Research Topics
When animals and plants grow, their features change. It’s no surprise: every living being starts as a single cell. It’s a long way from there to a fully formed organism! Developmental biologists track this process at different levels.
- Why are men more likely to be colorblind than women?
- What is phylogenetic niche conservatism?
- Identify origins of congenital disorders.
- What causes birds to become territorial?
- Explain the two types of developmental mechanisms.
- Why does getting older make humans more susceptible to cancer?
- Homeotic genes: how do they influence the development of body structures?
- Describe the advantages of apoptosis.
- What causes polycephaly?
- How do stem cells differentiate?
- Investigate regeneration in hydra.
- Mechanisms of metamorphosis in frogs.
- What happened during the Cambrian explosion?
- How do plants produce new structures?
- Examine the process of neurulation in fish.
- What are the types of deformations found in plants?
- Describe the ABC model of flower development.
- Why are zebrafish good model systems for developmental studies?
- Search for the origins of the vertebrate body plan.
- What does the concept of morphogen gradient say about the fate of cells?
😷 Epidemiology & Population Biology Topics
Investigating health-related events is a part of epidemiologic research. The goal is to find out what causes diseases in a specific population. Epidemiology analyzes other health issues such as natural disasters and injuries. Population biology focuses on the interaction between populations and their environment.
- How does evolutionary game theory describe the development of a population?
- When is a strategy evolutionarily stable?
- How does phenotypic variety in plants help manage disease?
- What diseases are caused by heavy metal pollution?
- How did the Coronavirus pandemic contribute to a rise in cases of domestic violence?
- Reasons for an increased rate of congenital disabilities in a specific area.
- Asian carp: a harmful disruption of the marine population in American rivers.
- Compare the three kinds of population distribution.
- Examine the consequences of the 1783 Laki eruption.
- Examine various policies to moderate population growth.
- How do predator-prey dynamics work?
- Avoidance mechanisms of resource competition.
- Describe the three types of symbiotic relationships.
- How does a species regulate its abundance?
- What happens if the equilibrium state of a community is disturbed?
- Factors that encourage human population growth.
- Contrast the survivorship curves of humans, birds, and trees.
- Obesity: causes and solutions.
- Depression: how does it affect society?
- The role of causal inference in epidemiological studies.
📜 History of Biology Topics to Write About
Even before the emergence of scientific studies, humans had basic biological understanding. They were able to spot edible plants and domesticate animals. Assyrians and Babylonians were the first to implement biological knowledge. If you’re looking for a theoretical research project, this is the right research area for you.
- Explore the medical knowledge available in ancient China.
- The history of agriculture in India.
- How did the Greek philosophers theorize about the origin of life?
- Investigate the theory of the four humors.
- Aristotle’s classification of animals.
- Give an overview of discoveries in Galen’s medical writings.
- What caused the stagnation in scientific progress during the Middle Ages?
- Al-Jahiz’ discovery of the relationships between organisms.
- Albertus Magnus: what was his contribution to botany?
- How did Italy become the center for biological studies?
- What factors impacted the development of biology during the Renaissance?
- Trace the origins of modern anatomy.
- What led to the establishment of the cell theory?
- Jump starting biological progress: the invention of the microscope.
- Louis Pasteur and the dismissal of spontaneous generation.
- How did the discovery of heredity influence modern biology?
- What led to the discovery of blood circulation?
- How did the Royal Society of London impact scientific development in Europe?
- What technology helped advance biological research in the 20th century?
- The rise of bioinformatics: boosting progress in genetic data analysis.
We hope our article gave you some useful ideas for your biology paper. Good luck with your assignment!
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