Plant Biology Program

Programs of Study
Plant Biology

The Plant Biology emphasis is designed for students interested in pursuing careers or graduate study in general botany, plant systematics, physiology, ecology, and in the various applied plant sciences. Available courses approach plant biology from systematic, structural, ecological, and cellular perspectives. The Department offers both field and laboratory courses.

Grand Valley's location is ideal for the study of plant biology. Diverse field and forest ecosystems, field study plots, and an arboretum may be found on the extensive GVSU campus. The unique lakeside and dune environments adjoining Lake Michigan are only a short drive away. The extensive wetlands of the Grand River, which flows adjacent to the campus, provide other fascinating places for biological studies. The Biology Department maintains greenhouse and growth chamber facilities for plants, laboratories for experimental plant biology, and facilities for studies in cell biology, tissue culture, and molecular biology of plants. Faculty with plant biology interests maintain close relations with relevant organizations in the region, including arboreta, nature centers, state and federal forest and park agencies, and independent research organizations.


Students should plan to complete the following courses in addition to meeting the core and other requirements for the Biology major:

BIO 303 (4 cr.) Plants and Fungi
BIO 333 (3 cr.) Systematic Botany
BIO 403 (4 cr.) Plant Structure and Function

Courses that may be of interest as electives for the Plant Biology Emphasis:

BIO 323 (3 cr.) Aquatic Plants
BIO 413 (3 cr.) Freshwater Algae
BIO 423 (3 cr.) Plant Biotechnology
BIO 573 (3 cr.) Plants of the Great lakes Area (with permission)

Faculty with interests in Plant Biology:

Sheila Blackman - Plant cell biology; plant developmental biology
Margaret Dietrich - Cell and molecular biology and biochemistry; plant biology
Jim Dunn - Entomology, plant responses to herbivory
Gary Greer - Ecology; evolution; plant biology
Mark Staves - Plant physiology; plant cell biology


Page last modified March 6, 2015