79 Branches of Biology

The scope of biology is wide and therefore contains many branches and sub-disciplines . Biologists can follow one of those sub-disciplines and work in a more focused field. For example, molecular biology and biochemistry study biological processes at the molecular and chemical level, including the interactions between molecules such as DNA, RNA, and proteins, as well as how they are regulated. On the other hand, microbiology is the study of the structure and function of single-celled organisms. It is a fairly broad branch in itself and, depending on the subject of study, there are also microbial physiologists, ecologists and geneticists, among others.

Biology areas
What do you study
AerobiologyIt is the study of organic particles in the air.
farmingIt is the study of growing crops and raising livestock.
AnatomyIt is the study of the internal structures of living beings.
BacteriologyIt is the study of bacteria.
BiochemistryIt is the use of chemistry in the study of living things.
BioengineeringIt is the study of living things through engineering.
BiogeografíaIt is the study of the geographical distribution of living beings.
BioinformaticsIt is the use of information technology for the study, collection and storage of genomic data and other biological data.
BiomechanicsIt is the study of the mechanics of living beings.
BiomatemáticaIt is the application of mathematics to the study of living beings.
Biological Earth SciencesThey are the use of earth sciences, such as geography, in the study of living things.
Biomedical researchIt is the study of health and disease
BiomusicologyIt is the study of music from a biological perspective.
BiophysicsIt is the application of physics to the study of living things.
Biological psychologyIt is the application of biology to the study of the human mind.
BiosemióticaIt is the study of biological processes through semiotics, applying the models of meaning creation and communication.
BotanyIt is the study of plants.
Building biologyIt is the study of the interior living environment.
Cell biologyIt is the study of the cell as a complete unit.
Cognitive biologyIt is the study of cognition as a biological function.
Conservation biologyIt is the study of the preservation, restoration and protection of the natural environment.
CryobiologyIt is the study of temperatures lower than those normally preferred in living beings.
CytologyIt is the study of cells.
Developmental biologyIt is the study of the processes through which an organism is formed.
EcologyIt is the study of the relationships of living beings with each other and with the environment.
EmbryologyIt is the study of the formation and development of living beings from fertilization to birth as independent organisms.
EndocrinologyIt is the study of hormones.
EntomologyIt is the study of insects.
Environmental biologyIt is the study of the natural world especially affected by human activity.
epidemiologyIt is the study of the health of populations.
Evolutionary biologyIt is the study of the origin and descent of species over time.
GeneticsIt is the study of the inheritance and permanent development of living beings.
HistologyIt is the study of tissues.
HelmintologyIt is the study of worms.
HematologyIt is the study of blood and blood-forming organs.
HerpetologyIt is the study of reptiles and amphibians.
IchthyologyIt is the study of fish.
Integrative biologyIt is the study of whole organisms.
LichenologyIt is the study of lichen.
LimnologyIt is the study of continental waters.
MamologyIt is the study of mammals.
Marine biologyIt is the study of ocean ecosystems.
MicrobiologyIt is the study of microorganisms.
Molecular biology It is the study of biological functions at the molecular level.
MycologyIt is the study of fungi.
NanobiologíaIt is the study of biological functions at the nanoscale.
OrnithologyIt is the study of birds.
PaleontologyIt is the study of fossils.
PathologyIt is the study of diseases, generally in animals.
PharmacologyIt is the study of the actions of chemicals on and within living things.
PhilologyIt is the study of algae.
PhysiologyIt is the study of the normal functions of living beings.
PhytogeographyIt is the study of the earth and its plants.
PhytopathologyIt is the study of diseases in plants.
Population biologyIt is the study of groups of species.
ProtozoologyIt is the study of single-celled organisms.
PsychobiologyIt is the study of the biological bases of psychology.
Quantum biologyIt is the study of quantum mechanics in biological functions.
SociobiologíaIt is the study of the biological bases of sociology.
Structural biologyIt is the study of the molecular structure of biological macromolecules.
TaxonomyIt is the study of the classification and naming of living beings.
VirologyIt is the study of viruses.
ZoologyIt is the study of animals.
ZoogeographyIt is the study of the earth and its animals.

What is biology?

Biology is the study of life and living organisms . It is a broad field that includes many branches and sub-disciplines. Biologists study structure, function, growth, evolution, distribution, identification, and taxonomy. In the table that you will find at the beginning of the article, they present the main branches of study included in this field, and then below, you will find more information on the subject.

Branches and sub-disciplines of biology

We divide the branches of biology into the following fields:

  • BIOLOGY: how living and living organisms are structured, distributed, originated, evolve and function.
  • CHRONOLOGY: how biology originated, evolved and will adapt as a function of time.
  • ECOSYSTEM: How living organisms interact with the physical environment.
  • BOTANY: How plants are classified, grown and managed in nature.
  • PATHOLOGY: how the disease spreads and interacts with living organisms.
  • ASTROBIOLOGY: how life originated, evolved in the universe and its final destination.


Pathology is an entire field dedicated to disease . For example, plant pathology examines how the disease is spread and how it is managed for plants. In contrast, the focus of zoopathology is on the propagation and prevention of animal diseases. On a large scale, epidemiology looks at how diseases and the determinants of health are transferred and distributed in populations. For example, an epidemiologist models a disease outbreak and prevents its spread.

Toxicology is often concerned with how individual organisms are affected, treated, and diagnosed by poisonous substances. It is common to test various substances and materials in a laboratory.

  • ZOOPATHOLOGY: how animal disease is spread and prevented.
  • PHYTOPATHOLOGY: how the disease is spread and managed in plants.
  • EPIDEMIOLOGY : How diseases and health determinants are transferred and distributed in populations.
  • MYCOLOGY: how fungi are studied, including chemical, physical, and taxonomic properties.
  • TOXICOLOGY: how living organisms are affected, treated and diagnosed by poisonous substances.


Some fields of biology work over time . For example, “paleo” relates to the past. On a geologic time scale, biology studies plants (paleobotany), animals (palaeozoology), and general organisms (palaeoecology).

Evolutionary biology is one of the most popular branches of biology. It focuses on how life originated, evolved, and will transform in the future. For example, primatology establishes the connection between primates and humans. Anthropology is different from paleontology due to its primary focus. While anthropologists study how humans and societies behave, paleontologists are primarily concerned with animal and plant fossils.

  • BIOLOGY OF EVOLUTION: how living things change over time and how life originated.
  • PALEOBIOLOGY: how prehistoric life and specific fossils were composed of a geological time scale.
  • PALEOECOLOGY: how organisms interact in environments along a geologic time scale.
  • PALEOZOOLOGY: how fossils of multicellular animals are used to reconstruct prehistoric environments.
  • ZOOARCHAEOLOGY: how animal remains are used to explore interactions between people, animals, and the environment.
  • PRIMATOLOGY: How successional behavior evolved often links human and primate characteristics.
  • PALEOBOTANICA: how plant fossils can reconstruct environments past in geological time.
  • DENDROECOLOGY: how tree rings are used to investigate forest development, areas of disturbance, and environmental change.
  • ANTHROPOLOGY: how humans and societies of the past, present and future behave.
  • PALEONTOLOGY: how plant and animal fossils are used to trace life and investigate the origin of species.


The ecosystem works together as a collection of different parts. These interactions between the physical environment and living organisms are ecology.

Living organisms can be divided into insects (entomology), birds (ornithology), and mammals (malogy). And phytogeography and zoogeography better understand how plants and animals are distributed in geographic space. Phenology involves meteorology to understand botany. More specifically, it inspects the seasons and cyclical weather patterns influence plant and animal species.

  • ECOLOGY: how organisms relate to each other in their physical environment, including population distribution and dynamics.
  • SYNECOLOGY: how specific groups of animal and plant species are related within a community.
  • ZOOLOGY: how animals evolve, classify, interact and distribute themselves.
  • ENTOMOLOGY: how insects are classified and categorized.
  • MAMMALOGY: How mammals are characterized, including anatomy, taxonomy, and natural history.
  • ORNITHOLOGY: how bird species are distributed, behaved and described with a focus on conservation.
  • PHENOLOGY: how seasons and cyclical weather patterns influence plant and animal species.
  • BIOGEOGRAPHY: how ecosystems are distributed in geographic space.
  • ZOOGEOGRAPHY: how the animals are distributed in the geographic space.


The main focus of botany is the science of plants . Botany looks at how plants are classified and how they grow in nature. Botany is synonymous with phytology or phytology.

Forestry is specific to how trees are managed, planted, conserved and felled. Alternatively, dendrology reduces how trees are managed, planted, conserved, and felled. Meanwhile, arboriculture studies how individual trees, shrubs, vines, and other woody plants respond to cultural practices in the environment.

  • BOTANY: how plants grow and are classified.
  • FOREST: how trees are managed, planted, conserved and felled.
  • DENDROLOGY: how woody plants and tree species are identified.
  • PHYTOGEOGRAPHY: how the plants are distributed in the geographic space.
  • ARBORICULTURE: how individual trees, shrubs, vines, and other woody plants are cultivated, grown, and respond to cultural practices in an environment
  • AGROBIOLOGY: how crop production can be improved through plant nutrition.


The main focus of astrobiology is how life originated in the universe . Instead of life on Earth, astrobiology considers alien life forms and the ultimate fate of the universe.

If you want to determine the possibility of life in space, exobiology estimates the probability that life exists on other planets. If there are aliens, also consider how to detect them. Lastly, astrochemistry involves studying substances outside of Earth. For example, what is the chemical composition of celestial bodies, stars, and interstellar space and how it relates to life in the universe.

  • ASTROBIOLOGY: how it evolved, life (including aliens) originated in the universe and what will be its fate.
  • EXOBIOLOGY: How likely and where is life in space.
  • ASTROCHEMISTRY: How to study substances in celestial bodies, stars and interstellar space.

The branches of biology and their interrelation with other fields

Biology is the study of living things and their vital processes. The field deals with all the physicochemical aspects of life . The modern trend towards interdisciplinary research and the unification of scientific knowledge and research from different fields has resulted in a significant overlap of the field of biology with other scientific disciplines. Modern principles from other fields (chemistry, medicine, and physics, for example) are integrated with those from biology in areas such as biochemistry, biomedicine, and biophysics.

Biology is subdivided into separate branches for the convenience of study, although all the subdivisions are interrelated by basic principles . Therefore, although it is customary to separate the study of plants (botany) from that of animals (zoology), and the study of the structure of organisms (morphology) from function (physiology), all living beings share in common certain biological characteristics. phenomena, for example, various means of reproduction, cell division and transmission of genetic material.

Biology is often approached on the basis of levels that deal with fundamental units of life . At the level of molecular biology, for example, life is considered a manifestation of chemical and energetic transformations that occur among the many chemical components that make up an organism. As a result of the development of increasingly powerful and precise laboratory instruments and techniques, it is possible to understand and define with high precision and precision not only the physiochemical organization (ultrastructure) of molecules in living matter, but also the way in which they are reproduces living matter at the molecular level. Especially crucial to these advances was the emergence of genomics in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

The Cell Biology is the study of cells, the basic units of structure and function in living organisms. Cells were first observed in the 17th century, when the compound microscope was invented. Before that time, the individual organism was studied as a whole in a field known as organismic biology ; that area of ​​research continues to be an important component of the biological sciences. The population biologydeals with groups or populations of organisms that inhabit a certain area or region. This level includes studies of the roles that specific types of plants and animals play in the complex and self-perpetuating interrelationships that exist between the living and non-living world, as well as studies of the integrated controls that naturally maintain these relationships. . Those broad-based levels (molecules, cells, whole organisms, and populations) can be further subdivided for study, leading to specializations such as morphology, taxonomy, biophysics, biochemistry, genetics, epigenetics, and ecology . A field of biology may be especially interested in the investigation of a type of living beings, for example, the study of birds in ornithology., the study of fish in ichthyology or the study of microorganisms in microbiology .

Origin of the term «biology»

Before the term biology was adapted, there were other terms that described the study of plants and animals. For example, the term Natural History was used to explain animals, plants, fungi, and other life forms in their natural environment.

Furthermore, it was an observational field of study rather than an experimental one. Therefore, a person who would study natural history is called a natural historian or naturalist . Other terms that appeared before biology included natural theology and natural philosophy .

The term ‘biology’, in the modern sense, was introduced through the works of Michael Christoph Hanow in 1766. However, it was introduced independently four more times through the works of Thomas Beddoes (1799), Karl Friedrich Burdach (1800), Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus (1802) and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1802).

Origins as a field of study

For early humans, knowledge about plants and animals meant the difference between life and death. As a result, cumulative knowledge about species, behavior, and anatomy was passed down over many generations. However, the most significant development in biological knowledge occurred when humans transitioned from hunters and gatherers to farmers, where they began cultivating crops and perfecting their agriculture.

The traditions of medicine, the collective knowledge of physicians, the works of prominent historical figures like Aristotle eventually merged into the field of study we know today as biology . The most important revolutions in biology occurred during the 19th century, with a large number of discoveries and technological innovations.

We have reached the end of the article on the branches of biology . If you do not understand something of the above or want to add a discipline that we have forgotten, do not hesitate to contact us. We will read your comment shortly and we will take it into account to make the pertinent modification. Please collaborate by sharing this post on your social networks, that way it will help us to continue growing.

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