Whatever your scientific interests, be ready to hit the ground running in the Department of Biology and Earth Science.

Department of Biology & Earth Science

Be ready to hit the ground running in the Biology and Earth Science department! We offer a rigorous curriculum that provides a strong foundation in the sciences, while preparing students for a variety of exciting postgraduate endeavors, including employment and graduate or professional school. From the very first year, students are actively engaged in the classroom, laboratory, and field as they take classes in each of the diverse areas offered by the department:

To keep up with the latest news in the Department of Biology, check out our newsletter, Lifeline, at the Otterbein Digital Commons.

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From painting with bacteria to microscopic pop art—explore a gallery of scientific artwork created by Otterbein's STEM community.

Would you like to view this gallery on your computer or tablet? Download it as an interactive slideshow (220 MB)

Student, Faculty, & Alumni Spotlights


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Dr. Bennett has been very important in shaping my academic experience — the opportunity to join her lab, help with the path to medical school and she helped me get a poster presentation accepted at the ASM Microbe conference.

John Peck ‘21

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
John’s learned that “no task is too great if you’re willing to work hard and surround yourself with the right people.


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Otterbein has not only prepared me academically for the rigor of medical school, but has taught and stretched me in what is more important than a GPA: service. Otterbein has given me tools to meet people where they are.

Megan McClain ’21

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Calling Otterbein a safe and supportive environment, Megan says “Otterbein focuses on not just making a great student, but a great person.


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Otterbein is preparing me to take my next steps by providing me with world-class internship opportunities that are furthering my career in meaningful ways. Only at Otterbein have I been able to branch out from my major with the flexibility to discover and explore new passions.

Aidan Tansey ’22

Zoo & Conservation Science
Aidan says Otterbein’s real world skills, professional experiences and networking opportunities make it hard to imagine going anywhere else.


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The support from faculty, my peers, and the university has given me the confidence to travel to places ranging from Thailand to North Dakota to develop my career while working to solve real-world problems.

Abbey Dunn ’19

Biology, Environmental Science, Zoo & Conservation Science Triple Major
Otterbein has helped me grow into the young professional I am today. I am so grateful to call Otterbein my alma mater!

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You will have the opportunity to join research projects as early as your first year at Otterbein and may also present your work at a national conference or publish it in a peer-reviewed journal.

Learn more >


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Mindful connections in a community of Otterbein peers and integrative studies fostered Mina Makary’s creative growth by teaching him different ways to think. Dr. Makary continues to honor what he learned at Otterbein by utilizing “outside of the box” thinking and creative skills as an interventional radiologist, where medical imaging is used to guide minimally invasive surgical procedures that diagnose, treat and cure many kinds of conditions.​

Mina Makary ’09, MD, DABR

Learn more about this 2020 Otterbein Alumni Research Achievement Award Winner >

Mina Makary


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I really value the close, personal relationships that I’m able to have with my students. A critical aspect of my teaching happens outside the classroom when I collaboratively work with students both in the lab and field on undergraduate theses.

Dr. Sarah Bouchard, Professor

2020 Otterbein Teacher of the Year

Learn more about Otterbein’s 2020 Teacher of the Year, Dr. Bouchard and her work as a physiological ecologist and researcher. >


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Congratulations to Professor Casey J. Tucker for receiving the 2020 Teaching in General Education award at Otterbein University.

Dr. Casey J. Tucker, Adjunct Faculty

Learn more about Dr. Tucker’s thoughts as an educator who considers himself a door-opener to help students fulfill their own goals. >

Department Features & Student Opportunities

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We believe in investing in talent — from research funding to travel support to scholarships that will fuel your discovery and learning.

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Explore the state-of-the-art Science Complex and its 96,000 square feet of discipline-specific laboratories, research space and classrooms.

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You are encouraged to take advantage of Otterbein’s many connections and partnerships for professional internships that literally span the world.

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Biology Earth Science Student Research

Student Research

“Research helped me think critically and develop skills — it also taught me that life will always be a learning process.” What will you discover?

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Travel Opportunities

Student Organizations

Whether it’s a BMB Tea to chart Oreo flavors or traveling to offer global medical relief, we have many student organizations and other ways to get involved.

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Jill And Sam

Travel Experiences

Count the shark population off the coast of Africa. Explore the coral reefs and rainforests of Belize. Prepare medicine from local plants in Costa Rica.

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Otterbein Students And Faculty Do Fieldwork In A Stream

Otterbein Students Awarded Two of Nine Competitive Ohio EPA Scholarships

News - August 15, 2022
The Ohio EPA recently announced the recipients of their 2022 Environmental Scholarship Winners, and out of nine recipients, two were from Otterbein University: Katie Kirk ’23 and Hanna Sturgeon ’23. Students were selected based on academic performance, as well as research, employment/internships, leadership, letters of recommendation from education or environmental professionals, and other specified criteria. “By investing in these environmental scholars today, we are actually investing in protecting the environment far into the future,” said Ohio EPA Director Laurie A.…

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Students in Biology Lab

Biology and Earth Science Professor Hosts Middle School Students in Her Lab to Encourage Mentorship and Outreach

News - July 28, 2022
By Kailey Mishler ’24 Associate Professor Jennifer Bennett has been teaming up with her students in the Department of Biology and Earth Science to help local middle school students on their science fair projects.   Over the past few years middle schoolers have been reaching out to Bennett for help on their projects.    “It’s really just on demand. If a student is interested in doing a science fair project, they might reach out to me. I have a bunch of students…

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Preparing Bones

Otterbein Professor Teaches Unique Biology Skill – Preparing Bones for Educational Purposes

News - July 22, 2022
By Catie Duzzny ’21, MBA ’23 Biology and Earth Science students worked with skeletons in a unique course offered for the first time in spring 2022 by Associate Professor Andrew Calinger-Yoak. “Many of my students are zoo majors so a few semesters ago I had a few students come in and do a class with cleaning animal skeletons to see if there was any interest. There ended up being a lot of interest, enough to try it as an experimental…

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Programs of Study in Biology & Earth Science


B.A. or B.S.


Bio Aquarium 01

B.A. or B.S.

Zoo & Conservations Science Program: Aquarium Track

Biochemistry staff member combining solutions for a laboratory experiment

B.A. or B.S.

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Alligator Skull


Biology & Earth Science

Bio Student In Field

B.A. or B.S.

Environmental Science

Pre Professional Health Studies

B.A. or B.S.

Pre-Professional Health Studies

Bio Student 2

B.A. or B.S

Zoo & Conservation Science

Bio Student In Field 04


Sustainability Studies

Our Institutional Partners

Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (Name and Logo)
Ohio Wildlife Center
Columbus Zoo

Contact Us

Science Center 236
155 W. Main St
Westerville, OH 43081

Administrative Assistant

Donna Rhodeback

“Otterbein is so much more than the place where I received an education. It was there where I found a community that accepted me, friends that became family, and professors that inspired me to attend graduate school. I found myself at Otterbein, and that made all the difference.”

Troy Neptune ’17, Zoo and Conservation Science and Studio Art double-major