Biology Reading List

Compiled by Chris Dobson June 1996 as a student in Biology, Portland State University.

This reading list is the result of a survey of the faculty in the Biology department at Portland State University conducted during the 1995/1996 academic year and the faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences at Idaho State University, Spring 1998. Faculty members were asked to list important books in the field of biology. The list is intended to serve as a reference for people interested in biology. No editing was done on content. Please feel free to distribute...all I ask is that you call or e-mail me with additions to the list. Thanks, Chris.


Anderson, Robert ( ). Scientific Processes: Origin of Knowledge (A Guide and Workbook for Students and Educators).

Ardrey, Robert. (1961). African Genesis: A Personal Investigation Into the Animal Origins and Nature of Man.

Armstrong, Karen (1993). A History of God: The 4000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Barbour, Michael (1987). Terrestrial Plant Ecology.

Barnett, Samuel (1968). The Human Species: A Biology of Man.

Bartlett, Donald (1992). America: What Went Wrong?

Bishop, Jerry and Michael Waldholz (1990). Genome: The Story of the Most Astonishing Scientific Adventure of Our Time-The Attempt to Map All of the Genes in the Human Body.

Booth, Wayne, Gregory Colomb, and Joseph Williams (1995). The Craft of Research.

Botkin, D.B. (1990). Discordant Harmonies: A New Ecology for the Twenty-First Century.

Cannon, Walter (1978). Wisdom of the Body.

Carson, Rachel (1962). Silent Spring.

Chruchland, Patricia (1986). Neurophilosophy: Toward a United Science of Mind-Brain.

Clark, Ronald (1984). The Survival of Charles Darwin: A Biography of a Man and an Idea.

Cohen, Morris (1931). Reason and Nature: An Essay on the Meaning of Scientific Methods.

Cohn, Victor (1989). News and Numbers: A Guide to Reporting Statistical Claims and Controversies in Health and Other Fields.

Cole, Francis (1949). A History of Comparative Anatomy: From Aristotle to the Eighteenth Century.

Corner, George (1972). Ourselves Unborn, an Embryologist's Essay on Man.

Darwin, Charles (184_). Voyage of the Beagle.

Darwin, Charles (1859). On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

Darwin, Charles (1898). Power of Movement in Plants.

Darwin, Charles (1909). The Foundations of the Origin of Species: Two Essays Written in 1842 and 1844.

Dawkins, Richard (1976). The Selfish Gene.

Dawkins, Richard (1986). The Blind Watchmaker. DeKruif, Paul (1968). Microbe Hunters.

DeMarco, Tom (1987). Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams.

Dennett, Daniel (1996). Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life.

Dethier, Vincent (1962). To Know a Fly.

Diamond, Jared (1993). The Third Chimpanzee. Dixon, Bernard (1976). Magnificent Microbes.

Dobzhansky, Theodosius (1937). Genetics and the Origin of Species.

Dobzhansky, Theodosius (1962). Mankind Evolving: The Evolution of the Human Species.

Dubos, Rene (1968). So Human an Animal: How we are Shaped by Surroundings and Events.

Eiseley, Loren (1959). The Immense Journey.

Fedoroff, Nina and David Botstein (1992). The Dynamic Genome: Barbara McClintock's Ideas in the Century of Genetics.

Futuyma, Douglas (1995). Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution.

Garrett, Laurie (1994). The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance.

Gleick, James (1987). Chaos: Making a New Science.

Gould, Stephen (1977). Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History.

Gould, Stephen (1977). Ontongeny and Phylogeny.

Gould, Stephen (1980). The Panda's Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History.

Gould, Stephen (1983). Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes.

Gould, Stephen (1985). The Flamingo's Smile: Reflections in Natural History.

Gould, Stephen (1987). Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle.

Gould, Stephen (1989). Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History.

Gould, Stephen (1996) Full House.

Gould, Stephen (1993). The Mismeasure of Man.

Griffin, Donald (1958). Listening in the Dark: The Acoustic Orientation of Bats and Men.

Griffith, Jeremy (1991). Beyond the Human Condition.

Hardin, Garrett (1968). The Tragedy of the Commons.

Hardin, Garrett (1993). Living within Limits: Ecology, Economics, and Population Taboos.

Heinrich, Bernd (1989). Ravens in Winter.

Henderson, Lawrence (1913). The Fitness of the Environment.

Hull, David (1974). Philosophy of Biological Sciences.

Huxley, Thomas (1889). Man's Place in Nature.

Jacob, Francois (1973). The Logic of Life, a History of Heredity.

Jacob, Francois (1982). The Possible and the Actual.

James, William (1963). The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature.

Keller, Evelyn (1983). A Feeling for the Organism: The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock.

Keller, Evelyn and E.A. Lloyd (1992). Key Words in Evolutionary Biology.

Kellert, Stephen and Edward Wilson (1993). The Biophilia Hypothesis.

Konner, Melvin (1982). The Tangled Wing: Biological Constraints on the Human Spirit.

Klusky, J.I. (1992). Easy A's: Winning the School Game.

Kuhn, T. (1970). The Structure of Scientific Revolution.

Leopold, Aldo (1949). A Sand County Almanac.

Lewis, Sinclair (1983). Arrowsmith.

Levi-Montalcini, Rita (1988). In Praise of Imperfection: My Life and Work.

Lewin, Benjamin (1994). Genes V.

Lloyd, Geoffrey (1970). Early Greek Science: Thales to Aristotle.

Lloyd, Geoffrey (1973). Greek Science After Aristotle.

Lorenz, Konrad (1952). King Solomon's Ring.

Lorenz, Konrad (1966). On Aggression.

Lucretius (translated by Ronald Laharu) (1957). On the Nature of the Universe.

Margulis, Lynn (1981) Symbiosis in Cell Evolution: Life and its Environment on the Early Earth.

Margulis, Lynn and Dorion Sagan (1986). Origins of Sex: Three Billion Years of Genetic Recombination.

Margulis, Lynn and Dorion Sagan (1991). Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Evolution from our Microbial Ancestors.

Margulis, Lynn, Karlene Schwartz, and Michael Dolan (1994). The Illustrated Five Kingdoms: A Guide to the Diversity of Life on Earth.

Mayr, Ernst (1963). Populations, Species, and Evolution: An Abridgment of Animal Species and Evolution.

Mayr, Ernst (1982). The Growth of Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance.

Mayr, Ernst (1988). Towards a New Philosophy of Biology.

Mayr, Ernst (1991). One Long Argument: Charles Darwin and the Genesis of Modern Evolutionary Thought.

Mayr, Ernst (1997). This is Biology: The Science of the Living World.

Mayr, Ernst and Peter Ashlock (1991). Principles of Systematic Zoology.

Medawar, Sir Peter (1977). The Life Science: Current Ideas of Biology.

Moore, Randy (1992). Writing to learn Biology.

Morgan, Thomas (1934). Embryology and Genetics.

Morris, Desmond (1967). The Naked Ape.

Needhan Joseph (1975). A History of Embryology.

Neel, James (1994). Physician to the Gene Pool: Genetic Lessons and Other Stories.

Nesse, Randolph and George Williams (1994). Why We Get Sick: The New Science of Darwinian Medicine.

Norman, Donald (1988). The Design of Everyday Things.

O'Neil, R.V., D.L. DeAngelis, J.B. Waide, and T.F. Allen (1986). A Hierarchical Concept of Ecosystems. Monographs in Population Biology 23: 1-272.

Oparin, Aleksandr (1938). The Origin of Life.

Pagels, Elaine (1979). The Gnostic Gospels: A New Account of the Origins of Christianity.

Pagels, Elaine (1988). Adam, Eve, and the Serpent.

Pianka, Eric (1994). Evolutionary Ecology.

Pine, Eli (1975). How to Enjoy Calculus.

Plotkin, Mark (1993). Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice: An Ethnobotanist Searches for New Medicines in the Amazon Rain Forest.

Preston, Richard (1994). The Hot Zone.

Quammen, David (1985). Natural Acts.

Quammen, David (1996). The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions.

Real, Leslie and James Brown (1991). Foundations of Ecology: Classic Papers with Commentaries.

Rigler, F.H. and R.H. Peters (1995). Science and Limnology. Ecology Institute, Nordbunte 23, D- 21385 Oldendorf/Luhe, Germany.

Rinpoche, Sogyal (1992). The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.

Sagan, Carl (1979). Broca's Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science.

Sagan, Carl (1980). Cosmos.

Sagan, Carl (1996). The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark.

Sayre, Anne (1975). Rosalind Franklin and DNA.

Schaller, George (1964). The Year of the Gorilla.

Scmidt-Nielsen, Knut (1964). Desert Animals: Physiological Problems of Heat and Water.

Scmidt-Nielsen, Knut (1972). How Animals Work.

Senge, Peter (1990). The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization.

Sherrington, Sir Charles (1947). The Integrative Action of the Nervous System.

Simpson, George (1944). Tempo and Mode in Evolution.

Simpson, George (1949). The Meaning of Evolution: A Study of the History of Life and its Significance for Man.

Smith, Homer (1932). Kamongo.

Smith, Homer (1949). The Lungfish and the Padre.

Smith, Homer (1953). From Fish to Philosopher.

Sokal, Robert and James Rohlf (1994). Biometry: The Principles and Practice of Statistics in Biological Research.

Spemann, Hans (1967). Embryonic Development and Induction.

State of the World Report. Published yearly by Worldwatch Institute.

Steinbeck, John (1951). The Log from the Sea of Cortez.

Stone, Irving (1980). The Origin: A Biographical Novel of Charles Darwin.

Thompson, D'arcy (1961). On Growth and Form.

Thorton, Ian (1996). Krakatau: The Destruction and Reassembly of an Island Ecosystem.

Tinbergen, Niko (1958). Curious Naturalists.

Tullar, Richard (1977). The Human Species: Its Nature, Evolution, and Ecology.

Vogel, Steven (1981). Life in Moving Fluids: The Physical Biology of Flow.

Wallace, Alfred (1962). The Malay Archipelago: The Land of the Orangutan and the Bird of Paradise: A Narrative of Travel, with Studies of Man and Nature.

Ward, Peter (1994). The End of Evolution: On Mass Extinctions and the Preservation of Biodiverstiy.

Watson, James (1968). The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA.

Watson, James (1987). Molecular Biology of the Gene.

Weiner, Jonathan (1994). The Beak of the Finch: A story of Evolution in Our Time.

Williams, George (1974). Adaptation and Natural Selection: A Critique of Some Current Evolutionary Thought.

Wilson, Edward (1975). Sociobiology.

Wilson, Edward (1984). Biophilia.

Wilson, Edward (1992). The Diverstity of Life. Wilson, Edward (1994). Naturalist.

Wilson, Edward (1998). Consilience: Unity of Knowledge.

Young, David (1992). The Discovery of Evolution.