Macdonald DeWitt Library at SUNY Ulster

Biology: Getting Started

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Where do I start?

Resources in our print and online Reference collections, such as subject encyclopedias, are great starting points for your research. They offer concise overviews of a topic, summaries of key research, and often a bibliography which can serve as a starting list of sources for your project. 

Sample Reference Sources

Selected Books

The Sixth Extinction

Kolbert provides a moving and comprehensive account of the disappearances occurring before our very eyes. She shows that the sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.

The Extreme Life of the Sea

The Extreme Life of the Sea tells the unforgettable tales of some of the most marvelous life forms on Earth, and the challenges they overcome to survive.

The Galápagos: A Natural History

A lively natural and human history, charting its course from deserted wilderness to biological testing ground and global ecotourism hot spot. Beautifully weaving together natural history, evolutionary theory, and his own experience, Nicholls shows that the story of the Gal#65533;pagos reflects the future of our species' relationship with nature--and the fate of our planet.

The Hudson Primer

This succinct book gives an intimate view of the day-to-day functioning of a remarkable river that has figured prominently in history and culture.

Darwin's on the Origin of Species

For an era in which Darwin is more talked about than read, Daniel Duzdevich offers a clear, modern English rendering of Darwin’s first edition. Neither an abridgement nor a summary, this version might best be described as a "translation" for contemporary English readers.


Dr. Moalem employs his wide-ranging and entertaining interdisciplinary approach to science and medicine-- explaining how art, history, superheroes, sex workers, and sports stars all help us understand the impact of our lives on our genes, and our genes on our lives.

Ten Thousand Birds: Ornithology since Darwin

A thoroughly engaging and authoritative history of modern ornithology, tracing how the study of birds has been shaped by a succession of visionary and often-controversial personalities, and by the unique social and scientific contexts in which these extraordinary individuals worked.


Bacteria: The Benign, the Bad, and the Beautiful introduces you to this diverse, microscopic world and explains the fundamental microbiological concepts you need to explore the life and behavior of bacteria. Ebook.

For Love of Lakes

An affectionate account documenting our species’ long relationship with lakes—their glacial origins, Thoreau and his environmental message, and the major perceptual shifts and advances in our understanding of lake ecology. Ebook.


An accessible introduction to the world of microbes-from basic microbe biology through industrial applications. Ebook.

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