(20 reviews)


Multiple Authors, OpenStax

Pub Date: 2013

ISBN 13: 978-1-9381680-9-3

Publisher: OpenStax

Read This Book

Conditions of Use



  All reviews are licensed under a CC BY-ND license.

Learn more about reviews.


Reviewed by Dr. Kate Pettem, Instructor, Biology, Camosun College, on 10/10/2013.
in collaboration with Dr. Charles Molnar

The text is well-written and easy to read and understand.… read more



Reviewed by Kuo-Hsing Kuo, Associate Professor, University of Northern British Columbia, on 10/10/2013.

• The text appears to be very comprehensive. The index at the start of the text is very useful for navigation. • The glossary appears comprehensive, … read more



Reviewed by Joan Sharp, Senior Lecturer, Simon Fraser University, on 10/10/2013.

The text covers most necessary areas, but not always with clarity or accuracy. The index and glossary are fine. In Chapter 18, the text only … read more



Reviewed by Tobili Sam-Yellowe, Professor, Cleveland State University, on 1/13/2015.

The text covers all areas of biology appropriate for first year biology students. Key terms are defined at the end of each chapter. A comprehensive … read more



Reviewed by Kristyn VanderWaal, Faculty, Anoka Technical College, on 6/11/2015.

If you are looking for a majors level textbook that covers all the content covered in the vast majority of first semester biology course, this will … read more



Reviewed by Jessalyn Sabin, Instructor, Hibbing Community College, on 6/11/2015.

This textbook was comprehensively organized and populated with topics. It covered all of the subject areas that my current General Biology textbook … read more



Reviewed by Robert Sorensen, Professor, Minnesota State University Mankato, on 6/11/2015.

The 8 units this textbook, chemistry through ecology, sufficiently cover the range of topics that would be covered in an Introductory Biology series … read more



Reviewed by Irving Allen, Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech, on 6/11/2015.

This is a very comprehensive textbook that provides an appropriate balance between the different fields of biology. The textbook explains very … read more



Reviewed by Ashley Gramza, Instructor, Colorado State University, on 1/8/2016.

This textbook is extremely comprehensive, almost too comprehensive. However, I now realize that instructors are encouraged to cut irrelevant material … read more



Reviewed by Mark Platta, Faculty , Central Lakes College, on 1/8/2016.

Biology was very comprehensive in its covering of general biology topics and the "Link to Learning" feature allows the learner to expand the concept. … read more



Reviewed by Lisa Turnbull, Instructor, Lane Community College, on 1/8/2016.

This text is fairly comprehensive. There are a few areas that I am pleasantly surprised by the detail included, but other areas where I am a little … read more



Reviewed by Meagan Harless, instructor, Winona State University, on 8/22/2016.

The text covers essential content in sufficient detail for an introductory and/or non-majors biology survey type course. Many topics are covered at a … read more



Reviewed by Jennifer Doherty, Senior Lecturer, University of Washington, on 8/22/2016.

This books covers the minimal basics, but not in great detail and isn't comprehensive by any means. There is no theme of how science works or is … read more



Reviewed by Ken Carloni, Assoc. Professor, Science Dept. Chair, Umpqua Community College, on 8/22/2016.

Content Depth: A- The depth of content is largely appropriate for a 200-level Biology class. All texts tend to emphasize some areas over others, … read more



Reviewed by Pat Boleyn, Adjunct Faculty, Lane Community College, on 8/22/2016.

The text is comprehensive in its coverage of the typical materials for a non-majors introductory biology course at the 100 level. It has a good … read more



Reviewed by John Lepri, Professor (Biology), University of North Carolina at Greensboro, on 12/6/2016.

Spanning 47 chapters, the OpenStax "Biology" production is as comprehensive as its competitors. The contents list expands readily, and the names of … read more



Reviewed by Theresa Spradling, Professor, University of Northern Iowa, on 2/9/2017.

This book is on par in scope with the commonly used Campbell Biology. The table of contents and index are useful, and the PDF is searchable. My … read more



Reviewed by Raj Nathaniel, Professor, Nicholls State University, on 2/9/2017.

This textbook is mostly suitable for 100 level introductory biology for non-majors. While not in detail, most of the material covered gives the … read more



Reviewed by Shalini Upadhyaya, Associate Professor , Reynolds Community College, on 2/9/2017.

After having used the book for major’s biology course for the last 4 semester, I have pleased to say that I content is simple yet efficient and … read more



Reviewed by Christopher Sorenson, Instructor, St. Cloud Technical and Community College, on 4/12/2017.

This text book is as comprehensive as the McGraw Hill and Pearson texts that we have been using. It includes both the cell biology and organismal … read more


Table of Contents

Preface to Biology

Unit 1. The Chemistry of Life
  • The Study of Life
  • The Chemical Foundation of Life
  • Biological Macromolecules
Unit 2. The Cell
  • Cell Structure
  • Structure and Function of Plasma Membranes
  • Metabolism
  • Cellular Respiration
  • Photosynthesis
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Reproduction
Unit 3. Genetics
  • Meiosis and Sexual Reproduction
  • Mendel's Experiments and Heredity
  • Modern Understandings of Inheritance
  • DNA Structure and Function
  • Genes and Proteins
  • Gene Expression
  • Biotechnology and Genomics
Unit 4. Evolutionary Processes
  • Evolution and the Origin of Species
  • The Evolution of Populations
  • Phylogenies and the History of Life
Unit 5. Biological Diversity
  • Viruses
  • Prokaryotes: Bacteria and Archaea
  • Protists
  • Fungi
  • Seedless Plants
  • Seed Plants
  • Introduction to Animal Diversity
  • Invertebrates
  • Vertebrates
Unit 6. Plant Structure and Function
  • Plant Form and Physiology
  • Soil and Plant Nutrition
  • Plant Reproduction
Unit 7. Animal Structure and Function
  • The Animal Body: Basic Form and Function
  • Animal Nutrition and the Digestive System
  • The Nervous System
  • Sensory Systems
  • The Endocrine System
  • The Musculoskeletal System
  • The Respiratory System
  • The Circulatory System
  • Osmotic Regulation and Excretion
  • The Immune System
  • Animal Reproduction and Development
Unit 8. Ecology
  • Ecology and the Biosphere
  • Population and Community Ecology
  • Ecosystems
  • Conservation Biology and Biodiversity

About the Book

Biology is grounded in an evolutionary basis and includes exciting features that highlight careers in the biological sciences and everyday applications of the concepts at hand. To meet the needs of today’s instructors and students, some topics have been condensed and combined; for example, phylogenetic trees are presented in the various ways they are currently being developed by scholars, so instructors can adapt their teaching to the approach that works best in their classroom. The book also includes an innovative art program that incorporates critical thinking and clicker questions to help students understand—and apply—key concepts.

About the Contributors


Yael Avissar, Rhode Island College, Cell Biology

Jung Choi, Georgia Institute of Technology, Genetics

Jean DeSaix, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Evolution

Vladimir Jurukovski, Suffolk County Community College, Animal Physiology

Robert Wise, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, Plant Biology

Connie Rye, East Mississippi Community College, General Content Lead