Laboratory Investigations for Biology

Benjamin Cummin
Jean L. Dickey  
Total pages
August 2002
Related Titles


An investigative approach actively involves students in the process of scientific discovery by allowing them to make observations, devise techniques, and draw conclusions. Twenty carefully chosen laboratory topics encourage students to use their critical thinking skills to solve problems using the scientific method.


  • Contains 20 labs on a range of topics. Each lab topic is classified as investigative, traditional, or observational.
  • Brief introductory exercises begin each investigative lab to teach students how to design their own experiments using scientific process skills.
  • Questions at the end of each lab ask students to reflect on what they have done.
  • Many labs encourage teamwork, promoting collective problem solving and saving instructors time in proposing and testing hypotheses.
  • An Annotated Instructor's Edition combines instructor resource material with the students' labs. A detailed Preparation Guide helps instructors plan, set up, and run the labs.
  • Custom publishing options allow instructors to select exercises, rearrange the order of labs to fit course needs, and eliminate topics not covered.
  • Symbiosis, the custom lab building kit, allows instructors to design their own lab manual using a digital archive and their own materials.
  • Biology Labs On-Line provides additional labs that cannot be conducted in the traditional wet-lab setting.

New to this Edition

  • This edition includes two new labs on Chromosomes and Cell Division and Forensic Applications of Molecular Genetics.

Table of Contents

 1. The Process of Scientific Inquiry.

 2. pH and Buffers.

 3. Macromolecules.

 4. Using the Microscope.

 5. Enzymes.

 6. Cellular Respiration.

 7. Photosynthesis.

 8. Chromosomes and Cell Division.

 9. Mendelian Genetics.

10. Forensic Application of Molecular Genetics.

11. Microorganisms and Disease.

12. Plant Diversity.

13. Animal Diversity.

14. Digestion.

15. Circulation.

16. The Sensory System.

17. Plant Structure.

18. Flowers, Fruits, and Seeds.

19. Animal Behavior.

20. Foraging Strategy.

Appendix 1. Tools for Scientific Inquiry.

Appendix 2. Guide to Writing Scientific Reports.


With a Ph.D. from Purdue University, Jean Dickey has been involved in teaching introductory biology labs since 1978. Her experience includes developing an investigative laboratory curriculum for a large enrollment non-majors course at Clemson University, as well as supervising TAs and lab preparations. Besides working with general biology students, she also teaches life science for elementary education majors. When Dr. Dickey is not with her students, daughters Katherine and Jessica keep her busy.

Instructor Resources