IntroductionBiology is a major branch of Science which deals with study of life. Actually the word Biology is derived from two Greek words: Bios=life and logos=to study. So the study of life is Biology. Greeks are known to be the pioneers of organized study of Biology. Scientists of the ancient times like Aristotle (Father of Biology), Theophrastus (Father of Botany) and Hippocrates (Father of Medicine) are the pioneers for the accumulation of knowledge of Biology. After this through more progress and development of technology made it much easier for discovering more and more new things in the field of Biology. To make the study of the knowledge accumulated easier, scientists divided this knowledge into so many sub-branches. So here below we are discussing about some of the important branches of Biology:
BotanyBotany is a branch of Biology which deals with the study of plants. This branch deals with the study of plants including their structure, properties, biochemical processes, classification, Ecology etc. The term Botany is derived from a Greek word 'botane' means pasture, grass or fodder. The term Botany is otherwise known as Phytology or Plant Science. Theophrastus is known to be the Father of Botany.
ZoologyZoology is the branch of Biology which deals with the study of animals. It deals with the study of structure, habits,distribution of animals, behavior, Physiology, classification, embryology, ecology, evolution, both extinct and living organisms. The term Zoology derived from two Greek words- Zoo means animals and logos means study. So the study of animals is Zoology. Aristotle is known to be the Father of Zoology.
MorphologyMorphology is a branch of Biology which deals with the study of form and structure of an organism. Study of form means the way the different parts of an organism arranged in the body. Morphology deals with the study of both external features and internal features of an organism. The study of external features of an organism is External Morphology and the study of internal features of an organism is Internal Morphology. Study of internal morphology involves Anatomy, Histology, Cytology and Embryology. Wilhelm Hofmeister is considered to be Father of Morphology.
AnatomyAnatomy is the study of gross internal structure of an organism as observed in dissection. In one way we also can call Anatomy as internal morphology. The word Anatomy is derived from the Greek word 'anatome' means dissection. Anatomy is the scientific study of the structure of organisms which include their organ systems, organs and tissues. It includes the appearance and position of the various structures, the materials by which they are made, their locations and their association with other parts. Andreas Vesalius is considered to be Father of modern Anatomy.
CytologyThe word Cytology is derived from two Greek words- Cyto (Kytos) means Cell (hollow vessel) and -ology means 'study of'. So the study of cell is Cytology. Cytology is a branch of Biology which deals with the study of an individual cell. It deals with the study of structure, function and Chemistry of plant and animal cells. Robert Hooke is considered to be the Father of Cytology and Father of modern Cytology is Swanson.
HistologyHistology is a branch of Biology which deals with the study of tissues. A tissue is a group of similar cells which have the same origin and can together carry a specific function within the body. Actually it is the microscopic anatomy of cells and tissues of plants and animals. Tissues of plants and animals vary in their structure and function. Marie François Xavier Bichat is considered to be Father of modern Histology.
TaxonomyTaxonomy is one of the oldest branches of Biology. This branch deals with identification, nomenclature (naming) and Classification (grouping) of plants and animals. Identification of a new organism will be done by comparing with similar such organisms to make out the differences between them. Then the newly identified organism will be given a scientific name by following Binomial System of Nomenclature. In this system, the scientific name include two words- the first word include the Genus name and the second word include species name. Genus name should be started with capital letter and species name should be started with a small letter. Classification is the grouping of organism basing on similarities and dissimilarities of the organisms. Then the new organism will be assigned to various taxons of classification basing on the characteristic features they possess. Carolus Linneaus is considered to be the Father of Taxonomy.
GeneticsGenetics is the branch of Biology which deals with the study of inheritance of characters from parents to offspring. Genes are located on chromosomes are considered to be responsible for transmitting heredity features from parents to offspring. So chromosomes are considered to be hereditary bearers and genes are considered to be heredity carriers. Chromosomes and genes are made up of the genetic material DNA. Genetics involve the study of laws and principles which are responsible for transmission of similar features inherited from parents and also the variations observed in the individual. Jhon Gregor Mendel is considered to be Father of Genetics
EcologyEcology is a branch of Biology which deals with the study of relationship between man and his environment. This branch deals with the study of interactions within the organisms and their physical environment. Ecology involves the study of interactions between abiotic (non-living) components (air, soil, water, atmosphere, sunlight, humidity, climate etc.) and biotic (living) components (plants, animals and microbes). Ecology is an interdisciplinary branch which involve other fields like Biology, Geography and Earth science. Alexander von Humboldt is considered to the Father of Ecology
PhysiologyPhysiology is a branch of Biology which deals with the study of functional activities of organisms and their parts. This branch deals with the study of how organisms, organ systems, organs, tissues, cells, bio-molecules work to carry out physical or chemical functions in a living system. Stephen Hales is considered to be Father of Physiology.
Embryology Embryology is a branch of Biology which deals with the study of the formation and the development of an embryo into young individual in plants and animals. This study involves the parental development of gametes, fertilization, formation of embryo's and their development into young individuals. Study of embryology of plants and animals give clue to evolutionary pattern of organisms. Von Baer is considered to be Father of modern Biology.
EvolutionThis branch deals with the origin and descent of new organisms through a time period. The small changes which occur in every generation of organisms are known as variations. These small variations which the organisms acquire in every generation through millions of years lead to the descent of new species. Charles Darwin is considered to be the Father of Evolution.
PaleontologyPaleontology is the branch of Biology which deals with the study of fossils or pre-historic forms of life. Fossils are the dead remains of plants and animals which were buried under soil from some millions of years back. This study of fossils will help the scientists to determine the origin of organism's evolution and its interaction with other organisms and the environment. Study of Paleontology involves the sciences Biochemistry, Mathematics and Engineering. Paleontology branch lies on the border line between Biology and Geology but it deviates from Archaeology. Georges Cuvier is considered to be Father of Paleontology.
PathologyPathology is a branch of Biology which deals with study of symptoms of diseases and their cure in plants, humans and animals. To diagnose the diseases, Pathology makes uses the study of tissues, cells and body fluids of organisms. Pathology also requires the help of various other branches like Bio-chemistry, Immunology, Hematology, Genetics, Microbiology, Histology etc. Rudolf Virchow is considered to be Father of microscopic Pathology.
ParasitologyIt is the branch of Biology which deals with the study of parasites of plants and animals. Parasites are the organisms which need a host for their food and shelter. For example, Tape Worms, Round worms and Pin Worms live as parasites in the small intestine of human beings which can be termed as endo-parasites. But Leeches live as ecto-parasites attach themselves to the outer body surface of certain animals like Cows, Buffaloes etc. to suck their blood. Certain fungal organisms live in the roots, stems and leaves of certain plants as parasites and suck the juices of plants. Francesco Redi is considered to be Father of modern Parasitology.
ImmunologyIt is a branch of Biology which deals with the study of phenomena and the causes of immunity. The resistance against disease causing germs is known as immunity. Biology and Medical Sciences deeply involve in the study of immune system. Immune system guards us from various infections through various lines of defense. If our immune system doesn't work properly leads to autoimmunity, allergy and cancer. Louis Pasteur is known to be the Father of Immunology.
EugenicsEugenics is a branch of Biology which deals with the improvement of human race through controlled heredity. It helps to develop a population through controlled breeding to increase more and more desirable characteristic features possible in human race. Francis Galton is known to be Father of Eugenics.
BiochemistryIt is the study of chemicals, chemical reactions and chemical processes which occur in living organisms. Biochemistry is the study of process occurring in living organisms at molecular level. Biochemistry brings together Biology and Chemistry and helps us to understand how life works. Carl Alexander Neuberg is known to be the Father of Modern Biochemistry.
So the above are the most prominent branches of Biology and acquiring the knowledge of these branches will help us to study and understand about various living organisms present in our surroundings.