PhD Thesis Checklist

❑ format your thesis according to the Graduate School's Thesis Formatting & Preparation Guidelines. See also Biology Thesis Submission Guidelines.

❑ complete the Application for Approval of External Examiner and give it to Joanne for approval. This is best done well in advance as this person must be approved by the both the Graduate Coordinator and the School of Graduate Studies.

❑ give a completed PhD Oral Thesis Examination Form to Joanne in the Biology Graduate Studies Office 30 business days (this does not include the day of your defence) before the defense date so that she can find a suitable Head’s Delegate for your defense. The Chair for your defense will be assigned by the Graduate School. Date and time of defense MUST be finalized with the other members of your thesis defense committee before you submit this form to Joanne. Joanne will send the completed form to the Graduate School for you.

❑ book a room and a data projector for the defense. Send an email to to request room 3112 or 3110 or 3101; book a data projector in the General Office.

25 business days (this does not include the day of the defence) before the date of your defense, distribute copies of your thesis to all of the members of your thesis defense committee, and give three to Joanne so she can give one to the Head’s Delegate and the other two to the Graduate School (so they can send one to the Chair of your defence and the other to the external examiner).

❑ email a pdf of your thesis to 25 business days prior to your defense. This pdf document will be screened by the graduate School for formatting issues and you will be notified of any required corrections. If you have prepared this pdf with line numbers, or single-spaced, etc (see Biology Thesis Submission Guidelines), please inform the thesis office in your email and note that you will conform to the Graduate School's thesis format requirements when you submit your final copy.

I've spent more time than many will believe [making microscopic observations], but I've done them with joy, and I've taken no notice those who have said why take so much trouble and what good is it?

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

It's a parts list... If I gave you the parts list for the Boeing 777 and it had 100,000 parts, I don't think you could screw it together and you certainly wouldn't understand why it flew

Eric Lander

What is true for E. coli is also true for the elephant

Jacques Monod

The world becomes full of organisms that have what it takes to become ancestors. That, in a sentence, is Darwinism

Richard Dawkins

Shall we conjecture that one and the same kind of living filaments is and has been the cause of all organic life?

Erasmus Darwin

Nature proceeds little by little from things lifeless to animal life in such a way that it's impossible to determine the line of demarcation


Cells let us walk, talk, think, make love, and realize the bath water is cold

Lorraine Lee Cudmore

In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history

Charles Darwin

It is my belief that the basic knowledge that we're providing to the world will have a profound impact on the human condition and the treatments for disease and our view of our place on the biological continuum

J. Craig Venter

Imagine a house coming together spontaneously from all the information contained in the bricks: that is how animal bodies are made

Neil Shubin

A grain in the balance will determine which individual shall live and which shall die - which variety or species shall increase in number, and which shall decrease, or finally become extinct

Charles Darwin

The stuff of life turned out to be not a quivering, glowing, wondrous gel but a contraption of tiny jigs, springs, hinges, rods, sheets, magnets, zippers, and trapdoors, assembled by a data tape whose information is copied, downloaded and scanned

Steven Pinker

We wish to discuss a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid. (D.N.A.). This structure has novel features which are of considerable biologic interest

Rosalind Franklin

We are biology. We are reminded of this at the beginning and the end, at birth and at death. In between we do what we can to forget

Mary Roach

The systems approach to biology will be the dominant theme in medicine

Leroy Hood

I've always been interested in animal behavior, and I keep reading about it because it's so surprising all the time - so many things are happening around us that we neglect to look at. Part of the passion I have for biology is based on this wonderment"

Isabella Rossellini

Because all of biology is connected, one can often make a breakthrough with an organism that exaggerates a particular phenomenon, and later explore the generality

Thomas Cech

Nothing in Biology makes sense except in the light of evolution

Theodosius Dobzhansky

Biology is now bigger than physics, as measured by the size of budgets, by the size of the workforce, or by the output of major discoveries; and biology is likely to remain the biggest part of science through the twenty-first century

- Freeman Dyson

Nothing can be more incorrect than the assumption one sometimes meets with, that physics has one method, chemistry another, and biology a third

- Thomas Huxley