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Exploring Human Biology in the Laboratory

Matthew M. Douglas, Jonathan M. Douglas
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This book is customizable for courses with annual enrollments of 100 students or more.

Exploring Human Biology in the Laboratory is a comprehensive manual appropriate for human biology lab courses. This edition features a streamlined set of clearly written activities. These exercises emphasize the anatomy, physiology, ecology, and evolution of humans within their environment.

About this Product


  • Beautiful, full-color, and clearly labeled illustrations and photographs
  • Clearly stated student objectives
  • Meaningful and engaging laboratory activities with generous space for recording data, sketches, and answers to questions
  • Friendly and accessible writing style
  • “Does it matter?” sections open and close each chapter to give students applications of the chapter content to their daily lives
  • Each chapter ends with a “Summary and Discussion” to allow students review the main points prior to completing the lab
  • Review Questions at the end of each chapter foster understanding of important concepts
  • Instructor’s manual with lab preparation information

About the Author

Matthew M. Douglas

Dr. Matt, as his students call him, received his BA degree from the University of Michigan, his MS degree from Eastern Michigan University, and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Kansas. He has over 40 years of teaching experience at a number of private and public universities including the University of Kansas, California State University, Boston University, Harvard University (summer term), Grand Valley State University, Aquinas College, Michigan State University and Grand Rapids Community College, where he is currently professor of zoology and anatomy and physiology. His diverse background in teaching and research has made him understand the strengths and weaknesses presented by students from all levels of socioeconomic class and academic preparation.

Beyond teaching, Dr. Matt is the consultant for the Frederick Meijer Garden in Grand Rapids, a board member of the John Ball Zoo, and the series editor for the University of Michigan’s Great Lakes Environmental Series. He has served as a consultant for the BBC, the Boston Museum of Science, Arthur D. Little, Inc., and the Van Andel Museum of Science. 

Dr. Matt has been the recipient of National Science Foundation grants and has published a number of research papers in academic journals such as Science, Evolution, and Psyche, as well as lay person articles as a continuing “science and society” column in the Boston Herald, and lay magazines such as Audubon, Sierra, and Natural History. Dr. Matt has written screenplays and science fiction/fantasy novels, provided chapters and content editing for several ecology and zoology textbooks, published natural history books for the University of Michigan Press, and written novels and children’s science books. Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology was his latest endeavor into human biology along with co-authors Gary Thibodeau and Kevin Patton.

Jonathan M. Douglas

Jonathan Douglas received his B.S. degree in the evolutionary biological sciences from the University of Chicago, and his MS degree from Arizona State University. He plans to pursue his Ph.D. in the evolutionary sciences while continuing to teach at Maricopa Community College, where he has developed and delivered lecture instruction and laboratories for non-majors in the introductory biological sciences. Jonathan also serves as a laboratory instructor at Phoenix College where he instructs students in the biological sciences as well as the ecological and evolutionary sciences. 

He has worked as a research assistant at Arizona State University, as a visiting researcher at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, and as a research assistant at the Field Museum of Natural History.  Jonathan has also been a research fellow at the Mpala Research Center in Kenya and a research assistant at the Van Andel Research Institute. He has published scientific papers in journals such as Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, the Journal of Experimental Biology, and co-authored (with Matthew Douglas) a natural history book for the University of Michigan Press. As a young researcher and professor, Jon has special expertise and rapport with current generations of students now struggling with all aspects of the biological sciences.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: The Scientific Method

Chapter 2: Cell Structure and Function

Chapter 3: Organic Compounds

Chapter 4: Body Tissues

Chapter 5: Organization of the Human Body

Chapter 6: Integumentary System

Chapter 7: Skeletal System

Chapter 8: Muscular System

Chapter 9: Nervous System

Chapter 10: General and Special Senses

Chapter 11: Endocrine System

Chapter 12: Blood and the Cardiovascular System

Chapter 13: Enzymes and the Digestive System

Chapter 14: Urinary System

Chapter 15: Respiratory System

Chapter 16: Reproduction and Human Development

Chapter 17: Cell Division, DNA, Genes, and Inheritance

Chapter 18: Biotechnology and Darwinian Medicine

Chapter 19: General Evolution

Chapter 20: Human Ecology

Appendix A: Additional Thoughts on Human Evolution

Appendix B: A Brief Dissection of the Fetal Pig