Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Biology: Exploring the Diversity of Life, 4th Edition

  • Peter Russell
  • Paul E. Hertz
  • Beverly McMillan
  • Brock Fenton
  • Denis Maxwell
  • Tom Haffie
  • Bill Milsom
  • Todd Nickle
  • Shona Ellis
  • ISBN-10: 0176718885
  • ISBN-13: 9780176718886
  • 0 Pages | Hardcover
  • Previous Editions: 2016, 2013, 2010
  • COPYRIGHT: 2019 Published
Request a Copy for Review


About the Product

Biology: Exploring the Diversity of Life is uniquely designed for today’s Canadian biology student. The intention of this introductory biology text is to capture students’ imaginations and evoke a sense of curiosity about the vast world of biology. To facilitate immediately immersing students in biology, the text puts the review of chemistry and biochemistry in a distinct section called the Purple Pages, to be easily referenced when needed. The authors have taken great care to encourage critical thinking and learning with engaging visuals and by integrating the material across the book’s chapters. With a focus on the Canadian biology student, the text approaches the material with a readable style that instills a sense of wonder by using examples from across the spectrum of biodiversity, showcasing Canadian research and innovation, and highlighting an array of career options that stem from biology. The text engages students in the science and future of biological science with effective pedagogy, streamlined content, a comprehensive MindTap, and a focus on research and experimentation that creates a complete biology learning solution.


  • The story of the research is presented in Experimental Research, Observational Research, and Research Method figures

  • The Purple Pages keep the review of chemistry and biochemistry in one distinct, easy to reference section

  • Study break questions in each section enhance understanding and scientific communication

  • Self-test questions enhance student learning and comprehension

  • MindTap and Aplia expand the learning solution with features such as animations/videos, critical thinking activities such as “Design an Experiment,” conceptual problem sets, and “Where are they now?” to highlight career options.

  • Aplia is a Cengage Learning online homework solution dedicated to improving learning by increasing student effort and engagement. With exercises authored by Aplia content experts and drawn directly from or relating to the supporting text, Aplia makes it easy for instructors to assign online homework.

  • Offering personalized paths of dynamic assignments and applications, MindTap enables students to analyze and apply chapter concepts within relevant assignments, and allows instructors to measure skills and promote better outcomes with ease. A fully online learning solution, MindTap combines all student learning tools—readings, multimedia, activities, and assessments—into a single Learning Path that guides the student through the curriculum. Instructors personalize the experience by customizing the presentation of these learning tools to their students, even seamlessly introducing their own content into the Learning Path.


[T]he textbook [is] very engaging and interesting, which makes it a lot easier for a student to go over the chapters and learn the material. In addition, by removing unnecessary boxes, you have made the chapters less dense and more ‘to the point.’ I also like the additions made, including the Why It Matters and Concept Maps, as they help ease the students into and out of the chapter.
— Student Advisory Board Member, E. Oliya

About the Author

Beverly McMillan

Beverly McMillan has been a science writer for more than 30 years and holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to her work on this textbook, she has coauthored eleven editions of a human biology text and written or coauthored numerous trade books on scientific subjects and natural history. She has also worked extensively as a content developer and editorial manager in educational and commercial publishing, including co-publishing ventures with Yale University Press, the Smithsonian Institution, the U.S. National Park Service and other partners.

Brock Fenton

M.B. (Brock) Fenton received his Ph.D. in 1969 for work in the ecology and behaviour of bats. Since then he has held academic positions at Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada 1969 to 1986), York University (Toronto, Canada 1986 to 2003) and the University of Western Ontario (2003 to present). He has published over 200 papers in refereed journals (most of them about bats), as well as numerous nontechnical contributions. He has written three books about bats intended for a general audience (Just bats 1983, University of Toronto Press; Bats 1992 - revised edition 2001 Facts On File Inc; and The bat: wings in the night sky 1998, Key Porter Press). He has supervised the work of 46 M.Sc. Students and 22 Ph.D. students who have completed their degrees. He currently supervises 5 M.Sc. students and 2 Ph.D. students. He continues his research on the ecology and behaviour of bats, with special emphasis on echolocation. He currently is an Emeritus Professor of Biology, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.

Denis Maxwell

(Ph.D., University of Western Ontario) teaches in the Department of Biology at the University of Western Ontario. Following his doctorate, he was awarded a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada post-doctoral fellowship. He undertook post-doctoral training at the Department of Energy—Plant Research Laboratory at Michigan State University, where he studied the function of the mitochondrial alternative oxidase. His research program, which is supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, is focused on understanding the role of the mitochondrion in intracellular stress sensing and signalling.

Tom Haffie

is a graduate of the University of Guelph and the University of Saskatchewan in the area of microbial genetics. Currently the Learning Development Coordinator for the Faculty of Science at the University of Western Ontario, Tom has devoted his 20-year career to teaching large biology classes in lecture, laboratory, and tutorial settings. He holds a UWO Pleva Award for Excellence in Teaching, a UWO Fellowship in Teaching Innovation, a Province of Ontario Award for Leadership in Faculty Teaching (LIFT), and a national 3M Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching.

Bill Milsom

Bill Milsom (Ph.D., University of British Columbia) is currently the Head of the Department of Zoology at the University of British Columbia where he has taught a variety of courses, including first year biology, for over 30 years. His research interests include the evolutionary origins of respiratory processes and the adaptive changes in these processes that allow animals to exploit diverse environments. He examines respiratory and cardiovascular adaptations in vertebrate animals in rest, sleep, exercise, altitude, dormancy, hibernation, diving, etc. This contributes to our understanding of the mechanistic basis of biodiversity and the physiological costs of habitat selection. His research has been funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. He has received several academic awards and distinctions including the Fry Medal of the Canadian Society of Zoologists, the August Krogh Award of the American Physiological Society, and the Izaak Walton Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring. He has served as the President of the Canadian Society of Zoologists and as President of the International Congress of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry.

Todd Nickle

Todd Nickle received his Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University in 1998, and has been teaching biology at Mount Royal University ever since. He advocates Active Learning: students come to class prepared to work with material rather than just hear about it. Student preparation involves reading the text and applying the concepts to online exercises, the results of which inform what the next lecture will be about. Class time focusses on exploring connections between concepts and ideas in biology and how they relate to other disciplines, which inspired him coauthor a handbook for first-year science students (Science3). His interest in promoting best teaching practices among educators had him confirm the Alberta Introductory Biology Association as an official Society of Alberta; Todd is currently President. His work put him in the first cohort of Full Professors at Mount Royal University in 2012, garnered the 2015 ACIFA Innovation in Teaching Award, and the Distinguished Faculty Award from MRU in 2016.

Shona Ellis

Shona Ellis (M.Sc., University of British Columbia) is a professor of teaching in the Botany Department and Associate Head of Biology at the University of British Columbia. She developed a keen interest in forests and the ocean and growing up on the central coast of British Columbia. As an undergraduate, Professor Ellis pursued her interests in botany and entomology. Her MSc research incorporated tissue culture, phytochemistry, and plant anatomy. As a teaching assistant, she realized a passion for teaching and joined the teaching faculty at the University of British Columbia in 1998. She teaches botany courses that have included nonvascular and vascular plants, economic botany, bryology, and plant systematics, as well as introductory biology. Professor Ellis has taught in a number of settings: large and small lectures, laboratories, and fieldtrips. While she feels the best classroom is outdoors, she integrates online technologies into all of her courses; she is an early adopter of online teaching and learning resources. Professor Ellis has received two Killam Teaching Awards and a Charles Bessey Teaching Award (Botanical Society of America).

Table of Contents

Volume 1: Biology of the Cell
Chapter 1: Light and Life

Unit One: Systems and Processes: The Cell

Chapter 2: The Cell: An Overview
Chapter 3: Energy and Enzymes
Chapter 4: Cell Membranes and Signaling
Chapter 5: Cellular Respiration
Chapter 6: Photosynthesis

Unit Two: Genes

Chapter 7: Cell Cycles
Chapter 8: Genetic Recombination
Chapter 9: The Chromosomal Basis of Mendelian Inheritance
Chapter 10: Genetic Linkage, Sex-Linkage, and other Non-Mendelian Inheritance Mechanisms

Unit Three: DNA and Gene Expression

Chapter 11: DNA Structure, Replication, and Repair
Chapter 12: Gene Structure Expression, and Mutation
Chapter 13: Regulation of Gene Expression
Chapter 14: DNA Technologies
Chapter 15: Genomes

Volume 2: Evolution, Ecology, and the Diversity of Life
Unit Four: Evolution and Classification

Chapter 16: Evolution: The Development of the Theory
Chapter 17: Microevolution: Changes within Populations
Chapter 18: Speciation and Macroevolution
Chapter 19: Systematics and Phylogenetics: Revealing the Tree of Life
Chapter 20: Humans and Evolution

Unit Five: The Diversity of Life

Chapter 21: Defining Life and Its Origins
Chapter 22: Viruses, Viroids, and Prions: Infectious Biological Particles
Chapter 23: Bacteria and Archaea
Chapter 24: Protists
Chapter 25: Fungi
Chapter 26: Plants
Chapter 27: Animals
Chapter 28: Conservation of Biodiversity

Unit Six: Ecology and Behaviour

Chapter 29: Population Ecology
Chapter 30: Species Interactions and Community Ecology
Chapter 31: Ecosystems
Chapter 32: Animal Behaviour

PURPLE PAGES: The Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biology

Volume 3: Systems and Processes
Unit Seven: Systems and Processes: Plants

Chapter 33: Organization of the Plant Body
Chapter 34: Transport in Plants
Chapter 35: Reproduction and Development in Flowering Plants
Chapter 36: Plant Nutrition
Chapter 37: Plant Signals and Responses to the Environment

Unit Eight: Systems and Processes: Animals

Chapter 38: Introduction to Animal Organization and Physiology
Chapter 39: Animal Nutrition
Chapter 40: Gas Exchange: The Respiratory System
Chapter 41: Internal Transport: The Circulatory System
Chapter 42: Regulation of the Internal Environment: Water, Solutes, and Temperature
Chapter 43: Control of Animal Processes: Endocrine Control
Chapter 44: Animal Reproduction
Chapter 45: Control of Animal Processes: Neural Control
Chapter 46: Muscles, Skeletons, and Body Movements

Appendix A – Answers to Self-Test Questions

New to this edition

  • Streamlined content organization
  • Enhanced “Why It Matters” begin each chapter
  • New Chapter Roadmaps provide a visual of the concepts in each chapter
  • New Summary Illustrations show a visual overview of how the chapter concepts connect
  • New Green Pages emphasize the diversity of life and give students a reference to place the chapter in historical context
  • Extensively revised section on Evolution and Classification
  • Updated and streamlined coverage of Reproduction and Development in Animals


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

MindTap Printed Access Card (12 Month/Multi Term) for Biology: Exploring the Diversity of Life  (ISBN-10: 017677095X | ISBN-13: 9780176770952)
Instructor DVD to accompany Biology: Exploring the Diversity of Life  (ISBN-10: 0176770798 | ISBN-13: 9780176770792)

Student Supplements

eBook: Biology: Exploring the Diversity of Life  (ISBN-10: 0176853790 | ISBN-13: 9780176853792)
MindTap Instant Access (12 Month/Multi Term) for Russell's Biology: Exploring the Diversity of Life  (ISBN-10: 0176770917 | ISBN-13: 9780176770914)

MindTap® provides you with the tools you need to manage your time better. You can complete assignments whenever and wherever with course material customized and streamlined for you by your instructor in a proven and easy-to-use interface. Relevant, engaging material keeps you connected to your course and course analytics by providing timely feedback showing you where you stand at all times—both individually and compared with the highest performers in class. With a wide array of course specific tools and apps – from an interactive eBook to note taking capabilities and flashcards, you can feel confident that MindTap is a worthwhile and valuable investment in your education. Please note - A Course Registration URL or Course Key is required from your Instructor to use MindTap.

Aplia Instant Access (12 Month/Multi Term) for Biology: Exploring the Diversity of Life  (ISBN-10: 0176770909 | ISBN-13: 9780176770907)