You are here

About BioHouse

The BioHouse residential learning community is a partnership between WISCIENCE and University Housing. The community was officially launched in Fall 2014 as UW-Madison's 10th residential learning community.

Visit the official BioHouse web page

Learn more about the BioHouse Seminar for first-year students.

The Vision

Approximately 25% of incoming students at UW–Madison are interested in studying the biological sciences—more than 1500 students each year. The first year of study can be difficult, with foundational courses like math and chemistry, and students may not take a biology course until their second semester or even their second year. BioHouse is designed to help students get a more integrated picture of their studies, understand how math and chemistry are relevant to biology, and see how they can make a difference in the world as biologists. Seeing the bigger picture, as well as connecting with faculty and creating a support network, can help students retain their enthusiasm and build confidence as young scientists.

BioHouse residents live on the same floor of a campus dormitory, and they work, play, study, and explore opportunities in biology together. Biology-themed social activities help build camaraderie, and a one-credit seminar course helps students appreciate the interdisciplinary nature of cutting-edge bioscience research, learn about career opportunities, and chart an exciting learning pathway at UW–Madison. Students address Grand Challenges in biology using an exploration of the five “foundation stones” of the discipline (evolution, structure and function, information dynamics, energy and matter dynamics, and systems) and learn about the centrality of biologiy in addressing global challenges around human health, biosphere health, food and fiber security, and energy security.

Scientific Learning Communities at UW–Madison

With the addition of BioHouse, there is now a trio of UW–Madison learning communities available to students interested in science. GreenHouse focuses on environmental sustainability, WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) fosters leadership in young women scientists and engineers, and BioHouse serves students across the biological sciences. 

For more information about UW–Madison’s residential learning communities, visit

William Karasov, PhD

BioHouse Faculty Director, Professor of Forest & Wildlife Ecology
Contact Info

(608) 263-9319


226 Russell Labs

1630 Linden Drive

Madison, WI 53706

Professor Karasov’s undergraduate education in Biology was at University of Minnesota (1971-1975), and he was in graduate school in Biology at University of California, Los Angeles (U.C.L.A. 1975-1981), where he received his Ph.D. From 1980-1984 he was a postdoctoral associate in the Physiology Department at U.C.L.A.

In 1985 he came to UW-Madison, where he is currently a Professor. His primary campus home is in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, but he is also a member of other graduate programs: Molecular and Environmental Toxicology Center (METC), Department of Zoology, Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Nutritional Sciences (IGPNS).

Professor Karasov became the Faculty Director of the BioHouse Residential Learning Community in 2015.

Lab Website