Faculty / College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Phillip Pack

Professor Emeritus, Biology

Phillip Pack is Professor of Biology. He regularly greets freshman and sophomore students in his Biology, Botany, or Environmental Studies classes and might see them again when he teaches Evolution or Field Botany. He often combines the teaching of science with other disciplines, teaching Energy and Society (with Architecture faculty), Food and Society (with Economics faculty), and Natural History of California and Nature Writing (with Literature faculty). In addition, he regularly gives guest lectures to other classes including Managerial Economics (on the effects of global climate change, if you’re wondering), Animal Drawing, and Politics.

Providing field experiences for students is an essential component of all of Dr. Pack’s classes. Overnight trips to local mountains, a 4-day trip to Yosemite, as well as local trips to natural history museums and botanical gardens are integral to broadening course content. He has also taught the Natural History of the Sierra Nevada in which the entire course is taught while backpacking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Dr. Pack is well known for his best-selling Cliffs AP Biology, a preparation guide for high school students taking the Advanced Placement test in Biology. Now in its 4th edition, it provides a thorough review of the AP Biology curriculum and laboratory exercises, as well as practice AP exams. Other publications include AP Biology with CD-ROM, Cliffs AP 5 Biology Practice Exams, and Cliffs Quick Review: Anatomy and Physiology.

Dr. Pack’s research interests include the evolution of sex, allelopathy in chaparral plants, and inbreeding depression in plants. Dr. Pack recently spent 5 weeks in the Galapagos Islands documenting human-induced environmental degradation and re-examining observations of Charles Darwin as recorded in his publications and personal notes.


Ph.D., Botany, Claremont Graduate University
M.A., Education, University of California, Los Angeles
B.S., Physics, University of Southern California

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