AP Biology (Mader), 11th Edition

New to this Edition

New Features

  • AP Unit and Chapter Openers ("Following the Big Ideas") and AP end-of-chapter materials ("Connecting the Concepts with the Big Ideas").
  • Easily Accessible AP course and exam information in text Preface, AP supplements, and AP practice exams.
  • ConnectPlus—online assignments & assessments, interactive eBook, adaptive learning technology, and more!
  • Media Integration—vibrant media icons throughout each chapter to indicate where relevant animations, video and MP3 files are available to students through ConnectPlus.

For a Guided Chapter Tour, download the PDF below.

Guided Chapter Tour (1228.0K)

Integration of Text and Digital

An icon of science education, Sylvia Mader's dedication to her students, coupled with a concise writing style, has benefited the education of thousands of students.

The integration of the text and the digital world are now complete with the addition of Dr. Michael Windelspecht's expertise in the development of digital learning assets. He has acted as the leading architect in the design of the Mader media content for McGraw-Hill's Connect Plus and LearnSmart. These assets allow teachers to easily design interactive tutorial materials, enhance online and traditional presentations, and assess the learning objectives and outcomes of a course.

For more information about Teacher and Learning Tools, download the PDF below.

Teaching and Learning Tools (568.0K)

Unit "Big Ideas"

We recognize that scientific literacy is not based upon the memorization of a series of facts. Instead, learning is based on establishing associations and links between what, at first glance, appear to be diverse topics. The "Big Ideas" we have chosen to emphasize include

  • Evolution
  • Nature of Science
  • Biological Systems

The cover of this textbook, a gray wolf over a caribou skeleton with the Colorado mountain range in the background, was selected to reflect the importance of these three themes to the life sciences. By studying the historical evolutionary relationship of these species in their natural environment, biologists have been able to better understand the interdependence of the occupants of this ecosystem.

These Big Ideas are integrated into all aspects of the textbook, from the unit learning outcomes to the theme-based feature readings in the text. At the start of each chapter, "Following the Big Ideas" introduces the relationship of the chapter's content to each of the ideas. At the end of each chapter, "Connecting the Concepts with the Big Ideas" not only reminds the student of the relationships between chapter content and the three core ideas, but also acts as a prelude to topics in the next few chapters of the text. In essence, the Big Ideas act as the threads that unite the concepts throughout the text, enabling the student to see relationships from the molecular to ecosystem levels of biology.


Evolutionary change, along with the mechanism of natural selection, represents the unifying concept of the biological sciences. In essence, biological evolution is the thread that links all life together. Throughout this textbook, feature readings on this Big Idea both demonstrate the process of evolution and illustrate how scientists study and measure evolutionary change. By following this idea through the book, students develop a better understanding of why evolution is a dynamic process, and one that has shaped, and will continue to influence, life on this planet.

Nature of Science

Through the processes of observation, the application of the scientific method, and the use of both inductive and deductive reasoning, scientists study life. To develop a deeper understanding of the biological sciences, students must appreciate that the study of life is a process, and that this process has application in their everyday lives. This Big Idea focuses not only on how biologists do science, but also on the influences scientific inquiry has on our understanding of our world.

Biological Systems

From cells to ecosystems, all life is interconnected. Increasingly, scientists are becoming aware that small changes in the chemical composition of an ecosystem can have a tremendous influence on the life in that ecosystem. This Big Idea was chosen to provide a holistic approach to the study of the life sciences, by demonstrating not only that all life is interconnected, but also that the principles regulating life at the cellular level play a role in physiology and ecosystem biology as well.

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