Professors Devlin, Shear, Werth; Assistant Professors Goodman, Hargadon, Lowry, Wolyniak
Chair: Alexander J. Werth
All students interested in majoring in Biology are requested to see a representative of the Department of Biology during their freshman year to discuss their future programs of study. The requirements for a major in Biology are the following: Biology 110/151 (4 hours credit); Biology 201, 202, 203 (12 hours credit); Chemistry 110/151, and either 221/152 or 230/251; at least 16 additional credit hours in Biology (for a total of 32 credit hours in Biology), not to include Biology 108, 109, 130, or 140. Majors are encouraged to take Mathematics 121 (Statistics).
Note: Majors planning to pursue graduate or professional studies should speak with Biology faculty as soon as possible to determine which other courses (e.g., calculus, physics, organic chemistry) should be taken.
The requirements for a minor in Biology are the following: Biology 110/151 (4 hours credit); two 200-level "core" courses to be chosen from among the following: Biology 201, 202, 203 (8 hours credit); two additional Biology courses at the 300-level, or, one course at the 300-level and the remaining 200-level "core" course listed above. At least one of these courses must include a laboratory (7-8 hours credit).
Please note also the availability of a minor in Environmental Studies.
BIOLOGY 108. (3)
ENVIRONMENTAL BIOLOGY. A consideration, based on basic biological concepts, of the processes leading to the degradation of our environment. The course includes discussions of such topics as environmental pollution by pesticides, industrial by-products, and radioactive materials; the historical background and future prospects of the population explosion; and the need for preservation of our natural resources. Prerequisite: none. Corequisite: none.
BIOLOGY 109. (3)
WATER RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES. An introduction to global water resources, in terms of quantity, quality, and geographic distribution. Scientific investigations include aquatic ecology, geomorphology, and hydrology. Human use of water and environmental issues arising from over-use and distributional inequality are discussed, using national and international case studies. Prerequisite: none. Corequisite: none.
BIOLOGY 110. (3)
PRINCIPLES OF BIOLOGY. An introduction to biology, focusing on the major conceptual principles that unite the life sciences. Biology 110 uses evolution as an underlying theme in the study of biology. Prerequisite: none. Corequisite: Biology 151. Offered: every semester.
BIOLOGY 151. (1)
LABORATORY PRINCIPLES OF BIOLOGY. Laboratory work designed as an introduction to the study of biology. Prerequisite: none. Corequisite: Biology 110. Offered: every semester.
BIOLOGY 130. (3)
BIOETHICS. Examines the growing field of problems lying at the interface between advancing technological expertise in the health fields and the related moral and ethical problems which are being raised by such advances. An attempt is made to place man in his proper biological perspective and to provide students with the mental tools and outlooks with which they can make intelligent judgments in bioethical matters and then live with their decisions. No laboratory. This course does not provide credit toward a Biology major. Prerequisite: none.
BIOLOGY 140. (3)
BIOLOGY OF CANCER. An exploration of fundamental biological concepts underlying normal cellular and developmental processes and those that are disrupted in cancer. Topics include cell structure and function, regulation of growth, the genetic and environmental causes of cancer, cancer treatments, and the role of clinical trials. Case histories and specific cancers will be used to explore the personal and social dimensions of a cancer diagnosis. This course is intended for non-majors wishing to fulfill a science requirement and may not be counted toward the Biology major. Prerequisite: none.
BIOLOGY 201. (4)
GENETICS AND CELL BIOLOGY. Fundamental concepts and applications of the principles underlying inheritance and variation. Understanding will build from the patterns of inheritance in transmission (Mendelian) genetics to the molecular expression of genes and will conclude with a treatment of gene flow in populations. Laboratory exercises include work with live organisms, such as yeast, bacteria, and Drosophila, as well as interactive computer simulations, statistical analysis, and class presentations. Prerequisites: Biology 110 and 151.
BIOLOGY 202. (4)
ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY. A study of the form and function of organisms (with emphasis on plants and animals) from the cellular to the organ system and whole-organism levels. Following a general consideration of cell structure and biochemistry, the course focuses on body plans, tissues, vital processes, life cycles, development, and evolutionary relationships and diversity of plants and animals. Labs involve dissection and experiments on plant/animal physiology. Prerequisites: Biology 110 and 151.
BIOLOGY 203. (4)
ECOLOGY. A study of the interrelationships between living organisms with each other and their non-living environment. Topics to include, but not to be limited to: the history of ecology; the characteristics of the physical environment; ecosystem energetics; biogeochemical cycles; comparative ecosystem ecology; population ecology; community ecology; and the impact of man on natural ecosystems. The laboratory emphasizes the techniques and practice of field ecology and natural history. Local and extended field trips are made. Prerequisites: Biology 110 and 151.
BIOLOGY 260. (4)
TROPICAL BIOLOGY. A study of species and habitat diversity characteristics of different tropical biomes. A guided description of the natural history, the interactions between animals and plants, and the effects of human intervention is offered. Students practice the scientific method by emphasizing intensive field work, gathering of data, analysis, and presentation of results. The course includes a study of different taxa unique to each biome and an exploration of the different environmental characteristics that allow some species and not others to be present in those environments. Prerequisites: Biology 110 and 151, or consent of the instructor. Offered: May Term.
BIOLOGY 261. (4)
EVOLUTIONARY ECOLOGY. A field-based study of the causal relationship between Darwinian ecology and evolution, examining the principal evolutionary and ecological mechanisms leading to biodiversity, typically in tropical biomes. Using diverse terrestrial and marine ecosystems as living laboratories, this course explores the dynamic interface of biogeography, behavioral ecology, and physiological ecology to investigate means by which organisms adapt to their physical habitat and the other species that live there, both in historical and modern contexts. Prerequisites: Biology 110 and 151. Offered: normally, May Term.
BIOLOGY 302. (4)
HISTOLOGY. A structure- and function-based examination of the organization of vertebrate tissues. This involves an examination of the mole-cular, cellular and gross organization of the four basic tissues (nervous, muscle, connective, epithelial) and an examination of how they are organized into organs and organ systems in the vertebrates. The laboratory involves both the processing of live tissue samples and the examination of microscope slides and electron micrographs. Prerequisites: Biology 110, 151, 202.
BIOLOGY 303. (4)
ENDOCRINOLOGY. This course involves a study of the synthesis, actions and metabolism of a variety of chemical messengers (hormones) that act as agents of action of the vertebrate endocrine system. The course focuses on integration of a variety of vertebrate tissues and organs that can act as signal generators and receptors. The course primarily examines normal endocrine function, but some attention is also given to clinical disorders resulting from hormonal imbalance. Laboratory exercises are experimental in nature and involve cell culturing and manipulation of live animals. Prerequisites: Biology 110, 151, 202.
BIOLOGY 304. (4)
MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR BIOLOGY. An examination of the workings of cells and how molecular processes govern cellular function. Topics include gene expression and regulation, structure and function of DNA, RNA, biological membranes, the cell cytoskeleton, and organelles, signaling within and between cells, and the organization of the extracellular matrix. Laboratory exercises are long-term experiments focused on giving students an authentic research experience. Prerequisites: Biology 110, 151, and 201.
BIOLOGY 310. (4)
DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY. A survey course that examines the processes involved in the transformation of a single diploid cell into a mature animal. Topics include the early sequence of cellular interactions that generate form (morphogenesis) and the molecular mechanisms involved in controlling gene expression during development. Laboratories are experimentally based and include experiments and microsurgery with a variety of live embryos, including fruit fly, sea urchin, frog, fish, chick and others. Prerequisite: Biology 201 or 202.
BIOLOGY 311. (3)
BIOCHEMISTRY. A structural and functional study of the cell, with emphasis on the role of macromolecules in metabolism, information transfer, and structure. Topics also include an introduction to the kinetics and thermodynamics of biochemical reactions. Students who have received credit for Chemistry 335 may not receive credit for Biology 311. Prerequisites: Biology 110, 151, and 201; and Chemistry 110, 221, 230, 251, and 231; or consent of instructor. Offered: fall semester of odd-numbered years. (Cross-listed as Chemistry 335 in the fall of even-numbered years.)
BIOLOGY 313. (4)
GENOMICS AND BIOINFORMATICS. This course explores the theory and applications of genomics and appreciates how it has revolutionized molecular biology. Classes draw from both textbook readings and discussions of primary scientific literature. Lab activities include the use of computer-based genetic databases, genetic library construction and analysis, and an exploration of the frontiers of DNA sequencing technology. Prerequisites: Biology 110 and 201.
BIOLOGY 314. (3)
CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE MEDICAL LITERATURE. This course addresses current research literature as a means of exploring the genetics of several diseases of clinical relevance. The focus is on experimental design and execution as well as critical reading of primary scientific literature to better understand how research scientists in both standard and clinical laboratories approach the development of treatments and cures for a variety of mutation-derived human diseases. Students are expected to analyze and argue the pros and cons of experimental techniques used in the literature as well as to lead a full class discussion based on current selected scientific papers. Prerequisite: Biology 201.
BIOLOGY 321. (4)
MICROBIOLOGY. An intensive study of the structure, energy-harnessing mechanisms, ecology, and genetics of bacteria. Also considered is the biology of viruses (structure and genetics), fungi, and eukaryotic microbes. Laboratory work focuses on skills and practices recommended by the American Society for Microbiology, featuring opportunities for students to work independently and in small groups to sample the environment, identify unknown bacteria, and develop microscopy and microbial research laboratory skills.
BIOLOGY 323. (4)
IMMUNOLOGY. A discussion and laboratory class that investigates the major principles of the immune response. The focus throughout is to understand how the body distinguishes "self" from "nonself." Specifically, topics include innate and acquired immunity, active and passive immunity, characteristics of cells involved in the immune response, humoral and cellular immunity, and applications of immunological principles to medical situations, such as recovery from infectious disease, successful organ transplantation, allergic responses, and treatment of cancer. Laboratory experiences include immunologically based assays as well as the study of cells and molecules of the immune response. Prerequisites: Biology 110, 151, 201, and either 304 or 321.
BIOLOGY 324. (4)
VIROLOGY. This course involves a study of the major families of viruses, including the structure, genetics, and replication cycles of these virus families. Attention is given to bacteriophages, plant viruses, animal viruses, and the virus-like agents prions and viroids. Emphasis is placed on clinically relevant topics in the field of virology, including viral pathogenicity, antiviral therapies, and host immunity to virus infection. The laboratory component of the course introduces students to cell culture techniques as well as techniques for the identification and enumeration of viruses and a semester-long project. Prerequisites: Biology 110, 151, and Biology 201.
BIOLOGY 331. (4)
VERTEBRATE ANATOMY. An intensive comparative study of vertebrate structure and evolution, from materials and tissues to organs and organ systems, including chordate systematics and diversity. Laboratories involve dissection, gross and microscopic examination of vertebrate tissues, and experimental methods in functional morphology. Prerequisites: Biology 110, 151, 202.
BIOLOGY 332. (4)
VERTEBRATE PHYSIOLOGY. An intensive comparative study of the physical, chemical, and metabolic functions of vertebrates, including humans. Emphasis is placed on physiological ecology and adaptation to the environment. Laboratory experiments investigate the function of structural tissues and internal organ systems, utilizing computer software and instrumentation. Prerequisites: Biology 110, 151, 202.
BIOLOGY 341. (4)
PLANT DIVERSITY. An intensive study of the anatomy, morphology, and physiology of the organisms of the kingdom Plantae with laboratory experiences. Also included in the lectures and laboratories is a review of the other non-animal organisms, namely cyanobacteria, algae, and fungi. Prerequisites: Biology 110, 151, 202.
BIOLOGY 343. (4)
MARINE BIOLOGY. An introduction to biological oceanography including physical, chemical, and biological processes that govern life in the sea. The course focuses on diverse marine habitats and ecosystems; taxonomic and geographic diversity of marine organisms and their ecology and physiology; and marine resources and conservation. Lectures, discussions, and films explore the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms at work within marine environments. Laboratory exercises involve trips to coastal environments and aquaria plus on-campus activities. Prerequisite: Biology 202 or Biology 203.
BIOLOGY 347. (4)
ANIMAL BEHAVIOR. An introduction to the mechanisms, diversity, and evolution of animal behavior. Students examine the development, adaptive function, evolution, and physiological control of behaviors in both vertebrates and invertebrates. Field and laboratory exercises emphasize exposure to methods used in the study of animal
behavior, including research design, data collection, and statistical analysis of data. Prerequisites: Biology 110 and 151.
BIOLOGY 353. (4)
BIODIVERSITY. This course attempts to survey the diversity of life on Earth, including both prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms, animals, plants and fungi. After an introduction to systematic biology and phylogenetics, lectures focus on the unique and fascinating characteristics of groups and their evolutionary relationships. The primary source of information and reference is the Internet, and students are expected to do substantive research on particular organisms in which they become interested. This culminates in an in-class presentation and a professional-quality poster, as well as a lengthy paper. Laboratory activities utilize living materials wherever possible, including the collection and observation of unusual organisms from local environments. Prerequisite: any 200-level Biology course.
BIOLOGY 358. (1)
BIOCHEMISTRY LABORATORY. A laboratory analysis of the structural and functional components of the cell. Techniques will focus on the purification and analysis of subcellular components and macromolecules, especially proteins and nucleic acids, and the kinetic analysis of metabolic reactions. As appropriate, students may engage in novel research. Prerequisite or corequisite: Biology 311 or Chemistry 335. Offered: fall semester of odd-numbered years.
BIOLOGY 360. (3)
EVOLUTIONARY THEORY. An introduction to evolutionary thinking and the modern synthetic theory. Mathematical models of population phenomena are derived and tested through problem-solving. The process of speciation is examined, and basic biogeographical principles are studied. Some discussion of the history of evolutionary biology and the lives of its major contributors also takes place. Prerequisites: Biology 110, 151, and either 201, 202, or 203.
BIOLOGY 361. (4)
VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY. A survey of the major groups and events in vertebrate history (including physical anthropology), with emphasis on significant ecological and structural transitions, as well as the broader evolutionary framework of origins and extinctions. Laboratories and field trips develop geological principles of paleontology and provide for examination and preparation of fossil vertebrate specimens. Prerequisite: Biology 202 or 203.
BIOLOGY 362. (3)
HISTORY OF LIFE. A course presenting some fundamentals of plate tectonics, using this information to reconstruct past environments and past geographies. The development of life on earth is reviewed from an historical perspective, emphasizing faunal and floral changes, the processes of extinction and recovery, and the phylogeny of major groups of organisms. Prerequisites: Biology 110, 151, 202, 203.
BIOLOGY 363. (4)
HUMAN EVOLUTION. An introductory survey course (with laboratory) in paleoanthropology, examining the origins and relationships of humans to ancestral primates and exploring various stages along the transition from the earliest hominids to modern Homo sapiens. The course considers all evidence-fossil, genetic, behavioral, archaeological-that bears on the subject of human evolution, and investigates a variety of topics, such as classification of humans into "races" and the roles of cloning and stem cells in the future of our species. Prerequisites: Biology 110, 151, and 201 or 202. Offered: fall semester of even-numbered years.