Course Offerings | Biology

Division of Science and Mathematics

Michael Barton (chair), Stephen Asmus, Christine Barton, Ray Hammond, Daniel Henderson, Anne Lubbers, Margaret Richey, Robert Ziemba; students: Chris Henley, Courtney Holt



Recommended Freshman-Sophomore Preparation

Students contemplating a major in biology should plan to take BIO 110 in the fall of their freshman year. CHE 131 and CHE 132 may be taken during either the freshman or the sophomore year. For those who qualify, CHE 135 may substitute for both CHE 131 and 132. In the fall of either the sophomore or the junior year, students should plan to take CHE 241. BIO 210 and BMB 210 (in either order) should be completed no later than the end of the junior year. In addition to these required courses, prospective majors are strongly encouraged to enroll in one or more 200-level biology courses during their freshman and sophomore years. Any prospective biology major with specific graduate/pre-professional school goals should consult with a member of the biology faculty (or one of the specific pre-health careers advisors) early in the student’s academic career to determine both the types of courses that should be taken and the specific terms in which these courses should be taken to best attain the post-graduate goals.


Requirements for the Major

BIO 110, 210;
BMB 210;
CHE 131and 132, or CHE 135;
CHE 241;
PHY 110;
BIO 310 or 320 or BIO 330, 340, 360, 370, 500;
Two additional BIO courses numbered 300 or higher. BMB 310, 320, 330, and 340, and PYB 320 and 330 may also be used to fulfill this requirement. However, at least ONE of the two courses must be a BIO course;
One term of math is required, which can be satisfied by taking MAT 140, MAT 170, or CSC 117. In addition, MAT 130 is strongly recommended. Students who place in MAT 171 or higher at entrance are not required to complete any course work in math.


Requirements for the Minor

A minimum of 23 credit hours chosen to include BIO 110, BIO 210, BMB 210, CHE 131or 135, and three BIO courses numbered 300 or above. Appropriate BMB or PYB courses may be substituted with approval of the Biology Program Committee.


Biology Courses

BIO 110 The Unity and Diversity of Life (four credit hours)
An introduction to biology through the integrating theme of evolution. The first half of the course develops the foundations of biological unity: cell structure and function, bioenergetics, and genetic control. The last half of the course begins with a survey of the major groups of organisms illustrating the diversity of life. After a brief introduction to formal principles of evolution responsible for the origin of this diversity, the course concludes with a grounding in ecological relationships which govern survival at all levels of biological organization. Laboratory work is required.

BIO 210 Introduction to Evolutionary Genetics
(four credit hours)
A survey of the basic principles of evolution and genetics at the cellular, organismal, and population levels in plants, animals, and microorganisms. In this course, students learn the basic mechanism of inheritance in individuals, the molecular basis for this genetic expression, and the mechanisms of evolution that account for genetic changes within populations. A weekly laboratory is required. Prerequisite: BIO 110.

BIO 225 The Human Animal
An introduction to the anatomical characteristics and physiological processes associated with the major organ systems in healthy individuals. The evolutionary history and ecological impacts of the human species are also discussed. Prerequisite: BIO 110, CHE 131or 135.

BIO 245 Freshwater Biology
An introduction to the types of organisms associated with freshwater habitats and the physical, chemical, and biological processes that influence their distribution. Field work is required. Prerequisite: BIO 110 is recommended.

BIO 251 Natural History of the Bahamas
An exploration of the cultural and natural history of the Bahamian archipelago focusing on the problems associated with reconciling economic development, which rests largely on tourism, with the desire to maintain the natural ecosystems characteristic of the Caribbean. The following topics are investigated: discovery and settling of the Bahamas, the environment, with emphasis on marine ecosystems, and the current social and economic conditions. (Conducted in the Bahamas.)

BIO 310 Invertebrate Biology
A study of the morphological adaptation, evolutionary relationships, and diversity of invertebrate phyla. Emphasis is on the structural adaptations witnessed in the design of invertebrate body plans with some consideration for the ecological relationships of selected invertebrate communities. Prerequisite: BIO 110.

BIO 320 Natural History of Vertebrates
The life histories and adaptations of vertebrates are studied with an emphasis on the origins and evolution of the modern classes. Adaptations of vertebrates to the opportunities and constraints imposed by aquatic versus terrestrial conditions are examined. Special consideration is given to aspects of vertebrate biology that are of particular relevance to the human condition. Prerequisite: BIO 110.

BIO 325 Vertebrate Morphology
(four credit hours)
The structure of vertebrate organ systems is studied through lectures and lab dissections. The phylogeny of vertebrates is traced through consideration of the adaptation of organ systems to specific environmental requirements. A weekly lab is required. Prerequisite: BIO 110.

BIO 330 Entomology
(four credit hours)
An introduction to the biology of insects. This course focuses on the morphological adaptations, life history strategies, behavior, ecological and evolutionary relationships, and diversity of insects. A weekly lab and field work are required. Prerequisite: BIO 110.

BIO 335 Developmental Biology (four credit hours)
A study of the development of animals, primarily vertebrates, from fertilization through the development of all major tissue and organ systems. Topics include classical embryology and cellular and molecular aspects of development. Lab work includes studying the developmental anatomy of selected vertebrates. Prerequisite: BIO 110 and BMB 210.

BIO 340 Microbiology (four credit hours)
An introduction to the biology of microorganisms. The course focuses on the anatomy, classification, reproduction, metabolism, molecular genetics, and control of bacteria; fungi protozoa, algae, and viruses are also discussed. A laboratory is required. Prerequisite: BIO 110 and BMB 210.

BIO 345 Histology
(four credit hours)
A study of the microscopic anatomy of vertebrate tissues and organs. Lectures focus primarily on correlating cell organization and physiology with the functions of the particular tissue/organ system and on how tissue types are distributed throughout the organism. Lab work includes the microscopic identification of all major tissues and organs and acquiring experience with tissue processing and "staining" techniques. Prerequisite: BIO 110 and BMB 210.

BIO 350 General and Comparative Animal Physiology
(four credit hours)
A study of the integrative function of animal organ systems with emphasis on the vertebrates. Adaptive physiological responses of organisms to environmental change is also considered. Prerequisite: BIO 110; PSY 110 and BMB 210 are recommended. (Also listed as PYB 310.)

BIO 355 Immunology
A study of both specific and non-specific immunity. Particular emphasis is placed on investigating specific immunity from a cellular and molecular perspective, including its important roles in both medicine and research. Prerequisite: BIO 110 and BMB 210; BIO 225 is recommended.

BIO 360 Plant Biology
(four credit hours)
A survey of the anatomy, physiology, reproduction and life cycles of flowering plants. Some aspects of the characteristics of bryophytes, ferns and gymnosperms are also covered. The course emphasizes the relationships between plant form and function in the context of evolution and ecology. Weekly laboratory included. Prerequisites: BIO 110 and BIO 210.
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BIO 365 Plant-Herbivore Interactions

An examination of the ecological, biological, and behavioral factors governing the nature of plant-herbivore interactions as well as the ecological and evolutionary consequences of the interactions. Prerequisite: BIO 330 or 360 or 370.

BIO 370 Principles of Ecology
(four credit hours)
The interrelationships between organisms and their environment are examined at four levels: individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems. Topics covered include evolutionary adaptations, population dynamics, species interactions, community structure, biogeochemical cycles and energy flow. A survey of terrestrial ecosystems and a discussion of human influences on ecological systems are also included. Weekly laboratory required. Prerequisites: BIO 110 and BIO 210.

BIO 375 Conservation Biology
A study of the protection and restoration of threatened organisms and ecosystems using ecology, genetics, and theoretical modeling. Issues involved in practical decision making are explored with theory and case studies, bringing in some of the legal, economic, and social issues. Prerequisite: BIO 110, or NSC 120 with permission of the instructor.

BIO 415 Exercise Physiology
A study of the physiological aspects of exercise, training, and performance, addressing certain popular misconceptions regarding issues such as body fat measurement and nutrition. Prerequisite: BIO 110; BIO 225 and BMB 210 are strongly recommended.

BIO 455 The Biology of Viruses
An introduction to the biology of viruses (virology). This course covers the taxonomy, replication, pathogenesis, control, and evolution of viruses in bacteria, plants, and animals. Prerequisite: BIO 110 and BMB 210.

Special Topic 2002-2003:
BIO 465 Life and Literature
Taught by Humana Scholars Lynn Margulis and her son, Dorion Sagan. Dr. Margulis has won numerous awards for her original research in the areas of cell biology and evolution. In recent years, Dr. Margulis' collaborations with Dorion Sagan have led to the publication of award-winning books and essays on scientific topics especially written for general audiences. With a dual emphasis on science and writing, their CentreTerm course will appeal to a broad audience. This course will offer students an unprecedented opportunity to learn from, and to be challenged by, two outstanding natural history writers. An interest in biology is expected; however, the course will be taught at a level that will be readily accessible to non-science majors. An exploration of the world of scientific literature by two of its most noted practitioners. Analysis and discussion of literature and literary styles with a focus on the writings of Margulis and Sagan. Students have extensive opportunities to develop skills in a number of styles of scientific communication including poetry and essays. Oral presentations on selected topics will also be developed. Prerequisite: One introductory science course.


BIO 500 Senior Seminar
A study of current research topics in biology. The course format will involve extensive readings from the primary literature, formal written and oral presentations by the students, and guest lecturers. Prerequisite: Senior standing. 2002-2003 topic: Neural Plasticity.