Biology

Potential biology majors should select a sequence of courses that will acquaint them with a variety of organisms, and their molecular and cellular structure, physiology, heredity, development, evolution, and ecological interactions. Biologists pursue careers in biological research, study in the medical sciences, teaching at the college or high school level, work in environmental sciences, or work in numerous commercial and industrial areas.

Requirements for the Biology Major

1. Biology 125 and 126 (majors are required to complete both introductory courses, with a grade of "C-" or better before taking any other courses in the department)

2. One course from each of the following groups including their laboratories:

a. Molecular and Cell Biology

b. Organismic Biology

c. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

3. Three electives (which may include six credits of Biology 394) from the courses listed below. If you choose a course for an elective that offers a laboratory section, then the lab must be taken in order for the course to count toward the major.

4. Data Interpretation: One course must be a seminar course that emphasizes data interpretation and analysis of the primary literature. Ideally, you should complete this seminar course prior to registering for Biology 400 (integrative exercise). A maximum of two courses may be taken from this category.

  • BIOL 355 Seminar: The Plant-Animal Interface
  • BIOL 358 Seminar: Evolution of Sex and Sexes (not offered in 2019-20)
  • BIOL 363 Seminar: Ecomechanics
  • BIOL 365 Seminar: Topics in Neuroscience
  • BIOL 366 Seminar: Conservation Biology (not offered in 2019-20)
  • BIOL 368 Seminar: Developmental Neurobiology
  • BIOL 370 Seminar: Selected Topics in Virology
  • BIOL 372 Seminar: Structural Biology
  • BIOL 373 Seminar: Stem Cell Biology (not offered in 2019-20)
  • BIOL 374 Seminar: Grassland Ecology
  • BIOL 378 Seminar: The Origin and Early Evolution of Life (not offered in 2019-20)
  • BIOL 379 Seminar: Behavioral Genetics (not offered in 2019-20)
  • BIOL 382 Seminar: Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 385 Seminar: Microbial Pathology (not offered in 2019-20)

5. Because of the close interrelationship of Biology to other STEM fields, supporting work in other areas is necessary. The minimum requirement includes 1) Physics: two five-week courses or one ten-week courses from 131-165 for a total of 6 credits, or Biology 244 (Biostatistics) plus one 3 credit Introductory Physics course, or Mathematics 215 or Computer Science 111; and 2) Chemistry 123 or 128; and 3) Chemistry 224 (230) or 233. The need for additional courses in allied sciences and mathematics will vary with the professional plans of the student.

6. Critical Reading and Analysis of Primary Literature (Biology 399).

7. Integrative Exercise (Biology 400 two terms).

Laboratory work is an integral part of most biology courses. In courses in which registration for the laboratory is separable from the lecture portion of the course, all biology majors are required to register concurrently for laboratory and lecture in order for these courses to count toward requirements for the major unless otherwise noted.

No course taken at another school may be used to meet the requirements for the major without prior approval of the Chair and Biology faculty. Students may request that up to six credits of biology-related coursework from an off-campus program be applied to the major as one upper-level biology elective. To do this, you must discuss approval of these credits with the department chair, and complete an Approval of Special Credit for Off-Campus Study Form.

The Introductory Sequence

The Introductory Biology sequence consists of two courses, Biology 125 and 126, both of which are required before any further upper-level course work in Biology. The two courses can be taken in either order. Students who received a score of 5 on the AP exam or a score of 6 or 7 on the IB exam are exempted from Biology 125, and only need to take Biology 126 before taking upper-level Biology courses. Prerequisites for Biology 126 include Chemistry 123 or 128; or AP Chemistry score of 4 or 5; or IB score of 5, 6 or 7.

There are two versions of Biology 125, and students are urged to make a thoughtful choice of the appropriate offering based on their background and learning style. The winter term offering of Biology 125 is designed for students who 1) earned a score of 3 or 4 in AP Biology, or 2) received a score of 5 in IB Biology, or 3) earned a grade of B or higher in Honors or Advanced Biology in high school. In addition, these students are expected to have mastered basic concepts of chemistry in either a high school or college chemistry course.

Biology Courses

BIOL 100 What Would Nature Do? Learning From the Natural World Humpback whales. Wind turbines. These topics seem unrelated, yet an engineer realized the anatomical features that make a whale so graceful in the sea could make a wind turbine more efficient in the wind. Many of the challenges humans currently face have been solved in the natural world while using less energy and materials. This course examines how today’s problem solvers are learning from millions of biological examples and evolution’s 3.8 billion years of research and development to engineer products, processes, and systems that are conducive to life rather than destructive. Prerequisite: Requires concurrent registration in IDSC 198. 6 credits; AI, WR1; Fall; Matt Rand, Dimitri S Smirnoff
BIOL 101 Human Reproduction and Sexuality The myths surrounding human reproduction and sexuality may out weigh our collective knowledge and understanding. This course will review the basic biology of all aspects of reproduction--from genes to behavior--in an attempt to better understand one of the more basic and important processes in nature. Topics will vary widely and will be generated in part by student interest. A sample of topics might include: hormones, PMS, fertilization, pregnancy, arousal, attraction, the evolution of the orgasm, and the biology of sexuality. 6 credits; NE, QRE; Not offered 2019-20
BIOL 125 Genes, Evolution, and Development and Lab Emphasizes the role of genetic information in biological systems. Under this theme, we cover subjects from the molecular to the population levels of organization. Topics include the nature of inheritance and life cycles, structure/function of DNA, gene expression and regulation, the changing genetic makeup of species as they evolve, and the development of individual organisms from zygotes. 6 credits; QRE, LS; Winter; Stephan G Zweifel, Matt Rand, Annie Bosacker, Sarah Deel
BIOL 125 Genes, Evolution, and Development: A Problem Solving Approach and Lab This offering of Biology 125 offers a problem solving approach and covers the same concepts as the winter version of Biology 125. The course format allows time in class to apply new concepts by working through case study type problems with faculty present. Students enter Carleton from a wide variety of academic experiences, and this offering of Biology 125 is designed to provide a level playing field for students regardless of previous science background. In addition, the active learning component of the course is beneficial for students who like to learn by doing. Students who complete this course are well-prepared to continue on to Biology 126. 6 credits; QRE, LS; Fall; Jennifer M Wolff, Debby R Walser-Kuntz, Sarah Deel, Annie Bosacker
BIOL 126 Energy Flow in Biological Systems and Lab Follow the pathways through which energy and matter are acquired, stored, and utilized within cells, organisms, and ecosystems. The focus moves among the different levels of organization from protein function to nutrient movement through ecosystems. Prerequisite: Chemistry 123 or 128. 6 credits; LS, QRE; Winter, Spring; Mike Nishizaki, Raka M Mitra, David Hougen-Eitzman, Rou-Jia Sung, Daniel L Hernández, Sarah Deel
BIOL 210 Global Change Biology Environmental problems are caused by a complex mix of physical, biological, social, economic, political, and technological factors. This course explores how these environmental problems affect life on Earth by examining the biological processes underlying natural ecological systems and the effects of global environmental changes such as resources consumption and overharvesting, land-use change, climate warming, pollution, extinction and biodiversity loss, and invasive species. Prerequisite: One introductory science lab course (Biology 125, 126, Chemistry 123, 128, Geology 110, 115 or 120). 6 credits; QRE, NE; Winter; John L Berini
BIOL 215 Agroecology Agriculture comprises the greatest single type of land use on the planet--as such, what happens on farms will have far-reaching effects on all other systems on the biosphere. With world human population growing exponentially, the search for sustainable agricultural systems is more important than ever. This course focuses on the scientific aspects of food production, which will involve the application of the principles of ecosystem and population ecology to agricultural systems.  Topics covered will include organic farming, biotechnology, and effects of pesticide use. Several types of local farms will be visited--large, small, organic, conventional. Prerequisite: One introductory science lab course (Biology 125, 126, Chemistry 123, 128, Geology 110, 115 or 120). Requires concurrent registration in BIOL 216. 6 credits; NE, QRE; Fall; David Hougen-Eitzman
BIOL 216 Agroecology Lab These lab sessions will mainly involve visits to local area farms. The visits will provide an opportunity to examine biological processes on real farms and the environmental effects of different farming methods. This laboratory portion of the class will include a community engagement aspect, where class groups complete projects that provide services to farmers or community organizations.    Prerequisite: Concurrent registration in Biology 215 is required. 2 credits; NE; Fall; David Hougen-Eitzman
BIOL 224 Landscape Ecology In the Anthropocene, there has been dramatic change in the distribution of species and communities across the global landscape. The primary objective of this course is to introduce the theory and practice of landscape ecology. Throughout this course, we will consider the major themes of scale and hierarchy theory, compositional analysis, fragmentation, meta-populations, and landscape metrics, all within the broad context of how landscape patterns influence ecological process.  Prerequisite: Biology 125 and Biology 126 or permission of the instructor; Requires concurrent registration in Biology 225. 6 credits; NE, QRE; Fall; John L Berini
BIOL 225 Landscape Ecology Laboratory Laboratory component of Biology 224. Prerequisite: Requires concurrent registration in Biology 224. 2 credits; NE; Fall; John L Berini
BIOL 234 Microbiology with Laboratory A study of the metabolism, genetics, structure, and function of microorganisms. While presented in the framework of the concepts of cellular and molecular biology, the emphasis will be on the uniqueness and diversity of the microbial world. The course integrates lecture and laboratory, and will fulfill requirements of a microbiology course with lab for veterinary or pharmacy schools. Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126 and concurrent registration in Biology 235. 6 credits; LS, QRE; Not offered 2019-20
BIOL 235 Microbiology Laboratory 2 credits; Not offered 2019-20
BIOL 238 Entomology Insects are one of the most successful groups of organisms on the planet, playing major roles in all terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. In addition, since insects are ubiquitous they affect human endeavors on many fronts, both positively (e.g., crop pollination) and negatively (damage to crops and transmitting disease). This class will focus on the biology of insects, including physiology, behavior, and ecology. Many examples will highlight current environmental issues. Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126 and concurrent registration in Biology 239. 6 credits; QRE, NE; Not offered 2019-20
BIOL 239 Entomology Laboratory Field and laboratory investigation of living insects. Synoptic examination of the major orders of insects, including evolution of different groups, physiology, structure, and identification. Field labs will focus on insect ecology and collection techniques for making a comprehensive insect collection. Prerequisite: Concurrent registration Biology 238. 2 credits; NE; Not offered 2019-20
BIOL 240 Genetics A study of the transmission of genetic information between generations of organisms, and of the mechanism of expression of information within an individual organism. The main emphasis will be on the physical and chemical basis of heredity; mutational, transmissional and functional analysis of the genetic material, and gene expression. Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126 or instructor permission. 6 credits; QRE, NE; Winter, Spring; Jennifer M Wolff, Stephan G Zweifel
BIOL 241 Genetics Laboratory Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126 or instructor permission and concurrent registration in Biology 240. 2 credits; NE; Winter, Spring; Jennifer M Wolff, Stephan G Zweifel
BIOL 242 Vertebrate Morphology Over 500 million years of evolution has produced a rich diversity of structure and functional morphology in vertebrates. We will use comparative methods to help us understand the various selective forces and constraints that produced the vertebrate forms living today. Laboratory dissection of a variety of preserved vertebrates will allow us to examine how these fascinating animals monitor and move through their environment, procure, ingest and circulate nutrients, respirate, and reproduce. Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126. 6 credits; NE; Spring; Matt Rand
BIOL 243 Vertebrate Morphology Laboratory 2 credits; NE; Spring; Matt Rand
BIOL 244 Biostatistics An introduction to statistical techniques commonly used in Biology. The course will use examples from primary literature to examine the different ways that biological data are organized and analyzed. Emphasis will be placed on how to choose the appropriate statistical techniques in different circumstances and how to use statistical software to carry out tests. Topics covered include variable types (categorical, parametric, and non-parametric), analysis of variance, generalized linear models, and meta-analysis. There will be an opportunity for students to analyze data from their own research experiences. Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126 and one Biology 200 or 300 level course. 3 credits; FSR, QRE; Not offered 2019-20
BIOL 248 Behavioral Ecology Behavioral ecologists strive to understand the complex ways that ecological pressures influence the evolution of behavioral strategies. It can be argued that animals face a relatively small set of basic challenges: they must acquire food, water, and mates, and they must avoid danger. Yet we see a rich diversity of solutions to these problems. Consider foraging behavior, for example. All animals must acquire energy, but some filter particles out of sea water, others graze on nearly inedible grasses, while still others hunt in cooperative packs. In this course we will consider such topics as foraging, communication, sociality, and conflict. By focusing on the functions and evolutionary histories of behaviors, we strive to better understand the puzzle of behavioral diversity. Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126. 6 credits; NE, QRE; Winter; Annie Bosacker
BIOL 262 Ecological Physiology This course examines the physiological adaptations that allow species to inhabit a wide range of environments including polar regions, deserts, high alpine, the deep sea, and wave-swept coastal habitats. Emphasis will be placed on understanding how organisms cope with environmental extremes (e.g., temperature, low oxygen, pH, salinity and pressure) and in using metabolic theory to predict the ecological impacts of climate change (e.g., global warming, ocean acidification, hypoxia). Associated laboratory will emphasize experimentation and application of physiological concepts in living organisms.  Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126 and concurrent registration in Biology 263 required. 6 credits; LS; Fall; Mike Nishizaki
BIOL 263 Ecological Physiology Laboratory Experimental approaches to study physiological responses of living organisms to their environment. Students conduct a semi-independent lab project with an emphasis on invertebrates.  Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126. Requires concurrent registration in Biology 262. 2 credits; LS; Fall; Mike Nishizaki
BIOL 272 Integrative Animal Physiology This course explores biological functions from the biochemical level to the level of the whole organism. We will start with the regulatory systems exploring the function of neural and endocrine mechanisms. We will discuss the actions of a variety of toxins as adaptive components of venoms and pharmaceutical tools in human health research. Other topics include: muscle physiology, exercise and behavior; blood pressure regulation; salt and water balance in organisms from different environments; comparative reproduction, including human reproductive development and sexuality. Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126. Not offered 2019-20
BIOL 273 Integrative Animal Phys Lab Concurrent registration in Biology 272 required. Not offered 2019-20
BIOL 280 Cell Biology An examination of the structures and processes that underlie the life of cells, both prokaryotic and eukaryotic. Topics to be covered include methodologies used to study cells; organelles, membranes and other cellular components; protein targeting within the cell; and cellular communication and division. Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126 and concurrent registration in Biology 281. 6 credits; QRE, NE; Fall; Raka M Mitra
BIOL 281 Cell Biology Laboratory The focus of the laboratory will be on current techniques used to study cellular structure and function. Concurrent registration in Biology 280 required. Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126. 2 credits; NE; Fall; Raka M Mitra
BIOL 303 Reflective Learning and ePortfolio Development for Biologists In this course you will synthesize your biology-related experiences, reflect on your strengths and goals, and design an ePortfolio. Developing an ePortfolio provides the opportunity to present yourself visually in a digital format and to be forward-looking as you consider your life post-Carleton. In addition to implementing the design elements of an effective digital resume, you will explore the primary literature to situate your work within the field of biology and read key research papers that led to the classification of the ePortfolio as a high impact practice. This class will be hands-on and interactive. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior Biology Major. 3 credits; NE; Not offered 2019-20
BIOL 310 Immunology This course will examine the role of the immune system in defense, allergic reactions, and autoimmunity. Topics to be covered include the structure and function of antibodies, cytokines, the role of the major histocompatibility complex in antigen presentation, cellular immunity, immunodeficiencies, and current techniques used to study immune responses. Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126 and either Biology 240 or 280. 6 credits; QRE, NE; Winter; Debby R Walser-Kuntz
BIOL 311 Immunology Laboratory Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126 and Biology 240 or 280 and concurrent registration in Biology 310. 2 credits; NE; Not offered 2019-20
BIOL 321 Ecosystem Ecology Ecosystem ecology involves the study of energy and material flow through systems, including both the biotic (animals, plants, microbes) and abiotic (soil, water, atmosphere) components. Topics include the major elemental cycles (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous), patterns of energy flow, and the controls of these fluxes for different ecosystems. Current environmental issues are emphasized as case studies, including climate change, land use change, human alterations of nutrient cycles, and biodiversity effects on ecosystems. Concurrent registration in Biology 322 required. Prerequisite: Biology 126 and one 200 level course in Biology or Geology 230, 258, 285 or Environmental Studies 244, 254, 260, 265, 288. 6 credits; WR2, QRE, NE; Not offered 2019-20
BIOL 322 Ecosystem Ecology Laboratory Prerequisite: Requires concurrent registration in Biology 321. 2 credits; NE; Not offered 2019-20
BIOL 332 Human Physiology Human Physiology seeks to understand the fundamental mechanisms responsible for the diverse functions of the body. Course topics include the function and regulation of the various physiological systems (nervous, circulatory, endocrine, excretory, respiratory, digestive, etc.), biochemistry, cellular physiology, homeostasis and acid-base chemistry. The study of human physiology provides the principal groundwork for internal medicine, pharmacology, and other related health fields. The laboratory includes a variety of experiments focusing on the function and regulation of the human body. Prerequisite: Concurrent registration in Biology 333; Biology 125 and 126. 6 credits; NE, QRE; Winter; Fernan Jaramillo
BIOL 333 Human Physiology Laboratory Prerequisite: Concurrent registration in Biology 332; Biology 125 and 126. 2 credits; NE; Winter; Fernan Jaramillo
BIOL 338 Genomics and Bioinformatics The advent of next-generation sequencing technology has revolutionized biology, enabling transformative breakthroughs in fields ranging from agriculture to conservation to medicine. In this course, students will gain experience with the computational and bioinformatics tools needed to analyze “big data,” including sequence searching and alignment, assembly, gene calling and annotation. Students will learn to ask and answer their own scientific questions using sequence data, and to critically assess the conclusions other genomics and bioinformatics studies. No prior computer programming experience is required. Associated laboratory will focus on wet lab methods for DNA/RNA extraction and preparation as well as computational analysis. Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126 and one of these upper level courses: Biology 240, Biology 321 or Biology 350 and concurrent registration in Biology 339. 6 credits; LS, QRE; Spring
BIOL 339 Genomics and Bioinformatics Laboratory Prerequisite: Concurrent registration in Biology 338. 2 credits; NE; Spring
BIOL 342 Animal Developmental Biology An analysis of animal development from fertilization to the establishment of the adult body form. Lectures and discussions will examine the key processes of animal embryogenesis, as well as the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control these developmental processes. Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126, and Biology 240 or 280. 6 credits; QRE, NE; Spring; Jennifer M Wolff
BIOL 343 Animal Developmental Biology Laboratory Laboratory will introduce descriptive and experimental embryological techniques using a variety of model organisms. Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126, and Biology 240 or 280; Concurrent registration in Biology 342. 2 credits; NE; Not offered 2019-20
BIOL 350 Evolution Principles and history of evolutionary change in wild populations, with consideration of both microevolutionary and macroevolutionary time scales. Topics covered include causes of change in gene frequency, the nature of adaptation, constraints on evolutionary change, the evolution of genes and proteins, rates of speciation and extinction, and the major events in evolutionary history. Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126. 6 credits; QRE, NE; Fall; Mark McKone
BIOL 352 Population Ecology An investigation of the properties of populations and communities. Topics include population growth and regulation, life tables, interspecific and intraspecific competition, predation, parasitism, mutualism, the nature of communities, and biogeography. Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126, and Mathematics 111 or other previous calculus course. Recommended course: Mathematics 215 or equivalent exposure to statistical analysis. Concurrent registration in Biology 353. 6 credits; QRE, NE; Spring
BIOL 353 Population Ecology Laboratory Prerequisite: Biology 125 & 126, and Mathematics 111 or other previous calculus course. Recommended course: Mathematics 215 or equivalent exposure to statistical analysis; Concurrent registration in Biology 352. 2 credits; NE; Spring
BIOL 354 Human Cutaneous Biology The course will cover the cellular and molecular biology of human skin in its normal and diseased states as it relates to a clinical presentation. Clinical dermatology and pathology will also be reviewed. The course style will be patterned along the lines as if it were a medical school course. Additionally, students will be introduced to many aspects of successfully negotiating medical school including introductions and possible field trips to the Mayo Clinic Medical School and/or University of Minnesota Medical School(s). Prerequisite: Chemistry 233 and two upper division Biology courses (200 or 300-level) and instructor's permission required. 3 credits; S/CR/NC; NE; Spring; Charles E Crutchfield
BIOL 355 Seminar: The Plant-Animal Interface The primary objective of this seminar is to gain a better understanding of “the plant-animal interface,” with a specific focus on the interactions between plants and vertebrate herbivores. Topics covered include 1) the range of influences that the abiotic environment has on plants as a source of energy and nutrition for vertebrates; 2) how animals respond to heterogeneity in the plant communities with a specific focus on plant chemistry (i.e., nutritional indices and defensive chemistry); and 3) how heterogeneity in plant chemistry influences animal demographics and overall biological diversity.  Prerequisite: Biology 125, Biology 126 and a 200-level course in Biology. 6 credits; NE; Winter; John L Berini
BIOL 358 Seminar: Evolution of Sex and Sexes The origin and maintenance of sexual reproduction remains a central enigma in evolutionary biology. This seminar course will explore contemporary primary literature that addresses a variety of evolutionary questions about the nature of sex and the sexes. Why is sexual reproduction usually favored over asexual alternatives? Why are there no more than two sexes? What determines the characteristics of females and males within diverse species? How did sex chromosomes evolve and why do some species lack them? Prerequisite: Biology 240 or Biology 350. 6 credits; NE, QRE; Not offered 2019-20
BIOL 363 Seminar: Ecomechanics All organisms, from Common loons to Redwood trees to Basking sharks spend much of their lives bumping up against forces associated with the non-biological world. The manner in which ecological challenges are solved (e.g., moving around vs. staying put, finding food, avoiding predators) is often related to an individual’s biomechanical design. This class will challenge students to view their physical surroundings from the perspective of an organism. How do mussels feed in a fast stream vs. stagnant pond? Why do healthy trees uproot rather than break in half? How can a sea urchin with no eyes “see”? We will use primary scientific literature to examine the physical principles that underlie fundamental ecological processes. Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126 and one additional 200 or 300 level Biology course or instructor permission. 6 credits; NE, QRE; Spring; Mike Nishizaki
BIOL 365 Seminar: Topics in Neuroscience We will focus on recent advances in neuroscience. All areas of neuroscience (cellular/molecular, developmental, systems, cognitive, and disease) will be considered. Classical or foundational papers will be used to provide background. Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126. 6 credits; NE, QRE; Fall; Fernan Jaramillo
BIOL 366 Seminar: Conservation Biology Human activity has fundamentally altered the biosphere, resulting in the development of novel ecosystems and driving a global rate of species extinction not seen for millions of years. The field of Conservation Biology aims to understand and address the impact of human activity on ecological systems. In this seminar, we will use contemporary primary literature in Conservation Biology to examine the causes and consequences of species extinctions, as well as to assess efforts to conserve species and communities. Prerequisite: One previous upper-level course in ecology or evolution, from Biology 210, 248, 321, 350 or 352. 6 credits; Not offered 2019-20
BIOL 368 Seminar: Developmental Neurobiology An examination of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying development of the nervous system. We will survey recent studies of a variety of model organisms to explore key steps in neuronal development including neural induction, patterning, specification of neuronal identity, axonal guidance, synapse formation, cell death and regeneration. Prerequisite: Biology 240 or Biology 280. 6 credits; QRE, NE; Winter; Eric D Hoopfer
BIOL 370 Seminar: Selected Topics in Virology An examination of selected animal viruses. The course will focus on the most recent developments in HIV-related research, including implications for HIV-treatment and vaccines and the impact of viral infection on the immune system of the host. In addition to studying the structure and replication of particular viruses we will also discuss the current laboratory techniques used in viral research. Prerequisite: Biology 240 or 280. 6 credits; NE, QRE; Spring; Debby R Walser-Kuntz
BIOL 372 Seminar: Structural Biology The ability to visualize macromolecules at atomic detail has significantly advanced our understanding of macromolecular structure and function. This course will provide an overview of fundamental experimental methodologies underlying structure determination, followed by primary literature-based discussions in which students will present and critically discuss classic foundational papers as well as examples from the current literature that have advanced our understanding of macromolecule structure and function. Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126; and either Biology 280, Biology 380 or Chemistry 320. 6 credits; NE, QRE; Winter; Rou-Jia Sung
BIOL 373 Seminar: Stem Cell Biology Stem cells have the unique qualities of self-renewal and the potential to differentiate into multiple cell types. Given these characteristics, research using stem cells have given us insight into normal developmental processes and repair mechanisms, and generated hope for therapeutic applications for a variety of diseases. In this course, we will examine contemporary stem cell biology, with emphasis on mechanisms and applications. Topics will include embryonic stem cells, tissue-specific stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, organoids, and potential uses in human disease. Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126 and either Biology 240 or 280. 6 credits; NE, QRE; Not offered 2019-20
BIOL 374 Seminar: Grassland Ecology Grassland ecosystems cover one third of the Earth's surface and occur on every continent except Antarctica. Grasslands provide habitat for millions of species, play a major role in global carbon and nutrient cycles, and are the primary source of agricultural land, making them an important ecosystem both ecologically and economically. This course will utilize scientific literature to explore the environmental and biological characteristics of the world's grasslands from population dynamics to ecosystem processes. Topics include competition and succession, plant-animal interactions, carbon and nutrient cycling, the role of disturbances such as fire and land use change, and grassland management and restoration. Enrollment by application. Waitlist only. Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126, and one of Biology 210, 238, 248, 321 or 352 and instructor permission. 6 credits; WR2, QRE, NE; Spring; Daniel L Hernández
BIOL 378 Seminar: The Origin and Early Evolution of Life The Earth formed four and a half billion years ago. Evidence suggests that within 700 million years, life had gained a foothold on this planet. We will delve into the primary literature to explore fundamental questions about the origin and evolution of life: How did life arise from non-life on the dynamic young Earth? Where on Earth did life begin? Did life only arise once? What did the first living organisms look like? What was the nature of our last universal common ancestor? How did life alter the planet on which it arose? Could life originate elsewhere in the cosmos? Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126 and one additional 200- or 300-level Biology course, or permission of the instructor. 6 credits; NE, QRE; Not offered 2019-20
BIOL 379 Seminar: Behavioral Genetics Recent advances in molecular biology have allowed researchers to test specific hypotheses concerning the genetic control of behavior. This course will examine information derived from various animal model systems, including humans, using a variety of techniques such as classical genetics, genome databases, transgenics, and behavioral neurobiology. Prerequisite: Biology 240. 6 credits; NE, QRE; Not offered 2019-20
BIOL 380 Biochemistry Biochemistry is an examination of the molecular basis of life processes. The course provides an in depth investigation of metabolic pathways, their interrelationships and regulation, protein structure and function with special emphasis on enzymes. Other topics include the techniques of protein analysis and how they are employed to examine problems of fundamental biochemical importance. This course meets the requirement for the Biochemistry concentration. Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126 and Chemistry 233 and 234. 6 credits; NE; Fall; Rou-Jia Sung
BIOL 381 Biochemistry Laboratory Prerequisite: Concurrent registration in Biology 380; Biology 125 and 126 and Chemistry 233 and 234. 2 credits; NE; Fall; Rou-Jia Sung
BIOL 382 Seminar: Molecular Biology This seminar will explore the molecular underpinnings of biological systems. The main emphasis will be on the mechanisms of DNA replication and recombination, chromosome stability, DNA mutation and repair, the regulation of gene expression, and emerging biotechnologies such as CRISPR-cas. Throughout, we will consider how the molecular details we discuss contribute to the passage and propagation of biological information. Prerequisite: Biology 240. 6 credits; NE; Fall; Andrew W Grenfell
BIOL 385 Seminar: Microbial Pathology Microbes are the most abundant organisms on earth, and microbial pathogens have caused human and plant disease epidemics worldwide. This course will focus upon the pathogenic strategy of a variety of well-studied microbes in order to illustrate our understanding of the molecular and cellular nature of microbial disease. We will analyze current and seminal papers in the primary literature focusing on mechanisms employed by microbes to attack hosts. Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126 and either Biology 240 or 280. 6 credits; QRE, NE; Not offered 2019-20
BIOL 386 Neurobiology An analysis of the biology of neurons and the nervous system. Topics include the molecular basis of electrical excitability in neurons, synaptic transmission and plasticity, motor control, mechanisms of sensation, and construction and modification of neural circuits. Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126. 6 credits; QRE, NE; Spring; Fernan Jaramillo
BIOL 387 Neurobiology Laboratory Prerequisite: Concurrent registration in Biology 386; Biology 125 and 126. 2 credits; NE; Spring; Fernan Jaramillo
BIOL 394 Biology Research Laboratory and/or field investigation associated with an ongoing research program in the department of Biology. The project is undertaken with the direct supervision of a faculty member. Regular individual meetings, written progress reports, and public presentations should be expected. 1-6 credit; S/CR/NC; NE; Fall, Winter; Mike Nishizaki, Mark McKone, Raka M Mitra, Rou-Jia Sung, Debby R Walser-Kuntz, Jennifer M Wolff, Stephan G Zweifel, Fernan Jaramillo, Matt Rand
BIOL 395 Research Experience Seminar in Biology This seminar course is intended for students who have completed a summer research project or internship in the biological sciences. The intent of the course is to provide students with the opportunity to discuss their research experience, learn from the experiences of other members of the class, read relevant primary literature, and prepare a poster for a student research symposium. Prerequisite: Biology 125 and 126. 3 credits; S/CR/NC; NE, QRE; Fall; Sarah Deel
BIOL 399 Critical Reading and Analysis of Primary Literature Guided instruction in reading and interpretation of contemporary primary literature in Biology. Prerequisite: Biology 125, 126 and 3-upper-level Biology courses and concurrent registration in Biology 400. 3 credits; S/CR/NC; NE; Fall, Winter, Spring; Jennifer M Wolff, David Hougen-Eitzman, Debby R Walser-Kuntz, Fernan Jaramillo, Matt Rand, Mike Nishizaki, Rou-Jia Sung, Raka M Mitra
BIOL 400 Integrative Exercise Preparation and submission of the written portion of the Integrative Exercise. Continuing course (fall or winter). Oral examination, evaluation of the Integrative Exercise, and participation in visiting speakers seminars (spring). 1 credit; S/NC; Fall, Winter, Spring; Jennifer M Wolff