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Biology (BIOL)

Chair: Associate Professor Matthew S. Rand

Professors: Mark McKone, Susan R. Singer, John L. Tymoczko, Gary E. Wagenbach, Stephan G. Zweifel

Visiting Professor: Charles E. Crutchfield, III

Associate Professors: Philip Camill III, Fernán Jaramillo, Matthew S. Rand, Debby Rae Walser-Kuntz

Assistant Professor: Jennifer Ross Wolff

Visiting Assistant Professors: Amy Moore, Myrna Saouda Rezcallah

Visiting Instructor: Alexander Richard Barron

Senior Lecturer: David J. Hougen-Eitzman

Lecturer: Sarah Deel

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

Requirements for a Major

Nine courses are required within the department.

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 where listed separately:

a. Molecular and Cell Biology 240/241, 278, 280/281, 310/311, 340, 380/381, 382/383, 384)

b. Organismic Biology (Biology 234/235, 236, 238/239, 270/271, 342/343, 344/345, 359/360, 386/387)

c. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (Biology 221/222, 283, 348/349, 350, 352/353, 361/362)

3. Three electives, which may include a six-credit independent study, a junior/senior seminar, or any of the courses listed above

4. One course must emphasize data interpretation and analysis of the primary literature. Courses that fulfill this include Biology 340, 344, 348/349, 361/362, 382/383, 384, 385 and all junior/senior seminars (Courses numbered from Biology 365 through 379.)

5. 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. No course taken at another school may be used to meet the requirements for the major without prior approval of the Biology faculty.

Because of the close interrelationship of Biology to other sciences, supporting work in other areas is necessary. The minimum requirement includes 1) Physics 112; or Physics 113 and 115; or Physics 114 and 115; or Physics 126; or Mathematics 215; and 2) Chemistry 123 or 128; and 3) Chemistry 230 or 233. The need for additional courses in allied sciences and mathematics will vary with the professional plans of the student.

The Introductory Sequence

The introductory Biology sequence consists of two courses, Biology 125 and 126. Generally these are required before any further upper-level course work in Biology. The two courses can be taken in either order. There are several versions of Biology 125 from which to choose, and students are urged to make a thoughtful choice of the proper offering for their background.

In the fall term, a section of Biology 125 is offered "with in-class problem solving." There will be additional class meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This offering is appropriate for students who 1) have not taken AP, IB, or Honors Biology, 2) do not feel confident in their high school preparation for college biology, or 3) do not have a strong chemistry background from either high school or college. Students who take Biology 125 in the fall could then go on to take Biology 126 in either the winter or spring terms.

A second fall term section of Biology 125 will be offered only for first-year students who are enrolled in the Dyad program or Triad program (see Cognitive Studies). This offering of Biology 125 is intended for students who meet the criteria for winter term Biology 125 (see below).

The winter term offering of Biology 125 is designed for students who 1) earned a score of 3 or higher in AP Biology, 2) earned a score of 5 or higher 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. These same criteria would apply to any students who would like to take Biology 126 before taking Biology 125.

Biology Courses

BIOL 112. Conservation Biology The current global rate of extinction of species is probably unprecedented in the history of the world, and the rate will increase dramatically in the coming decades. Conservation biology is a new synthetic discipline that emerged in the early 1980s to simultaneously address the scientific and social dimension of biodiversity conservation. The course presents an overview of the founding principles of conservation biology by examining the historic and present-day causes of species extinction, the biological bases central to species conservation, and the social dimension of conservation for sustainable management of biological diversity. 6 cr., MS, SpringS. Savanick

BIOL 116. Biotechnology, Health, and Society An introduction to basic biological principles underlying biotechnology and its potential therapeutic applications. Topics will include stem cells, cloning, gene therapy, genetic testing, and the human genome project. Discussions will emphasize critical analysis of biotechnological information presented in the popular press and other media, as well as ethical and legal considerations related to biotechnology research and its applications. Does not count toward the Biology major. 6 cr., MS, WinterJ. Wolff

BIOL 118. Biology of Music This course will examine the biological foundations of music. We will define music and explore the similarities of its function in different species including birds, whales and humans. Specifically, we will survey recent neurobiological studies that suggest the existence of specialized areas of brain devoted to music processing, interpretation and production. Does not count toward the Biology major. 6 cr., MS, Not offered in 2006-2007.

BIOL 125. Genes, Evolution, and Development 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 cr., MS, Fall,WinterS. Singer, D. Walser-Kuntz, M. McKone, S. Zweifel

BIOL 126. Energy Flow in Biological Systems Follows 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. 6 cr., MS, Winter,SpringP. Camill, F. Jaramillo, M. Rand, J. Tymoczko

BIOL 160. 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 biological properties of agricultural ecosystems, with an eye towards which are most sustainable. Topics include organic farming, biotechnology, and effects of pesticide use. Does not count toward the Biology major. 6 cr., MS, Offered in alternate years. Not offered in 2006-2007.

BIOL 190. Global Change Biology Environmental problems are caused by a complex mix of physical, biological, social, economic, political, and technological factors. We use scientific data analyses and humanistic perspectives for understanding the causes of global change, how it affects the biosphere, including humanity, and strategies for solving environmental problems. Topics include natural climatic and ecological systems, evolution and species' capacity for change, human population growth and resource consumption, land-use change and sprawl, climate warming, pollution (air, land, and water), extinction and biodiversity loss, invasive species, tropical deforestation, and environmental protection. Does not count toward the Biology major. 6 cr., MS, SpringA. Barron

BIOL 221. Ecosystem Ecology This course examines major ecosystems on Earth, including terrestrial, wetland, lake, river, estuarine, and marine systems. Topics include the two major themes of energy flow and production and decomposition, microbial ecology and nutrient transformations, element cycles, ecosystems as a component of the Earth System, and global change. Current applied issues are emphasized as case studies, including clear cutting, rising atmospheric CO2, eutrophication of aquatic systems, acid rain, wetland delineation, and biodiversity effects on ecosystems. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126, or Geology 110, or Chemistry 123 or 128. Concurrent registration in Biology 222 is required. 6 cr., MS, FallA. Barron

BIOL 222. Ecosystem Ecology Laboratory 2 cr., ND, FallA. Barron

BIOL 234. Microbiology 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. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126. 6 cr., MS, WinterM. Rezcallah

BIOL 235. Microbiology Laboratory 2 cr., ND, WinterM. Rezcallah

BIOL 236. Plant Biology An exploration of structure-function relationships in plants. This course is framed in the context of advances in evolution and genomics, which offer insight into physiological, developmental, morphological, and anatomical adaptations to diverse environments. The biology behind current issues, including genetically modified organisms, will be investigated. Emphasis is placed on experimental approaches to the studies of plants. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126. 6 cr., MS, Not offered in 2006-2007.

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. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126. Concurrent registration in Biology 239 required. 6 cr., MS, Offered in alternate years. FallD. Hougen-Eitzman

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. 2 cr., ND, Offered in alternate years. FallD. Hougen-Eitzman

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. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 or permission of the instructor. 6 cr., MS, Winter,SpringS. Singer, S. Zweifel

BIOL 241. Genetics Laboratory 2 cr., ND, Winter,SpringS. Singer, S. Zweifel

BIOL 260. Visiting Speakers Seminar Meets up to once per week for all three terms. Research presentations by distinguished visiting scholars in various areas of biology. Credit awarded during spring term after attendance of two-thirds of all the presentations. Not open to senior majors. 1 credit for all three terms cr., S/CR/NC, ND, Fall,Winter,SpringStaff

BIOL 270. Animal Physiology An analysis of the mechanisms underlying physiological systems of animals employing principles of biology and chemistry. Topics include gas exchange, energy use, temperature regulation, ion and osmoregulation, reproduction, information processing and control of effectors. Associated laboratory will emphasize experimentation and application of concepts in living organisms, including ourselves. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126. 6 cr., MS, WinterM. Rand

BIOL 278. Introduction to Biochemistry This course presents an overview of the biochemical aspects of energy and information metabolism. This course is intended to provide students with the fundamental biochemical knowledge to support their further studies in biology. Questions such as the following are addressed: What defines a good fuel? How are metabolic pathways constructed and made to occur at rates sufficient to support life? Interwoven throughout the discussion of energy will be consideration of information processing. How do molecules recognize one another? How is the complex metabolic web of the cell regulated? How does this regulation change in response to signals such as hormones or environmental conditions, and to conditions such as exercise, starvation, alcohol consumption or disease states? This course does not fulfill requirements for the Biochemistry concentration. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126, Chemistry 123 or 128. 6 cr., MS, SpringJ. Tymoczko

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 energy capture, storage, and utilization; cellular reproduction; organelles, membranes, and other cellular components; and cell-cell communication. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126. 6 cr., MS, SpringM. Rezcallah

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. 2 cr., ND, SpringM. Rezcallah

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. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126. 6 cr., MS, WinterD. Walser-Kuntz

BIOL 311. Immunology Laboratory 2 cr., ND, Not offered in 2006-2007.

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. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126. Biology 240 strongly recommended. 6 cr., MS, FallJ. Wolff

BIOL 343. Animal Developmental Biology Laboratory Laboratory will introduce descriptive and experimental embryological techniques using a variety of model organisms. 2 cr., FallJ. Wolff

BIOL 344. Plant Development A study of the development of vascular plants. Topics including embryogenesis, meristem function, leaf morphogenesis, and reproduction will be investigated through the analysis of primary literature. Emphasis will be placed on the experimental basis for current concepts in plant development ranging from molecular mechanisms to evolution of developmental pathways. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126. 6 cr., MS, Not offered in 2006-2007.

BIOL 345. Plant Development Laboratory Laboratories will introduce students to techniques used to investigate plant development including plant tissue culture, transgenic plant construction, plant genetics, image analysis, and use of the scanning electron microscope. Concurrent registration required in Biology 344. 2 cr., ND, Not offered in 2006-2007.

BIOL 348. Paleoecology In this seminar, students examine current primary literature in paleoclimatology and paleoecology to understand climate and biosphere changes over Earth's history, with emphasis on the last 18,000 years. Topics include glacial cycles, ocean circulation, vegetation migration, tree ring analysis, paleoclimatic proxies, and the methodology of conducting paleoecological studies. In-class research includes coring a lake and analyzing fossil pollen and charcoal, and reconstructing aridity and precipitation using tree rings. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 or Geology 110. Recommended courses: exposure to some community and ecosystem ecology, sedimentary geology, tectonics, or geochemistry. 6 cr., MS, Not offered in 2006-2007.

BIOL 349. Paleoecology Laboratory 2 cr., ND, Not offered in 2006-2007.

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. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126. 6 cr., MS, FallM. 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. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126; Mathematics 111 or other previous calculus course. Recommended course: Mathematics 215, Psychology 124 or equivalent exposure to statistical analysis. Concurrent registration in Biology 353 required. 6 cr., MS, SpringM. McKone

BIOL 353. Population Ecology Laboratory 2 cr., ND, SpringM. McKone

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). Prerequisites: Chemistry 233 and two upper division Biology courses (200 or 300-level) and instructor's permission required. 3 cr., S/CR/NC, ND, SpringC. Crutchfield

BIOL 359. Plant Physiological Ecology This course examines plant physiological mechanisms to explain ecological patterns. Topics include physiological tolerances and species distributions, nutrient uptake and allocation, water and nutrient use efficiency, C3, C4 and CAM photosynthesis, carbon allocation, acclimation, responses to light, UV, and CO2, plant competition, alpine and arctic treelines, and adaptations in North American plant communities. Emphasis is placed on testing hypotheses and investigative field studies. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126. Recommended courses: Biology 352, Mathematics 215, Psychology 124 or equivalent exposure to statistical analysis. Concurrent registration in Biology 360 is required. 6 cr., MS, Not offered in 2006-2007.

BIOL 360. Plant Physiological Ecology Lab 2 cr., ND, Not offered in 2006-2007.

BIOL 361. Tropical Rainforest Ecology The tropical rainforests contain most of the earth's species, but have been less studied than many other biological communities. Recently there has been a dramatic increase in ecological investigations in the tropics, and the goal of this course is to survey the most contemporary and influential published work in rainforest ecology. Topics to be emphasized include the latitudinal gradient in species diversity, evolutionary ecology, and interactions between species. Prerequisites: Biology 352 or other ecology course work and permission of the instructor. 6 cr., MS, FallM. McKone

BIOL 362. Field Investigation in Tropical Rainforest Ecology This course begins with a two-week visit in December to the La Selva Biological Station near Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. The station is located in lowland rainforest and has been the site of many important ecological experiments. While at La Selva, the class will perform extensive field experiments planned during Biology 361. In regular meetings during the term, data will be analyzed and presented in oral and written reports. Prerequisites: Biology 361 and permission of the instructor. Does not count toward the Biology major. 6 cr., MS, WinterM. McKone

BIOL 365. 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. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126. 6 cr., MS, WinterF. Jaramillo

BIOL 368. 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. The laboratory will focus on current techniques used to study neuronal development in invertebrate and vertebrate model systems. Prerequisites: Biology 240 or Biology 280. 6 cr., MS, SpringJ. Wolff

BIOL 369. Developmental Neurobiology Laboratory 2 cr., ND, SpringJ. Wolff

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. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126. 6 cr., MS, SpringD. Walser-Kuntz

BIOL 372. Seminar: Selected Topics in Exercise Biochemistry An examination of how basic biochemical and physiological systems respond to the demands of exercise, and how they are modified in response to training. Prerequisite: Biology 270, 278, or 380. 6 cr., MS, Not offered in 2006-2007.

BIOL 373. Behavioral Endocrinology If it is adaptive for a particular behavior to be exhibited at an appropriate time and in a meaningful context, then we might expect hormonal signaling to play a key role in behavioral regulation. How much of the variability in male and female behavioral patterns is mediated by differences in sex steroid levels? How do circulating hormones early in life affect brain development and subsequent adult behavior? Are seasonal cycles of depression influenced by neuroendocrine mechanisms? These are a few of the questions that we will investigate in an attempt to understand the physiological mediation of behavior. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126. 6 cr., MS, FallM. Rand

BIOL 380. Biochemistry Biochemistry is an examination of the molecular basis of life processes. The course provides an indepth 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. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 and Chemistry 233 and 234. 6 cr., MS, FallJ. Tymoczko

BIOL 381. Biochemistry Laboratory 2 cr., ND, FallM. Rezcallah

BIOL 382. Molecular Biology The molecular basis of the structure, replication, stable inheritance, and expression of genetic material illustrated with examples from the primary literature. Topics include: DNA replication and recombination, chromosome stability, DNA mutation and repair, regulation of gene expresion, methods of gene identification, and the impact of recombinant DNA technology on human genetics. Laboratory will focus on current techniques in molecular biology including: gene cloning, genome databases, DNA finger printing, DNA sequencing, and the polymerase chain reaction. Prerequisites: Biology 240, Chemistry 233. Concurrent registration in Biology 383 required. 6 cr., MS, FallS. Zweifel

BIOL 383. Molecular Biology Laboratory 2 cr., ND, FallS. Zweifel

BIOL 384. Oncogenes and the Molecular Biology of Cancer An analysis of the biochemical, molecular and cellular processes that result in the transformation of normal cells into cancer cells. An analytical approach, based on the primary literature used and emphasis will be placed on critical evaluation of experimental design and data-interpretation. Prerequisites: Biology 240 or 380. 6 cr., MS, WinterJ. Tymoczko

BIOL 385. Seminar: Microbial Pathogenesis This course focuses on recent advances in understanding molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying infections caused by bacterial and viral pathogens. Topics include invasion of the host cell, immune evasion strategies, colonization and survival, and vaccines. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126. Some previous course work in cell or molecular biology is also recommended. 6 cr., MS, FallM. Rezcallah

BIOL 386. Neurobiology An analysis of the biology of neurons and the nervous system. Topics include the molecular basis of electrical excitability in neurons, transfer of information across synapses, mechanisms of sensation, learning, memory, and behavior. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126. 6 cr., MS, FallF. Jaramillo

BIOL 387. Neurobiology Laboratory 2 cr., ND, FallF. 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. 6 cr., ND, Fall,Winter,SpringStaff

BIOL 395. Research Experience Seminar in Biology This seminar course in 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. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126, and permission of the instructor. 3 cr., S/CR/NC, ND, FallS. Deel

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). 6 cr., S/NC, ND, Fall,Winter,SpringStaff