Biology Major Requirements

2017 - 2018 Catalog

The Biology department has the following degrees:

Biology major leading to BA degree

A major in biology leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree consists of 37 credits in science and mathematics, with at least 27 credits in biology. The major must include the following:

  1. BIOL 111 and 113, 340 or 340S; CHEM 110
  2. Quantitative Biology: Choose two courses from: CSCI 102, 121; INTR 202; MATH 101, 102; PSYC 250

    Intermediate-level
    courses expand and focus students' understanding of particular topics: Students must take one course from each of categories 3, 4 and 5, and must have two laboratory courses (indicated by *) chosen from course meeting categories 3, 4, 5 or 6.
  3. Molecules and Cells: One course from BIOL 211* or 211S, 212S, 215* or 215S*, 220, 223, 280*, 285* and, when appropriate, BIOL 297
  4. Ecology and Evolution: One course from BIOL 210, 216*, 217*, 231*, 240* or 240S*, 241*, 242*, 243*, 244S, 245*, 270S*, ENV 212 and, when appropriate, BIOL 297
  5. Structure and Function: One course from BIOL 225*, 250, 255, 260* or 260S*, 265*, 267 (ENGN 267), 275, 282, 283 and, when appropriate, BIOL 297
  6. Advanced-level courses provide the student with a greater depth of biological thought. Students must take at least two of the following:
    BIOL 310*, 322, 323*, 325*, 330*, 332*, 350, 355*, 360*, 362*, 365*, 385*, 395, 396, 397, 398
  7. Completion of the Major Field Test (MFT) in biology

Research in Biology: BIOL 401-403 and 421-424 may be used towards the total credits required in biology. No more than four credit hours of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major. (BIOL 464 may not be used).

  1. Required courses
    • BIOL 111 - Fundamentals of Biology
      FDRSL: BIOL 113 is a corequisite for students seeking laboratory science credits
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteCorequisite: BIOL 113. Prerequisite: CHEM 110 for first-years during initial winter registration (FY's who did not take CHEM 110 in the fall should contact Bill Hamilton for consent). Limited seating available for sophomores, juniors and seniors. Interested upper-division students should contact Bill Hamilton, in the Biology department, for consent as soon as the class schedule is available and before registration begins. Suitable for First-Years interested in pursuing a major in biology, neuroscience or environmental studies or the pre-health curriculum

      An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication applied to topics that vary among sections and terms. Specific subjects, chosen from within the scope of modern biological investigation according to the expertise of individual instructors, are examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. This course, and its companion laboratory, are prerequisites for all higher level biology courses.

       


    • BIOL 113 - Biology Laboratory
      FDRSL: see note in BIOL 111
      Credits1
      PrerequisiteCorequisite: BIOL 111. Prerequisites: Limited seating available for sophomores, juniors and seniors. Interested upper-division students should contact Charles Winder, in the Biology department, for consent as soon as the class schedule is available and before registration begins
      CorequisiteBIOL 111
      FacultyLanier, Winder

      A laboratory course to accompany BIOL 111. Students are trained in basic techniques of biological research by demonstrations and investigatory exercises, including data analysis and scientific communication.


    • BIOL 340 - Evolution
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113 or instructor consent
      FacultyAyoub

      An examination of the evidence for evolution and the mechanisms by which evolution occurs.


    • or
    • BIOL 340S - Evolutionary Biology at St. Andrews *
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteAn average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and consent of the Department of Biology
      FacultyStaff

      An introduction to the theory and processes of evolution, emphasizing the scientific approach to the study of evolutionary phenomena. Topics include the significance of character variation within and between species, basic evolutionary genetics, speciation, evolution in predator-prey systems, evolution of sex, behavioral systems, and human evolution. No more than four credits may be counted toward the major in biology. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty. Laboratory course.


    • CHEM 110 - General Chemistry
      FDRSL
      Credits4
      FacultyDesjardins, LaRiviere, Tuchler, Uffelman, Abry

      This is a foundational course for those pursuing upper-level chemistry and biochemistry. Fundamental vocabulary, concepts, and principles that appear throughout the chemistry and biochemistry curriculum are introduced. Topics include basic chemistry calculations, quantum mechanics in chemistry, molecular structure, chemical thermodynamics, and chemical kinetics. In addition, a range of spectroscopic methods including UV-Vis, Atomic Absorption, and XRF are employed in the laboratory. While no previous knowledge of chemistry is required, some background is advantageous. Laboratory course with fee.


  2. Quantitative Biology
  3.  Two courses from the following:

    • CSCI 102 - Introduction to Computational Modeling
      FDRFM
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteInstructor consent required
      FacultyLevy

      This course provides a hands-on understanding of the computational methods that support science and technology now and that will be essential for success in the science, engineering, and business worlds of the near future. The central theme of the course is building computational models of the processes that surround us every day, from the effects of drugs on the body to the formation of galaxies in the universe to the interactions of nations in the global economy. Classroom lectures and textbook readings are supplemented with lab exercises implementing the models using state-of-the-art software tools.


    • CSCI 121 - Scientific Computing
      FDRFM
      Credits4
      FacultyLevy

      An introduction to computer programming for scientific applications and a survey of the main methodological areas of scientific computation. The course provides the tools needed for students to use computers effectively in scientific work, whether in physics, chemistry, mathematics, economics, biology, psychology, or any field involving quantitative work. Programming in Matlab, a scientific-computing software package, with a focus on topics relevant to students' major fields of study. Lectures and formal labs.


    • INTR 202 - Applied Statistics
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteINTR 201

      An examination of the principal applications of statistics in accounting, business, economics, and politics. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability, estimation, hypothesis testing, and regression analysis.

       


    • MATH 101 - Calculus I
      FDRFM
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteNote: Students needing this course to fulfill an FDR requirement should add to a waiting list when open; additional sections may be added

      An introduction to the calculus of functions of one variable, including a study of limits, derivatives, extrema, integrals, and the fundamental theorem.

      Fall 2017, MATH 101B-01: Calculus I for Beginners: A First Course (3). This section meets 4 hours a week and is restricted to and specially tailored for First-Years who are beginning their study of calculus. Students who have already seen calculus, yet wish to retake it, must register for MATH 101, 101E, or 101F instead of 101B. An introduction to the calculus of functions of one variable, including a study of limits, derivatives, extrema, integrals, and the fundamental theorem. (FM) Staff.
       
      Fall 2017, MATH 101E-01: Calculus I with Biology Applications (3). Prerequisite: Instructor consent. Corequisite: BIOL 111 or CHEM 110. This section meets 4 hours a week and has a strong emphasis on biological applications, and is intended to benefit students interested in biological majors and health-related careers. It is designed and specially tailored for First-Years who took high school biology and who are taking a lab-science course concurrently. It is intended both for those students who are beginning their study of calculus and for those who have seen some calculus but want to start over at the beginning of the calculus sequence. Mathematical concepts include the study of limits, derivatives, extrema, integrals, and the fundamental theorem of calculus. This section meets four days per week. (FM) Toporikova.
       
      Fall 2017, MATH 101F-01: Calculus and Environmental Data (3). This section meets 3 hours a week. The course covers the same calculus material as Math 101, namely the calculus of functions of one variable, including a study of limits, derivatives, extrema, integrals, and the fundamental theorem. Applications in this section are focused on data collected by the Environmental Protection Agency and include discussions of finding an appropriate model for a data set and using calculus tools to analyze models. (FM) Staff.

       


    • MATH 102 - Calculus II
      FDRFM
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteThe equivalent of MATH 101 with C grade or better. Note: Students wanting to take this course should add to the waiting list when open; additional sections may be added
      FacultyStaff

      A continuation of MATH 101, including techniques and applications of integration, transcendental functions, and infinite series.


    • PSYC 250 - Statistics and Research Design II
      Credits4
      PrerequisitePSYC 120
      CorequisitePSYC 250L
      FacultyJohnson, Murdock, Whiting, Woodzicka

      Students learn about the design and analysis of psychological research, with particular emphasis on experimentation. Students learn statistical inference appropriate for hypothesis testing, and they use standard statistical packages to analyze data. Laboratory course.


  4. Intermediate-level courses
  5. Intermediate-Level courses expand and focus students' understanding of particular topics: Students must take one course from each of categories 3, 4 and 5, and must have two laboratory courses (indicated by *) chosen from course meeting categories 3, 4, 5 or 6.

    • Molecules and Cells

       One course from the following:

      • BIOL 211 - Cell Biology *
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBio 111 and 113
        FacultyWatson

        This course will focus on understanding the components of a cell, the internal organization of a cell, how they move, how they function, how they respond to cues from their external environment, and the limits of our current knowledge. Lecture topics will include the internal organization of a cell, structure and function of DNA, RNA and proteins, membrane and cytoskeleton structure function, protein sorting, membrane transport, cell cycle and cell-cycle control, cell signaling and communication, and cell death. The lab component reinforces the lecture by emphasizing the experimental approaches to the study of cell biology. Laboratory course.


      • or
      • BIOL 211S - Cell Biology at St. Andrews
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteAn average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and permission of the Department of Biology
        FacultyStaff

        Lecture and lab work are intermingled in this course that introduces the structure and function of the cell and sub-cellular organelles. as well as prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. The diversity and development of different cell types within multicellular organisms is also discussed. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty.


      • BIOL 212S - Molecular Biology at St. Andrews
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteAn average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and permission of the Department of Biology
        FacultyStaff

        Molecular biology is an essential tool within modern biology, widely used in biochemistry, cell biology, physiology, ecology, and evolution. This course provides an introduction to modem molecular biology. Lecture and laboratory exercises are intermingled to provide an understanding of fundamental biological processes that are central to molecular biology. In addition, genomics and bioinformatics concepts and tools are introduced. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty.


      • BIOL 215 - Biochemistry of the Cell *
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113 and CHEM 241 or 241S. Not open to students with credit for CHEM 341 (Biochemistry)
        FacultyWhitworth

        A study of the molecular basis of cell structure and function. Topics include biomolecular structure and chemistry, enzyme kinetics and inhibition, bioenergetics, intermediary metabolism and its regulation, membrane structure and transport, membrane receptors and signal transduction, and the endomembrane system. The laboratory stresses techniques for use in current biochemical research. Laboratory course.


      • or
      • BIOL 215S - Biochemistry at St. Andrews *
        Credits6
        PrerequisiteCHEM 241 or 241S, an average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and permission of the Department of Biology. This course may not be taken for credit by students who have completed CHEM 341
        FacultyStaff

        This course gives a solid background in mainstream biochemistry to students from a variety of backgrounds. The laboratory focuses on a variety of basic techniques and on experimental design. No more than four credits may be counted toward the majors in biology or neuroscience. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty. Laboratory course.


      • BIOL 220 - Genetics
        FDRSL: BIOL 221 is a corequisite for students seeking laboratory science credits
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113, and sophomore or junior standing
        FacultyAyoub, Cabe

        A study of the three main branches of modern genetics: 1) Mendelian genetics, the study of the transmission of traits from one generation to the next; 2) molecular genetics, a study of the chemical structure of genes and how they operate at the molecular level; and 3) population genetics, the study of the variation of genes between and within populations. This course is a prerequisite to most 300-level courses in biology.


      • BIOL 223 - Virology
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 211 or 220.
        FacultySimurda

        A study of those obligate intracellular parasites known as viruses, that infect both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, including viral structure, mode of infection and replication, regulation of viral life cycle. Discussions include viral diseases in humans.


      • BIOL 280 - Neural Imaging *
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111, 113, 220 or instructor consent
        FacultyWatson

        This course examines how the architecture of specific types of neurons affect the neuron's ability to receive, process, and transmit synaptic information. In particular, the course examines how some of the important molecular growth and differentiation cues (e.g., growth factors) can transmit signals important for axon growth and survival of developing and mature neurons. Topics may include neurogenesis, axonal pathfinding, synaptogenesis, and regeneration. Students will conduct original research in the laboratory and acquire skills with various imaging techniques and analytical tools.


      • BIOL 285 - Introduction to Systems Biology *
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 220.
        FacultyWhitworth

        Over the last decade a host of innovations have dramatically changed the scale on which biologists can perform experiments and interrogate molecular processes. These new quantitative technologies have allowed us to move from single "component" or "process" views of the cell to being able to ask questions about integrated molecular systems. In this course, we review some of the new technologies which have been driving this change, delve into the primary literature in both biology and medicine to explore the ways in which these technologies have shaped investigation, and explore firsthand some of the computational and statistical approaches that are being used to make sense of large-scale datasets.


      • and, when appropriate,
      • BIOL 297 - Topics in Biology
        Credits3 or 4 in fall or winter; 4 in spring
        Prerequisitevary with topic

        Topics vary with instructor and term.


    • Ecology and Evolution

        One course from the following:

      • BIOL 210 - Human Parasitology
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113
        FacultySimurda

        A survey of the phenomenon of animal parasitism, including discussion of the chief distinguishing structures, life cycles, and functions of major pathogenic parasites infecting humans and other animals.


      • BIOL 216 - Tropical Ecology *
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113, instructor consent, and approval of the International Education Committee
        FacultyStaff

        Course participants visit sites of biological interest in the neotropics. The specific sites vary from year to year, but may include rain forest, high altitude forest, and/or the Galapagos Islands. Students gain firsthand experience with plant and animal communities that have distinctive scientific and historical importance, while learning about ecological and evolutionary processes responsible for patterns of biological diversity in the tropics. Laboratory course.


      • BIOL 217 - Aquatic Ecology *
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113; MATH 101 or higher; or instructor consent
        FacultyHumston

        This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the ecology of freshwater systems, with laboratory emphasis on streams and rivers in the local area. It includes a review of the physical and biological properties of freshwater ecosystems as well as current issues relating to their conservation. Laboratory activities focus around monitoring the impacts of current stream restoration efforts in local watersheds.


      • BIOL 231 - Field Entomology *
        FDRSC
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113
        FacultyHurd

        A study of the diversity, classification and ecology of insects. This course consists primarily of fieldwork in Virginia (first four weeks) and Central America (last two weeks). Students become familiar with the major insect groups, make a synoptic collection, and compare diversity between temperate Virginia and tropical Central America. No other course may be taken concurrently. Laboratory course.


      • BIOL 240 - Zoology *
        FDRSC
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113
        FacultyHurd

        Form and function of animals with emphasis on evolution and ecology of major invertebrate and vertebrate groups. Laboratory course.


      • or
      • BIOL 240S - Zoology at St. Andrews *
        FDRSC
        Credits6
        PrerequisiteAn average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and permission of the Department of Biology.
        FacultyStaff

        A study of zoology with emphasis on the evolution of diversity through adaptive radiation and strategies for existence among the major animal groups, from simplest to most complex forms. No more than four credits may be counted toward the major in biology. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty. Laboratory course.


      • BIOL 241 - Field Ornithology *
        FDRSL
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113
        FacultyCabe

        This course integrates studies of bird biology with field observation and identification of local bird species. Topics covered include anatomy, taxonomy, reproduction, vocalization, migration, ecology, and evolution. Field trips to a variety of areas throughout Virginia emphasize identification skills and basic field research techniques. No other course may be taken concurrently. Laboratory course.


      • BIOL 242 - Field Herpetology *
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteInstructor consent and either BIOL 111 or ENV 110
        FacultyMarsh

        Field Herpetology is a research-based course on the ecology and behavior of amphibians and reptiles. Research projects vary from year-to-year and are designed to give students plenty of time on the field and exposure to a diverse assortment of amphibian and reptile species. Students should be prepared for hiking off-trail, wading in swamps, and catching live animals.


      • BIOL 243 - Animal Behavior *
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113
        FacultyMarsh

        An introduction to the scientific study of animal behavior, including exploration of the evolutionary basis of behavior and examination of how animals choose mates, defend territories, find food, and avoid predators. Field and laboratory exercises focus on testing hypotheses through experiments with a variety of animals, including fish, amphibians, birds, and humans. Laboratory course.


      • BIOL 244S - Invertebrate Zoology at St. Andrews
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteAn average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and permission of the Department of Biology
        FacultyStaff

        This course surveys the major invertebrate groups from an evolutionary perspective, emphasizing the diversity of body plans while demonstrating how common functional requirements such as feeding, respiration, excretion, and reproduction are achieved. The economic, social, and scientific impact that invertebrates have on human society is identified. Practical exercises reinforce and complement the lectures in this course. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty.


      • BIOL 245 - Ecology *
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113
        FacultyHurd

        An introduction to the study of interactions between organisms and their environments. Topics are arranged hierarchically: a) evolution and elementary population genetics; b) population dynamics and regulation; c) interspecific competition, predation, parasitism and symbiosis; d) community structure, energy and material flux in ecosystems. Laboratory is field oriented and investigative. Laboratory course.


      • BIOL 270S - Comparative Biology at St. Andrews *
        Credits6
        PrerequisiteAn average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and permission of the Department of Biology
        FacultyStaff

        An examination of the comparative biology of animals and plants, focusing on the problems encountered by organisms in different habitats and with different lifestyles, and of the different structural, physiological and ecological solutions they have evolved. An analysis of fundamental design differences between plants and animals, between organisms of different sizes and biophysical effects of scaling, and between the stresses of aquatic and terrestrial lifestyles. Integration of ecology, physiology and behavior is a major theme. No more than four credits may be counted toward the major in biology. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty. Laboratory course.


      • ENV 212 - Land Use and Aquatic Ecosystems in the Chesapeake Watershed
        FDRSC
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteENV 110 or instructor consent
        FacultyHumston

        This field-based course examines Chesapeake aquatic ecosystems from the headwaters through the estuary and how they are affected by human land use. Emphasis is placed on current research and management practices aimed at restoring degraded habitats and promoting sustainable land use and environmental stewardship in coastal watersheds.


      • and, when appropriate,
      • BIOL 297 - Topics in Biology
        Credits3 or 4 in fall or winter; 4 in spring
        Prerequisitevary with topic

        Topics vary with instructor and term.


    • Structure and Function

        One course from the following:

      • BIOL 225 - Medicinal Plant Biology *
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113 or instructor consent
        FacultyHamilton

        From Taxol to Vitamin C plants provide important medicinal products for humans. This course is an introduction to the study of plant form and function from the perspective of the utilization of plants by humans for medicinal purposes. Lectures cover plant cell biology, biochemistry, physiology, genetics, and interactions with the environment. The laboratory includes modern plant biology techniques ranging from molecular to organismal. Laboratory course.


      • BIOL 250 - Vertebrate Endocrinology
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113
        FacultyBlythe

        This course provides an introduction to the scientific study of the endocrine system, including exploration of chemoregulatory mechanisms in vertebrates and examination of biochemical, cellular, and physiological aspects of hormone action. In-class exercises focus on developing written and verbal scientific communication skills, as well as in-depth analysis of primary literature.


      • BIOL 255 - Reproductive Physiology
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113
        FacultyStaff

        An examination of sex as a biological phenomenon with consideration of the genetic (chromosomal), embryological, endocrine, and neurological bases of sexual development, differentiation, and identity.


      • BIOL 260 - Anatomy and Physiology
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113 and instructor consent
        FacultyBlythe

        This course is an introduction to the structure, function, and homeostatic properties of the major organ systems of humans.  Laboratory exercises include basic histology, kinesthetic clay modeling of human musculature, and standard diagnostic medical tests such as urinalysis and spirometry. Laboratory course.


      • or
      • BIOL 260S - Human Systems Physiology at St. Andrews *
        Credits6
        PrerequisiteAn average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative grade-point average, and permission of the Department of Biology
        FacultyStaff

        An introduction to the control and regulation of important physiological processes in humans. Emphasis is placed on how the structure and function of cells, tissues, organs and organ systems are interrelated and how this integration of function is required for human survival. Changes associated with disease are discussed in the context of control systems that no longer operate as intended. No more than four credits may be counted toward the major in biology. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty. Laboratory course.


      • BIOL 267 - Bioengineering and Bioinspired Design (ENGN 267)
        FDRSC
        Credits3
        PrerequisitePHYS-112 or instructor consent
        FacultyErickson

        Interdisciplinary study of the physical principles of animal navigation and sensory mechanisms. This course integrates biology, physics, engineering, and quantitative methods to study how an animal's physiology is optimized to perform a critical function, as well as how these biological systems inspire new technologies. Topics include: long-distance navigation; locomotion; optical, thermal, and auditory sensing; bioelectricity; biomaterials; and swarm synchronicity. Some examples of questions addressed are: How does a loggerhead turtle navigate during a 9,000 mile open-ocean swim to return to the beach where it was born? How does a blowfly hover and outmaneuver an F-16? How is the mantis shrimp eye guiding the next revolution in DVD technology? This course is intended for students interested in working on problems at the boundary of biology and physics/engineering, and is appropriate for those who have more experience in one field than the other. Lectures, reading and discussion of research literature, and hands-on investigation/field-work, where appropriate.


      • BIOL 275 - Food for Thought
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113
        FacultyBlythe

        This course utilizes problem-based learning to investigate nutrition and metabolism, as well as to the neural and hormonal regulation of feeding behavior. Through the use of primary literature and service-learning experiences, students develop an understanding of the experimental tools used in basic and applied nutritional sciences research.  Because nutrition directly relates to many health care and quality-of-life issues at the forefront of modern society, this course also examines popular literature on food-related topics. 


      • BIOL 282 - Dynamics of Biological Systems
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteMATH 101, BIOL 111/113, or instructor consent
        FacultyToporikova

        This course discusses how biological systems, ranging from single cells to entire human populations, change over time. Students learn to describe a biological system quantitatively, create a model of the system's dynamics, and make testable predictions. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, cell metabolism, scaling laws for biological systems, population dynamics, and epidemiological modeling. Students learn how to develop and analyze their own models in the lab component of this course where all necessary mathematical and programming background are developed as needed.  Laboratory course.


      • BIOL 283 - Pregnancy: A KISS in Time?
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113. No programming experience required; all necessary skills and training are provided as a set of tutorials
        FacultyToporikova

        Kisspeptin (KISS) is a neuropeptide that controls reproductive maturation and function. Its adequate secretion is essential for correct reproductive function and successful pregnancy. Recent experimental studies have shown that KISS may act as a central integrator for other reproductive hormones and neuropeptides. For example, KISS stimulates release of the hormone prolactin (PRL), which helps to maintain pregnancy and prepare the body for lactation. In this class ,students determine the role that KISS plays in successful pregnancy using computational modeling. Students experience the world of computational modeling in neuroendocrinology by working in teams to investigate and extend an existing model for hormonal interaction between KISS and PRL in pregnancy in rats. The model will be used to generate experimentally tested predictions.


      • and, when appropriate,
      • BIOL 297 - Topics in Biology
        Credits3 or 4 in fall or winter; 4 in spring
        Prerequisitevary with topic

        Topics vary with instructor and term.


  6. Advanced-level courses provide the student with a greater depth of biological thought.
  7.  Students must take at least two of the following:

    • BIOL 310 - Microbiology *
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteONE of the following: BIOL 220 plus CHEM 241, or BIOL 215, or CHEM 341
      FacultySimurda

      A broadly based course in the study of microorganisms, specifically: prokaryotic cells, microbial diversity, and the effects of microbes in the world, in society and in the bodies of animals and plants. It concerns the central role of microbiology as a basic biological science that enhances our understanding of the biology of higher organisms. Laboratory course.


    • BIOL 322 - Conservation Genetics
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220 or instructor consent
      FacultyCabe

      A study of the central issues of population genetics and their application to species preservation and conservation. Topics include genetic surveys of rare or threatened species; population structure and dispersal; inferring population histories from genetic data; phylogenetics of threatened species' groups; hybridization between species; the use of genetic data in captive breeding programs and the prosecution of endangered species legislation; and the use of biotechnologies, such as cloning.


    • BIOL 323 - Research Questions in Genomes *
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220 or instructor consent
      FacultyAyoub

      Genomics is a rapidly growing field that integrates and expands on diverse subjects such as evolution, molecular biology, and computer science. Genomics has increased our understanding of human health and evolution and had a direct impact on the advancement of medicine. This course provides students the opportunity to actively engage in genomics research projects, thus increasing their understanding of the research process and the significance of genomics tools. Students generate original sequence data and annotate genes and other features, leading to an independent analysis of a comparative genomics question, and contributing to research publications. Laboratory course.


    • BIOL 325 - Ecological Modeling and Conservation Strategies *
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteMATH 101 or higher and BIOL 111 and 113, or instructor consent
      FacultyHumston

      This course is an intensive introduction to foundational methods in ecological modeling and their application, with emphasis on the dynamics of exploited or threatened populations and developing strategies for effective conservation. Topics include managing harvested populations, population viability analysis, individual based models, and simulation modeling for systems analyses. Laboratory course.


    • BIOL 330 - Experimental Botany: Global Climate Change *
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220 or instructor consent
      FacultyHamilton

      Lectures focus on the major impacts of global climate change (elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and elevated temperatures) on plant function (photosynthesis and respiration) and plant communities. Additional topics include global carbon budgets, plant carbon sequestration, and agricultural impacts. Participants review the pertinent primary literature and conduct a term-long laboratory research project. Laboratory course.


    • BIOL 332 - Plant Functional Ecology *
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteAdditional course fee required, for which the student is responsible after Friday of the 7th week of winter term
      FacultyHamilton

      The emphasis and location of the study area differs from year to year. Information regarding the specific course topic and field trip schedule is made available in the fall. Through novel research projects in a variety of field settings (e.g., on-campus, Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains, The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem), this field-based laboratory course covers topics which investigate the vital roles that plants play in shaping Earth's ecosystems. Topics focus on the responses of native plants to environmental stresses, such as global climate change (elevated temperature and carbon dioxide and drought), herbivory, and invasive species. Field and laboratory exercises focus on testing hypotheses through experiments using a variety of species from intact plant communities. A review of the pertinent literature is used to develop and conduct a term research project. Laboratory course.


    • BIOL 350 - Immunology
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteSenior standing and one course chosen from BIOL 215, BIOL 215S, BIOL 220, or CHEM 341
      FacultySimurda

      A study of the structural and functional aspects of the immune system from the perspective of cellular and developmental biology; the biochemical and structural properties of antibodies and the possible origins of their diversity; and immunopathology.


    • BIOL 355 - Microanatomy *
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220
      FacultyI'Anson

      A study of the normal microscopic structure of the mammalian body with emphasis placed on structural and functional correlations. Laboratory work includes the study of prepared tissue and the preparation of tissues for microscopy. Laboratory course.


    • BIOL 360 - Experimental Neurophysiology *
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 111, 113 and 220
      FacultyBlythe

      An in-depth exploration of the theory and techniques of cellular neurophysiology. Labs utilize extracellular and intracellular recording techniques to explore motor neuron and sensory receptor firing properties and to examine the ionic basis for resting and action potentials and synaptic transmission. Laboratory course.


    • BIOL 362 - Animal Physiology *
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteAt least junior standing and BIOL 220
      FacultyI'Anson, Staff

      A comparative study of functional processes of animals, primarily vertebrates, and their environmental interactions. Laboratory emphasis is on functional adaptations and the use of physiological instrumentation in measuring functional processes. Laboratory course.


    • BIOL 365 - Developmental Biology *
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220 and at least junior standing
      FacultyWatson

      An examination of the goals, practices, and accomplishments of contemporary developmental biology. Topics include gametogenesis, fertilization, cleavage, gastrulation, organogenesis, genetic control of cell differentiation, transgenic procedures, cloning, embryo manipulation, and stem cells. Lectures, discussions of the developmental literature, and electronic media are utilized. Laboratory sessions focus on experimental manipulations of early invertebrate and vertebrate embryos and emphasize student-designed research projects. Laboratory course.


    • BIOL 385 - Molecular Mechanics of Life *
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220
      FacultyWhitworth

      How do we study complex networks of interactions between molecules in cells? How do we discover what roles different molecular machines play in the development and behavior of cells and animals? How can we identify the ways in which medical illness is caused by the misregulation of biological complexes because of a pathogenic infection or genetic disease? Our approach to answering these questions reflects the same interdisciplinary strategy being used at the forefront of current biomedical research. We consider the ways in which traditional approaches in biochemistry, genetics and cell biology can be merged with new systems-level approaches such as genomics and proteomics, to allow us to probe the underlying molecular mechanics of life. In the classroom, we examine different molecular networks, while readings include selections from the primary literature. The laboratory is based on an investigation of a novel research question, designed and addressed by student participants. Laboratory course


    • BIOL 395 - Selected Topics in Structural and Functional Biology
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220, and at least junior standing

      Topics include physiology, neurobiology, developmental biology and immunology. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


    • BIOL 396 - Selected Topics in Cellular and Molecular Biology
      Credits3-4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220, and at least junior standing

      Topics include genetics, virology, cell biology and microbiology. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

       


    • BIOL 397 - Neuroendocrinology
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220, and at least junior standing
      FacultyI'Anson

      The study of the interaction between the nervous system and the endocrine system, with special reference to regulation and communication in the mammal. Topics may include neuroendocrine regulation of development, the role of the adrenal axis in stress, metabolic regulation of reproduction, or biological rhythms. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


    • BIOL 398 - Selected Topics in Ecology and Evolution
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220, and at least junior standing

      Topics include ecology, behavior, evolution, and natural history of selected taxonomic groups. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

      Fall 2017, BIOL 398-01: Topic: Ecology and Conservation (3). Prerequisites: BIOL 220 and permission of the instructor.  What is biodiversity, how did it come about, and what is its future?  How do ecological systems work, and how (and why) can we conserve biodiversity in the Anthropocene? The recognition that global biological diversity is threatened with a precipitous decline of a magnitude similar to the past five mass extinctions, by human activities, has stimulated much ecological research.  We explore major ecological concepts and how they relate to biodiversity by reading and analyzing the primary research literature.  Following a lecture portion of the course to introduce major concepts, students will prepare oral presentations of research based in the primary literature, both assigned and of their choice. Hurd.


  8. Completion of the Major Field Test (MFT) in biology.
  9. Research in Biology
  10. BIOL 401-403 and 421-424 may be used towards the total credits required in biology. No more than four credit hours of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major. (BIOL 464 may not be used).

Biology major leading to BS degree

A major in biology leading to a Bachelor of Science degree consists of at least 50 credits in science and mathematics, with at least 33 credits in biology. The major must include the following:

  1. BIOL 111 and 113, 220; CHEM 110, 241 or 241S; MATH 101, 102; PHYS 111, 112, 113, and 114
  2. BIOL 185, CSCI 102, or CSCI 121
  3. One course from BIOL 215 or 215S or CHEM 242. (BIOL 215 or 215S may not be used to fulfill both this requirement and intermediate-level courses in 4. below)

    Intermediate-level courses expand and focus students' understanding of particular topics. Students must take one course from each of 4, 5, and 6.
  4. Molecules and Cells: One additional course from BIOL 211 or 211S, 212S, 215 or 215S, 223, 280, 285, CHEM 341/343 and, when appropriate, BIOL 297
  5. Ecology and Evolution: One course from BIOL 210, 216, 217, 231, 240 or 240S, 241, 242, 243, 244S, 245, 246, ENV 212 and, when appropriate, BIOL 297
  6. Structure and Function: One course from BIOL 225, 250, 255, 260 or 260S, 267 (ENGN 267), 275, 280, 282, 283, and, when appropriate, BIOL 297
  7. Advanced-level courses provide students with a greater depth of biological thought. Students must take at least three of the following, at least one of which must be a laboratory course (indicated by *):
    BIOL 310*, 322, 323*, 325*, 330*, 332*, 340 or 340S, 350, 355*, 360*, 362*, 365*, 385*, 395, 396, 397, 398
  8. Quantitative Biology: One course from BIOL 267, 282, 283, 285, 325, 385 (may also be used as intermediate and advanced-level courses in 4-7 above)
  9. Additional credits in biology to total 33, including a maximum of 6 credits at the 400 level. (BIOL 464 may not be used.)
  10. Completion of the Major Field Test (MFT) in biology.

Research in Biology is recommended for all students preparing for graduate school. BIOL 401-403 and 421-424 may be used towards the total credits required in biology. No more than six credit hours of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major.

  1. Required courses
    • BIOL 111 - Fundamentals of Biology
      FDRSL: BIOL 113 is a corequisite for students seeking laboratory science credits
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteCorequisite: BIOL 113. Prerequisite: CHEM 110 for first-years during initial winter registration (FY's who did not take CHEM 110 in the fall should contact Bill Hamilton for consent). Limited seating available for sophomores, juniors and seniors. Interested upper-division students should contact Bill Hamilton, in the Biology department, for consent as soon as the class schedule is available and before registration begins. Suitable for First-Years interested in pursuing a major in biology, neuroscience or environmental studies or the pre-health curriculum

      An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication applied to topics that vary among sections and terms. Specific subjects, chosen from within the scope of modern biological investigation according to the expertise of individual instructors, are examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. This course, and its companion laboratory, are prerequisites for all higher level biology courses.

       


    • BIOL 113 - Biology Laboratory
      FDRSL: see note in BIOL 111
      Credits1
      PrerequisiteCorequisite: BIOL 111. Prerequisites: Limited seating available for sophomores, juniors and seniors. Interested upper-division students should contact Charles Winder, in the Biology department, for consent as soon as the class schedule is available and before registration begins
      CorequisiteBIOL 111
      FacultyLanier, Winder

      A laboratory course to accompany BIOL 111. Students are trained in basic techniques of biological research by demonstrations and investigatory exercises, including data analysis and scientific communication.


    • BIOL 220 - Genetics
      FDRSL: BIOL 221 is a corequisite for students seeking laboratory science credits
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113, and sophomore or junior standing
      FacultyAyoub, Cabe

      A study of the three main branches of modern genetics: 1) Mendelian genetics, the study of the transmission of traits from one generation to the next; 2) molecular genetics, a study of the chemical structure of genes and how they operate at the molecular level; and 3) population genetics, the study of the variation of genes between and within populations. This course is a prerequisite to most 300-level courses in biology.


    • CHEM 110 - General Chemistry
      FDRSL
      Credits4
      FacultyDesjardins, LaRiviere, Tuchler, Uffelman, Abry

      This is a foundational course for those pursuing upper-level chemistry and biochemistry. Fundamental vocabulary, concepts, and principles that appear throughout the chemistry and biochemistry curriculum are introduced. Topics include basic chemistry calculations, quantum mechanics in chemistry, molecular structure, chemical thermodynamics, and chemical kinetics. In addition, a range of spectroscopic methods including UV-Vis, Atomic Absorption, and XRF are employed in the laboratory. While no previous knowledge of chemistry is required, some background is advantageous. Laboratory course with fee.


    • CHEM 241 - Organic Chemistry I
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteGrade of C (2.0) or better in CHEM 110
      FacultyAlty, Higgs

      A survey of the compounds of carbon including their structure, chemical and physical properties, reactivity, reaction mechanisms, identification, and synthesis. Laboratory focuses on the development of skills in preparing, purifying, and identifying organic compounds using spectroscopic methods. Laboratory course with fee.


    • or
    • CHEM 241S - Organic Chemistry I at St. Andrews
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteAn average grade of 3.0 or better in CHEM 110, a 3.000 cumulative grade-point average
      FacultyFrance

      A survey of the compounds of carbon including their structure, chemical and physical properties, reactivity, reaction mechanisms, identification, and synthesis. Laboratory focuses on the development of skills in preparing, purifying, and identifying organic compounds using spectroscopic methods. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L faculty member. Laboratory course.


    • MATH 101 - Calculus I
      FDRFM
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteNote: Students needing this course to fulfill an FDR requirement should add to a waiting list when open; additional sections may be added

      An introduction to the calculus of functions of one variable, including a study of limits, derivatives, extrema, integrals, and the fundamental theorem.

      Fall 2017, MATH 101B-01: Calculus I for Beginners: A First Course (3). This section meets 4 hours a week and is restricted to and specially tailored for First-Years who are beginning their study of calculus. Students who have already seen calculus, yet wish to retake it, must register for MATH 101, 101E, or 101F instead of 101B. An introduction to the calculus of functions of one variable, including a study of limits, derivatives, extrema, integrals, and the fundamental theorem. (FM) Staff.
       
      Fall 2017, MATH 101E-01: Calculus I with Biology Applications (3). Prerequisite: Instructor consent. Corequisite: BIOL 111 or CHEM 110. This section meets 4 hours a week and has a strong emphasis on biological applications, and is intended to benefit students interested in biological majors and health-related careers. It is designed and specially tailored for First-Years who took high school biology and who are taking a lab-science course concurrently. It is intended both for those students who are beginning their study of calculus and for those who have seen some calculus but want to start over at the beginning of the calculus sequence. Mathematical concepts include the study of limits, derivatives, extrema, integrals, and the fundamental theorem of calculus. This section meets four days per week. (FM) Toporikova.
       
      Fall 2017, MATH 101F-01: Calculus and Environmental Data (3). This section meets 3 hours a week. The course covers the same calculus material as Math 101, namely the calculus of functions of one variable, including a study of limits, derivatives, extrema, integrals, and the fundamental theorem. Applications in this section are focused on data collected by the Environmental Protection Agency and include discussions of finding an appropriate model for a data set and using calculus tools to analyze models. (FM) Staff.

       


    • MATH 102 - Calculus II
      FDRFM
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteThe equivalent of MATH 101 with C grade or better. Note: Students wanting to take this course should add to the waiting list when open; additional sections may be added
      FacultyStaff

      A continuation of MATH 101, including techniques and applications of integration, transcendental functions, and infinite series.


    • PHYS 111 - General Physics I
      FDRSL
      Credits3
      Prerequisiteor corequisite: MATH 101 or equivalent. Corequisite: PHYS 113
      FacultyStaff

      An introduction to classical mechanics and thermodynamics. Topics include Newton's laws, wave motion, and the laws of thermodynamics. This course must be taken simultaneously with Physics 113.


    • PHYS 112 - General Physics II
      FDRSL
      Credits3
      PrerequisitePHYS 111. Corequisite: PHYS 114
      FacultyStaff

      A continuation of PHYS 111. Topics include electricity and magnetism, optics, relativity, and quantum theory. This course must be taken simultaneously with PHYS 114.


    • PHYS 113 - General Physics Laboratory I
      FDRSL
      Credits1
      PrerequisiteCorequisite: PHYS 111. A laboratory course to accompany PHYS 111
      FacultyStaff

      Laboratory exercises in classical mechanics.


    • PHYS 114 - General Physics Laboratory II
      FDRSL
      Credits1
      PrerequisiteCorequisite: PHYS 112. A laboratory course to accompany PHYS 112
      FacultyStaff

      Laboratory exercises in electricity and magnetism, optics, and modern physics.


  2. Take one course:
    • BIOL 185 - Data Science: Visualizing and Exploring Big Data
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteInstructor consent required
      FacultyWhitworth

      No prior programming experience required. We live in the era of Big Data. Major discoveries in science and medicine are being made by exploring large datasets in novel ways using computational tools. The challenge in the biomedical sciences is the same as in Silicon Valley: knowing what computational tools are right for a project and where to get started when exploring large data sets. In this course, students learn to use R, a popular open-source programming language and data analysis environment, to interactively explore data. Case studies are drawn from across the sciences and medicine. Topics include data visualization, machine learning, image analysis, geospatial analysis, and statistical inference on large data sets. We also emphasize best practices in coding, data handling, and adherence to the principles of reproducible research. Fulfills the computer science requirement for biology and neuroscience majors.


    • CSCI 102 - Introduction to Computational Modeling
      FDRFM
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteInstructor consent required
      FacultyLevy

      This course provides a hands-on understanding of the computational methods that support science and technology now and that will be essential for success in the science, engineering, and business worlds of the near future. The central theme of the course is building computational models of the processes that surround us every day, from the effects of drugs on the body to the formation of galaxies in the universe to the interactions of nations in the global economy. Classroom lectures and textbook readings are supplemented with lab exercises implementing the models using state-of-the-art software tools.


    • or
    • CSCI 121 - Scientific Computing
      FDRFM
      Credits4
      FacultyLevy

      An introduction to computer programming for scientific applications and a survey of the main methodological areas of scientific computation. The course provides the tools needed for students to use computers effectively in scientific work, whether in physics, chemistry, mathematics, economics, biology, psychology, or any field involving quantitative work. Programming in Matlab, a scientific-computing software package, with a focus on topics relevant to students' major fields of study. Lectures and formal labs.


  3. Take one course from the following
  4.  (BIOL 215 or 215S may not be used to fulfill both this requirement and intermediate-level courses in 4. below)

    • BIOL 215 - Biochemistry of the Cell
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113 and CHEM 241 or 241S. Not open to students with credit for CHEM 341 (Biochemistry)
      FacultyWhitworth

      A study of the molecular basis of cell structure and function. Topics include biomolecular structure and chemistry, enzyme kinetics and inhibition, bioenergetics, intermediary metabolism and its regulation, membrane structure and transport, membrane receptors and signal transduction, and the endomembrane system. The laboratory stresses techniques for use in current biochemical research. Laboratory course.


    • BIOL 215S - Biochemistry at St. Andrews
      Credits6
      PrerequisiteCHEM 241 or 241S, an average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and permission of the Department of Biology. This course may not be taken for credit by students who have completed CHEM 341
      FacultyStaff

      This course gives a solid background in mainstream biochemistry to students from a variety of backgrounds. The laboratory focuses on a variety of basic techniques and on experimental design. No more than four credits may be counted toward the majors in biology or neuroscience. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty. Laboratory course.


    • CHEM 242 - Organic Chemistry II
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteCHEM 241 or 241S
      FacultyAlty, Higgs

      A continuation of CHEM 241.  Laboratory course with fee.


  5. Intermediate-level courses
  6. Intermediate-level courses expand and focus students' understanding of particular topics. Students must take one course from each of 4, 5, and 6.

    • Molecules and Cells

       One additional course from the following:

      • BIOL 211 - Cell Biology
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBio 111 and 113
        FacultyWatson

        This course will focus on understanding the components of a cell, the internal organization of a cell, how they move, how they function, how they respond to cues from their external environment, and the limits of our current knowledge. Lecture topics will include the internal organization of a cell, structure and function of DNA, RNA and proteins, membrane and cytoskeleton structure function, protein sorting, membrane transport, cell cycle and cell-cycle control, cell signaling and communication, and cell death. The lab component reinforces the lecture by emphasizing the experimental approaches to the study of cell biology. Laboratory course.


      • or
      • BIOL 211S - Cell Biology at St. Andrews
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteAn average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and permission of the Department of Biology
        FacultyStaff

        Lecture and lab work are intermingled in this course that introduces the structure and function of the cell and sub-cellular organelles. as well as prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. The diversity and development of different cell types within multicellular organisms is also discussed. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty.


      • BIOL 212S - Molecular Biology at St. Andrews
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteAn average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and permission of the Department of Biology
        FacultyStaff

        Molecular biology is an essential tool within modern biology, widely used in biochemistry, cell biology, physiology, ecology, and evolution. This course provides an introduction to modem molecular biology. Lecture and laboratory exercises are intermingled to provide an understanding of fundamental biological processes that are central to molecular biology. In addition, genomics and bioinformatics concepts and tools are introduced. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty.


      • BIOL 215 - Biochemistry of the Cell
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113 and CHEM 241 or 241S. Not open to students with credit for CHEM 341 (Biochemistry)
        FacultyWhitworth

        A study of the molecular basis of cell structure and function. Topics include biomolecular structure and chemistry, enzyme kinetics and inhibition, bioenergetics, intermediary metabolism and its regulation, membrane structure and transport, membrane receptors and signal transduction, and the endomembrane system. The laboratory stresses techniques for use in current biochemical research. Laboratory course.


      • or
      • BIOL 215S - Biochemistry at St. Andrews
        Credits6
        PrerequisiteCHEM 241 or 241S, an average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and permission of the Department of Biology. This course may not be taken for credit by students who have completed CHEM 341
        FacultyStaff

        This course gives a solid background in mainstream biochemistry to students from a variety of backgrounds. The laboratory focuses on a variety of basic techniques and on experimental design. No more than four credits may be counted toward the majors in biology or neuroscience. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty. Laboratory course.


      • BIOL 223 - Virology
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 211 or 220.
        FacultySimurda

        A study of those obligate intracellular parasites known as viruses, that infect both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, including viral structure, mode of infection and replication, regulation of viral life cycle. Discussions include viral diseases in humans.


      • BIOL 280 - Neural Imaging
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111, 113, 220 or instructor consent
        FacultyWatson

        This course examines how the architecture of specific types of neurons affect the neuron's ability to receive, process, and transmit synaptic information. In particular, the course examines how some of the important molecular growth and differentiation cues (e.g., growth factors) can transmit signals important for axon growth and survival of developing and mature neurons. Topics may include neurogenesis, axonal pathfinding, synaptogenesis, and regeneration. Students will conduct original research in the laboratory and acquire skills with various imaging techniques and analytical tools.


      • BIOL 285 - Introduction to Systems Biology
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 220.
        FacultyWhitworth

        Over the last decade a host of innovations have dramatically changed the scale on which biologists can perform experiments and interrogate molecular processes. These new quantitative technologies have allowed us to move from single "component" or "process" views of the cell to being able to ask questions about integrated molecular systems. In this course, we review some of the new technologies which have been driving this change, delve into the primary literature in both biology and medicine to explore the ways in which these technologies have shaped investigation, and explore firsthand some of the computational and statistical approaches that are being used to make sense of large-scale datasets.


      • CHEM 341 - Biochemistry I
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteCHEM 242
        FacultyFriend, LaRiviere

        A study of the structure, function, biosynthesis and breakdown of biomolecules, including amino acids, carbohydrates, and lipids. Enzymes, biological membranes and membrane transport, signal transduction, and regulation of metabolism are studied in greater detail.


      • CHEM 343 - Biochemistry I Laboratory
        Credits1
        Prerequisiteor corequisite: CHEM 341
        FacultyFriend, LaRiviere

        Experiments demonstrate the techniques used to study proteins and lipids. Isolation and characterization of proteins and lipids using gel electrophoresis, UV-Vis spectroscopy, chromatographic techniques including GC-MS, and the proper reporting and analysis of experimental data are included. Laboratory course with fee.


      • and, when appropriate,
      • BIOL 297 - Topics in Biology
        Credits3 or 4 in fall or winter; 4 in spring
        Prerequisitevary with topic

        Topics vary with instructor and term.


    • Ecology and Evolution

       One course from the following:

      • BIOL 210 - Human Parasitology
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113
        FacultySimurda

        A survey of the phenomenon of animal parasitism, including discussion of the chief distinguishing structures, life cycles, and functions of major pathogenic parasites infecting humans and other animals.


      • BIOL 216 - Tropical Ecology
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113, instructor consent, and approval of the International Education Committee
        FacultyStaff

        Course participants visit sites of biological interest in the neotropics. The specific sites vary from year to year, but may include rain forest, high altitude forest, and/or the Galapagos Islands. Students gain firsthand experience with plant and animal communities that have distinctive scientific and historical importance, while learning about ecological and evolutionary processes responsible for patterns of biological diversity in the tropics. Laboratory course.


      • BIOL 217 - Aquatic Ecology
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113; MATH 101 or higher; or instructor consent
        FacultyHumston

        This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the ecology of freshwater systems, with laboratory emphasis on streams and rivers in the local area. It includes a review of the physical and biological properties of freshwater ecosystems as well as current issues relating to their conservation. Laboratory activities focus around monitoring the impacts of current stream restoration efforts in local watersheds.


      • BIOL 231 - Field Entomology
        FDRSC
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113
        FacultyHurd

        A study of the diversity, classification and ecology of insects. This course consists primarily of fieldwork in Virginia (first four weeks) and Central America (last two weeks). Students become familiar with the major insect groups, make a synoptic collection, and compare diversity between temperate Virginia and tropical Central America. No other course may be taken concurrently. Laboratory course.


      • BIOL 240 - Zoology
        FDRSC
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113
        FacultyHurd

        Form and function of animals with emphasis on evolution and ecology of major invertebrate and vertebrate groups. Laboratory course.


      • or
      • BIOL 240S - Zoology at St. Andrews
        FDRSC
        Credits6
        PrerequisiteAn average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and permission of the Department of Biology.
        FacultyStaff

        A study of zoology with emphasis on the evolution of diversity through adaptive radiation and strategies for existence among the major animal groups, from simplest to most complex forms. No more than four credits may be counted toward the major in biology. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty. Laboratory course.


      • BIOL 241 - Field Ornithology
        FDRSL
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113
        FacultyCabe

        This course integrates studies of bird biology with field observation and identification of local bird species. Topics covered include anatomy, taxonomy, reproduction, vocalization, migration, ecology, and evolution. Field trips to a variety of areas throughout Virginia emphasize identification skills and basic field research techniques. No other course may be taken concurrently. Laboratory course.


      • BIOL 242 - Field Herpetology
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteInstructor consent and either BIOL 111 or ENV 110
        FacultyMarsh

        Field Herpetology is a research-based course on the ecology and behavior of amphibians and reptiles. Research projects vary from year-to-year and are designed to give students plenty of time on the field and exposure to a diverse assortment of amphibian and reptile species. Students should be prepared for hiking off-trail, wading in swamps, and catching live animals.


      • BIOL 243 - Animal Behavior
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113
        FacultyMarsh

        An introduction to the scientific study of animal behavior, including exploration of the evolutionary basis of behavior and examination of how animals choose mates, defend territories, find food, and avoid predators. Field and laboratory exercises focus on testing hypotheses through experiments with a variety of animals, including fish, amphibians, birds, and humans. Laboratory course.


      • BIOL 244S - Invertebrate Zoology at St. Andrews
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteAn average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and permission of the Department of Biology
        FacultyStaff

        This course surveys the major invertebrate groups from an evolutionary perspective, emphasizing the diversity of body plans while demonstrating how common functional requirements such as feeding, respiration, excretion, and reproduction are achieved. The economic, social, and scientific impact that invertebrates have on human society is identified. Practical exercises reinforce and complement the lectures in this course. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty.


      • BIOL 245 - Ecology
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113
        FacultyHurd

        An introduction to the study of interactions between organisms and their environments. Topics are arranged hierarchically: a) evolution and elementary population genetics; b) population dynamics and regulation; c) interspecific competition, predation, parasitism and symbiosis; d) community structure, energy and material flux in ecosystems. Laboratory is field oriented and investigative. Laboratory course.


      • BIOL 246 - Biological Diversity: Patterns and Processes
        FDRSC
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113 or instructor consent
        FacultyHurd, Staff

        How are plants and animals distributed on Earth, and how do important biogeographical patterns reflect ecological and evolutionary processes? The answers to these questions are crucial to conservation efforts and to predicting changes in "biodiversity" during a time of unprecedented, rapid global environmental change.


      • ENV 212 - Land Use and Aquatic Ecosystems in the Chesapeake Watershed
        FDRSC
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteENV 110 or instructor consent
        FacultyHumston

        This field-based course examines Chesapeake aquatic ecosystems from the headwaters through the estuary and how they are affected by human land use. Emphasis is placed on current research and management practices aimed at restoring degraded habitats and promoting sustainable land use and environmental stewardship in coastal watersheds.


      • and, when appropriate,
      • BIOL 297 - Topics in Biology
        Credits3 or 4 in fall or winter; 4 in spring
        Prerequisitevary with topic

        Topics vary with instructor and term.


    • Structure and Function

       One course from the following:

      • BIOL 225 - Medicinal Plant Biology
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113 or instructor consent
        FacultyHamilton

        From Taxol to Vitamin C plants provide important medicinal products for humans. This course is an introduction to the study of plant form and function from the perspective of the utilization of plants by humans for medicinal purposes. Lectures cover plant cell biology, biochemistry, physiology, genetics, and interactions with the environment. The laboratory includes modern plant biology techniques ranging from molecular to organismal. Laboratory course.


      • BIOL 250 - Vertebrate Endocrinology
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113
        FacultyBlythe

        This course provides an introduction to the scientific study of the endocrine system, including exploration of chemoregulatory mechanisms in vertebrates and examination of biochemical, cellular, and physiological aspects of hormone action. In-class exercises focus on developing written and verbal scientific communication skills, as well as in-depth analysis of primary literature.


      • BIOL 255 - Reproductive Physiology
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113
        FacultyStaff

        An examination of sex as a biological phenomenon with consideration of the genetic (chromosomal), embryological, endocrine, and neurological bases of sexual development, differentiation, and identity.


      • BIOL 260 - Anatomy and Physiology
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113 and instructor consent
        FacultyBlythe

        This course is an introduction to the structure, function, and homeostatic properties of the major organ systems of humans.  Laboratory exercises include basic histology, kinesthetic clay modeling of human musculature, and standard diagnostic medical tests such as urinalysis and spirometry. Laboratory course.


      • or
      • BIOL 260S - Human Systems Physiology at St. Andrews
        Credits6
        PrerequisiteAn average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative grade-point average, and permission of the Department of Biology
        FacultyStaff

        An introduction to the control and regulation of important physiological processes in humans. Emphasis is placed on how the structure and function of cells, tissues, organs and organ systems are interrelated and how this integration of function is required for human survival. Changes associated with disease are discussed in the context of control systems that no longer operate as intended. No more than four credits may be counted toward the major in biology. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty. Laboratory course.


      • BIOL 267 - Bioengineering and Bioinspired Design
        FDRSC
        Credits3
        PrerequisitePHYS-112 or instructor consent
        FacultyErickson

        Interdisciplinary study of the physical principles of animal navigation and sensory mechanisms. This course integrates biology, physics, engineering, and quantitative methods to study how an animal's physiology is optimized to perform a critical function, as well as how these biological systems inspire new technologies. Topics include: long-distance navigation; locomotion; optical, thermal, and auditory sensing; bioelectricity; biomaterials; and swarm synchronicity. Some examples of questions addressed are: How does a loggerhead turtle navigate during a 9,000 mile open-ocean swim to return to the beach where it was born? How does a blowfly hover and outmaneuver an F-16? How is the mantis shrimp eye guiding the next revolution in DVD technology? This course is intended for students interested in working on problems at the boundary of biology and physics/engineering, and is appropriate for those who have more experience in one field than the other. Lectures, reading and discussion of research literature, and hands-on investigation/field-work, where appropriate.


      • BIOL 275 - Food for Thought
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113
        FacultyBlythe

        This course utilizes problem-based learning to investigate nutrition and metabolism, as well as to the neural and hormonal regulation of feeding behavior. Through the use of primary literature and service-learning experiences, students develop an understanding of the experimental tools used in basic and applied nutritional sciences research.  Because nutrition directly relates to many health care and quality-of-life issues at the forefront of modern society, this course also examines popular literature on food-related topics. 


      • BIOL 280 - Neural Imaging
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111, 113, 220 or instructor consent
        FacultyWatson

        This course examines how the architecture of specific types of neurons affect the neuron's ability to receive, process, and transmit synaptic information. In particular, the course examines how some of the important molecular growth and differentiation cues (e.g., growth factors) can transmit signals important for axon growth and survival of developing and mature neurons. Topics may include neurogenesis, axonal pathfinding, synaptogenesis, and regeneration. Students will conduct original research in the laboratory and acquire skills with various imaging techniques and analytical tools.


      • BIOL 282 - Dynamics of Biological Systems
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteMATH 101, BIOL 111/113, or instructor consent
        FacultyToporikova

        This course discusses how biological systems, ranging from single cells to entire human populations, change over time. Students learn to describe a biological system quantitatively, create a model of the system's dynamics, and make testable predictions. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, cell metabolism, scaling laws for biological systems, population dynamics, and epidemiological modeling. Students learn how to develop and analyze their own models in the lab component of this course where all necessary mathematical and programming background are developed as needed.  Laboratory course.


      • BIOL 283 - Pregnancy: A KISS in Time?
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113. No programming experience required; all necessary skills and training are provided as a set of tutorials
        FacultyToporikova

        Kisspeptin (KISS) is a neuropeptide that controls reproductive maturation and function. Its adequate secretion is essential for correct reproductive function and successful pregnancy. Recent experimental studies have shown that KISS may act as a central integrator for other reproductive hormones and neuropeptides. For example, KISS stimulates release of the hormone prolactin (PRL), which helps to maintain pregnancy and prepare the body for lactation. In this class ,students determine the role that KISS plays in successful pregnancy using computational modeling. Students experience the world of computational modeling in neuroendocrinology by working in teams to investigate and extend an existing model for hormonal interaction between KISS and PRL in pregnancy in rats. The model will be used to generate experimentally tested predictions.


      • and, when appropriate,
      • BIOL 297 - Topics in Biology
        Credits3 or 4 in fall or winter; 4 in spring
        Prerequisitevary with topic

        Topics vary with instructor and term.


  7. Advanced-level courses provide students with a greater depth of biological thought.
  8. Students must take at least three of the following, at least one of which must be a laboratory course (indicated by *).

    • BIOL 310 - Microbiology *
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteONE of the following: BIOL 220 plus CHEM 241, or BIOL 215, or CHEM 341
      FacultySimurda

      A broadly based course in the study of microorganisms, specifically: prokaryotic cells, microbial diversity, and the effects of microbes in the world, in society and in the bodies of animals and plants. It concerns the central role of microbiology as a basic biological science that enhances our understanding of the biology of higher organisms. Laboratory course.


    • BIOL 322 - Conservation Genetics
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220 or instructor consent
      FacultyCabe

      A study of the central issues of population genetics and their application to species preservation and conservation. Topics include genetic surveys of rare or threatened species; population structure and dispersal; inferring population histories from genetic data; phylogenetics of threatened species' groups; hybridization between species; the use of genetic data in captive breeding programs and the prosecution of endangered species legislation; and the use of biotechnologies, such as cloning.


    • BIOL 323 - Research Questions in Genomes *
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220 or instructor consent
      FacultyAyoub

      Genomics is a rapidly growing field that integrates and expands on diverse subjects such as evolution, molecular biology, and computer science. Genomics has increased our understanding of human health and evolution and had a direct impact on the advancement of medicine. This course provides students the opportunity to actively engage in genomics research projects, thus increasing their understanding of the research process and the significance of genomics tools. Students generate original sequence data and annotate genes and other features, leading to an independent analysis of a comparative genomics question, and contributing to research publications. Laboratory course.


    • BIOL 325 - Ecological Modeling and Conservation Strategies *
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteMATH 101 or higher and BIOL 111 and 113, or instructor consent
      FacultyHumston

      This course is an intensive introduction to foundational methods in ecological modeling and their application, with emphasis on the dynamics of exploited or threatened populations and developing strategies for effective conservation. Topics include managing harvested populations, population viability analysis, individual based models, and simulation modeling for systems analyses. Laboratory course.


    • BIOL 330 - Experimental Botany: Global Climate Change *
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220 or instructor consent
      FacultyHamilton

      Lectures focus on the major impacts of global climate change (elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and elevated temperatures) on plant function (photosynthesis and respiration) and plant communities. Additional topics include global carbon budgets, plant carbon sequestration, and agricultural impacts. Participants review the pertinent primary literature and conduct a term-long laboratory research project. Laboratory course.


    • BIOL 332 - Plant Functional Ecology *
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteAdditional course fee required, for which the student is responsible after Friday of the 7th week of winter term
      FacultyHamilton

      The emphasis and location of the study area differs from year to year. Information regarding the specific course topic and field trip schedule is made available in the fall. Through novel research projects in a variety of field settings (e.g., on-campus, Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains, The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem), this field-based laboratory course covers topics which investigate the vital roles that plants play in shaping Earth's ecosystems. Topics focus on the responses of native plants to environmental stresses, such as global climate change (elevated temperature and carbon dioxide and drought), herbivory, and invasive species. Field and laboratory exercises focus on testing hypotheses through experiments using a variety of species from intact plant communities. A review of the pertinent literature is used to develop and conduct a term research project. Laboratory course.


    • BIOL 340 - Evolution
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113 or instructor consent
      FacultyAyoub

      An examination of the evidence for evolution and the mechanisms by which evolution occurs.


    • or
    • BIOL 340S - Evolutionary Biology at St. Andrews
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteAn average grade of at least 3.0 in BIOL 111 and 113, a 3.000 cumulative GPA, and consent of the Department of Biology
      FacultyStaff

      An introduction to the theory and processes of evolution, emphasizing the scientific approach to the study of evolutionary phenomena. Topics include the significance of character variation within and between species, basic evolutionary genetics, speciation, evolution in predator-prey systems, evolution of sex, behavioral systems, and human evolution. No more than four credits may be counted toward the major in biology. Taught at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with final grade assigned by W&L biology faculty. Laboratory course.


    • BIOL 350 - Immunology
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteSenior standing and one course chosen from BIOL 215, BIOL 215S, BIOL 220, or CHEM 341
      FacultySimurda

      A study of the structural and functional aspects of the immune system from the perspective of cellular and developmental biology; the biochemical and structural properties of antibodies and the possible origins of their diversity; and immunopathology.


    • BIOL 355 - Microanatomy *
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220
      FacultyI'Anson

      A study of the normal microscopic structure of the mammalian body with emphasis placed on structural and functional correlations. Laboratory work includes the study of prepared tissue and the preparation of tissues for microscopy. Laboratory course.


    • BIOL 360 - Experimental Neurophysiology *
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 111, 113 and 220
      FacultyBlythe

      An in-depth exploration of the theory and techniques of cellular neurophysiology. Labs utilize extracellular and intracellular recording techniques to explore motor neuron and sensory receptor firing properties and to examine the ionic basis for resting and action potentials and synaptic transmission. Laboratory course.


    • BIOL 362 - Animal Physiology *
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteAt least junior standing and BIOL 220
      FacultyI'Anson, Staff

      A comparative study of functional processes of animals, primarily vertebrates, and their environmental interactions. Laboratory emphasis is on functional adaptations and the use of physiological instrumentation in measuring functional processes. Laboratory course.


    • BIOL 365 - Developmental Biology *
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220 and at least junior standing
      FacultyWatson

      An examination of the goals, practices, and accomplishments of contemporary developmental biology. Topics include gametogenesis, fertilization, cleavage, gastrulation, organogenesis, genetic control of cell differentiation, transgenic procedures, cloning, embryo manipulation, and stem cells. Lectures, discussions of the developmental literature, and electronic media are utilized. Laboratory sessions focus on experimental manipulations of early invertebrate and vertebrate embryos and emphasize student-designed research projects. Laboratory course.


    • BIOL 385 - Molecular Mechanics of Life *
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220
      FacultyWhitworth

      How do we study complex networks of interactions between molecules in cells? How do we discover what roles different molecular machines play in the development and behavior of cells and animals? How can we identify the ways in which medical illness is caused by the misregulation of biological complexes because of a pathogenic infection or genetic disease? Our approach to answering these questions reflects the same interdisciplinary strategy being used at the forefront of current biomedical research. We consider the ways in which traditional approaches in biochemistry, genetics and cell biology can be merged with new systems-level approaches such as genomics and proteomics, to allow us to probe the underlying molecular mechanics of life. In the classroom, we examine different molecular networks, while readings include selections from the primary literature. The laboratory is based on an investigation of a novel research question, designed and addressed by student participants. Laboratory course


    • BIOL 395 - Selected Topics in Structural and Functional Biology
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220, and at least junior standing

      Topics include physiology, neurobiology, developmental biology and immunology. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


    • BIOL 396 - Selected Topics in Cellular and Molecular Biology
      Credits3-4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220, and at least junior standing

      Topics include genetics, virology, cell biology and microbiology. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

       


    • BIOL 397 - Neuroendocrinology
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220, and at least junior standing
      FacultyI'Anson

      The study of the interaction between the nervous system and the endocrine system, with special reference to regulation and communication in the mammal. Topics may include neuroendocrine regulation of development, the role of the adrenal axis in stress, metabolic regulation of reproduction, or biological rhythms. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


    • BIOL 398 - Selected Topics in Ecology and Evolution
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220, and at least junior standing

      Topics include ecology, behavior, evolution, and natural history of selected taxonomic groups. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

      Fall 2017, BIOL 398-01: Topic: Ecology and Conservation (3). Prerequisites: BIOL 220 and permission of the instructor.  What is biodiversity, how did it come about, and what is its future?  How do ecological systems work, and how (and why) can we conserve biodiversity in the Anthropocene? The recognition that global biological diversity is threatened with a precipitous decline of a magnitude similar to the past five mass extinctions, by human activities, has stimulated much ecological research.  We explore major ecological concepts and how they relate to biodiversity by reading and analyzing the primary research literature.  Following a lecture portion of the course to introduce major concepts, students will prepare oral presentations of research based in the primary literature, both assigned and of their choice. Hurd.


  9. Quantitative Biology:
  10. One course from the following:

    • BIOL 267 - Bioengineering and Bioinspired Design
      FDRSC
      Credits3
      PrerequisitePHYS-112 or instructor consent
      FacultyErickson

      Interdisciplinary study of the physical principles of animal navigation and sensory mechanisms. This course integrates biology, physics, engineering, and quantitative methods to study how an animal's physiology is optimized to perform a critical function, as well as how these biological systems inspire new technologies. Topics include: long-distance navigation; locomotion; optical, thermal, and auditory sensing; bioelectricity; biomaterials; and swarm synchronicity. Some examples of questions addressed are: How does a loggerhead turtle navigate during a 9,000 mile open-ocean swim to return to the beach where it was born? How does a blowfly hover and outmaneuver an F-16? How is the mantis shrimp eye guiding the next revolution in DVD technology? This course is intended for students interested in working on problems at the boundary of biology and physics/engineering, and is appropriate for those who have more experience in one field than the other. Lectures, reading and discussion of research literature, and hands-on investigation/field-work, where appropriate.


    • BIOL 282 - Dynamics of Biological Systems
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteMATH 101, BIOL 111/113, or instructor consent
      FacultyToporikova

      This course discusses how biological systems, ranging from single cells to entire human populations, change over time. Students learn to describe a biological system quantitatively, create a model of the system's dynamics, and make testable predictions. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, cell metabolism, scaling laws for biological systems, population dynamics, and epidemiological modeling. Students learn how to develop and analyze their own models in the lab component of this course where all necessary mathematical and programming background are developed as needed.  Laboratory course.


    • BIOL 283 - Pregnancy: A KISS in Time?
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113. No programming experience required; all necessary skills and training are provided as a set of tutorials
      FacultyToporikova

      Kisspeptin (KISS) is a neuropeptide that controls reproductive maturation and function. Its adequate secretion is essential for correct reproductive function and successful pregnancy. Recent experimental studies have shown that KISS may act as a central integrator for other reproductive hormones and neuropeptides. For example, KISS stimulates release of the hormone prolactin (PRL), which helps to maintain pregnancy and prepare the body for lactation. In this class ,students determine the role that KISS plays in successful pregnancy using computational modeling. Students experience the world of computational modeling in neuroendocrinology by working in teams to investigate and extend an existing model for hormonal interaction between KISS and PRL in pregnancy in rats. The model will be used to generate experimentally tested predictions.


    • BIOL 285 - Introduction to Systems Biology
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220.
      FacultyWhitworth

      Over the last decade a host of innovations have dramatically changed the scale on which biologists can perform experiments and interrogate molecular processes. These new quantitative technologies have allowed us to move from single "component" or "process" views of the cell to being able to ask questions about integrated molecular systems. In this course, we review some of the new technologies which have been driving this change, delve into the primary literature in both biology and medicine to explore the ways in which these technologies have shaped investigation, and explore firsthand some of the computational and statistical approaches that are being used to make sense of large-scale datasets.


    • BIOL 325 - Ecological Modeling and Conservation Strategies
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteMATH 101 or higher and BIOL 111 and 113, or instructor consent
      FacultyHumston

      This course is an intensive introduction to foundational methods in ecological modeling and their application, with emphasis on the dynamics of exploited or threatened populations and developing strategies for effective conservation. Topics include managing harvested populations, population viability analysis, individual based models, and simulation modeling for systems analyses. Laboratory course.


    • BIOL 385 - Molecular Mechanics of Life
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteBIOL 220
      FacultyWhitworth

      How do we study complex networks of interactions between molecules in cells? How do we discover what roles different molecular machines play in the development and behavior of cells and animals? How can we identify the ways in which medical illness is caused by the misregulation of biological complexes because of a pathogenic infection or genetic disease? Our approach to answering these questions reflects the same interdisciplinary strategy being used at the forefront of current biomedical research. We consider the ways in which traditional approaches in biochemistry, genetics and cell biology can be merged with new systems-level approaches such as genomics and proteomics, to allow us to probe the underlying molecular mechanics of life. In the classroom, we examine different molecular networks, while readings include selections from the primary literature. The laboratory is based on an investigation of a novel research question, designed and addressed by student participants. Laboratory course


    •  (may also be used as intermediate and advanced-level courses in 4-7 above)
  11. Additional credits in biology to total 33, including a maximum of 6 credits at the 400 level. (BIOL 464 may not be used.)
  12. Completion of the Major Field Test (MFT) in biology.
  13. Research in Biology
  14. Research in biology is recommended for all students preparing for graduate school. BIOL 401-403 and 421-424 may be used towards the total credits required in biology. No more than six credit hours of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major.