Biology Minor Requirements

2017 - 2018 Catalog

The Biology department has the following degrees:

Animal Biology minor

A minor in Animal Biology requires completion of 7 courses as follows. A student may not complete a minor in biology with either a major in biology or a major in neuroscience. In meeting the requirements of this discipline-based minor, a student may not use more than nine credits that are also used to meet the requirements of another major or minor. Sample 200- and 300-level graded work must be collected into a portfolio for assessment upon completion of the course requirements before a minor will be approved by the department.

1. Required courses: BIOL 111, 113
2. Zoology: BIOL 240 or 244S
3. Animal behavior: BIOL 243
4. Field biology: one course chosen from BIOL 231, 241, 242, and, when appropriate, 297
5. Evolution: BIOL 340 or 340S
6. Structure related to function: BIOL 355 or 362

  1. Required courses
    • BIOL 111 - Fundamentals of Biology
      FDRSL: BIOL 113 is a corequisite for students seeking laboratory science credits
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteCorequisite: BIOL 113. 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.

      Fall 2017, BIOL 111-01: Fundamentals of Biology: Addiction & Drugs of Abuse (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as ecology, physiology, population dynamics, and biochemistry. This course utilizes addiction as a model for understanding the basic principles of cell biology, anatomy, physiology, neuroscience, pharmacology, and genetics. Students gain an appreciation for the biological basis of addiction, as well as the complexity of the body-drug interactions. Students also learn to search and read primary literature, understand the fundamentals of experimental design, and discuss topics related to addiction and drugs. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits.) Blythe.

      Fall 2017, BIOL 111-02: Fundamentals of Biology: Yellowstone Ecology (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as ecology, physiology, population dynamics, and biochemistry. From cells to satellite data and bacteria and bears, this course investigates multiple biological levels of organization using the world's first national park as a case study. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits.) Hamilton.

      Fall 2017, BIOL 111-03: Fundamentals of Biology: Diversity of Life (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. Biologists use the word diversity, or biodiversity, to describe the variety of life forms in nature. This section is concerned with three major questions about biological diversity on earth: (1) how did it come to be? (2) what is its present condition? (3) what is its future? We cover physiological adaptations, genetic sources of diversity, evolutionary and ecological processes, anthropogenic threats to biodiversity, and conservation. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits.) Hurd.

      Fall 2017, BIOL 111-04: Fundamentals of Biology: Bacterial Genetics (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. This section is an introduction to the genes and the mechanisms of gene expression by bacterial cells. It focuses on the current issues of bacterial infections in humans, for example: virulence, antibiotic resistance, or emerging diseases. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits.) Simurda.

       


    • 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.


  2. Zoology
    • 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.


    • or
    • 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.


  3. Animal behavior
    • 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.


  4. Field biology: one course chosen from
    • 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 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.


    • 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.


  5. Evolution
    • 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.


    • 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.


  6. Structure related to function
    • 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 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.


Ecology minor

A minor in Ecology requires completion of 7 courses as follows. A student may not complete a minor in biology with either a major in biology or a major in neuroscience. In meeting the requirements of this discipline-based minor, a student may not use more than nine credits that are also used to meet the requirements of another major or minor. Sample 200- and 300-level graded work must be collected into a portfolio for assessment upon completion of the course requirements before a minor will be approved by the department.

1. Required courses: BIOL 111, 113
2. Cell biology or evolution: one course chosen from BIOL 220, 340 or 340S
3. Ecology: BIOL 217 or 245
4. Field biology: one course chosen from BIOL 241, 242, and, when appropriate, 297
5. Plant physiology or animal behavior: BIOL 225 or 243
6. Advanced level: one course chosen from BIOL 322, 325, 330 or 332

  1. Required courses
    • BIOL 111 - Fundamentals of Biology
      FDRSL: BIOL 113 is a corequisite for students seeking laboratory science credits
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteCorequisite: BIOL 113. 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.

      Fall 2017, BIOL 111-01: Fundamentals of Biology: Addiction & Drugs of Abuse (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as ecology, physiology, population dynamics, and biochemistry. This course utilizes addiction as a model for understanding the basic principles of cell biology, anatomy, physiology, neuroscience, pharmacology, and genetics. Students gain an appreciation for the biological basis of addiction, as well as the complexity of the body-drug interactions. Students also learn to search and read primary literature, understand the fundamentals of experimental design, and discuss topics related to addiction and drugs. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits.) Blythe.

      Fall 2017, BIOL 111-02: Fundamentals of Biology: Yellowstone Ecology (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as ecology, physiology, population dynamics, and biochemistry. From cells to satellite data and bacteria and bears, this course investigates multiple biological levels of organization using the world's first national park as a case study. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits.) Hamilton.

      Fall 2017, BIOL 111-03: Fundamentals of Biology: Diversity of Life (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. Biologists use the word diversity, or biodiversity, to describe the variety of life forms in nature. This section is concerned with three major questions about biological diversity on earth: (1) how did it come to be? (2) what is its present condition? (3) what is its future? We cover physiological adaptations, genetic sources of diversity, evolutionary and ecological processes, anthropogenic threats to biodiversity, and conservation. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits.) Hurd.

      Fall 2017, BIOL 111-04: Fundamentals of Biology: Bacterial Genetics (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. This section is an introduction to the genes and the mechanisms of gene expression by bacterial cells. It focuses on the current issues of bacterial infections in humans, for example: virulence, antibiotic resistance, or emerging diseases. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits.) Simurda.

       


    • 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.


  2. Cell biology or evolution: one course chosen from
    • 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 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.


    • 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.


  3. Ecology
    • 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.


    • or
    • 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.


  4. Field biology: one course chosen from
    • 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.


    • 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.


  5. Plant physiology or animal behavior
    • 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 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.


  6. Advanced level: one course chosen from
    • 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 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.


Molecular/Cell Biology minor

A minor in Molecular/Cell Biology requires completion of 7 courses as follows. A student may not complete a minor in biology with either a major in biology or a major in neuroscience. In meeting the requirements of this discipline-based minor, a student may not use more than nine credits that are also used to meet the requirements of another major or minor. Sample 200- and 300-level graded work must be collected into a portfolio for assessment upon completion of the course requirements before a minor will be approved by the department.

1. Required courses: BIOL 111, 113
2. Genetics: BIOL 220
3. Cell biology: BIOL 211 or 211S
4. Intermediate level: two courses chosen from BIOL 212S, 223, 280, 285, and, when appropriate, 297
5. Advanced level: one course chosen from BIOL 323, 340, 365, 385

  1. Required courses
    • BIOL 111 - Fundamentals of Biology
      FDRSL: BIOL 113 is a corequisite for students seeking laboratory science credits
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteCorequisite: BIOL 113. 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.

      Fall 2017, BIOL 111-01: Fundamentals of Biology: Addiction & Drugs of Abuse (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as ecology, physiology, population dynamics, and biochemistry. This course utilizes addiction as a model for understanding the basic principles of cell biology, anatomy, physiology, neuroscience, pharmacology, and genetics. Students gain an appreciation for the biological basis of addiction, as well as the complexity of the body-drug interactions. Students also learn to search and read primary literature, understand the fundamentals of experimental design, and discuss topics related to addiction and drugs. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits.) Blythe.

      Fall 2017, BIOL 111-02: Fundamentals of Biology: Yellowstone Ecology (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as ecology, physiology, population dynamics, and biochemistry. From cells to satellite data and bacteria and bears, this course investigates multiple biological levels of organization using the world's first national park as a case study. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits.) Hamilton.

      Fall 2017, BIOL 111-03: Fundamentals of Biology: Diversity of Life (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. Biologists use the word diversity, or biodiversity, to describe the variety of life forms in nature. This section is concerned with three major questions about biological diversity on earth: (1) how did it come to be? (2) what is its present condition? (3) what is its future? We cover physiological adaptations, genetic sources of diversity, evolutionary and ecological processes, anthropogenic threats to biodiversity, and conservation. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits.) Hurd.

      Fall 2017, BIOL 111-04: Fundamentals of Biology: Bacterial Genetics (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. This section is an introduction to the genes and the mechanisms of gene expression by bacterial cells. It focuses on the current issues of bacterial infections in humans, for example: virulence, antibiotic resistance, or emerging diseases. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits.) Simurda.

       


    • 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.


  2. Genetics
    • 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.


  3. Cell biology
    • 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.


  4. Intermediate level: two courses chosen from
    • 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 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.


  5. Advanced level: one course chosen from
    • 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 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.


    • 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


Physiology minor

A minor in Physiology requires completion of 7 courses as follows. A student may not complete a minor in biology with either a major in biology or a major in neuroscience. In meeting the requirements of this discipline-based minor, a student may not use more than nine credits that are also used to meet the requirements of another major or minor. Sample 200- and 300-level graded work must be collected into a portfolio for assessment upon completion of the course requirements before a minor will be approved by the department.

1. Required courses: BIOL 111, 113
2. Genetics: BIOL 220
3. Cell biology: BIOL 211 or 211S
4. Plant physiology or physiological modeling: BIOL 225 or 283
5. Intermediate level: one course chosen from BIOL 250, 255, 275, and, when appropriate 297
6. Advanced level: one course chosen from BIOL 355, 360, 362 and 397

  1. Required courses
    • BIOL 111 - Fundamentals of Biology
      FDRSL: BIOL 113 is a corequisite for students seeking laboratory science credits
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteCorequisite: BIOL 113. 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.

      Fall 2017, BIOL 111-01: Fundamentals of Biology: Addiction & Drugs of Abuse (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as ecology, physiology, population dynamics, and biochemistry. This course utilizes addiction as a model for understanding the basic principles of cell biology, anatomy, physiology, neuroscience, pharmacology, and genetics. Students gain an appreciation for the biological basis of addiction, as well as the complexity of the body-drug interactions. Students also learn to search and read primary literature, understand the fundamentals of experimental design, and discuss topics related to addiction and drugs. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits.) Blythe.

      Fall 2017, BIOL 111-02: Fundamentals of Biology: Yellowstone Ecology (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as ecology, physiology, population dynamics, and biochemistry. From cells to satellite data and bacteria and bears, this course investigates multiple biological levels of organization using the world's first national park as a case study. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits.) Hamilton.

      Fall 2017, BIOL 111-03: Fundamentals of Biology: Diversity of Life (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. Biologists use the word diversity, or biodiversity, to describe the variety of life forms in nature. This section is concerned with three major questions about biological diversity on earth: (1) how did it come to be? (2) what is its present condition? (3) what is its future? We cover physiological adaptations, genetic sources of diversity, evolutionary and ecological processes, anthropogenic threats to biodiversity, and conservation. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits.) Hurd.

      Fall 2017, BIOL 111-04: Fundamentals of Biology: Bacterial Genetics (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. This section is an introduction to the genes and the mechanisms of gene expression by bacterial cells. It focuses on the current issues of bacterial infections in humans, for example: virulence, antibiotic resistance, or emerging diseases. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits.) Simurda.

       


    • 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.


  2. Genetics
    • 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.


  3. Cell biology
    • 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.


  4. Plant physiology or physiological modeling
    • 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.


    • or
    • 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.


  5. Intermediate level: one course chosen from
    • 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 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. 


    • 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: one course chosen from
    • 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 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.


Quantitative Biology minor

A minor in Quantitative Biology requires completion of 7 courses as follows. A student may not complete a minor in biology with either a major in biology or a major in neuroscience. In meeting the requirements of this discipline-based minor, a student may not use more than nine credits that are also used to meet the requirements of another major or minor. Sample 200- and 300-level graded work must be collected into a portfolio for assessment upon completion of the course requirements before a minor will be approved by the department.

1. Required courses: BIOL 111, 113
2. Genetics or cell biology: BIOL 211, 211S, or 220
3. Computer science: BIOL 185, CSCI 102, or CSCI 121
4. Intermediate level: two courses chosen from BIOL 212S, 267, 282, 283, 285, and, when appropriate, 297
5. Advanced level: one course chosen from BIOL 325, 385

  1. Required courses
    • BIOL 111 - Fundamentals of Biology
      FDRSL: BIOL 113 is a corequisite for students seeking laboratory science credits
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteCorequisite: BIOL 113. 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.

      Fall 2017, BIOL 111-01: Fundamentals of Biology: Addiction & Drugs of Abuse (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as ecology, physiology, population dynamics, and biochemistry. This course utilizes addiction as a model for understanding the basic principles of cell biology, anatomy, physiology, neuroscience, pharmacology, and genetics. Students gain an appreciation for the biological basis of addiction, as well as the complexity of the body-drug interactions. Students also learn to search and read primary literature, understand the fundamentals of experimental design, and discuss topics related to addiction and drugs. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits.) Blythe.

      Fall 2017, BIOL 111-02: Fundamentals of Biology: Yellowstone Ecology (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as ecology, physiology, population dynamics, and biochemistry. From cells to satellite data and bacteria and bears, this course investigates multiple biological levels of organization using the world's first national park as a case study. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits.) Hamilton.

      Fall 2017, BIOL 111-03: Fundamentals of Biology: Diversity of Life (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. Biologists use the word diversity, or biodiversity, to describe the variety of life forms in nature. This section is concerned with three major questions about biological diversity on earth: (1) how did it come to be? (2) what is its present condition? (3) what is its future? We cover physiological adaptations, genetic sources of diversity, evolutionary and ecological processes, anthropogenic threats to biodiversity, and conservation. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits.) Hurd.

      Fall 2017, BIOL 111-04: Fundamentals of Biology: Bacterial Genetics (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. This section is an introduction to the genes and the mechanisms of gene expression by bacterial cells. It focuses on the current issues of bacterial infections in humans, for example: virulence, antibiotic resistance, or emerging diseases. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits.) Simurda.

       


    • 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.


  2. Genetics or cell biology
    • 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 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.


    • 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.


    • or
  3. Computer Science
    • 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.


  4. Intermediate level: two courses chosen from
    • 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 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.


    • 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.


  5. Advanced level: one course chosen from
    • 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