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Course Descriptions

Department of Biology

Gilmer Hall
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400328
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4328
(434) 982-5474 Fax: (434) 982-5626

Overview The Department of Biology offers a diversified program that serves students with a breadth of interests and provides an education that ultimately enables them to pursue careers in many areas of the biological sciences, including teaching, medicine, and research. Biology is the study of life itself, at its many levels of organization: ecosystem, population, organism, cell, and molecule. Our universal fascination with life drives our exploration of this discipline, for in it there are questions and answers about us and all living systems. How does the fertilized egg develop into a multicellular organism? Why do some cells age while others continue to divide? How do cells communicate with one another? How does the monarch butterfly know when and where to make its astonishing migration? Questions such as these define the frontiers of biology. We approach these scientific problems with exciting new technologies and creative approaches undreamed of even a decade ago. During this "golden period" of biological research, we have been brought close to a complete understanding of many fundamental biological processes. Our dissections probe not only into cells, but to the very molecular fabric of living things. As we do so, we learn about our past and how we have evolved. We also gain an ever-increasing appreciation for living things and the delicate balance of the ecosystem that we share.

Faculty The 34 members of the faculty include professors who are nationally and internationally recognized in their fields. The research activities within the department are currently supported by over forty investigator-initiated research grants totaling more than $7 million awarded annually from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and other government agencies or private foundations. Our commitment to excellence in research complements and enhances our dedication to outstanding teaching, and provides the resources to promote creative and original research by our students. The department participates in University-wide programs in biological timing, biophysics, cell and molecular biology, developmental biology, and neuroscience.

Students There are currently about 360 students majoring in biology. Upon graduation, many biology majors have spent the better part of two years assisting in nationally funded research projects and carrying out their own experiments. Students collaborate with some of the best biologists in the country, conducting research using the most advanced equipment available. The department has expanded and modernized its research laboratories, making it easier for students to take advanced classes early in their academic careers. Students graduating with a degree in biology gain admission to the most outstanding graduate schools in the country, and the acceptance rate of our biology graduates to medical schools is exceptionally high.

Special Resources The department, in offering modern research facilities equipped with the most advanced instrumentation available for biochemical, biophysical, cellular, molecular, and behavioral research, creates an intellectual environment that fosters scientific creativity. The facilities include a world-class light microscopy facility, a high-performance liquid chromatography laboratory, and a range of instruments for molecular studies. A high-speed ethernet interconnects mainframe and micro-computers and provides access to the Internet. These resources in turn give ready access to scientific software, such as DNA and protein sequence analysis programs and sequence databases.

The Center for Biological Timing (www.cbt.virginia.edu) Graduate and undergraduate summer fellowships at the center are available on a competitive basis.

Mountain Lake Biological Station (www.mlbs.org) Information about undergraduate and graduate level summer courses may be obtained from the Director, Mountain Lake Biological Station, Department of Biology, 238 Gilmer Hall, PO Box 400327, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4327.

Requirements for Bachelor of Arts in Biology Students selecting the B.A. major must complete the introductory courses, BIOL 201 and 202, before taking upper level courses. Introductory lab courses, BIOL 203 and 204, are also offered as they, or equivalent experiences, are a prerequisite for the required upper-level laboratory courses. Requirements for the B.A. in Biology include the core courses BIOL 300 and 301 (which must be taken in sequence and by the end of the third year) and 16 additional credits in biology, including at least three credits of laboratory work, at or above the 300 level. The required laboratory course may be satisfied by a three-credit departmental course in field biology or by two consecutive semesters of independent research (BIOL 491, 492) completed in one laboratory. (Summer research applies if the student has enrolled in BIOL 491, 492.) No more than 6 semester credits toward the B.A. in Biology may be awarded for any combination of independent study and research courses, including BIOL 385, 386 and BIOL 491-498. A maximum of 6 credits from the Department of Environmental Sciences chosen from a list of approved biology-related courses may be included in the upper-level credits for the major. Biology major courses taken elsewhere must be approved and only one-half of the credits, up to a maximum of 6, transferred to the University may be used toward the biology major. The required core courses (Biol 300 and 301) and lab course may not be taken elsewhere (transfer students exempted). While transfer and Environmental Sciences courses may be combined, the total applied towards the major may not exceed 6 credits since a minimum of 16 of the 22 credits of upper-level courses (which include BIOL 300 and 301) must be chosen from courses offered by the Biology Department at the University of Virginia.

Related courses that are required include two semesters of general chemistry with lab. CHEM 141, 142, plus 141L, 142L, or CHEM 181, 182, plus 181L, 182L meet this requirement. Students with AP chemistry credit for 141 and 142 must still complete the laboratory courses. The laboratory requirement can be met with 141L plus 142L, 181L plus 182L, two higher level lab courses, or the one-semester CHEM 222 course (Solutions Chemistry).. Additionally students must take one course in either calculus or statistics (STAT 212 or an equivalent or higher level course in another department).

The overall grade point average for courses at the 300 level and above presented in the major must be 2.000 (C) or better. Students anticipating a career in the biological sciences are strongly advised to take two semesters of organic chemistry with lab (CHEM 241, 242, 241L, 242L), two semesters of physics with lab (PHYS 201, 202, 201L, 202L), and at least one additional math course.

Requirements for Bachelor of Science in Biology Students selecting the B.S. major must fulfill all of the requirements for the B.A., as noted above and including the same restrictions, plus an additional 11 credits of upper-level biology courses (300 and above). These additional 11 credits must include BIOL 302 and a second 3-credit laboratory course. In addition, at least 4 of the upper-level courses, including one of the two required lab courses, must be at the 400 or 500-level.

Additional related courses, beyond those required for the B.A., include two semesters of organic chemistry (CHEM 241, 242 or the equivalent), one semester of introductory physics (PHYS 201 or its equivalent), and a second course in math beyond introductory calculus or a statistics course (STAT 212 or an equivalent or higher level course in another department). It is recommended that students interested in a career in the biological sciences take PHYS 202, as well as labs in organic chemistry and labs in physics.

Requirements for Minor Students selecting biology as their minor subject are required to complete the lower-level introductory courses, BIOL 201, 202, 203 and 204, unless exempted by examination or placement, and three upper-level biology courses (300 and above) of 3 or 4 credits each. The following courses, either singly or in combination, may be used to fulfill no more than one of the three required upper-level courses: BIOL 385, 386 (Selected Topics in Biology), BIOL 395 (Recent Advances in Biology), or BIOL 491-498. Exemption from BIOL 201 and 202 does not imply exemption from BIOL 203 and 204. These laboratory courses, or equivalent experiences, are required. The grade point average for all courses presented for the minor must be 2.000 (C) or better.

Academic Information Credit for independent research courses may be applied toward the upper-level credits required for the major. Three credits are granted for two semesters of independent research (BIOL 491/492/493/494) and six credits are granted for four semesters of independent research. Maximum research credit for either the B.A. or B.S. major is six credits.

Students who score a 4 or a 5 on the AP biology examination will receive six credits for BIOL 201 and 202.

Students may petition to have upper-level transfer credits count toward the biology major. One-half credit will be granted for each credit up to a maximum of six credits. Unique courses that broaden the undergraduate experience (e.g., field courses, marine biology, studies abroad, research opportunities) can receive full transfer credit. Transfer credit will generally not be approved for the required core (BIOL 300, 301, and 302) or laboratory courses. In all cases, prior approval should be arranged with the Biology Department Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Six credits from Department of Environmental Sciences may be applied towards the biology major. These include EVSC 320/320L (Fundamentals of Ecology) and upper level (400+) courses that have EVSC 320 as a prerequisite. Students who complete both CHEM 441 and 442 (Biochemistry) may apply four credits toward the biology major.

Students are urged to broaden their biology training by taking courses from several biology subdisciplines, including development, evolution, physiology, behavior, and conservation.

Students with special academic requirements or experience may seek relief from these regulations by petitioning the Biology Department Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Specialization in Environmental and Biological Conservation The Biology Department, in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Sciences, offers an opportunity for students to obtain the Bachelor of Arts or Science in Biology with a Specialization in Environmental and Biological Conservation. Candidates for the Specialization must fulfill all the requirements for the biology major. Many of the courses in this Specialization also count towards the major.

The requirements for the Specialization are as follows: two introductory courses in conservation biology (EVSC 222, BIOL 345), a 2 credit seminar in conservation, and an upper level course (BIOL 413). In addition the Specialization requires at least one course in each of the following areas: 1. Biological diversity: a course focused on a particular group of organisms. 2. Environmental diversity: a course focused on a particular habitat. 3. Techniques in conservation: a course focused on policy, statistics modeling, field methods or geo-spatial analysis. 4. Experience in field studies: this can be fulfilled by independent study, or a summer field course at one of the University’s biological stations (Mountain Lake Biological Station, Blandy Experimental Farm), by involvement with the Africa research program in the Environmental Sciences Department, or by an internship with a conservation agency.

Students who are interested in this Specialization should consult with an advisor who is a faculty of the Program in Environmental and Biological Conservation, preferably when declaring their major.

Distinguished Majors Program in Biology

Eligibility Students with a cumulative grade point average of 3.400 or higher after five semesters may apply to enter the Distinguished Majors Program (DMP). Application for the DMP must be made prior to the beginning of the seventh semester. Provisional admission to students with cumulative grade point averages below 3.400 but above 3.200 will be granted in exceptional cases. Administration of the DMP is the responsibility of the undergraduate committee.

Course Requirements

  1. Completion of 27 credits in upper-level courses approved for the biology major, beyond BIOL 201, 202. (Requirements 2 and 3 are counted toward this requirement.)
  2. Two semesters of BIOL 481, 482 (Seminar in Biological Research).
  3. A full year’s study in BIOL 491-498 (Independent Research for Distinguished Majors).
  4. A minimum GPA of 3.400 in all biology courses and overall in the University.

Research Requirements The research work done under BIOL 491-498 must be described in written form. The faculty research supervisor, the director of the distinguished majors program, and the undergraduate committee judge the work and the report. This research project is intended to foster independent thought and develop the student’s critical ability to formulate and conduct scientific research. The written report must be submitted to the director of the distinguished majors program during the student’s last semester in residence.

In addition to a written report, the student is required to give an oral presentation of the research project at the Richard D. Katz Biology Undergraduate Research Symposium held by the Department of Biology and the Undergraduate Biology Association in late April of each year.

Certification The undergraduate committee assumes the responsibility for evaluation of both the written report of the research project and the oral presentation. On the basis of their evaluation, the undergraduate committee recommends to the chair and faculty of the biology department that the degree be awarded:

  1. with no distinction
  2. with distinction
  3. with high distinction
  4. with highest distinction

The decision of the biology faculty regarding each candidate will be forwarded to the Committee on Special Programs and the university registrar at least ten days before commencement.

Additional Information For more information, contact the Department of Biology, 229 Gilmer Hall, P.O. Box 400328, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4328; (434) 982-5474; www.virginia.edu/biology.

Course Descriptions


Biology courses numbered from 100 to 199 are intended to satisfy the College Area Requirements for non-science majors. These courses have no prerequisites.

BIOL 106 - (3) (Y)
Principles of Nutrition
Topics include the chemical composition of the body; the molecular structure and function of different kinds of nutrients required by humans; the metabolic processes that transform food into energy and the chemical blocks for the creation and renewal of cellular structures; and the basic scientific principle of energy balance that determines weight gain or loss as governed by diet and exercise.

BIOL 121 - (3) (Y)
Human Biology and Disease
Introduces basic biological principles as illustrated in the human organism. Emphasizes the disruption of normal functions by disease either inherited or acquired.

BIOL 149 - (3) (Y)
Survival Biology for the New Millennium
Biological/Biomedical research has advanced to the extent that everyone’s lives are likely to be deeply affected. BIOL 149 will introduce a select set of new technologies and concepts such as genetically modified organisms, cloning animals including humans, stem cells and the human genome. No science background required.

Biology courses number from 201 - 204 are intended for premed students and for Biology Majors who have not earned AP credit in previous biology courses. The lecture courses, BIOL 201 and 202 are required for the Biology Major, but do not count towards upper-level course requirements. The laboratory courses, BIOL 203 and 204 are not specifically required for the major, but they, or their high school equivalents, are prerequisites for some upper level courses. These courses and BIOL 206, 206L, 207, and 207L have no prerequisites.

BIOL 201, 202 - (4) (Y)
Introduction to Biology
Intensive introduction to modern biology designed for natural science majors. Biological structure and function at various levels of organization, cell biology, genetics, development and evolution are covered. These courses are required for all biology majors and are prerequisites for most upper-level biology courses. Lectures and recitation/review.

BIOL 203, 204 - (2) (Y)
Introduction to Biology Laboratory
Corequisite: May be taken independently, or in conjunction with BIOL 201, 202.
BIOL 203: Laboratory exercises in introductory biology to illustrate experimental techniques and strategies used to elucidate biological concepts.
BIOL 204: Studies life forms, from simple to complex organization, demonstrating the unique properties of living organisms.

BIOL 206 - (3) (Y)
Human Physiology and Anatomy I
Includes basic information regarding the chemistry and organization of living matter needed to understand cellular, tissue, and organ function. The morphology and physiological functions of the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, and neurosensory organ systems will also be covered. Designed as a basic course for students in the allied health sciences.

BIOL 206L - (1) (Y)
Human Physiology and Anatomy I Laboratory
Optional laboratory class to accompany BIOL 206. Includes simple anatomical, physiological and chemical exercises, clinical exercises, dissections, and microscopic examination of tissues that demonstrate and supplement topics covered in the lecture.

BIOL 207 - (3) (Y)
Human Physiology and Anatomy II
Covers the morphology and physiology for the cardiovascular, lymphatic, immune, endocrine, digestive, respiratory, excretory and reproductive organ systems. Designed as a basic course for students in the allied health sciences.

BIOL 207L - (1) (Y)
Human Physiology and Anatomy II Laboratory
Optional laboratory class to accompany BIOL 207. Includes simple anatomical, physiological, and chemical exercises, clinical exercises, dissections, and microscopic examination of tissues that demonstrate and supplement topics covered in the lecture.

Introduction to Biology (BIOL 201/202) or equivalent AP credit is required for all courses at the 300 and above levels. Additional prerequisites are listed with each course; the instructor may waive these if a student demonstrates an adequate level of preparedness.

BIOL 300 - (3) (S)
Cell and Molecular Biology
Prerequisite: CHEM 141, 142.
Examines the cellular and molecular basis of life, with an emphasis on basic principles needed to understand what cells are and how they work. Major topics include the molecular nature of genes and gene function, as well as the consideration of protein localization, structure, assembly and function of the plasma membrane and organelles, signal transduction pathways, cell-cell interactions, and the perturbations of these processes in disease such as cancer. Required for all Biology majors.

BIOL 301 - (3) (S)
Genetics and Evolution
Prerequisite: BIOL 300; CHEM 141, 142.
Examines the inheritance of genes, the genetic basis of traits, and mechanisms of evolutionary change, with an emphasis on the genetic and evolutionary principles needed to understand the diversification of life on earth. Major topics include the Mendelian inheritance, mutation, linkage and recombination, as well as the genetics of natural populations, adaptation in various forms, molecular evolution and macroevolution. Required for all Biology majors.

BIOL 302 - (3) (S)
Integrative Biology
Prerequisite: BIOL 300; BIOL 301; CHEM 141, 142.
Students explore patterns and underlying processes of integrated biological systems, from cell-signaling pathways to organisms to communities. Major topics vary among years, but will focus on areas such as functional genomics, proteomics, cell metabolism, physiology, biomechanics, functional morphology, neuroendocrinology, development, neurobiology, animal behavior, phylogenetics, human disease, ecology, and conservation biology. This course is required for the BS in Biology.

BIOL 308 - (3) (Y)
Prerequisite: CHEM 141, 142. first semester organic chemistry suggested, but not required.
Presents an in-depth look at the molecular biology, pathogenesis and control of animal viruses. Small pox, influenza and HIV are used as model viruses for the analysis of viral replication mechanisms, viral genetics and the evolutionary relationship between the virus and its host. Epidemiology, transmission mechanisms, patterns of disease, and the societal impact of viruses are all discussed in terms of host/virus evolution.

BIOL 309 - (4) (Y)
Biology of Infectious Disease
Emphasis is on the principles that govern disease biology, using examples from humans, plants and animals. Topics include: diversity and types of pathogens; mechanisms of transmission, pathogenicity, and resistance; epidemiology, population regulation, and extinction; disease origins; intracellular pathogens; disease and the evolution of genetic systems; and disease in biological control and conservation.

BIOL 312 - (3) (Y)
Fundamentals of Microbiology
Prerequisite: CHEM 141, 142.
Explores molecular and evolutionary aspects of the structure and function of microbes. Equal emphasis is given to environmental and medical microbiology. Topics include microbial structure, diversity, metabolism, genetics, biogeochemical cycling, microbial ecology, epidemiology, medically important organisms and evolutionary adaptation. Important current event topics such as biofilms, genetically engineered microbes and ethics are also presented.

BIOL 314 - (3) (E)Biology of Aging
This interdisciplinary course will explore our current knowledge of the biology of aging in populations of plants and animals, including humans. Topics include demographic trends across species; analysis of why organisms age in the context of evolutionary theories; analysis of how organisms age in the context of cellular and physiological theories; and the genetic basis of longevity.

BIOL 315 - (3) (Y)
Microbiology Laboratory
An introduction to microorganisms and to basic microbiological principles through laboratory experimentation. Emphasis is on the structure, physiology and genetics of bacteria and bacterial viruses.

BIOL 317 - (3) (Y)
Introduction to Neurobiology
Analyzes the concepts of general neurobiology, including basic electrophysiology and electrochemistry, origin of bioelectric potentials, sensory, motor, integrative and developmental neurobiology, and conceptual models of simple learning.

BIOL 318 - (3) (Y)
Introductory Botany
Examines basic principles of plant structure, development, classification, and physiology. Laboratory exercises demonstrate these concepts, emphasizing cells and cellular function, structure and organization of higher plants, and a survey of plant and related organisms.

BIOL 320, 321 - (3) (S)
Basic Laboratory Investigations
Prerequisite: BIOL 203 or comparable laboratory training; CHEM 141, 142.
Students complete three of six 4-week laboratory modules offered; cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, development, behavior and evolution. Two of the six modules are offered concurrently in the first four weeks of the semester, two in the second four weeks, and two in the third; students complete one module in each four-week session. The learning objectives of each module are (1) to teach students the basic principles of problem solving through scientific investigation, and the written and oral skills needed to communicate results, and (2) to provide students with basic training in laboratory methodologies, techniques and protocols, and the use of laboratory instrumentation.

BIOL 323 - (3) (Y)
Animal Physiology
Focuses on selected vertebrate organ systems; considers other systems where relevant.

BIOL 324 - (3) (Y)
Introduction to Immunology
Studies the genetics and cell biology of the vertebrate immune system, with a focus on adaptive immunity. Classic and current experimental systems are emphasized.

BIOL 325 - (3) (Y)
Introduction to Animal Behavior
Studies the comparative aspects of animal behavior from a neuro-ethological approach; and the mechanisms employed in generating and guiding behavior.

BIOL 328 - (3) (Y)
This course is an introduction to avian biology. Major topics include evolutionary history, genetics, anatomy and physiology, behavior and communication, reproduction and development, and ecology and conservation. Through the study of birds, the most diverse lineage of terrestrial vertebrates, students learn broadly applicable concepts of organismal biology and gain insight to the scientific investigation of integrated biological systems.

BIOL 329 - (3) (Y)
Ecology and Conservation of Fishes
A laboratory course with a significant field component, an expanded version of a similar course taught at Mt. Lake Biological Station by the same instructor. Major topics of investigation center on the composition of freshwater fish assemblages and on the factors that influence distribution of fishes on multiple scales, from within stream reaches to among basins, including; physical habitat, water quality, and water flow; drainage histories and other zoogeographic processes; morphological, physiological, and life history characters of fishes; competition, predation and other biotic interactions; natural disturbance regimes; and anthropogenic impacts. The first portion of the semester provides an introduction to fish biology and systematics.

BIOL 340 - (3) (Y)
Vertebrate Functional Morphology
Comparative investigations of functional anatomical traits across major vertebrate lineages. A systems approach is taken in both lab and lecture, with organ systems treated in three units organized by function–protection, support and movement; neural and endocrine integration; metabolism and reproduction. Functional interpretations focus on biomechanical and physiological performance of structures within organisms, across levels of biological organization. Lectures, discussion topics, and lab exercises are designed to elucidate how form-function complexes work in living vertebrates and how those complexes evolved. Approaches to evolutionary interpretation include the mapping of functional anatomical traits on vertebrate phylogenies. Exercises include dissections, observation of prepared specimens and other material, modelling/simulation of biomechanical systems, kinematic analysis of locomotion; and 1-2 field trips.

BIOL 345 - (3) (Y)
Biodiversity and Conservation
Introduction to the fundamental principles of conservation biology (e.g., global species numbers, value of biodiversity, causes of extinction, genetic diversity, island biogeography, priority setting) and current topics of debate (including zoo versus field conservation, effects of global change on species extinction). Conservation case studies will allow students to judge the relevance of biological theory to practical problems in conservation.

BIOL 350 - (1-3) (SS)
Field Biology
Prerequisite: BIOL 204 or similar lab; instructor permission.
Application of field techniques for biological studies.

BIOL 385, 386 - (1-3) (SI)
Selected Topics in Biology
Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
Tutorial or seminar course that allows intensive study of the literature in a particular area of biology under the guidance of a Biology faculty member.

BIOL 395 - (3) (S)
Recent Advances in Biology
Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
Consists of weekly lecture/discussion sessions on recent advances in biology as reported through articles in the current literature and in research seminars presented within the University. Required for DMP students.

All lecture courses at the 400 level and above, have the prerequisite of at least one of the three core courses (300-302). All laboratory courses have a prerequisite of some 300-level lab; unless a specific prerequisite lab is specified, any 300-level lab will satisfy this prerequisite.

BIOL 400 - (3) (Y)
Laboratory in Molecular Biology
Prerequisite: BIOL 320.
Laboratory introduction to fundamental molecular techniques used in many biological research laboratories. Includes basic aseptic technique, isolation and manipulation of genetic material, electrophoresis, cloning, gene library construction/screening, Southern blot analysis, and PCR techniques. Lecture and open laboratory.

BIOL 401 - (3) (Y)
Prerequisite: BIOL 301.
Survey of new problems and approaches to large-scale (above the species level) ecological and evolutionary patterns. The course will emphasize modern conceptual issues and methodological advances. Laboratory work will involve computer applications in systematics and statistics.

BIOL 402 - (3) (E)
Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics
Prerequisite: BIOL 301.
Examines the mechanisms of evolution within populations, molecular evolution, and the process of speciation. Topics include genetics of adaptation and speciation, natural selection, and the processes influencing the evolution of genes and genomes at the molecular level.

BIOL 403 - (3) (O)
Evolutionary Biology Laboratory
Prerequisite: MATH 131.
Analyzes important concepts in evolution, and experimental techniques used in evolutionary ecology and population genetics–field research, experimental populations, molecular markers, phylogenetic reconstruction–including aspects of experimental design and statistical analysis of data. Includes a weekend field trip to Mountain Lake Biological Station.

BIOL 404 - (3) (Y)
Laboratory in Cell Biology
Prerequisite: BIOL 320.
Introduces the theory and practice of important laboratory techniques used in cell biology research. Studies techniques such as microscopy, electrophoresis, and cell culture. One laboratory lecture and one afternoon laboratory per week.

BIOL 405 - (3) (Y)
Developmental Biology
Prerequisite: BIOL 301.
Explores the processes of embryonic development in plants and animals, emphasizing the experimental basis of contemporary knowledge in embryo-genesis, morphogenesis and in cell and tissue differentiation. Lecture and occasional evening discussions.

BIOL 407 - (3) (Y)
Developmental Biology Laboratory
This course offers laboratory experience illustrating a number of principles and processes in the early development of both plants and animals. Laboratory work includes the use of basic microscopy and imaging techniques to study embryonic processes such as fertilization, oogenesis, gastrulation, and tissue interactions. Students will learn basic molecular techniques used to study gene expression and patterning in the embryo. Students will also develop skills in observation, experimental design, and data presentation.

BIOL 408 - (3) (Y)
Neuronal Organization of Behavior
Prerequisite: BIOL 317 or equivalent.
Lectures and discussions addressing behavior and sensory processing from the perspective of the neural elements involved. Topics include neuronal substrates (anatomical and physiological) of startle reflexes, locomotory behaviors, visual and auditory processing, echolocation mechanisms, calling song recognition, and the neuronal organization underlying some types of functional plasticity.

BIOL 411 - (3) (Y)
Genetics Laboratory
A research experience in developmental genetics that uses Drosophila melanogaster as a model system.

BIOL 413 - (3) (O)
Population Ecology and Conservation Biology
Prerequisite: Calculus, BIOL 301, or EVSC 320.
The natural history and mathematical theory of population dynamics, species interactions and life history evolution. Lectures emphasize theory and experimental tests; class discussions focuses on applications to conservation of plant and animal populations.

BIOL 417 - (3) (Y)
Cellular Neurobiology
Prerequisite: BIOL 317 or equivalent; BIOL 300.
Explores a cellular approach to the study of the nervous system. Topics include the structure and function of ionic channels in cell membranes; the electrochemical basis of the cell resting potential; the generation and conduction of nerve impulses; and synaptic transmissions. Three lecture and demonstration/discussion credits. Class meetings include lectures, discussion, student presentations, and computer simulations of neurophysiology with NeuroDynamix.

BIOL 419 - (3) (O)
Biological Clocks
Prerequisite: BIOL 300 and BIOL 301.
Introduces biological timekeeping as used by organisms for controlling diverse processes, including sleep-wakefulness cycles, photoperiodic induction and regression, locomotor rhythmicity, eclosion rhythmicity, and the use of the biological clock in orientation and navigation.

BIOL 425 - (3) (Y)
Human Genetics
Prerequisite: BIOL 301.
Focuses on the fundamental knowledge about organization, expression, and inheritance of the human genome. Reviews classical Mendelian genetics and human genetic (pedigree) analysis. Emphasizes understanding human genetics in molecular terms. Includes gene mapping procedures, methodologies for identifying genes responsible for inherited diseases, the molecular basis of several mutant (diseased) states, the human genome project, and discussions about genetic screening and gene therapy.

BIOL 426 - (3) (Y)
Cellular Mechanisms
Prerequisite: BIOL 301.
Includes basic information about important issues in cell biology coupled with critical analysis of pertinent scientific literature. Integrates basic scientific findings with clinical situations, emphasizing the importance of basic research in understanding and combating disease.

BIOL 427 - (3) (Y)
Animal Behavior Laboratory
Prerequisite: BIOL 325 recommended.
Provides direct experience in approaches used to study animal behavior. Each lab concentrates on a particular aspect of behavior. Student experiments relate to central nervous systems; sensory perception; sign stimuli, feeding behavior; social behavior; reproductive behavior; biological timing; and animal observation in the laboratory and field.

BIOL 448 - (3) (Y)
Structure and Function of Complex Macromolecules
Prerequisite: BIOL 300, biochemistry, or two semesters of organic chemistry.
Exploration, in depth, of principles underlying protein and nucleic acid structures and the techniques used to determine those structures.

BIOL 481, 482 - (1) (S)
Seminar in Biological Research
Prerequisite: Fourth-year DMP in Biology.
One-hour, weekly discussions on recent advances in biology, as well as more practical matters, such as how to write grant applications, make seminar presentations, apply to graduate programs, and other skills essential to professional success in biology.

BIOL 491, 492 - (3) (S)
Independent Research
Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
Independent research for qualified undergraduates under the direction of a faculty member. Nine laboratory credits.

BIOL 493, 494 - (3) (S)
Independent Research
Prerequisite: BIOL 491 and BIOL 492.
Independent research under the guidance of a departmental faculty member. Students who have completed BIOL 491, 492 may enroll in BIOL 493, 494 as a "second year" of independent research. Nine laboratory credits.

BIOL 495, 496 - (3) (S)
Independent Research for Distinguished Majors
Prerequisite: DMP students and instructor permission.
Independent research for qualified undergraduates under the direction of a faculty member. Nine laboratory credits.

BIOL 497, 498 - (3) (S)
Independent Research for Distinguished Majors
Prerequisite: BIOL 495, 496; DMP students.
Independent research under the guidance of a departmental faculty member. Students who have completed BIOL 495, 496 may enroll for BIOL 497, 498 as a "second year" of independent research. Nine laboratory credits.

BIOL 501 - (4) (Y)
Prerequisite: BIOL 300; organic chemistry.
Structure and function of the major constituents of cells–proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and carbohydrates–and the relationship to cellular metabolism and self-replication. Lectures and discussion.

BIOL 508 - (4) (Y)
Developmental Mechanisms
Prerequisite: BIOL 301.
Analyzes the cellular and molecular basis of developmental phenomena, reviewing both classical foundations and recent discoveries. Lectures focus on the major developmental systems used for analysis of embryogenesis (e.g., mouse, frog, and fly) and concentrate on several themes that pervade modern research in this area (e.g., signal transduction mechanisms). Readings are from the primary research literature, supplemented by textbook assignments. Lectures and discussion.

BIOL 509 - (2) (SI)
Current Topics in Plant Molecular Biology
Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
Discussion of current literature and selected topics on the biochemical and molecular genetic basis for plant cellular growth and differentiation. Weekly readings and student presentations.

BIOL 512 - (3) (IR)
Comparative Biochemistry
Prerequisite: Organic chemistry; BIOL 501; instructor permission.
Examines the biochemical adaptations that have arisen in organisms in response to physiological demands. Topics are drawn from recent advances made in elucidating molecular mechanisms of metabolic regulation.

BIOL 541 - (4) (O)
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Prerequisite: BIOL 300, 301.
A survey of contemporary issues in molecular biology and genetics. The course will be a combination of text based lectures and discussions of the current literature emphasizing the development of critical reading techniques. This course is meant for advanced undergraduate and graduate students.

BIOL 546 - (4) (IR)
Molecular Neuroscience
Prerequisite: BIOL 300, 301.
Covers contributions of molecular and molecular genetic studies to neural development and function. Utilizes primary literature and literature reviews, emphasizing critical reading skills and analysis of molecular data.

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