NOTICE: If you are planning to major in biology it is important that you consider taking Orgo I (Chem 233) in your sophomore year, especially if you plan to go off campus in the fall of your junior year. For information about online registration, including priority times, please visit the Carleton Registrar’s website.

  • BIOL 101: Human Reproduction and Sexuality

    The myths surrounding human reproduction and sexuality may outweigh our collective knowledge and understanding. This course will review the basic biology of all aspects of reproduction–from genes to behavior–in an attempt to better understand one of the more basic and important processes in nature. Topics will vary widely and will be generated in part by student interest. A sample of topics might include: hormones, PMS, fertilization, pregnancy, arousal, attraction, the evolution of the orgasm, and the biology of sexuality.

    6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Winter 2023 · Matt Rand
  • BIOL 125: Genes, Evolution, and Development and Lab

    Emphasizes the role of genetic information in biological systems. Under this theme, we cover subjects from the molecular to the population levels of organization, including genetics, structure/function of DNA, gene expression and regulation, the changing genetic makeup of species as they evolve, and the development of individual organisms from zygotes. The active learning format of this course allows time in class to apply new concepts with faculty present. Students enter Carleton from a wide variety of academic experiences and our introductory courses are designed to provide a level playing field for students regardless of previous science background.

    6 credits; Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Science with Lab; offered Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023 · Jennifer Ross-Wolff, Amanda Hund, Sarah Deel, Annie Bosacker, Stephan Zweifel, Mark McKone, Debby Walser-Kuntz, Rika Anderson, John Berini
  • BIOL 126: Energy Flow in Biological Systems and Lab

    Emphasizes the role of energy flow (acquiring, storing, and using energy) in biological systems. Under this theme, we cover subjects from the molecular to the population levels of organization, including structure/function of proteins and enzymes, transport of molecules within biological systems, and links between organismal physiology and ecosystem function. The active learning format of this course allows time in class to apply new concepts with faculty present. Students enter Carleton from a wide variety of academic experiences and our introductory courses are designed to provide a level playing field for students regardless of previous science background.

    Prerequisites: Chemistry 123 or 128 6 credits; Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Winter 2023, Spring 2023 · Mike Nishizaki, Rou-Jia Sung, David Hougen-Eitzman, John Berini, Raka Mitra, Gail Schwieterman
  • BIOL 210: Global Change Biology

    Environmental problems are caused by a complex mix of physical, biological, social, economic, political, and technological factors. This course explores how these environmental problems affect life on Earth by examining the biological processes underlying natural ecological systems and the effects of global environmental changes such as resources consumption and overharvesting, land-use change, climate warming, pollution, extinction and biodiversity loss, and invasive species.

    Prerequisites: One introductory science lab course (Biology 125, 126, Chemistry 123, 128, Geology 110, 115 or 120) 6 credits; Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2023 · John Berini
  • BIOL 212: Australia Program: Ecological Field Research

    Designed to complement and extend Biology 307. This course emphasizes field research methodology, with emphasis on comparison on ecological characteristics among terrestrial habitats in Australia and New Zealand. Major topics will include design and analysis of experiments, as well as use of primary literature to inform research questions.

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 and at least one upper-level Biology course related to ecology, evolution or organismal biology 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 215: Agroecology

    Agriculture comprises the greatest single type of land use on the planet–as such, what happens on farms will have far-reaching effects on all other systems on the biosphere. With world human population growing exponentially, the search for sustainable agricultural systems is more important than ever. This course focuses on the scientific aspects of food production, which will involve the application of the principles of ecosystem and population ecology to agricultural systems. Topics covered will include organic farming, biotechnology, and effects of pesticide use. Several types of local farms will be visited–large, small, organic, conventional.

    Prerequisites: One introductory science lab course (Biology 125, 126, Chemistry 123, 128, Geology 110, 115, 120 or 125).; Requires concurrent registration in Biology 216 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 216: Agroecology Lab

    These lab sessions will mainly involve visits to local area farms. The visits will provide an opportunity to examine biological processes on real farms and the environmental effects of different farming methods. This laboratory portion of the class will include a community engagement aspect, where class groups complete projects that provide services to farmers or community organizations.

    Prerequisites: Concurrent registration in Biology 215 is required 2 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 220: Disease Ecology and Evolution

    Parasites and pathogens play a central role in shaping the natural world, from the physiology and behavior of individuals to the dynamics of populations and the structure of ecosystems. This course will explore the ecological and evolutionary processes that shape host-parasite interactions. Topics include transmission of disease through host populations, the evolution of virulence, coevolution between hosts and parasites, how disease influences communities and food webs, how parasites shape host behavior and life history, and the ecology of newly emerging infectious diseases. 

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Writing Requirement; offered Winter 2023 · Amanda Hund
  • BIOL 224: Landscape Ecology

    In the Anthropocene, there has been dramatic change in the distribution of species and communities across the global landscape. The primary objective of this course is to introduce the theory and practice of landscape ecology. Throughout this course, we will consider the major themes of scale and hierarchy theory, compositional analysis, fragmentation, meta-populations, and landscape metrics, all within the broad context of how landscape patterns influence ecological process.

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and Biology 126 or permission of the instructor and concurrent registration in BIOL 225 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2022 · John Berini
  • BIOL 225: Landscape Ecology Laboratory

    Laboratory component of Biology 224.

    Prerequisites: Requires concurrent registration in Biology 224 2 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2022 · John Berini
  • BIOL 234: Microbiology

    A study of the metabolism, genetics, structure, and function of microorganisms. While presented in the framework of the concepts of cellular and molecular biology, the emphasis will be on the uniqueness and diversity of the microbial world. The course integrates lecture and laboratory, and will fulfill requirements of a microbiology course with lab for veterinary or pharmacy schools.

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126; Concurrent registration in Biology 235 6 credits; Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 235: Microbiology Laboratory

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126; Concurrent registration in Biology 234 2 credits; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 238: Entomology

    Insects are one of the most successful groups of organisms on the planet, playing major roles in all terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. In addition, since insects are ubiquitous they affect human endeavors on many fronts, both positively (e.g., crop pollination) and negatively (damage to crops and transmitting disease). This class will focus on the biology of insects, including physiology, behavior, and ecology. Many examples will highlight current environmental issues. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126; Concurrent registration in Biology 239 6 credits; Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 239: Entomology Laboratory

    Field and laboratory investigation of living insects. Synoptic examination of the major orders of insects, including evolution of different groups, physiology, structure, and identification. Field labs will focus on insect ecology and collection techniques for making a comprehensive insect collection. Prerequisites: Concurrent registration Biology 238 2 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 240: Genetics

    A study of the transmission of genetic information between generations of organisms, and of the mechanism of expression of information within an individual organism. The main emphasis will be on the physical and chemical basis of heredity; mutational, transmissional and functional analysis of the genetic material, and gene expression.

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 or instructor permission 6 credits; Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2023, Spring 2023 · Jennifer Ross-Wolff, Stephan Zweifel
  • BIOL 241: Genetics Laboratory

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 or instructor permission; Concurrent registration in Biology 240 2 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2023, Spring 2023 · Jennifer Ross-Wolff, Stephan Zweifel
  • BIOL 242: Vertebrate Morphology

    Over 500 million years of evolution has produced a rich diversity of structure and functional morphology in vertebrates. We will use comparative methods to help us understand the various selective forces and constraints that produced the vertebrate forms living today. Laboratory dissection of a variety of preserved vertebrates will allow us to examine how these fascinating animals monitor and move through their environment, procure, ingest and circulate nutrients, respirate, and reproduce.

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 243: Vertebrate Morphology Laboratory

    2 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 244: Biostatistics

    An introduction to statistical techniques commonly used in Biology. The course will use examples from primary literature to examine the different ways that biological data are organized and analyzed. Emphasis will be placed on how to choose the appropriate statistical techniques in different circumstances and how to use statistical software to carry out tests. Topics covered include variable types (categorical, parametric, and non-parametric), analysis of variance, generalized linear models, and meta-analysis. There will be an opportunity for students to analyze data from their own research experiences.

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 and one Biology 200 or 300 level course 3 credits; Formal or Statistical Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Winter 2023 · Mark McKone
  • BIOL 248: Behavioral Ecology

    Behavioral ecologists strive to understand the complex ways that ecological pressures influence the evolution of behavioral strategies. It can be argued that animals face a relatively small set of basic challenges: they must acquire food, water, and mates, and they must avoid danger. Yet we see a rich diversity of solutions to these problems. Consider foraging behavior, for example. All animals must acquire energy, but some filter particles out of sea water, others graze on nearly inedible grasses, while still others hunt in cooperative packs. In this course we will consider such topics as foraging, communication, sociality, and conflict. By focusing on the functions and evolutionary histories of behaviors, we strive to better understand the puzzle of behavioral diversity. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Winter 2023 · Annie Bosacker
  • BIOL 250: Australia/New Zealand Program: Marine Ecology

    This course will explore the population, community, and evolutionary ecology of marine organisms, with a focus on the Great Barrier Reef. Major topics will include coral reef structure and function, diversity of fauna and flora, as well as impacts of climate change and fisheries on reef ecology.

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 and one upper-level Biology course related to ecology, evolution or organismal Biology 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 252: Environmental Animal Physiology

    This course explores the physiological adaptations animals employ to survive in a wide variety of environments. Animals maintain physiological functions in the face of environmental extremes in heat, cold, aridity, deep ocean pressure, salinity, and the lack of oxygen in water or at high altitude, to name a few. An organism’s ability to cope with environmental extremes has a large impact on the geographic distribution of many species.

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 6 credits; Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 253: Environmental Animal Physiology Laboratory

    Concurrent registration in Biology 252 required. Prerequisites: Concurrent registration in Biology 252; Biology 125 and Biology 126 2 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 255: Australia Program: Learning Country, Culture and Environment in Australia

    In this course students will learn about the natural history of the Australian landscape and the cultural history of the people who have settled there. We will specifically consider the role of sustainability in Aboriginal, colonial, and modern Australian cultures. The majority of work for this class will be reading selected works that showcase central concepts. This reading should be completed before the program begins, and work will be evaluated through written work. In Australia, students will learn through lectures and cultural immersion, and they will synthesize what they learn in reflective essays.

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, International Studies; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 262: Ecological Physiology

    This course examines the physiological adaptations that allow species to inhabit a wide range of environments including polar regions, deserts, high alpine, the deep sea, and wave-swept coastal habitats. Emphasis will be placed on understanding how organisms cope with environmental extremes (e.g., temperature, low oxygen, pH, salinity and pressure) and in using metabolic theory to predict the ecological impacts of climate change (e.g., global warming, ocean acidification, hypoxia). Associated laboratory will emphasize experimentation and application of physiological concepts in living organisms. 

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126; Concurrent registration in Biology 263 required 6 credits; Science with Lab; offered Fall 2022 · Mike Nishizaki
  • BIOL 263: Ecological Physiology Laboratory

    Experimental approaches to study physiological responses of living organisms to their environment. Students will conduct a semi-independent lab project.

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126. Requires concurrent registration in Biology 262 2 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2022 · Mike Nishizaki
  • BIOL 272: Integrative Animal Physiology

    This course explores biological functions from the biochemical level to the level of the whole organism. We will start with the regulatory systems exploring the function of neural and endocrine mechanisms. We will discuss the actions of a variety of toxins as adaptive components of venoms and pharmaceutical tools in human health research. Other topics include: muscle physiology, exercise and behavior; blood pressure regulation; salt and water balance in organisms from different environments; comparative reproduction, including human reproductive development and sexuality.

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2022 · Matt Rand
  • BIOL 273: Integrative Animal Physiology Laboratory

    Concurrent registration in Biology 272 required.

    Prerequisites: Concurrent registration in Biology 272; Biology 125 and 126 2 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2022 · Matt Rand
  • BIOL 280: Cell Biology

    An examination of the structures and processes that underlie the life of cells, both prokaryotic and eukaryotic. Topics to be covered include methodologies used to study cells; organelles, membranes and other cellular components; protein targeting within the cell; and cellular communication and division. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 and concurrent registration in Biology 281 6 credits; Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2022 · Raka Mitra
  • BIOL 281: Cell Biology Laboratory

    The focus of the laboratory will be on current techniques used to study cellular structure and function.

    Prerequisites: Concurrent registration in Biology 280; Biology 125 and 126 2 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2022 · Raka Mitra
  • BIOL 303: Reflective Learning and ePortfolio Development for Biologists

    In this course you will synthesize your biology-related experiences, reflect on your strengths and goals, and design an ePortfolio. Developing an ePortfolio provides the opportunity to present yourself visually in a digital format and to be forward-looking as you consider your life post-Carleton. In addition to implementing the design elements of an effective digital resume, you will explore the primary literature to situate your work within the field of biology and read key research papers that led to the classification of the ePortfolio as a high impact practice. This class will be hands-on and interactive.

    Prerequisites: Junior or Senior Biology Major 3 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 310: Immunology

    This course will examine the role of the immune system in defense, allergic reactions, and autoimmunity. Topics to be covered include the structure and function of antibodies, cytokines, the role of the major histocompatibility complex in antigen presentation, cellular immunity, immunodeficiencies, and current techniques used to study immune responses. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 and either Biology 240 or 280 6 credits; Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2023 · Debby Walser-Kuntz
  • BIOL 311: Immunology Laboratory

    In this laboratory course, students will explore experimental design, immunology-related techniques, and the communication of scientific findings.

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 and Biology 240 or 280 and Biology 310 2 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Spring 2023 · Debby Walser-Kuntz
  • BIOL 321: Ecosystem Ecology

    Ecosystem ecology involves the study of energy and material flow through systems, including both the biotic (animals, plants, microbes) and abiotic (soil, water, atmosphere) components. Topics include the major elemental cycles (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous), patterns of energy flow, and the controls of these fluxes for different ecosystems. Current environmental issues are emphasized as case studies, including climate change, land use change, human alterations of nutrient cycles, and biodiversity effects on ecosystems.

    Prerequisites: one 200 level course in Biology or Geology 230, 258, 285 or Environmental Studies 244, 254,260, 265, 288; Biology 126 6 credits; Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 322: Ecosystem Ecology Laboratory

    Prerequisites: Requires concurrent registration in Biology 321. 2 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 332: Human Physiology

    Human Physiology seeks to understand the fundamental mechanisms responsible for the diverse functions of the body. Course topics include the function and regulation of the various physiological systems (nervous, circulatory, endocrine, excretory, respiratory, digestive, etc.), biochemistry, cellular physiology, homeostasis and acid-base chemistry. The study of human physiology provides the principal groundwork for internal medicine, pharmacology, and other related health fields. The laboratory includes a variety of experiments focusing on the function and regulation of the human body.

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126; Concurrent registration in Biology 333 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Winter 2023 · Fernan Jaramillo
  • BIOL 333: Human Physiology Laboratory

    Prerequisites: Concurrent registration in Biology 332; Biology 125 and 126 2 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2023 · Fernan Jaramillo
  • BIOL 338: Genomics and Bioinformatics

    The advent of next-generation sequencing technology has revolutionized biology, enabling transformative breakthroughs in fields ranging from agriculture to conservation to medicine. In this course, students will gain experience with the computational and bioinformatics tools needed to analyze “big data,” including sequence searching and alignment, assembly, gene calling and annotation. Students will learn to ask and answer their own scientific questions using sequence data, and to critically assess the conclusions of other genomics and bioinformatics studies. No prior computer programming experience is required. Associated laboratory will focus on wet lab methods for DNA/RNA extraction and preparation as well as computational analysis.

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 and one of these upper level courses: Biology 240, Biology 321 or Biology 350; concurrent registration in Biology 339 6 credits; Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2022 · Rika Anderson
  • BIOL 339: Genomics and Bioinformatics Laboratory

    Prerequisites: Concurrent registration in Biology 338 2 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2022 · Rika Anderson
  • BIOL 342: Animal Developmental Biology

    An analysis of animal development from fertilization to the establishment of the adult body form. Lectures and discussions will examine the key processes of animal embryogenesis, as well as the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control these developmental processes. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126, and Biology 240 or 280 6 credits; Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 343: Animal Developmental Biology Laboratory

    Laboratory will introduce descriptive and experimental embryological techniques using a variety of model organisms. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126, and Biology 240 or 280; Concurrent registration in Biology 342 2 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 350: Evolution

    Principles and history of evolutionary change in wild populations, with consideration of both microevolutionary and macroevolutionary time scales. Topics covered include causes of change in gene frequency, the nature of adaptation, constraints on evolutionary change, the evolution of genes and proteins, rates of speciation and extinction, and the major events in evolutionary history. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 6 credits; Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2022 · Mark McKone
  • BIOL 352: Population Ecology

    An investigation of the properties of populations and communities. Topics include population growth and regulation, life tables, interspecific and intraspecific competition, predation, parasitism, mutualism, the nature of communities, and biogeography.

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126, and Mathematics 111 or other previous calculus course. Recommended course: Statistics 120 (formerly Mathematics 215) or equivalent exposure to statistical analysis; concurrent registration in Biology 353 6 credits; Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 353: Population Ecology Laboratory

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 & 126, and Mathematics 111 or other previous calculus course. Recommended course: Statistics 120 (formerly Mathematics 215) or equivalent exposure to statistical analysis; Concurrent registration in Biology 352 2 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 354: Human Cutaneous Biology

    The course will cover the cellular and molecular biology of human skin in its normal and diseased states as it relates to a clinical presentation. Clinical dermatology and pathology will also be reviewed. The course style will be patterned along the lines as if it were a medical school course. Additionally, students will be introduced to many aspects of successfully negotiating medical school including introductions and possible field trips to the Mayo Clinic Medical School and/or University of Minnesota Medical School(s).

    Prerequisites: Chemistry 233 and two upper division Biology courses (200 or 300-level) and instructor’s permission required 3 credits; S/CR/NC; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Spring 2023 · Charles Crutchfield
  • BIOL 355: Seminar: The Plant-Animal Interface

    The primary objective of this seminar is to gain a better understanding of “the plant-animal interface,” with a specific focus on the interactions between plants and vertebrate herbivores. Topics covered include 1) the range of influences that the abiotic environment has on plants as a source of energy and nutrition for vertebrates; 2) how animals respond to heterogeneity in the plant communities with a specific focus on plant chemistry (i.e., nutritional indices and defensive chemistry); and 3) how heterogeneity in plant chemistry influences animal demographics and overall biological diversity. 

    Prerequisites: Biology 125, Biology 126 and a 200-level course in Biology 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 356: Seminar: Topics in Developmental Biology

    The development of an embryo from a single cell to a complex body requires the coordinated efforts of a growing number of cells and cell types. In this seminar course, we will use primary literature to explore recent advances in our understanding of the cellular processes such as intercellular signaling, migration, proliferation, and differentiation that make development possible. Additionally, we will consider how these developmental cellular processes, when disrupted, lead to cancer and other diseases. Priority will be given to juniors and seniors who have not already taken a seminar course.

    Prerequisites: Biology 240, Biology 280 or Biology 342 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Spring 2023 · Jennifer Ross-Wolff
  • BIOL 358: Seminar: Evolution of Sex and Sexes

    The origin and maintenance of sexual reproduction remains a central enigma in evolutionary biology. This seminar course will explore contemporary primary literature that addresses a variety of evolutionary questions about the nature of sex and the sexes. Why is sexual reproduction usually favored over asexual alternatives? Why are there no more than two sexes? What determines the characteristics of females and males within diverse species? How did sex chromosomes evolve and why do some species lack them?  

    Prerequisites: Biology 240 or Biology 350 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 360: Seminar: Climate Change Beneath the Waves

    Marine climate change comprises rising temperatures, increases in the frequency and severity of hypoxia, and ocean acidification. Together, these environmental variables can have profound effects on marine life. Or not. This course will focus upon the physiological capacities of various marine species to respond to changes in the ocean’s chemical and physical properties. Through discussions of the primary literature, we will explore the physiological mechanisms that will mark species as winners or losers of the anthropocene.

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 and one additional 200 or 300 level Biology course or instructor consent 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2022 · Gail Schwieterman
  • BIOL 363: Seminar: Ecomechanics

    All organisms, from Common loons to Redwood trees to Basking sharks spend much of their lives bumping up against forces associated with the non-biological world. The manner in which ecological challenges are solved (e.g., moving around vs. staying put, finding food, avoiding predators) is often related to an individual’s biomechanical design. This class will challenge students to view their physical surroundings from the perspective of an organism. How do mussels feed in a fast stream vs. stagnant pond? Why do healthy trees uproot rather than break in half? How can a sea urchin with no eyes “see”? We will use primary scientific literature to examine the physical principles that underlie fundamental ecological processes.

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 and one additional 200 or 300 level Biology course or instructor permission 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Spring 2023 · Mike Nishizaki
  • BIOL 365: Seminar: Topics in Neuroscience

    We will focus on recent advances in neuroscience. All areas of neuroscience (cellular/molecular, developmental, systems, cognitive, and disease) will be considered. Classical or foundational papers will be used to provide background.

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2022 · Fernan Jaramillo
  • BIOL 368: Seminar: Developmental Neurobiology

    An examination of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying development of the nervous system. We will survey recent studies of a variety of model organisms to explore key steps in neuronal development including neural induction, patterning, specification of neuronal identity, axonal guidance, synapse formation, cell death and regeneration.

    Prerequisites: Biology 240 or Biology 280 6 credits; Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2023 · Eric Hoopfer
  • BIOL 370: Seminar: Selected Topics in Virology

    An examination of selected animal viruses. The course will focus on the most recent developments in HIV-related research, including implications for HIV-treatment and vaccines and the impact of viral infection on the immune system of the host. In addition to studying the structure and replication of particular viruses we will also discuss the current laboratory techniques used in viral research. 

    Prerequisites: Biology 240 or 280. 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2022 · Debby Walser-Kuntz
  • BIOL 372: Seminar: Structural Biology

    The ability to visualize macromolecules at atomic detail has significantly advanced our understanding of macromolecular structure and function. This course will provide an overview of fundamental experimental methodologies underlying structure determination, followed by primary literature-based discussions in which students will present and critically discuss classic foundational papers as well as examples from the current literature that have advanced our understanding of macromolecule structure and function.

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126; and either Biology 280, Biology 380, Biochemistry 301 or Chemistry 320 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Spring 2023 · Rou-Jia Sung
  • BIOL 374: Seminar: Grassland Ecology

    Grassland ecosystems cover one third of the Earth’s surface and occur on every continent except Antarctica. Grasslands provide habitat for millions of species, play a major role in global carbon and nutrient cycles, and are the primary source of agricultural land, making them an important ecosystem both ecologically and economically. This course will utilize scientific literature to explore the environmental and biological characteristics of the world’s grasslands from population dynamics to ecosystem processes. Topics include competition and succession, plant-animal interactions, carbon and nutrient cycling, the role of disturbances such as fire and land use change, and grassland management and restoration.

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126, and one of Biology 210, 238, 248, 321 or 352 and instructor permission 6 credits; Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 378: Seminar: The Origin and Early Evolution of Life

    The Earth formed four and a half billion years ago. Evidence suggests that within 700 million years, life had gained a foothold on this planet. We will delve into the primary literature to explore fundamental questions about the origin and evolution of life: How did life arise from non-life on the dynamic young Earth? Where on Earth did life begin? Did life only arise once? What did the first living organisms look like? What was the nature of our last universal common ancestor? How did life alter the planet on which it arose? Could life originate elsewhere in the cosmos?

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 and one additional 200- or 300-level Biology course, or permission of the instructor 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Winter 2023 · Rika Anderson
  • BIOL 379: Seminar: Behavioral Genetics

    Recent advances in molecular biology have allowed researchers to test specific hypotheses concerning the genetic control of behavior. This course will examine information derived from various animal model systems, including humans, using a variety of techniques such as classical genetics, genome databases, transgenics, and behavioral neurobiology. Prerequisites: Biology 240 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Winter 2023 · Matt Rand, Stephan Zweifel
  • BIOL 382: Seminar: Molecular Biology

    This seminar will explore the molecular underpinnings of biological systems. The main emphasis will be on the mechanisms of DNA replication and recombination, chromosome stability, DNA mutation and repair, the regulation of gene expression, and emerging biotechnologies such as CRISPR-cas. Throughout, we will consider how the molecular details we discuss contribute to the passage and propagation of biological information.

    Prerequisites: Biology 240 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 385: Seminar: Microbial Pathology

    Microbes are the most abundant organisms on earth, and microbial pathogens have caused human and plant disease epidemics worldwide. This course will focus upon the pathogenic strategy of a variety of well-studied microbes in order to illustrate our understanding of the molecular and cellular nature of microbial disease. We will analyze current and seminal papers in the primary literature focusing on mechanisms employed by microbes to attack hosts.

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 and either Biology 240 or 280 6 credits; Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2023 · Raka Mitra
  • BIOL 386: Neurobiology

    An analysis of the biology of neurons and the nervous system. Topics include the molecular basis of electrical excitability in neurons, synaptic transmission and plasticity, motor control, mechanisms of sensation, and construction and modification of neural circuits.

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 6 credits; Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 387: Neurobiology Laboratory

    Prerequisites: Concurrent registration in Biology 386; Biology 125 and 126 2 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2022–2023
  • BIOL 395: Research Experience Seminar in Biology

    This seminar course is intended for students who have completed a summer research project or internship in the biological sciences. The intent of the course is to provide students with the opportunity to discuss their research experience, learn from the experiences of other members of the class, read relevant primary literature, and prepare a poster for a student research symposium. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 3 credits; S/CR/NC; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2022 · Sarah Deel
  • BIOL 399: Critical Reading and Analysis of Primary Literature

    Guided instruction in reading and interpretation of contemporary primary literature in Biology. Prerequisites: Biology 125, 126 and 3-upper-level Biology courses; concurrent registration in Biology 400 3 credits; S/CR/NC; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2022, Winter 2023 · Daniel Hernández, John Berini, Mark McKone, Matt Rand, Fernan Jaramillo, Debby Walser-Kuntz, Mike Nishizaki, Raka Mitra, Rika Anderson, Stephan Zweifel
  • BIOL 400: Integrative Exercise

    Preparation and submission of the written portion of the Integrative Exercise. Continuing course (fall or winter). Oral examination, evaluation of the Integrative Exercise, and participation in visiting speakers seminars (spring).

    1 credit; S/NC; offered Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023 · Daniel Hernández, Jennifer Ross-Wolff