(See also Mathematical Biology and Joint Major in Chemistry and Biology)
Professors Adolph (Interim Chair), Ahn, Asai, Bush, Drewell, Haushalter, McFadden and Williams; and Research Assistant Wilkes
The biology program prepares graduates for further study and employment in biology and related fields. Our graduates work in biotechnology, mathematical ecology, medicine, vaccine research, molecular genetics, dentistry, bioinformatics, pharmacology, neurobiology, veterinary medicine, forensic science, conservation biology, science teaching, environmental activism, and other areas.
The HMC biology major, in conjunction with the common technical core, provides the topical breadth that is the foundation of modern biology, and the intellectual depth that enables students to understand how discoveries in the life sciences are made and communicated. A set of required Biology Core courses provides a broad foundation in biology. Building on this foundation, each student, in consultation with a biology faculty adviser, selects a group of advanced biology and related technical courses that introduce a life sciences subdiscipline in depth. In addition to Harvey Mudd courses, students may draw upon the extensive course offerings at Pomona College, the Joint Science Department of Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges, the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences, and the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.
BIOLOGY MAJOR REQUIREMENTS. A biology major must successfully complete the following courses:
|Biology 54:||Biology Laboratory|
|Biology 101:||Comparative Physiology
|Biology 108:||Ecology & Environmental Biology|
|Biology 109:||Evolutionary Biology|
|Biology 113:||Molecular Biology|
|Chemistry 56:||Carbon Compounds|
|Chemistry 58:||Carbon Compounds Laboratory|
|Chemistry 105:||Organic Chemistry|
13 units of advanced biology, selected by the student and adviser, to include at least two HMC laboratory courses (selected from Bio 103, 110, 111, 184) and one HMC seminar-style course (requiring student presentations and reading from the primary literature, selected from Bio 121, 122, 164, 185, 189). Related non-biology technical courses may be substituted for advanced biology courses with permission of the department. With prior departmental permission, up to two credits of Bio 197/198 (Directed Reading) may count as Biology Electives.
4 semesters of Biology 191–192: Biology Colloquium.
The Biology 191–192 Biology Colloquium requirement is waived for any semester during which a student is away on a study abroad program.
2 semesters (at least 6 credits total) of Senior Thesis Research (Biology 193–194, or Biology 195–196) or an approved biology-related Clinic (CS 183–184, Engineering 111–114, Environmental Studies 190, Math 193 or Physics 193–194).
Molecular Biology Option
Students may also select the molecular biology option within the biology major. A student seeking to complete the molecular biology option must satisfactorily complete the following courses:
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY CORE
Biology Core from above, plus the following additional courses:
Biology 111: Molecular Biology Laboratory
Biology 182: Chemistry in Living Systems
Chemistry 51: Physical Chemistry
Chemistry 111: Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Electives: 8 units of approved biology electives, selected by the student and adviser, to include at least one HMC laboratory course (BIOL 103, 110, 184) and one HMC seminar-style course (requiring student presentations and reading from the primary literature selected from BIOL121, 122, 164, 185, 189). One chemistry course may be substituted for an advanced biology course with the prior approval of the department.
4 semesters of Biology 191–192: Biology Colloquium, or Chemistry 199: Chemistry Seminar. The colloquium requirement is waived for any semester during which a student is away on a study abroad program.
2 semesters (at least 6 credits total) of Senior Thesis Research (Biology 193–194 or Biology 195–196 or Chemistry 151–152).
Important opportunities are emerging at the interface of chemistry and biology. The Joint Major in Chemistry and Biology provides an organized framework in which students will be able to appreciate the biological context of their research questions and master the chemistry fundamentals that underlie the properties and reactions of biomolecules. Students interested in the Joint Major, which is administered by the Departments of Biology and Chemistry, should contact the Chairs of Biology and Chemistry.
Harvey Mudd College is part of a consortium that enables HMC students to participate in the Semester in Environmental Science (SES) at the Ecosystems Center of the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Mass. This semester-long program emphasizes interdisciplinary, inquiry-based approaches to the in-depth study of both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Biology 171 and 173 are only offered as part of this program. Students interested in this program should contact Professor Catherine McFadden for information and applications. The Department of Biology also participates in the HMC Center for Environmental Studies, which coordinates multi-disciplinary programs in environmental studies. For more information or to design an environmental studies concentration, contact Professor Stephen Adolph, the Environmental Studies adviser for the Department of Biology.
Applications of mathematical and computational methods are vital to many areas of contemporary biological and medical research, such as genomics, molecular modeling, structural biology, ecology, evolutionary biology, neurobiology and cancer treatment. Students interested in the interface between biology and mathematics may pursue the Mathematical Biology Major, which is jointly administered by the Departments of Biology and Mathematics. For more information contact Professor Stephen Adolph (Biology), Professor Lisette de Pillis (Mathematics) or Professor Jon Jacobsen (Mathematics).
An excellent premedical preparation can be obtained at HMC. In fact, the college’s emphasis on the humanities and the social sciences is a valuable asset for pre-medical studies. While there is no specific premedical curriculum, a premedical program can be arranged through any of the majors, if supplemented by appropriate biology and chemistry course work. Most medical schools require, as a minimum, one year of physics and biology and four semesters of chemistry, including organic chemistry. Students interested in medicine or related fields, such as dentistry or veterinary medicine, should contact the pre-professional coordinators, Professors Karl Haushalter and Robert Drewell, for advice.
The biology department is housed in the F.W. Olin Science Center, which provides exceptionally well-equipped teaching and research laboratories to support our laboratory-centered curriculum. The Robert J. Bernard Biological Field Station, located directly across the street from Harvey Mudd College, is the natural laboratory for field biology courses and student-faculty research. Automated DNA sequencing is carried out at the adjacent Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.
Areas available for student-faculty research within the department include biochemistry, cellular and developmental biology, molecular genetics, population biology, physiological ecology, biomechanics, animal locomotion, tissue engineering, plant physiology, animal behavior, bioinformatics, mathematical ecology, computational genetics, and molecular evolution. Students wishing to pursue research prior to their senior year may enroll in Biology 161–162, Research Problems, or Biology 197–198, Directed Reading. Summer research positions are also available. Contact the Department of Biology Research Coordinator, Professor Catherine McFadden, for details and applications.
52. Introduction to Biology. Staff. Topics in genetics, molecular biology, and evolution. Prerequisites: one semester of general chemistry and one semester of calculus. 3 credit hours. (Fall and Spring.)
54. Biology Laboratory. Staff. Investigations in physiology, biochemistry, ecology, molecular biology and other areas of experimental biology. Prerequisite: Biology 52 (may be taken concurrently). 1 credit hour. (Spring.)
81, 82. Current Issues in Biology. Staff. Study of a biological topic of current importance to society. Active participation and discussion are stressed. It is expected that this course will usually count for Integrative Experience credit. (May not be counted for credit toward the biology major.) Prerequisite: Biology 52. 3 credit hours. (Fall or Spring.)
95. Foundations of Neuroscience. Staff. Introduction to the biological bases of human and animal behavior. Analysis of modern neurobiological approaches within a framework established by philosophical and historical traditions in the neurosciences. This course is jointly taught by Claremont Colleges Neuroscience faculty. (May not be counted for credit toward the biology major.) 3 credit hours. (Fall.)
101. Comparative Physiology. Ahn, Williams. Topics in the structural basis underlying general physiological mechanisms of plants and animals. Prerequisite: Biology 52. 3 credit hours. (Spring.)
103. Comparative Physiology Laboratory. Ahn. Experimental techniques and concepts in plant and animal physiology, including the general areas of cellular biology, energetics, ionic regulation and signaling. The final third of the course will involve independent student research projects culminating with oral and written presentations of experimental investigations. Prerequisites: Bio 52, Bio 54, Bio 101. 2 credit hours. (Fall.)
108. Ecology and Environmental Biology. Adolph. Principles of organization of natural communities and ecosystems, including population dynamics, species interactions and island biogeography. Modern experimental and mathematical approaches to ecological problems. Application of ecological principles to conservation biology, human demography and harvesting of natural resources. Prerequisites: Biology 52 and Mathematics 11. 3 credit hours. (Spring.)
109. Evolutionary Biology. McFadden. Evolutionary mechanisms, including natural selection, population genetics, speciation and macroevolutionary processes. Modern methods of phylogenetic reconstruction. History of biological diversity and the fossil record. Prerequisite: Biology 52. 3 credit hours. (Fall.)
110. Experimental Ecology Laboratory. McFadden. Design and analysis of ecological experiments with an emphasis on hypothesis testing, sampling techniques and computer-based statistical analysis of data. Most projects are field-based, designed to address aspects of population, community, physiological and behavioral ecology in animals and plants; work in both terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Includes several all-day field trips to local coastal, desert and mountain sites. Prerequisites: Biology 54 and 108 (may be taken concurrently) or permission of instructor. 3 credit hours. (Spring.)
111. Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory. Williams, Bush, Staff. Basic techniques of molecular biology, including restriction mapping, DNA cloning, protein expression, and fluorescence microscopy. Prerequisites: Biology 54 and 113 (may be taken concurrently) or permission of instructor. 2 credit hours. (Fall.)
113. Molecular Biology. Drewell. Molecular description of gene function in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, including DNA, RNA and protein structure; DNA replication; transcription and translation; and gene regulation. Prerequisites: Biology 52 and Chemistry 56. 3 credit hours. (Fall.)
118. Mathematical Biology I (Also listed as Mathematics 118). Staff. Mathematical models of biological processes emphasizing continuous models. May include models in epidemiology, population dynamics, cancer modeling and disease treatment modeling. Prerequisites: Math 64, Bio 52, or permission of instructor. 2 credit hours. (First half of Spring.)
119. Mathematical Biology II (Also listed as Mathematics 119). Staff. Mathematical models of biological processes emphasizing discrete and continuous models. May include one- and two-locus population genetics, metapopulations and matrix population models as well as models in physiology and neurobiology. Prerequisites: Math 64, Bio 52, or permission of instructor. 2 credit hours. (Second half of Spring.)
121. Marine Ecology. McFadden. Advanced ecology focusing on marine communities. Dispersal, recruitment, competition, disturbance, plant/animal interactions and other topics. Readings in the primary literature. Counts as a seminar course for Biology majors. Prerequisite: Biology 108 or permission of instructor. 3 credit hours. (Fall, alternate years—offered in Fall 2008.)
122. Cell and Developmental Biology. Drewell, Staff. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of animal development, including cell fate determination, morphogenesis and pattern formation. Emphasis on modern experimental organisms and approaches. Readings in the primary literature. Counts as a seminar course for Biology majors. Prerequisite: Biology 113 or equivalent or permission of instructor. 3 credit hours. (Spring, alternate years—offered in Spring 2009.)
126. Biology of Prokaryotes. Staff. Current topics in prokaryotic biology jointly selected by students and instructor. Emphasis on molecular mechanisms of adaptation to diverse environments. Primarily seminar format with readings from the primary literature. Prerequisite: Biology 113 or permission of instructor. 3 credit hours. (Not offered in 2008-09.)
128. Prokaryotes Laboratory. Staff. Techniques for isolating, identifying and characterizing bacteria from diverse environments. Prerequisites: Biology 54 and 126 (may be taken concurrently). 2 credit hours. (Not offered in 2008-09.)
153. Biostatistics. Adolph. Statistical techniques for analyzing biological data, including both parametric and non-parametric methods. Statistical aspects of experimental design. Additional topics may include spatial statistics, circular statistics, multivariate methods, randomization tests and bootstrapping. Prerequisites: Biology 52 and Math 62 or permission of the instructor. 3 credit hours. (Fall.)
161, 162. Research Problems. Staff. Original experimental investigations in biology undertaken in consultation with a faculty member. (May not be counted for credit toward the biology major.) Prerequisite: permission of instructor. 1–3 credit hours. 1 credit hour for each 3 hours of laboratory per week. (Fall and Spring.)
164. Genetics. Drewell, Staff Current topics in genetics and developmental genetics. Emphasis on experimental techniques and design with model experimental organisms. Readings from the primary literature. Counts as a seminar course for Biology majors. Prerequisites: Bio 54 and Bio 113. 3 credit hours. (Spring, alternate years—offered in Spring 2008.)
166. Cell Biology and Genetics Laboratory. Staff. Techniques for investigations of protein localization, organelle isolation, genetic mapping, and fluorescence microscopy. Laboratories consist of student projects. Prerequisites: Biology 54 and Biology 113; corequisite: Biology 164 or permission of instructor. 2 credit hours. (Not offered in 2008-09.)
167. Plant Development. Williams. Mechanisms of plant development including hormone action, gene regulation, embryogenesis and cellular differentiation. Emphasis on molecular and genetic approaches. Prerequisite: Biology 113 (may be taken concurrently) or permission of instructor. 3 credit hours. (Not offered in 2008-09.)
169. Plant Development Laboratory. Williams. Tissue culture and molecular approaches to research in plant development. Prerequisite: Biology 54 and 167 (may be taken concurrently) or permission of instructor. 2 credit hours. (Not offered in 2008-09.)
171. Analysis of Aquatic Ecosystems. Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) Staff. The nature and controls of ecosystem processes (production, decomposition, element cycling and biogeochemistry) in freshwater, estuarine and marine ecosystems. Application of basic principles of ecosystems ecology to contemporary environmental problems such as coastal eutrophication, fisheries exploitation, effects of introduced species, acid deposition and global change. Includes lecture, discussion, laboratory and field work. Prerequisites: Biology 52, 54, Chemistry 22, 26 and Mathematics 11. (Fall.) Offered only through the Semester in Environmental Science Program at the MBL Ecosystems Center, Woods Hole, Mass.
173. Analysis of Terrestrial Ecosystems. MBL Staff. Fundamental biogeochemical processes in fields, pastures, tundra and forested ecosystems. Physiological ecology of land- plants and soil organisms in an ecosystems context. Impacts of environmental change on the landscape at local, regional and global scales. Includes lecture, discussion, laboratory and field work. Prerequisites: Biology 52, 54, Chemistry 22, 26 and Mathematics 11. (Fall.) Offered only through the Semester in Environmental Science Program at the MBL Ecosystems Center, Woods Hole, Mass.
174. Biophysics. Haskell. Selected topics in biophysics reflecting areas of active research in the field. Possible topics: imaging techniques, membrane biophysics, sensory transduction, motility. Seminar format. Prerequisites: Biology 52 and Physics 51. 2 credit hours. (First half of Spring.)
178, 179. Biology Clinic. Contact Chair of Biology. Team projects in biology, with corporate affiliation. Prerequisite: Upper-division Standing. 3 credit hours. (Fall and Spring.)
182. Chemistry of Living Systems. Haushalter. Relation of molecular structure and energy flow to reactions in living systems. Prerequisite: Chemistry 105. 3 credit hours. (Spring.)
184. Methods in Biochemistry. Haushalter. Experiments in biochemistry. Prerequisite: Biology/Chemistry 182 (may be taken concurrently.) 1 credit hour. (Spring.)
185. Topics in Physiology. Staff. Readings from the primary literature. Counts as a seminar course for Biology majors. Prerequisites: Bio 52, Bio 101 or consent of instructor. 3 credit hours. (Fall, alternate years—offered in Fall 2007.)
186. Special Topics: Computational Biology. Bush. Computational algorithms and methods used in the study of genomes. Lectures, discussions and computer laboratory exercises. Prerequisites: Biology 52 and Computer Science 5 or permission of instructor. 3 credit hours. (Spring.)
187. HIV-AIDS: Science, Society, and Society. Haushalter. Molecular biology of HIV infection. Biochemical basis for antiretroviral therapy and HIV prevention strategies. The causes and impact of the global HIV-AIDS pandemic, including the interrelationships among HIV-AIDS, prejudice, race, and stigma. Students will complete a community service project in partnership with a local AIDS organization. Prerequisites: Biology 113, Biology 182/Chemistry 182 or permission of the instructor. 3 credit hours. (Fall.)
189. Topics in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Haushalter. Advanced topics at the interface between chemistry and biology. Counts as a seminar course for Biology majors. Prerequisites: Bio/Chem 182 or permission of the instructor. 3 credit hours. (Fall.)
190B. Biomechanics. Orwin, Ahn. Mechanical properties of biological tissues, including bone, connective tissue and muscles. Static analysis of joints. Analysis of how muscle generates motion, leading to dynamics, including kinematics, kinetics and locomotion, and how these principles scale for different sized animals. Focus on applications and primary literature. Prerequisites: Biology 52 and Engineering 83 or permission of instructor. 3 credit hours. (Fall, alternate years.)
191, 192. Colloquium. Staff. Oral presentations and discussions of selected topics including recent developments. Participants include biology majors, faculty members and visiting speakers. Required for junior and senior biology majors. No credit. (Fall and Spring.)
193, 194. Senior Thesis Research. Staff. A year-long experimental investigation in biology under the direction of a faculty adviser. Two oral presentations, a written proposal and a thesis are required. Required of all senior biology majors. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. 3 credit hours per semester. (Fall and Spring.)
195, 196. Intensive Research. Staff. Intensive experimental research in biology undertaken in consultation with a faculty member. Prerequisite: Biology 161, 162 or 193 and departmental approval of formal application. Replaces 3 units of 193–194 and 3 units of advanced biology courses for credit toward biology major. 6 credit hours. (Fall and Spring.)
197, 198. Directed Reading. Staff. Directed readings or independent laboratory research in selected topics in biology. With prior permission, up to 2 credits may count toward biology major. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. 1–3 credit hours. (Fall and Spring.)