Biology Courses

  • Credit: 1

    Instructor: Staff

    Offered: Fall and Spring

    Description: Application of molecular biology techniques to problems in human genetics, bioengineering, and environmental sensing.

  • Credits: 3

    Instructor: Ahn

    Description: The class will examine the process of science and contrast it with pseudoscience. Students will learn about the flaws in human thinking as we critically evaluate information and misinformation. Some major, biologically-relevant topics will be covered in more depth, such as placebo medicine and the anti-vaccine and anti-GMO movements. Additional pseudoscience topics will be determined by students, e.g., denialism, conspiracy theories, ESP, etc. The class will be taught from the perspective of a scientist.

  • Credits: 3

    Instructors: Adolph, Bush, Donaldson-Matasci, Hur, Schulz

    Offered: Spring

    Description: Genes, genomes and human health: topics in evolution, molecular genetics, and computational biology.

    Prerequisites: (CSCI005 HM or CSCI005GR HM or CSCI042 HM), and CHEM023A HM 

  • Credit: 1

    Instructors: Ahn, McFadden, Stoebel

    Offered: Spring

    Description: Investigations in physiology, biochemistry, ecology, molecular biol­ogy, and other areas of experimental biology.

    Corequisites: BIOL052 HM 

    Concurrent requisites: BIOL154 HM 

  • Credits: 3

    Instructor: Staff

    Offered: Fall

    Description: Study of a biological topic of current importance to society. Active participation and discussion are stressed. May not be counted for credit toward the biology major.

    Prerequisites: Dependent on topic

  • Credits: 3

    Instructor: Ahn

    Offered: Spring

    Description: Topics in the structural basis underlying general physiological mechanisms of plants and animals.

    Prerequisites: BIOL052 HM 

  • Credits: 2

    Instructor: Ahn

    Offered: Fall, alternate years

    Description: 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: BIOL054 HM and BIOL101 HM 

  • Credits: 3

    Instructors: Adolph, McFadden

    Offered: Spring

    Description: 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: BIOL052 HM and MATH019 HM 

  • Credits: 3

    Instructors: Adolph, McFadden

    Offered: Fall

    Description: Evolutionary mechanisms, including natural selection, population genetics, speciation, and macroevolutionary processes. Modern methods of phylogenetic reconstruction. History of biological diversity and the fossil record.

    Prerequisites: BIOL052 HM and MATH019 HM 

  • Credits: 3

    Instructor: Donaldson-Matasci

    Offered: Spring, alternate years

    Description: 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: BIOL054 HM and BIOL154 HM 

    Corequisites: BIOL108 HM 

  • Credits: 2

    Instructors: Hur, Schulz, Stoebel

    Offered: Fall

    Description: Basic techniques of molecular biology, including restriction mapping, DNA cloning, protein expression, and fluorescence microscopy.

    Prerequisites: BIOL054 HM and BIOL154 HM 

    Corequisites: BIOL113 HM 

  • Credits: 3

    Instructors: Hur, Schulz, Stoebel

    Offered: Fall

    Description: 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: BIOL052 HM, CHEM023A HM, and CHEM023B HM 

  • Credits: 3

    Instructors: Adolph, de Pillis (Mathematics), Jacobsen (Mathematics), Levy (Mathematics)

    Offered: Fall

    Description: Advanced study of mathematical models of biological processes, including discrete and continuous models. Examples are drawn from a variety of areas of biology, which may include physiology, sys­tems biology, cancer biology, epidemiology, ecology, evolution, and spatiotemporal dynamics.

    Prerequisites: MCBI118A HM 

  • Credits: 3

    Instructor: McFadden

    Description: 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.

    Prerequisites: BIOL154 HM. It is strongly preferred to have taken BIOL108 HM 

  • Credits: 3

    Instructor: Hur

    Offered: Spring, alternate years

    Description: An examination of the fundamental unit of life, the cell. By exploring the boundary between chemical reactions and living systems, we will learn how interactions among biological molecules that are ruled by fundamental physical and chemical laws constitute and define life. Readings from the text as well as primary literature, with emphasis on experimental design and analyses.

    Prerequisites: BIOL113 HM 

  • Credits: 3

    Instructor: Bush

    Description: What makes humans different from our closest relatives and how have these differences evolved? This course examines human evolution from several perspectives, ranging from studies of the fossil record to computational and genomic approaches. It relies heavily on readings from the primary literature, and counts as a seminar course for Biology majors.

    Prerequisites: BIOL154 HM. It is also recommended to have taken one of BIOL109 HM or BIOL113 HM 

  • Credits: 2

    Instructors: Donaldson-Matasci, Stoebel

    Offered: Spring

    Description: Statistical techniques for analyzing biological data, including parametric, nonparametric, and randomization methods. Statistical aspects of experimental design with an emphasis on analyzing data collected in BIOL054 HM.

    Prerequisites: CSCI005 HMCSCI005GR HM, or CSCI042 HM 

    Corequisites: BIOL052 HM 

    Concurrent requisites: BIOL054 HM 

  • Credits: 3

    Instructor: Schulz

    Offered: Spring, alternate years

    Description: The number of microbes in the human body is comparable to the number of human cells. How does the immune system identify and respond to the small number of these microbes that can cause illness or death? In this course, we will explore fundamental processes of the immune system and how they relate to medicine and biotechnology. Topics will include antibody and T-cell receptor structure and function, cells and molecular mediators that regulate the immune response, allergy, autoimmunity, immunodeficiency, tissue and organ transplants, and tumor immunology. 

    Prerequisites: BIOL113 HM 

  • Credit: 1-3

    Instructor: Staff

    Offered: Fall and Spring

    Description: Original experimental investigations in biology undertaken in consultation with a faculty member. May not be counted for credit toward the biology major. 1 credit hour for each 3 hours of laboratory per week.

    Prerequisites: Permission of instructor

  • Credits: 4

    Instructor: MBL Staff

    Offered: Fall

    Description: 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. Offered only through the Semester in Environmental Science Program at the MBL Ecosystems Center, Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

    Prerequisites: BIOL052 HM, BIOL054 HM, CHEM023A HM, CHEM023B HM, CHEM024 HM, and MATH019 HM 

  • Credits: 4

    Instructor: MBL Staff

    Offered: Fall

    Description: 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. Offered only through the Semester in Environmental Science Program at the MBL Ecosystems Center, Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

    Prerequisites: BIOL052 HM, BIOL054 HM, CHEM023A HM, CHEM023B HM, CHEM024 HM, and MATH019 HM 

  • Credits: 2

    Instructors: Gerbode (Physics), Ilton (Physics)

    Offered: Spring

    Description: Selected topics in biophysics focusing on active research in the field. Possible topics include: biolocomotion, membrane biophysics, imaging techniques. Seminar format.

    Prerequisites: BIOL052 HM and PHYS051 HM 

  • Credits: 3

    Instructors: Haushalter, Vosburg (Chemistry)

    Offered: Spring

    Description: Relation of molecular structure and energy flow to reactions in living systems.

    Prerequisites: CHEM056 HM 

  • Credits: 3

    Instructor: Ahn

    Description: Readings from the primary literature in animal physiology. Specific topics may vary. Counts as a seminar course for Biology majors.

    Prerequisites: BIOL101 HM 

  • Credit: 1

    Instructors: Haushalter, Vosburg (Chemistry)

    Offered: Spring

    Description: Experiments in biochemistry.

    Corequisites: BIOL182 HM or CHEM182 HM 

  • Credits: 1.5-3

    Instructor: Staff

    Offered: Fall and Spring

    Description: Topics in a particular area of biology, depending on the instructor.

    Prerequisites: BIOL052 HM; additional prerequisites may be required dependent on topic 

  • Credits: 3

    Instructor: Haushalter

    Description: The molecular biology of HIV infection, the biochemistry of antiviral interventions, and the causes and impact of the global HIV-AIDS pandemic, including the inter-relationships among HIV-AIDS, prejudice, race, and stigma.

    Prerequisites: BIOL113 HM and (BIOL182 HM or CHEM182 HM)

  • Credits: 3

    Instructor: Bush

    Offered: Fall, alternate years

    Description: Computational algorithms and methods used in the study of genomes. Lectures, dis­cussions, and computer laboratory exercises.

    Prerequisites: MCBI118B HM 

  • Credits: 3

    Instructors: Haushalter, Schulz, Stoebel

    Offered: Fall

    Description: Advanced topics at the interface between chemistry and biology. Counts as a seminar course for Biology majors.

    Prerequisites: BIOL113 HM and senior standing

  • Credits: 3

    Instructors: Ahn, Orwin (Engineering)

    Offered: Fall, alternate years

    Description: 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: BIOL052 HM and ENGR083 HM 

  • Credit: 0.5

    Instructor: Staff

    Offered: Fall and Spring

    Description: 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 more than 2.0 credits can be earned for departmental seminars/col­loquia.

    Prerequisites: HMC Biology (including joint majors) only.

  • Credits: 3

    Instructor: Staff

    Offered: Fall and Spring

    Description: A year-long experimental investigation in biology under the direction of a faculty advisor. Two oral presentations, a written proposal, and a thesis are required. Required of all senior biology majors.

    Prerequisites: Permission of instructor

  • Credits: 6

    Instructor: Staff

    Offered: Fall and Spring

    Description: Intensive experimental research in biology undertaken in consultation with a faculty member. Replaces 3 credits of BIOL193 HM and 3 credits of advanced biology courses for credit toward biology major.

    Prerequisites: BIOL161 HM, and departmental approval of formal application

  • Credit: 1-3

    Instructor: Staff

    Offered: Fall and Spring

    Description: Directed readings or independent laboratory research in selected topics in biology. With prior permission, up to 2 credits may count toward the biology major.

    Prerequisites: Permission of instructor

  • Credits: 3

    Instructor: Donaldson-Matasci (Biology)

    Description: An introduction to game theory, a branch of mathematics that studies strategic interactions between individuals, with applications in fields such as biology, economics and political science. The course will introduce classical game theory, representations of games and Nash equilibria. The second part of the course will focus on evolutionary game theory, equilibrium concepts, and the evolution of cooperation.

    Prerequisites: Permission of instructor

  • Credits: 1.5

    Instructors: Adolph (Biology), de Pillis (Mathematics), Zinn-Brooks L (Mathematics)

    Offered: Spring

    Description: An introduction to the field of mathematical biology. Continuous and discrete mathematical models of biological processes and their analytical and computational solutions. Examples may include models in epidemiology, ecology, cancer biology, systems biology, molecular evolution, and phylogenetics.

    Prerequisites: MATH073 HMMATH082 HM, and BIOL052 HM 

  • Credits: 1.5

    Instructors: Bush (Biology), Donaldson-Matasci (Biology), Libeskind-Hadas (Computer Science), Wu (Computer Science)

    Offered: Spring

    Description: An introduction to the field of computational biology. Algorithms for phylogenetic inference and computational methods for solving problems in molecular evolution and population genetics.

    Prerequisites: CSCI005 HM and BIOL052 HM 

  • Credit: 0.5

    Instructor: Staff

    Offered: Fall and Spring

    Description: Students registered for joint colloquium must attend a fixed number of colloquium talks during the semester in any field(s) related to their interests. The talks may be at any members of The Claremont Colleges or a nearby university and may be in any of a wide array of fields including biology, mathematics, computer science and other science and engineering disciplines including bioengineering, cognitive science, neuroscience, biophysics, and linguistics. Students enrolled in the joint colloquium are required to submit a short synopsis of each talk that they attend. No more than 2.0 credits can be earned for departmental seminars/col­loquia.

See Also