Biology Courses

Biology 52 – Introduction to Biology

Profs. Adolph, Bush, Drewell, Stoebel. Topics in cell biology, molecular biology, and genetics. Prerequisites: one semester of general chemistry and one semester of calculus. 3 credit hours. (Fall and spring)

Biology 54 – Biology Laboratory

Profs. Ahn, Hamlett, McFadden, Stoebel. Investigations in physiology, biochemistry, ecology, molecular biology, and other areas of experimental biology. Prerequisite: Biology 52 (may be taken concurrently). 1 credit hour. (Spring)

Biology 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.  Topic for Fall 2010:  Human Physiology and Disease.  (May not be counted for credit toward the biology major.) (May not be counted for credit toward the Biology major.) Prerequisite: Biology 52. 3 credit hours. (Fall or spring)

Biology 101 – Comparative Physiology

Prof. Ahn. Topics in the structural basis underlying general physiological mechanisms of animals and plants. Prerequisite: Biology 52. 3 credit hours. (Spring)

Biology 103 – Comparative Physiology Laboratory

Prof. Ahn. Experimental techniques and concepts in animal and plant 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: Biology 52, Biology 54, and Biology 101. 2 credit hours. (Fall)

Biology 108 – Ecology and Environmental Biology

Prof. Adolph, McFadden.  Principles of organization in natural communities and ecosystems, including population dynamics, species interactions and nutrient cycles. Modern experimental and quantitative approaches to ecological problems. Application of ecological principles to conservation biology, human demography, food production and harvesting of natural resources. Prerequisites: Biology 52 and Mathematics 11. 3 credit hours. (Spring)

Biology 109 – Evolutionary Biology

Prof. 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)

Biology 110 – Experimental Ecology Laboratory

Prof. 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)

Biology 111 – Molecular Biology Laboratory

Profs. Hamlett, Glater, Drewell, Bush. Basic techniques of molecular biology, including restriction mapping, DNA cloning, and protein expression. Prerequisite: Biology 54 and 113 (may be taken concurrently) or permission of instructor. 2 credit hours. (Fall)

Biology 113 – Molecular Genetics

Profs. Drewell, Stoebel. How genetic information is encoded in the genome and expressed by cells. DNA replication, transcription and translation, along with how cells regulate these processes. Fundamental experimental techniques used by modern investigators. Prerequisites: Biology 52 and Chemistry 23D,E,S. 3 credit hours. (Fall)

Biology 115 – Neurobiology

Prof. Glater. Basic principles of neuroscience including neuroanatomy, cellular and molecular mechanisms of neuronal function, nervous system development, and functional organization of sensory systems. Prerequisite: Biology 52.  3 credit hours. (Spring)

Biology 118 – Mathematical Biology I (also listed as Math 118)

Profs. Adolph, de Pillis (Math), Jacobsen (Math). 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 semester.)

Biology 119 – Mathematical Biology II (also listed as Math 119)

Profs. Adolph, de Pillis (Math), Jacobsen (Math). 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 semester.)

Biology 121 – Marine Ecology

Prof. 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. Prerequisite: Biology 108 or permission of instructor. 3 credit hours. (Fall, alternate years—offered in fall 2008.)

Biology 122 – Cell and Developmental Biology

Prof. 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)

Biology 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.

Biology 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.

Biology 153 – Biostatistics

Prof. 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. (Spring)

Biology 161, 162 – Research Problems

Staff. (Coordinator – Prof. McFadden). 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)

Biology 164 – Genetics

Profs. DrewellStoebel. 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 2011.)

Biology 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.

Biology 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. Prerequisite: Biology 52, 54, Chemistry 22, 26, and Mathematics 4. 4 credit hours. (Fall) Offered only through the Semester in Environmental Science program at the MBL Ecosystems Center, Woods Hole, MA.

Biology 173 – Analysis of Terrestrial Ecosystems

Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) Staff. Fundamental biogeochemical processes in fields, pastures, tundra and forested ecosystems. Physiological ecology of land-plants and soil organisms in an ecosystem context. Impacts of environmental change on the landscape at local, regional and global scales. Includes lecture, discussion, laboratory, and field work. Prerequisite: Biology 52, 54, Chemistry 22, 26, and Mathematics 4. 4 credit hours. (Fall) Offered only through the Semester in Environmental Science program at the MBL Ecosystems Center, Woods Hole, MA.

Biology 174 – Biophysics (also listed as Physics 174)

Prof. Haskell (Physics). This course focuses on imaging techniques for biological tissue, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), computer-aided tomography (CAT scans using x-rays), phase-contrast microscopy, confocal microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, two-photon microscopy, photon diffusion of near-infrared light, and optical coherence microscopy. Seminar format. Prerequisite: Biology 52 and Physics 51. 2 credit hours. (Second half of spring)

Biology 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)

Biology 182 – Chemistry in Living Systems (also listed as Chem 182)

Prof. Haushalter. Relation of molecular structure and energy flow to reactions in living systems. Prerequisite: Chemistry 105. 3 credit hours. (Spring)

Biology 183 – Topics in Physiology

Prof. Ahn. Topic for 2009: Neural Control and Biomechanics of Animal Locomotion. Readings from the primary literature. Counts as a seminar course for Biology majors. Prerequisites: Bio 52 or consent of instructor. 3 credit hours. (Fall, alternate years—offered in fall 2011).

Biology 184 – Methods in Biochemistry (also listed as Chem 184)

Profs. Haushalter, Vosburg. Experiments in biochemistry. Prerequisite: Biology 182/Chemistry 182 (may be taken concurrently). 1 credit hour. (Spring)

Biology 185, 186 – Special Topics

Staff. Topics in a particular area of biology, depending on the instructor. Prerequisites: Biology 52, and possibly other courses. 3 credit hours. (Fall and Spring)

Biology 187 – HIV-AIDS: Science, Society and Service

Prof. 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; offered in 2010)

Biology 188 – Computational Biology

Prof. 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)

Biology 189 – Topics in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Prof. Haushalter, staff. Advanced topics at the interface between chemistry and biology. Counts as a seminar course for Biology majors. Prerequisites: Biology 113 or permission of the instructor. 3 credit hours. (Fall)

Biology 190B – Biomechanics (also cross-listed as Engineering 190B)

Profs. Ahn , Orwin (Engineering). 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—offered in fall 2010).

Biology 191, 192 – Colloquium

Staff. Oral presentations and discussion of selected topics, including recent developments. Participants include biology majors, faculty members, and visiting speakers. Required for junior and senior biology majors. 0.5 credit hours. Pass/No Credit grading. (Fall and spring)

Biology 193, 194 – Senior Thesis Research

Staff (Coordinator – Prof. McFadden). 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. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. 3 credit hours per semester. (Fall and spring)

Biology 195, 196 – Intensive Research

Staff (Coordinator – Prof. McFadden). Intensive experimental investigation in biology undertaken in consultation with a faculty member. Prerequisites: Biology 161, 162, or 193 and 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)

Biology 197, 198 – Directed Reading

Staff. Directed readings 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)