Biology Courses

Biology 52 – Introduction to Biology (3)

Profs. Adolph, Bush, Donaldson-Matasci, Hur, Schulz. Genes, genomes and human health: topics in evolution, molecular genetics, and computational biology. Prerequisites: Computer Science 5 and one semester of general chemistry. (Spring)

Biology 54 – Biology Laboratory (1)

Profs. Ahn, McFadden, Stoebel. Investigations in physiology, biochemistry, ecology, molecular biology, and other areas of experimental biology. Biology 154 must be taken concurrently. Prerequisite: Biology 52 (may be taken concurrently). (Spring)

Biology 81-82 – Current Issues in Biology (3)

Staff. 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.) Prerequisite: Depends upon topic. (Fall or Spring)

Biology 101 – Comparative Physiology (3)

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

Biology 103 – Comparative Physiology Laboratory (2)

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. (Fall)

Biology 108 – Ecology and Environmental Biology (3)

Prof. Adolph, McFadden.  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 30 or permission of instructor. (Spring)

Biology 109 – Evolutionary Biology (3)

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 and Mathematics 30 or permission of instructor. (Fall)

Biology 110 – Experimental Ecology Laboratory (3)

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. (Spring)

Biology 111 – Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory (2)

Profs. Hur, Schulz, Stoebel. 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. (Fall)

Biology 113 – Molecular Genetics (3)

Profs. Stoebel, Hur. 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, Chemistry 23. (Fall)

MCBI117: Game Theory and the Evolution of Cooperation(3)

Prof Donaldson-Matasci. How do animals resolve fights over territory, food, or mates without killing each other? Why do some animals warn each other about predators? Why do people like to punish people that don’t play by the rules? In this class, we’ll explore the answers to these questions and more using game theory, a branch of mathematics that studies strategic interactions between individuals. This will be an interdisciplinary course focusing both on mathematical problem solving and biological applications, and is open to anyone with sufficient background in probability.
Prereqs: MATH 35 (Probability and Statistics) or AP Statistics, or permission of the instructor (Fall)

Biology 118A – Introduction to Mathematical Biology (1.5) (also listed as MCBI118A)

Prots Adolph, de Pillis (Mathematics), Jacobsen (Mathematics), Levy (Mathematics). 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: Mathematics 65 and Biology 52; or permission of instructor. (Spring)

Biology 118B – Introduction to Computational Biology (1.5) (also listed as MCBI118B)

Profs Donaldson-Matasci, Bush, Libeskind- Hadas (Computer Science) and Wu (Computer Science). 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: Computer Science 5 and Biology 52; or permission of instructor. (Spring)

Biology 119 – Mathematical Biology II (3) (also listed as Math 119)

Profs. Adolph, de Pillis (Mathematics), Jacobsen (Mathematics), Levy (Mathematics). Further 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: Biology/Mathematics 118, or permission of instructor. (Fall, alternate years)

Biology 121 – Marine Ecology (3)

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. (Fall alternate years).

Biology 122 – Molecular Cell Biology (3)

Prof. Hur. 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: Biology 113 or equivalent or permission of instructor. (Spring alternate years).

Biology 126 – Biology of Prokaryotes (3)

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 (2)

Staff. Techniques for isolating, identifying and characterizing bacteria from diverse environments. Prerequisites: Biology 54 and 126 (may be taken concurrently). 2 credit hours.

Biology 154 – Biostatistics (2)

Profs. Stoebel, Donaldson-Matasci. Statistical techniques for analyzing biological data, including parametric, non-parametric, and randomization methods. Statistical aspects of experimental design with an emphasis on analyzing data collected in BIOL54 (Introductory laboratory).  Pre-requisites: MATH35, BIOL52;  Co-requisite: BIOL54 (Spring)

Biology 160 – Immunology (3)

Prof. Schulz. The number of microbes in the human body outnumber human cells by 10:1. 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. Prerequisite: Biology 113 or equivalent.(Spring alternate years).

Biology 161, 162 – Research Problems (1-3)

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 credit hour for each 3 hours of laboratory per week. Pass/Fail. (Fall and Spring)

Biology 164 – Genetics (3)

Prof. Stoebel. 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: Biology 54 and Biology 113.

Biology 166 – Cell Biology and Genetics Laboratory (2)

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.

Biology 171 – Analysis of Aquatic Ecosystems (4)

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 23, 24 and Mathematics 30. (Fall) Offered only through the Semester in Environmental Science Program at the MBL Ecosystems Center, Woods Hole, Mass.

Biology 173 – Analysis of Terrestrial Ecosystems (4)

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 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 23, 24 and Mathematics 30. (Fall) Offered only through the Semester in Environmental Science Program at the MBL Ecosystems Center, Woods Hole, Mass.

Biology 174 – Biophysics (2) (also listed as Physics 174)

Profs Gerbode (Physics), Haskell (Physics). 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. (Second half of Spring)

Biology 182 – Chemistry in Living Systems (3) (also listed as Chem 182)

Profs. Haushalter and Vosberg (Chemistry). Relation of molecular structure and energy flow to reactions in living systems. Prerequisite: Chemistry 105. (Spring)

Biology 183 – Topics in Physiology (3)

Prof. Ahn. Readings from the primary literature in animal physiology. Specific topics may vary. Counts as a seminar course for Biology majors. Prerequisites: Biology 52, Biology 101 or consent of instructor. (Fall, alternate years).

Biology 184 – Methods in Biochemistry (1) (also listed as Chem 184)

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

Biology 185, 186 – Special Topics (1-3)

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

Biology 187 – HIV-AIDS: Science, Society and Service (3)

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. (Fall)

Biology 188 – Advanced Computational Biology (3)

Prof. Bush. Computational algorithms and methods used in the study of genomes. Lectures, discussions and computer exercises. Prerequisites: Biology 118B (MCBI 118B) or CS70 or permission of instructor. 3 credit hours. (Fall, alternate years)

Biology 189 – Topics in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (3)

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

Biology 190B – Biomechanics (3) (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. (Fall, alternate years).

Biology 191, 192 – Colloquium (0.5)

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 (3)

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. (Fall and Spring).

Biology 195, 196 – Intensive Research (6)

Staff (Coordinator – Prof. McFadden). 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. (Fall and Spring).

Biology 197, 198 – Directed Reading (1-3)

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. (Fall and Spring).

 Harvey Mudd College Biology Courses Open to Non-Harvey Mudd Students