BIOL-010 Issues in Biology
Emphasizes analysis of biological problems relevant to the human experience and presents basic biological concepts in a variety of contexts. Subject matter might include medicine, environmental issues, ecology, molecular biology, physiology, and others.
BIOL-020 Human Sexuality and Reproduction
A science-based exploration of human sexuality and reproduction, which involves consideration of sexual anatomy, physiology, social norms, gender, perception, and behavior. From a social science perspective, sexuality is a key organizing factor for cognition, emotion, and relationships. Biologically, sexuality represents the means for propagating our species and serves important evolutionary and survival functions. It is a complex topic that requires broad integrated thinking across disciplines. Prerequisite: junior standing.
BIOL-101 Ecology and Evolution
Examination of descent with modification from a common ancestor, evidence for evolution, processes by which evolutionary changes occur, and how ecological interactions drive such changes. Course content will be linked to the five core concepts of biology (evolution; structure and function; information flow; energy transformations; and systems). Topics include the link between genotype and phenotype as it relates to natural selection and evolutionary change; mechanisms of microevolution; speciation processes; population growth and regulation; species interactions; and ecosystem structure and function.
BIOL-102 Cell Biology and Genetics
Examination of life at the cellular level, focusing on the five core concepts of biology (evolution, structure and function, information flow, engergy transformations, and systems). Topics include cell structure and function, protein structure and function as the link between genotype and phenotype, information flow from gene to protein, inheritance of traits in eukaryotic organisms, membrane structure and transport, energetics on the cellular level, cell cycle control and cancer.
BIOL-157 The Biology of Women
Examines the genetic and biological basis of gender difference, the unique biology of the female body and women's health care issues. Topics include female reproductive anatomy and the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and birth, developmental differences in the sexes, and reproductive technologies. Also covers problems such as breast cancer, premenstrual syndrome and osteoporosis. Includes the role of women in the health care system as well as biology and science in general. Not for biology major or minor credit. Same as WMST-250.
A workshop style course that examines Mendelian, population, molecular and quantitative genetics. Laboratory topics include the structure and function of nucleic acids, bioinformatics, and the use of molecular techniques to study human disease and evolution. Prerequisite: BIOL-102 or instructor's permission.
BIOL-202 Systematic Biology
Systematic Biology is designed to introduce students to representatives of the kingdoms of life (e.g. prokaryotes, eukaryotic protists, fungi, animals and plants) in an evolutionary framework through an integrated lecture-laboratory experience. Using multiple methods, including light and electron microscopic examinations, students will have the opportunity to observe structures and other characters that bring diversity to all kingdoms of life. Students will use appropriate mathematical methods to model and infer evolutionary relationships between living organisms by molecular phylogenetics. Drawing on experiences in previous courses of the introductory sequence, students will explain the observations and results from the levels of molecules to ecosystems. These observations results, and explanations will provide the basis for journal-style writing projects. Same as ECOL-202. Prerequisite: BIOL-201 or ECOL-201 or instructor's permission.
Explores the influences of geology (abiotic factors) on the diversity of life. Students investigate multiple issues posed by the science and technology of the diversity of life on this planet. Particular issues range from how many species occur on earth to how to establish effective public policy guidelines for protection of life's diversity.
BIOL-205 Organismal Biology
Organismal Biology will focus on the level of the organism as the biological scale through which to build the student's understanding of 5 core concepts in biology, evolution, information flow, structure-function relationships, energy transformations, and systems biology. This course is designed as an introductory course, meaning it introduces fundamental concepts that will be elaborated on and reinforced at a more sophisticated and deeper level in the more advanced courses that are taken as distribution requirements in the junior and senior year. Prerequisites: BIOL-101 and BIOL-102 or permission of the instructor.
Biostatistics will focus on the collection and analysis of biological data. The course is designed to introduce students to the fundamental concepts of experimental and sampling design,as well as quantitative hypothesis testing. Some equations will be covered in the course; however, the emphasis will be on interpretation and presentation of statistical results. These concepts will be reinforced in upper level biology/ecology/neuroscience courses taken by students to fulfill distribution requirements during their junior and senior years. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing and either BIOL- 101, BIOL-102,or ECOL-100.
BIOL-250 STEM First-Year Seminar
This seminar is taken by students in the STEM Scholars' Program in the spring of their first year as a way of continuing to work together to build the STEM cohort, learn about STEM careers, and to explore their own interests and aptitudes regarding future career options. Not for major or minor credit.
BIOL-300 Developmental Biology
Examines embryo development, focusing on cellular and regulatory mechanisms that guide the process. Topics include the events of development from fertilization through organogenesis in a range of animal systems from sea urchins through mammals. Prerequisite: BIOL-102.
BIOL-301 Developmental Biology Lab
An investigative approach to the study of animal development, emphasizing cellular and molecular techniques. Students work in small groups to conduct and analyze self-designed experiments with invertebrate embryos. Prerequisite: BIOL-201.
BIOL-302 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
Examines the evolutionary relationships among the vertebrate classes, using comparative morphological evidence. Utilizes an organ system approach to the study of anatomy, and considers unique adaptations of individual vertebrates. Prerequisite: BIOL-202.
BIOL-303 Comp Vertebrate Anatomy Lab
Organ-based study of representative vertebrates, including shark and cat dissections. Prerequisite: BIOL-205.
BIOL-306 Cell Biology
Examines the molecular aspects of cell structure and function and the molecular processes that regulate cell behavior. Emphasizes experimental and problem-based approaches, and includes information on the cell biology of human disease. Prerequisite: BIOL-102.
BIOL-307 Cell Biology Lab
Introduces the laboratory techniques commonly used in the study of cell biology. Includes labs on the isolation and characterization of proteins and nucleic acids. Prerequisite: BIOL-102.
BIOL-310 Animal Physiology
General and comparative physiology. Emphasizes membrane, neural, muscular and homeostatic physiology. Prerequisite: BIOL-205.
BIOL-311 Animal Physiology Lab
A laboratory in general and comparative physiology. Emphasizes physiological phenomena in such organ systems as the heart, muscle, membrane, neural and kidney. Uses several different vertebrate animals. Prerequisite: BIOL-205.
An introduction to the morphology, physiology and genetics of microorganisms. Discusses the roles of microorganisms in the environment and in human disease. Prerequisite: BIOL-205.
BIOL-313 Microbiology Lab
Emphasizes basic bacteriologic techniques, including staining, culturing and identification. Laboratory may not be taken without BIOL-312. Prerequisite: BIOL-205.
BIOL-316 Molecular Biology
Examines the structure and function of DNA and RNA of prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Topics include recombinant DNA technology, genomics and bioinformatics. Prerequisite: BIOL-102. CHEM-221 strongly recommended.
BIOL-317 Molecular Biology Lab
Investigates the structure and function of DNA through techniques of molecular biology. Topics include agarose gel electrophoresis, DNA hybridization and gene cloning. Prerequisite: BIOL-102.
BIOL-320 Exercise & Extreme Physiology
A study of physiological processes in humans related to exercise and participation in sports. This course also examines the effects and repercussions of exposure of the human body to extreme environments, such as those experienced by scuba divers, climbers and high-altitude pilots. Prerequisite: BIOL-205.
BIOL-321 Exercise & Extreme Physio Lab
Investigates the physiological basis of human responses to exercise and extreme environments with an emphasis on neural muscular, respiratory and cardiovascular mechanisms. Uses some animal models. Prerequisite: BIOL-205.
BIOL-324 Animal Behavior
Explores the adaptive value of animal behavior with an emphasis on theory and hypothesis testing using examples drawn from primary literature. Major topics include sexual selection, mating systems, parental care, sociality, foraging theory, antipredator behavior, game theory, and communication framed within an evolutionary context. Prerequisite: BIOL-101 or ECOL-100.
BIOL-325 Animal Behavior Lab
Field and laboratory techniques in behavioral data collection, experimental design and statistical analysis. Hypothesis development and testing emphasized. A portion of the grade is based on an independent research project. Laboratory may not be taken without BIOL-324. Prerequisite: BIOL-101 or ECOL-100.
BIOL-326 Invertbrate Zoology
An introduction to evolutionary themes and functional approaches to invertebrate animal biology. Course covers a broad survey of the invertebrate phyla. Within the coverage of each group, unique aspects of morphology, physiology, ecology, and behavior are discussed in light of the selective forces that have favored their evolution. Prerequisite: BIOL-205.
BIOL-327 Invertbrate Zoology Lab
An introduction to invertebrate phyla and subgroups with emphasis on form and functional morphology, organ systems, life history, ecology and behavior. Course includes dissections, examination of preserved material, demonstrations and observations of living animals. In addition, students organize an invertebrate collection based on local fauna. Laboratory may not be taken without BIOL-326. Prerequisite: BIOL-205.
BIOL-328 Natural History of Early Vertebrates
This course will focus on early vertebrates' life history with great emphasis on systematics, evolution, phylogeny, morphology, reproduction, development, and zoogeography. Plate tectonics and paleontology will have a pivotal role in explaining patterns and processes in the natural history of this unique subset of vertebrates, otherwise known as "Ichthyoids". This upper level biology/ecology course is designed to be taken by students to fulfill distribution requirements during their sophomore, junior, and/or senior years. Prerequisite: BIOL-205 or BIOL-202.
BIOL-329 Natural History of Early Vertebrates Lab
This course will be an examination of patterns and processes in the natural history of this unique subset of vertebrates, otherwise known as "Ichthyoids". Through the different laboratories students will be introduced to field and laboratory methodologies of identifying Pennsylvania early vertebrates, specimen handling, collecting techniques, dissection, preparation, and field sign recognition. This upper level biology/ecology course is designed to be taken by students to fulfill distribution requirements during their sophomore, junior, and/or senior years. Prerequisite: BIOL-205 or BIOL-202.
BIOL-332 Population Biology
This course will introduce students to the biotic and abiotic factors that influence the size and trajectory of populations. Topics of the course will include understanding demographic rates, density independent and density dependent population growth rates, density, population dynamics of structured and non-structures populations,competitions, and predation. Prerequisite: BIOL-101 or ECOL-100.
BIOL-333 Population Biology Laboratory
This course will introduce students to methods used in estimating demographic rates and population parameters, such as age structure. Concepts fundamental to experimental design and statistical analysis of data will be stressed. Laboratory cannot be taken without BIOL-332. Prerequisite: Biol-101 or ECOL-100.
BIOL-350 Investigative Problems in Biology
Offered as a capstone experience for biology majors in Group B. Provides an authentic research experience based in the area of expertise of the supervising faculty. Students will learn important laboratory and/or field approaches to collect novel data in order to answer research questions. Course elements include experimental design, data collection and analysis, and presentation in oral and written formats. Prerequisites: BIOL-101, BIOL-102, BIOL-205, and BIOL-220 or MATH-108 or MATH-180, and senior standing or permission of instructor.
Investigates how the immune system defends vertebrate organisms against invasion by pathogenic microorganisms. Discusses recognition of antigens and interactions between components ofthe immune system from a molecular perspective. Prerequisite: BIOL-102.
BIOL-401 Immunology Lab
Techniques used in immunological studies. Topics include antibody purification, immunofluorescence and Western blot analysis. Laboratory cannot be taken without BIOL-400. Prerequisite: BIOL-102.
BIOL-404 Plant Physiology
The physiology of photosynthetic organisms. Includes photosynthesis, translocation, metabolism, mineral nutrition, photoperiodism, hormones, growth and development. Prerequisite: BIOL-205.
BIOL-405 Plant Physiology Lab
A series of experiments designed to illustrate the unique physiology of photosynthetic organisms. Prerequisite: BIOL-205.
BIOL-408 Aquatic Ecology
The ecology of freshwater ecosystems. Emphasizes biota of freshwater and their relationships with physical and chemical components of lakes, streams and reservoirs. Same as ECOL-408. Prerequisite: BIOL-101 or ECOL-100.
BIOL-409 Aquatic Ecology Lab
Field laboratory in aquatic ecology techniques. Topics include physical and chemical measurements and the identification and enumeration of phytoplankton, zooplankton, aquatic plants and benthic organisms. Same as ECOL-409. Prerequisite: BIOL-101 or ECOL-100.
BIOL-422 Biochemistry of Nucleic Acids
This course integrates information from the disciplines of biology and chemistry to explore nucleic acid function and metabolism. In-depth discussions cover the forces behind DNA/DNA, DNA/RNA, and DNA/protein interactions as they apply to DNA structure and metabolism, RNA function and metabolism, protein synthesis, and gene regulation. Same as CHEM-422. Prerequisite: CHEM-222. Strongly recommended: BIOL-426/CHEM-426.
BIOL-423 Biochemistry Nucleic Acids Lab
Exploration of nucleic acids, including methods of isolation, purification, identification, and analysis. Same as CHEM-423. Prerequisite: CHEM-222.
BIOL-424 The Biochemistry of Metabolism
This course covers the structure and function of major biomolecules such as carbohydrates and lipids and their role in metabolism. Energy metabolism and biomolecule biosynthesis and degradation are emphasized. Same as CHEM-424. Prerequisite: CHEM-222. Strongly recommended: BIOL-426/CHEM-426.
BIOL-426 Biochemistry of Proteins & Enzymes
This course focuses on the structure of proteins, the thermodynamics of protein folding, enzyme catalytic mechanisms and enzyme kinetics. This course also introduces the field of bioinformatics, the use of computer databases to determine relationships between nucleic acid sequence, protein structure and protein function. Same as CHEM-426. Prerequisite: CHEM-222.
BIOL-427 Biochemistry of Proteins & Enzymes Lab
This lab explores enzyme kinetics and inhibition, as well as methods of isolation, purification, identification, and analysis of proteins and enzymes. This lab is designed to provide technical skills necessary for biochemical research. Same as CHEM-427. Prerequisite: CHEM-222.
BIOL-429 Biochemistry of Metabolism Lab
This lab explores metabolic function and metabolites. The lab focuses on the isolation, purification, identification, and analysis of metabolites. Same as CHEM:429. Prerequisite: CHEM-222.
BIOL-440 Behavioral Neuroendocrinology
This course deals with the interrelationships among hormones, the brain, and behavior. The role of the nervous system and hormones in the development and regulation of behavior, as well as how experience can regulate neuroendocrine physiology, will be examined. This course puts special emphasis on generating and testing hypotheses based on knowledge gained from reviewing the primary literature. Specific topics covered include the endocrine regulation of reproductive behavior, aggressive behavior, biological rhythms, energy balance, stress, learning,and memory. Prerequisite: BIOL-205. Corequisite: BIOL-441.
BIOL-441 Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Lab
This course investigates the experimental methodology used by behavioral neuroendocrinologists to investigate the interrelationships among hormones, the brain, and behavior. The course provides hands-on learning about laboratory techniques that examine neuropeptides, hormones, brain structures, and behavior, as well as proper use of animals in research, experimental design, and statistical analysis. Hypothesis development and testing is emphasized, and a portion of the grade is based on an independent research project. Prerequisite: BIOL-205. Corequisite: BIOL-440.
BIOL-450 Advanced STEM Seminar
This seminar is taken by students in the STEM Scholar's Program in the second, third, and fourth years as a way of continuing to work together to build the STEM cohort, learn about STEM careers, and to explore their own interests and aptitudes regarding future career options. Not for major or minor credit. Prerequisite: BIOL-250.
BIOL-455 Functional Neuroanatomy
This course is a detailed look at the sophisticated cellular and molecular mechanisms in the nervous system and how these mechanisms provide the foundation for circuits and functional neuroanatomical structures capable of generating complex behaviors and physiological functions. This course connects functional cellular and anatomical units of the nervous system to behaviors typically addressed by the field of psychology, such as learning, motivation, addiction, and psychological disorders. The intial material focuses on the molecular structure and function of neurons and then builds upon this foundation by progressively assembling the functional neuroanatomical structures of the nervous system and considering the complex behaviors that these structures generate. Prerequisites: BIOL-102, PSYC-101 and junior standing or instructor's permission.
BIOL-460 Winter Ecology of Vertebrates
This course will survey all amniote vertebrates and their winter adaptations. It will focus on physiological ecology, evolution, morphology, reproduction, and development of reptiles, birds and mammals. This upper level biology/ecology course is designed to be taken by students to fulfill distribution requirements during their sophomore, junior, and/or senior years. Prerequisite: BIOL-101 or ECOL-100.
BIOL-461 Winter Ecology Vertebrates Lab
This course will survey all amniote vertebrates and their winter adaptations. Through the different laboratories students will be introduced to field and laboratory methodologies of identifying Pennsylvania early vertebrates, specimen handling, collecting techniques, dissection, preparation, and field sign recognition. This upper level biology/ecology course is designed to be taken by students to fulfill distribution requirements during their sophomore, junior, and/or senior years. Prerequisite: BIOL-101 or ECOL-100.
BIOL-500 Topics in Biology
Varying topics of interest to students and instructor. Possible topics include genetic engineering advances in embryology, plant products, reproductive physiology and stress ecology. Prerequisites: Prior course in general topic area and instructor's permission.
Weekly, one-hour meetings where students and staff report and discuss current biological research literature. Senior biology majors in Group B track require one semester.
BIOL-502 Biology Internship
Career investigation for junior and senior biology majors. May be repeated once. A written report of the internship will be required. Prerequisite: First two years of the biology major program.
BIOL-503 Biological Issues in Australia
Introduces students to the unique biological and environmental issues of Australia, concentrating on isolation as a theme. Convergent evolution, colonial settlement, and introduced species, fire and aboriginal land-use practices, and coral reef ecology are all considered. Prerequisite for participation in the Focus Australia program.
BIOL-504 Independent Study
Investigation of a specific topic or problem in biology under the guidance of an appropriate faculty member.
BIOL-510 Student Research I
Introduces students to methods and techniques of biological research in the context of a collaborative research project. Required for students in the Group A track. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission.
BIOL-511 Student Research II
Collaborative research with an emphasis on presentation of data and explanation of results. Required for students in the Group A track. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission.
BIOL-550 Explorations in Biology
Explores salient issues in the biological sciences. Prerequisites: BIOL-101 or BIOL-102, junior standing or instructor's permission.
BIOL-560 Interdisciplinary Explorations Biology
Explores salient issues in the biological sciences from an interdisciplinary perspective. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing and either BIOL-101 or BIOL-102 or instructor's permission.
ECOL-408 Aquatic Ecology
The ecology of freshwater ecosystems. Emphasizes biota of freshwater and their relationships with physical and chemical components of lakes, streams, and reservoirs. Same as BIOL-408. Prerequisite: BIOL-102 or ECOL-201 or permission of the instructor.
ECOL-409 Aquatic Ecology Lab
Field laboratory in aquatic ecology techniques. Topics include physical and chemical measurements and the identification and enumeration of phytoplankton, zooplankton, aquatic plants and benthic organisms. Same as BIOL-409. Prerequisite: BIOL-102 or ECOL-201 or instructor's permission.
NEUR-101 Introduction to Neuroscience
This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of neuroscience: the study of the neural basis of complex behavioral and cognitive phenomena. Topics include the structure and function of the nervous system, basic neurophysiology, development, memory and attention, sensory systems, psychopathology, and the impact of neuroscience research on society. This course includes a laboratory component where students will be actively engaged in the process of scientific inquiry. 4 SH. CC: Scientific Explorations.
NEUR-500 Topics in Neuroscience
Varying topics reflecting student and instructor interest. Possible topics could include developmental neurobiology and diseases of the brain. Prerequisites: NEUR-101, PSYC-101, and BIOL-102, or instructor permission
NEUR-510 Neuroscience Research I
Neuroscience Student Research I introduces students to methods and techniques of neuroscience research in the context of a collaborative research project. Prerequisite: Senior standing in neuroscience or instructor's permission. Capstone. 4 s.h.
NEUR-511 Neuroscience Student Research II
Collaborative research with an emphasis on presentation of data and explanation of results. Prerequisite: NEUR-510 or instructor's permission. CC: Oral Intensive, Writing Intensive.