2021 Fall Term Course Offerings

Biology 11.07 - Major Events in the History of Life and the Human Genome (Prof. Peterson)

Over the course of the last 4.5 billion years, life has faced a number of challenges, and in response has evolved a number of remarkable innovations.  These innovations are written in DNA, and thus molecular fossils for many of the major events in the history of life can be found within our very own genomes.  This course will survey the human nuclear and mitochondrial genomes, using a gene or region from a chromosome as a "ticket" to a particularly important event or process in the history of life including the origin of life itself (Chromosome 14), the advent of protein synthesis (Chromosome 22), the invention of DNA (Chromosome 8), the rise of atmospheric oxygen (mitochondrion), the origin of species (Chromosome 2), the origin of animals and the rise of macroecology (Chromosome 12), and the origin of humans and human language (Chromosome 7). Biology 11 has an enrollment cap of 50.

Biology 12 – Cell Structure and Function (Prof. Bickel or Prof. Grotz)

Biology 12 will provide a foundation in the fundamental mechanisms that govern the structure and function of eukaryotic cells. Topics include membrane transport, energy conversion, signal transduction, protein targeting, cell motility and the cytoskeleton, and the cell cycle. Emphasis will be placed on discussion of the experimental basis for understanding cell function. The laboratory section will provide students with hands-on experience in modern laboratory techniques including microscopy, cell fractionation, and protein purification.

Biology 14 - Physiology (Prof. ter Hofstede)

This course introduces students to the complexity of organisms by studying how their different organ systems strive to maintain internal homeostasis in the face of different environmental demands. The adaptive responses of selected organisms (humans, different animals and plants) to a variety of environmental factors will be studied from the molecular, cell, tissue, organ, and systems level of organization. Some of the topics to be covered include biological control systems (hormones, neurons) and coordinated body functions (circulation, respiration, osmoregulation, digestion). All systems studied will be integrated by analyzing how different organisms adapt to living in extreme environments (deserts, high altitude) or facing environmental demands (navigation, exercise). Note: Biology 14 has an enrollment cap of 80 students. 

Biology 16 – Ecology  (Prof. Pries)

This course examines fundamental concepts in the rapidly developing areas of ecology. These topics include the factors that limit the distributions and abundances of organisms, the effects that organisms have on ecosystems, the integration of ecosystems around the globe, and the conservation of species diversity. The class will also explore how the behavior and physiology of individual organisms shape both local and global patterns of distribution and abundance. Laboratories focus on experimental and quantitative analyses of local ecosystems, with an emphasis on field studies. Biology 16 has no enrollment cap.

Biology 19 – Honors Cell Structure and Function (Prof. Bezanilla)

This honors introduction to cell biology is for students with a strong background in biology and chemistry who are interested in majoring in Biology. This course will discuss fundamental topics, including protein targeting, the cytoskeleton, membrane transport, cellular energetics, the cell cycle, and signal transduction. The course will emphasize experimental strategies to understand eukaryotic cell function, and the laboratory will provide hands-on experience in modern cell biological techniques, including microscopy, cell fractionation, and protein
purification. Biology 19 is the prerequisite equivalent of Biology 12.

Biology 19 is open only to first-year students and enrollment is limited to 24 students in the Fall of 2021.

Invitation to enroll will be based on

1) Performance on the Biology Placement Exam (accessed via Canvas site).

2) Via application (link to application).