2024 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. 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 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.