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Biological Sciences

New Courses for Spring 2019

This page provides information about courses to be offered in upcoming semesters that are either new courses, not yet in the Undergraduate Catalog, or courses for which the topic changes each time it is taught.

New undergraduate courses are taught as sections of BIOL 490. Different sections of BIOL 490 are usually entirely different courses taught by different faculty.

Physiological Ecology Laboratory - 17826 - BIOL 490 - 002

Credit hours: 1.0
Labs: Tuesday 12:30-3:20 PM, SW 0340
Instructor: Dr. Jason Williams

Physiological ecology studies the underlying principles which allow an animal to live where it lives and/or behave the way it does. Thus, the emphasis of this lab will be to learn the basic techniques used in physiological ecology studies with hands on experiences and through literature reviews. In addition, a major component of this lab will be to design a physiological ecology based exercise in hopes that it will be published in Advances in Physiological Education. Though most students taking this lab will also be enrolled in BIOL 467 (Animal Physiological Ecology), that is not a co-requisite.

For more information about this course, please contact Dr. Williams.

Microbial Symbiosis - 16145- BIOL 490 – 006

Credit hours: 3.0
Lectures: TR 2:00-3:15, SE 2216
Instructor: Dr. Susanne DiSalvo

Symbiosis is a close and persistent interaction between two different organisms. These interactions can run the spectrum from pathogenic (Treponema pallidum infections in humans resulting in syphilis), commensal (Staphylococcus epidermidis colonization of skin), or mutualistic (dinoflagellates in coral providing byproducts of photosynthesis). In many cases, the outcomes of host-symbiont associations may be unknown or may shift depending on the situation the couple finds themselves in. This “Microbial Symbiosis” course will be devoted to illuminating diverse symbiotic associations between a variety of host organisms (animals, plants, protists) with their microbial associates. In addition to being introduced to a plethora of interesting symbiotic systems, we will discuss the mechanisms and consequences of symbiosis for both partners. During the course, we will read a variety of reviews and primary research articles and chapters from the popular science novel “I contain multitudes: the microbes within us and a grander view of life” by Ed Yong. Class will consist of lectures, discussions, and assignments, including writing individual research papers based on student chosen topics. In addition, we will introduce computational analyses of microbiome data using R programming through in-class computer sessions and online tutorials (no previous experience necessary).

This course satisfies a DIV or GCB elective. Pre-requisites are BIOL 350 or BIOL 319 with a C or higher.

For more information about this course, please contact Dr. DiSalvo.

Biology of the Fungi - 17553 - BIOL 490 - 007

Credit hours: 3.0
Lectures: TR 3:30-4:45, SE 2216
Instructor: Dr. Tom Fowler

The fungi are many diverse and important organisms within the Eukaryotes but get much less attention than animals and plants. This course will emphasize the features of fungi that are different from the other eukaryotes. Topics will range from the distinguishing features of fungal phyla and their varied life cycles, to quirky specializations such as capturing animals and launching spores, to mycorrhizal symbioses with plants, and the impacts of the fungi on agriculture and biotechnology. Fungi will be examined from the microscopic to the macroscopic, with consideration of their ecological and environmental roles and impacts. Take this course and your understanding of this kingdom may mushroom!

For the requirements of biology degree concentrations, this course is a lecture course and it is a EEE or Diversity (DIV) elective. Prerequisites are BIOL 220 or equivalent with a C or better, and at least junior standing.

For more information about this course, please contact Dr. Fowler.

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