Biology

All Majors & Minors

Courses

  • BIO-101Q. Issues in Ecology and Evolution Dr. E. Dawley, Dr. R. Dawley, Dr. Small, Dr. Straub

    Approaches the fundamental principles of ecology and evolution using the examination of specific case studies and the current scientific literature. Principles will include population growth, organismal adaptations and ecosystem level interactions, all in the light of natural selection theory. Lecture readings and laboratory exercises will employ the scientific method and emphasize quantitative analysis of data. Three hours of lecture; an average of one and one-half hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS)

    Note: Students who have received credit for BIO-111WQ may not enroll in BIO-101Q.

    BIO-102Q. Cell Biology Dr. Bailey, Dr. Cameron, Dr. Favero, Dr. Lobo, Dr. Round and Dr. Roberts

    Approaches the fundamental principles of cell biology using the examination of specific case studies and the current scientific literature. Principles will include molecular structure and function of cells, generation of biochemical energy, cell cycle regulation and cancer, and neuronal communication. Lecture readings and laboratory exercises will employ the scientific method and emphasize quantitative analysis of data. Three hours of lecture; an average of one and one-half hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS)

    BIO-201W. GeneticsDr. Goddard, Dr. Lyczak, and Dr. Cameron.

    Exploration of principles of genetics using examination of specific case studies and the scientific literature. Topics include advanced Mendelian genetics, molecular genetics, population genetics. Prerequisites: BIO-101Q and BIO-102Q, or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture per week and three hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS)

    BIO-205/HEP-205. Human Anatomy & Physiology I. Faculty

    A study of the structure and function of the tissues and organs that compose the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, and special senses systems. A case study approach will be utilized to explore the homeostatic contributions made by each of these systems under rest, exercise, and disease conditions. Prerequisites: BIO-102Q; or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS.)

    Note: Students who have taken BIO/HEP-205 and/or BIO/HEP-206 may not receive credit for completing BIO-305.

    Note: BIO/HEP 205 does not count toward the biology major.
    Note: Students can count BIO/HEP-205 as satisfying the organismal/population requirement and BIO/HEP-206 as satisfying the integrative requirement for the biology minor. Both courses must be taken for either course to count for the biology minor.

    BIO- 206/HEP-206. Human Anatomy & Physiology II. Faculty

    A study of the structure and function of the tissues and organs that compose the endocrine, pulmonary, cardiovascular, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems. A case study approach will be utilized to explore the homeostatic contributions made by each of these systems under rest, exercise, and disease conditions. This is an approved elective course for the completion of the Biology minor but not the Biology major. Prerequisites: BIO/HEP-205 or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS.)

    Note: Students who have taken BIO/HEP-205 and/or BIO/HEP-206 may not receive credit for completing BIO-306.

    Note: BIO/HEP 206 does not count toward the biology major.

    Note: Students can count BIO/HEP-205 as satisfying the organismal/population requirement and BIO/HEP-206 as satisfying the integrative requirement for the biology minor. Both courses must be taken for either course to count toward the biology minor.

    BIO-224. Within the Cell: Further Explorations in Cell Biology and Genetics Faculty

    This case-study and laboratory-based course builds on students’ knowledge from previous biology courses. Principles may include explorations of genetic chimera formation, the effect of RNA splicing on protein function, Four hours of lecture and/or laboratory per week. Sophomores will be allowed to enroll in this course first and remaining seats can be filled by juniors and seniors. Prerequisites: BIO-201W; or permission of the instructor. Four semester hours. (LS.)

    BIO/NEUR-225. Glial Cell Biology Dr. Favero

    Understanding biological functions and the mechanisms cells use to carry out them out are critical to advancing scientific knowledge about how cells govern systems. The overall goal of this course is to examine what we currently know about glial cells, one of the two major types of cells in the nervous system, and how research is discovering new roles for these cells in nervous system function by investigating primary and secondary literature, animal model systems, current experimental methods, and human conditions associated with alterations of glial cells. This course is designed for first- and second-year students. Prerequisite: NEUR-100 or BIO-102 or permission of the instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours.

    BIO/ENV-250. Environmental Biology Faculty

    A study of the biological basis of environmental issues. Includes ecosystems, communities, populations, water, energy, geologic resources, biodiversity, weather/climate, pollution, agriculture/hunger, soil resources/pests, solid/toxic hazardous waste, toxicology, land use. Prerequisite: BIO-101Q or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture; three hours of lab per week. Four semester hours. (LS.)

    BIO-305. Human Anatomy and Functional Morphology Faculty

    A study of the structure of human tissues, organs and organ systems and their contributions to the integrated functioning of the human body. Prerequisite: BIO-201W; or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours.

    Note: Students who have taken BIO/ESS-205 or BIO/ESS-206 may not receive credit for BIO-305.

    BIO-306. Human Physiology Dr. Bailey

    A study of the physiological processes that support the integrated functioning of the human body. Prerequisite: BIO-201W; or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture; three hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours.

    Note: Students who have taken BIO/ESS-205 or BIO/ESS-206 may not receive credit for BIO-306.

    BIO/ENV-310. Biological Oceanography Dr. Goddard

    A study of the biological bases of ocean science. Topics discussed include: ocean basins, seawater physics and chemistry, currents, waves, tides, upwelling zones, tidal rhythms in organisms, ocean habitats/biota, marine virology, marine microbiology, plankton, trophic relationships, hydrothermal vent communities, coral reefs. Prerequisite: BIO-201W; or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture; three hours of laboratory per week. (Course may be conducted in part at a marine field station). Four semester hours. (LS.)

    Note: students receiving credit for BIO/ENV-310 may not receive credit for BIO/ENV-270.

    BIO/ENV-320. Biology of the Neotropics Dr. E. Dawley, Dr. R. Dawley

    A field study of Costa Rican tropical habitats — including lowland rain forests, montane rain forests, seasonally dry forests, and wetlands — conducted at research sites throughout the country. Topics include diversity and natural history of key plants and animals, ecological interactions and evolutionary processes, and conservation. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor and BIO-101Q. Field investigations accompanied by readings, lectures, and a directed research project. Course will meet 15 hours on campus and three weeks in Costa Rica between the Fall and Spring semesters. Four semester hours. (I.)

    BIO/ENV-325. Insect Biology Dr. Straub

    This course will introduce students to the insects—the most diverse group of organisms on the planet. We will examine the physiology, development, behavior, ecology, and evolution of insects to better understand why they are so successful, and special emphasis will be placed on understanding the importance of insects to human welfare. Students will learn the taxonomy of local insects by completing an insect collection. The laboratory component of this course will include insect rearing, experiments, and field trips to collect insects from terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Prerequisite: BIO-101 and BIO-102; or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture; three hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS.)

    BIO-328. Protein Biogenesis Dr. Cameron

    Proteins are essential macromolecules that participate in virtually every aspect of cellular function, and their biogenesis requires some of the most ancient and highly conserved biological processes. Through discussions and analysis of primary research articles, this course will provide an in-depth exploration of the processes involved in protein biogenesis, including translation and its regulation, protein folding and quality control systems, as well as the physiological consequences of protein misfolding. Prerequisites: BIO-201W; or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture; three hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS.)

    BIO/ENV-330. Marine Biology Faculty

    A field-oriented study of the important marine habitats including pelagic and benthic zones, and intertidal communities. Topics include marine biodiversity-plants, protists, invertebrates, vertebrates; marine ecology; primary production in the sea; estuaries; plankton; nektron; marine mammals; ocean pollution. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor and BIO-101Q. Lecture and field investigations. (Course conducted in part at a marine field station.) Four semester hours. (LS.)

    BIO-334. Plant Biology Dr. Small

    A survey of the morphology and evolution of the monophyletic green plant clade, including the principles, theory and methodology underlying modern taxonomic systems. Available field time centers upon the morphology and taxonomy of the local vascular flora. Prerequisite: BIO-201W; or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture; three hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS.)

    BIO-335. Plant Physiology Faculty

    A study of life processes of green plants and the environmental factors that regulate them. Experiments will illustrate physiological concepts. Prerequisite: BIO-201W and CHEM-105 and 105L; or permission of instructor. Three hours of lecture; three hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS.)

    BIO/ENV-336. Freshwater Biology Dr. Goddard

    Students will study the inhabitants, human impact, and chemical and physical properties of streams, lakes, rivers, wetlands, and groundwater. The laboratory will include field and laboratory investigations, and culminate in individual investigations by students. Prerequisites: BIO-101 and BIO-102; or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS.)

    BIO-345. Microbiology Dr. Lobo

    The structure, physiology, genetics, diversity, and ecology of micro-organisms. Topics in medical microbiology will be discussed to illustrate basic principles of pathology, virology, immunology, and epidemiology. The laboratory will cover techniques of bacterial propagation, purification, identification, and genetic experimentation. Prerequisites: BIO-201W; or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture; three hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS.)

    BIO- 346. Developmental Biology Dr. Lyczak

    An investigation of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that control animal development. The role of developmental regulators and cell-cell communication in the embryo will be discovered in the context of fertilization, axis formation, gastrulation and organogenesis in a variety of model organisms. Laboratory work will focus on hypothesis driven inquiry and will include analysis of both vertebrate and invertebrate development. Prerequisite: BIO-201W; or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture; three hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS)

    BIO-349. Experimental Physiology Dr. Bailey

    An investigation of the basic principles of vertebrates. Included will be the study of cell physiology, organ function, and systems physiology, including the nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal and renal systems. The laboratory will emphasize cooperative problem-solving, experimental design, and independent investigation. Prerequisites: BIO-201W and CHEM-106,106L; or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture; three hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS.)

    Note: Students having received credit for BIO-306 may not credit for BIO-349.

    BIO-350. Selected Topics in Biology Faculty

    A course offered periodically in an area of special interest to students by a faculty member or a visiting lecturer. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Three hours per week, plus either intensive writing or three hours of laboratory, depending on the topic. Four semester hours. (LS, if lab associated with course.)

    BIO-355/ENV 355. Conservation Biology Dr. Straub

    Students in Conservation Biology will learn about the causes and the consequences of species extinctions and best management practices for conserving biodiversity. Concepts from genetics, ecology, and evolution will be applied to conservation, and the role of scientific research in conservation practice will be emphasized. Case studies in conservation will come from a variety of species and ecosystems, and special emphasis will be placed on conservation in human-dominated landscapes, such as the suburban landscape within which Ursinus College is situated. Prerequisite: BIO-101 or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture per week. Four semester hours.

    BIO-365/ENV 365. Ornithology Dr. E. Dawley

    A study of bird biology (anatomy, physiology, behavior, ecology, phylogeny, and evolution) and the conservation issues that surround these most visible of terrestrial vertebrates. Because it will include field studies and natural history of Northeastern birds, a longer block of time is scheduled for one of the meeting times. Readings will come primarily from primary and secondary literature, with an emphasis on basic scientific research and its application to conservation. Prerequisite: BIO-101. Four hours per week plus field trips. Four semester hours. (LS).

    BIO-371. Evolution in the Galápagos. Dr. R. Dawley

    This course teaches the principles of modern evolutionary theory as illuminated by past and current research in the Galápagos Islands. The course begins with an overview of the history of evolutionary theory, from the work of Charles Darwin to the present. It then considers current theories of natural selection, sexual selection, and the reconstruction of evolutionary history. Readings are drawn from the primary literature and books by Darwin and others. Students taking this course may have the opportunity of visiting the Galápagos Islands after completing it. Prerequisite: BIO-101 or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture, plus two hours to be arranged, per week. Four semester hours.

    BIO-382. Internship Faculty

    An off-campus academic/work experience under the supervision of a faculty adviser and an on-site supervisor. Open to juniors and seniors. The term during which the internship work is performed will be noted by one of the following letters, to be added immediately after the internship course number: A (fall), B (winter), C (spring), or D (summer). Internships undertaken abroad will be so indicated by the letter I. The intern must complete a minimum of 160 hours of work. Prerequisites: Nine credits in biology and approval of a faculty internship adviser. Graded S/U. Four semester hours. (I.)

    BIO-391. Directed Research Faculty

    Laboratory and/or field experiences under the direction of a faculty member and designed to introduce students to fundamental research procedures and data manipulation in the context of an original research project. This course can be taken more than once. Prerequisite: permission of a participating faculty member. Three hours of laboratory per week. Graded S/U. One semester hour.

    BIO-392. Directed Research Faculty

    Content as in BIO-391. This course can be taken more than once. Prerequisite: permission of a participating faculty member. Six hours of laboratory per week. Graded S/U. Two semester hours.

    BIO/ENV-415W. Ecology Faculty

    Studies of the interrelationships between organisms and their environments that determine their distribution and abundance in natural systems. Aspects of energy flow, biotic and abiotic limits, population growth and community organization are considered in the context of the ecosystem. Laboratories include local field work and emphasize techniques for collecting and analyzing data. Prerequisites: BIO-101Q and 102Q and 201W, or permission of the instructor. This course does not fulfill the ENV capstone requirement. Three hours of lecture, three hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS.)

    BIO-424W. Evolution Dr. R. Dawley

    A study of the Darwinian theory of adaptation and natural selection, focusing on areas of current interest and controversy, such as its application to animal and human behavior and to the study of medicine and disease. Prerequisites: BIO-201W; or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture per week. Four semester hours.

    BIO-425W. Molecular Genetics Dr. Lyczak

    An investigation of the molecular mechanisms underlying complex genetic phenomena. The course will cover topics which may include: epigenetic inheritance, gene regulation, gene therapy, RNA interference, molecular control of the cell cycle, multifactoral genetic disorders, and molecular evolution through reading and careful analysis of current primary research articles. A semester-long project will require each student to examine the symptoms, inheritance pattern, and molecular pathology of a genetic disorder. Prerequisites: BIO-201W; or permission of the instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours.

    BIO/BCMB-426W. Molecular Biology Dr. Lobo

    A survey of gene structure, transcription, translation, regulation, and replication, as well as the theory underlying laboratory techniques used in their study. Laboratory experiments will include DNA and protein isolation, enzymatic manipulations, electrophoresis, and nucleic acid hybridization in an attempt to clone and analyze a bacterial gene. Prerequisites: BIO-201W; or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture; three hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS.)

    BIO/BCMB-429W. Structural Biology Dr. Roberts

    An introduction to the principles of protein and DNA structure, X-ray crystallography, structure visualization and interpretation, and bioinformatics. The use of these concepts to understand biological function at the level of individual molecular interactions and at the level of complex processes will be demonstrated through specific biological examples. Laboratory work will stress structure-determining techniques and use of scientific databases and protein visualization software. Prerequisite: BIO-201W; or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture; three hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS.)

    BIO/NEUR-431W. Cellular Neurobiology Dr. Round

    An advanced examination of current research in the field of cellular neuroscience. Highlighted topics include the cell biology of neurogenesis, neuron morphology, electrical and chemical communication, intracellular signaling, and the importance of neuron-glia interactions. Class discussions will be grounded in primary literature, and the laboratory component will feature a semester-long original research project. This is a writing intensive course in which students will draft and revise a mock research proposal on a topic of their choice. Prerequisite: BIO-201W or permission of the instructor. Three hours of discussion; three hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS.)

    BIO/BCMB/NEUR-433W. Molecular Neurobiology Dr. Kohn

    A study of the cellular and molecular basis of neuronal function. The course includes molecular properties of neurons, release of neurotransmitters, receptors in synaptic transmission, effects of drugs, synaptic plasticity, and neurological disorders. Prerequisites: BIO-201W; or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture; three hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS.)

    BIO/NEUR-435W. Developmental Neurobiology Dr. Favero

    An investigation of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying nervous system development. This course will discuss nervous system organization, neural cell fate, axon and synapse formation, neurological conditions, and research techniques in the context of a variety of animal models. Laboratory work will emphasize cooperative problem-solving and hypothesis-driven experimental design to analyze nervous system development and behavior. Prerequisites: BIO-201W; or permission of the instructor. Three hours of discussion; three hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. 

    BIO-442W. Mammalogy Dr. E. Dawley

    A study of vertebrate biology using the mammalian class as the case study. The course includes evolutionary history, phylogeny, diversity, structure and function, behavior and ecological aspects of mammals. Prerequisites: BIO-201W; or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture; three hours of laboratory and field investigations per week. Four semester hours.

    BIO-444W. Advanced Integrative Physiology Dr.Bailey

    A study of the mechanisms that regulate the interaction of the various organ systems. Students will build upon their understanding of physiology to explore the question of how gene products integrate at the cellular, systems and whole-organism level. The course will investigate the molecular basis for and pathophysiology of different diseases through reading and careful analysis of current primary research articles. Prerequisite: BIO-201W; or permission of the instructor; BIO-306 or 349 is recommended. Three hours of lecture per week. Four semester hours.

    BIO-449W. Immunology Dr. Lobo

    A study of the cellular and humoral aspects of immunity in humans and other mammals. The course will cover interactions between mammalian hosts and bacterial, fungal, and viral antigens: tumor and transplantation immunology, vaccines and their development and the evolution of the immune system. Prerequisites: BIO-201W; or permission of the instructor. BIO-345 is recommended. Three hours per week. Four semester hours.

    BIO-459W. Virology Dr. Goddard

    After an introduction to general virology, each virus family and its unique approaches to host cell entry, viral replication, and transmission will be discussed. Topics covered will include the social, historical and economic impact of human diseases such as yellow fever and Ebola hemorrhagic fever, and important diseases of crops and agricultural animals. Prerequisites: BIO-201W; or permission of the instructor. Four hours per week. Four semester hours.

    BIO-481. Independent Research Faculty

    Laboratory or field investigation of some biological phenomenon. This original work includes library-assisted preparation of a final written thesis and the oral presentation of its results before a faculty/student colloquium. This course can be taken more than once. Pre- or co-requisites: junior or senior standing, written consent of a faculty member who will serve as research adviser. Graded S/U. Four semester hours. (I.)

    BIO-485. Off-Campus Research Faculty

    An approved, off-campus field or laboratory research experience supervised by a faculty internship adviser and an on-site supervisor. Approved projects result in the library-assisted preparation of a final written report. This course can be taken more than once. Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing and written consent of a faculty adviser. Eleven to 14 hours per week, with a minimum of 160 hours. Graded S/U. Four semester hours. (I.)

    BIO-491. Honors Research Faculty

    Content as in BIO-481, but open only to candidates for departmental honors. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing, written consent of a faculty member who will serve as research adviser. Four semester hours. (I.)

    BIO-492W. Honors Research Faculty

    Content as in BIO-481, but offered in the spring term and open only to candidates for departmental honors. This continuation of BIO-491 fulfills the capstone, oral and writing requirements within the major. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing, written consent of a faculty member who will serve as research adviser. Four semester hours (I.)