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Biology Courses

Below is a list of available courses offered by the Biology Department. Consult the Registrar’s Office and the College Catalog for registration information.

BIOL 100L - BIOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES LAB
An introduction to fundamental principles in biology. Students explore cell structure and function, cell division, genetics, evolution, symbiotic relationships, and biodiversity, and learn basic laboratory techniques. Hours credit: 1. Concurrent enrollment in or previous completion of either Biology 103, 108, or 118. Not open to students who have completed a 200-level Biology Laboratory.

BIOL 103 - INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY
A broad introduction to modern biology. Topics may include evolution and the origin of life, reproduction, genetics, cellular and molecular biology, biodiversity, ecology, environmental and population biology, and other current issues in biology. Biology 100LR may be taken concurrently. Hours credit: 3. Only open to students who have not previously completed any other biology course or with permission of the instructor.

BIOL 108 - HUMAN BIOLOGY
Fundamentals of modern biology in a human context. Human evolution, genetics, development, physiology, population biology, ecology, and behavior are all considered in this examination of Homo sapiens. Biology 100LR may be taken concurrently. Hours credit: 3. Open to students who have not previously completed any other biology course or with permission of the instructor.

BIOL 118 - EVOLUTION
A survey of the historical and scientific development of the modern theory of evolution. The contributions of Darwin and Wallace, the modern synthesis, recent refinements in evolutionary theory, and evidence for evolution are among the topics considered. Biology 100LR may be taken concurrently. Hours credit: 3.Only open to students who have not previously completed any other biology course or with permission of the instructor.

BIOL 201 - ZOOLOGY
An introduction to the structure, ecology, behavior, and evolution of all major animal groups, including molluscans, annelids, arthropods, echinoderms, and chordates. Protistans, the origin of multicellular forms, and basic environmental factors affecting multicellular animals also are considered. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: Biology 100LR and either Biololgy 103; 108; 118; or the equivalent. Corequisite: Biology 201L.

BIOL 201L - ZOOLOGY LABORATORY
Laboratory and field studies illustrating the structure, ecology, behavior, and evolution of many of the organisms discussed in Biology 201. Students evaluate the major animal groups on a comparative basis through microscopy, dissection, and the study of live animals. Hours credit: 1. Corequisite: Biology 201.

BIOL 202 - BOTANY
An introduction to the structure, function, physiology, evolution, and life history of plants. A comparative survey of the diversity found among other organisms including bacteria, fungi, and algae, formerly classified as plants, is also considered. Vascular plant morphology anatomy and physiology are explained. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisites: BIOL 100LR and either BIOL 103; 108; or 118; or the equivalent. Corequisite: BIOL 202L.

BIOL 202L - BOTANY LABORATORY
A survey of the diverse life histories of organisms studied in a botanical framework, including photosynthetic bacteria, fungi, algae, and plants. Emphasis is also placed on developing student’s experimental design capabilities. Students design, conduct, and monitor plant experiments over the course of the semester. Hours credit: 1. Corequisite: BIOL 202.

BIOL 203 - PHYSIOLOGY
An introduction to the functional processes of animals. Physical and chemical principles that dictate physiological function are explored. Nervous, endocrine, muscular, cardiovascular, respiratory, excretory, and reproductive systems are examined at different levels of organization. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisites: BIOL 100LR and either BIOL 103; 108; or 118; or the equivalent. Corequisite: BIOL 203L.

BIOL 203L - PHYSIOLOGY LABORATORY
Exercises in cardiovascular, muscular, nervous, and respiratory physiology, as well as basic investigations in microscopy, cell function, and histology. Emphasis is on critical skills such as technical writing and data analysis. Hours credit: 1. Corequisite: Biology 203.

BIOL 204 - INTRO GENETICS & MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
Examination of cellular processes involved in the storage, transfer, and expression of genetic information. Topics include mendelian genetics, inheritance probabilities, the structure, function, and synthesis of DNA, mutation and repair, protein synthesis, regulation of gene expression, and fundamentals of genetic engineering. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: BIOL 100LR and either BIOL 103; 108; 118; or the equivalent; sophomore standing recommended. Corequisite: BIOL 204L

BIOL 204L - INTRO GENETICS & MOLECULAR BIO LAB
Laboratory exercises will involve multi-week projects implementing the fundamental tools of molecular biology and genetic engineering. Techniques include cloning, transformation, DNA isolation and restriction enzyme analysis, Southern blotting, PCR, sequence analysis, and examination of protein expression, structure and function. Hours credit: 1. Corequisite: Biology 204.

BIOL 305 - ADVANCED GENETICS
Principles of heredity, including the fundamental concepts and quantitative reasoning of transmission genetics, molecular genetics, population genetics, and molecular evolution. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: two courses in biology at the 200 level, including BIOL 204. Alternate years.

BIOL 305L - ADVANCED GENETICS LABORATORY
Exercises in classical and modern genetics, bioformatics, proteomics, and systems biology. Bioethical issues of modern genetics are also addressed. Hours credit: 1. Prerequisite or corequisite: BIOL 305. Alternate years:

BIOL 306 - IMMUNOLOGY
A presentation of the fundamentals of immunology blending theory with practical application. Topics include development of the cells of the immune system, antigens, antibodies, immunization, allergic reactions, organ transplants, immunology of cancer, the autoimmune phenomenon, and immunodeficiency diseases. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: BIOL 203-203L and 204-204L. Offered alternate years.

BIOL 316 - DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY
An introduction to the patterns of embryonic development in several organisms, including chordates. The origin of differentiated tissues and the development of organ systems are considered. Comparative reproductive patterns of vertebrates, metamorphosis in insects and amphibians, and stem cells are also discussed. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: Biology 201 and 203 or 204, or the equivalent. Corequisite: Biology 316L. Offered alternate years.

BIOL 316L - DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY LAB
Laboratory studies and experiments illustrating the concepts presented in Biology 316. The student gains familiarity with the important stages in the development of plants, amphibians, birds, and mammals. In addition, the student observes the process of fertilization in sea urchins and ferns, studies the development of living amphibian and bird embryos and investigates insect metamorphosis. Hours credit: 1. Corequisite: BIOL 316. Alternate years

BIOL 319 - ECOLOGY
The relationships of organisms to their environments are examined from an evolutionary perspective. Topics include speciation, adaptation, population dynamics, competition, predator/prey relationships, mutualism, productivity, succession, trophic dynamics, and biogeography. Students may also enroll in BIOL 319L but it is not required. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: BIOL 201 and 202, or the equivalent.

BIOL 319L - ECOLOGY LABORATORY
Field study of local natural history and an introduction to instrumentation and ecological methods. Hours credit: 1. Prerequisite or corequisite: BIOL 319. Offered second semester.

BIOL 320 - MICROBIOLOGY
An introduction to microorganisms with an emphasis on bacteria and archaea. Topics may include microbial cell structure and function, metabolism, growth, evolution, classification, genomes, ecology, disease, and epidemiology. Industrial use of microbes in medical and health industries, bioremediation, biowarfare, food and beverage production, and genetic engineering may be discussed. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: two courses in biology at the 200 level, including BIOL 204. Corequisite: BIOL 320L. Offered first semester.

BIOL 320L - MICROBIOLOGY LABORATORY
Exercises on laboratory methods and their underlying concepts. Exercises may include isolation and identification of bacteria, effects of environmental factors on microbial growth, enumeration of bacteria, food microbiology, and disease transmission. Hours credit: 1. Corequisite: BIOL 320. Offered first semester.

BIOL 321 - ANIMAL BEHAVIOR
An introduction to the biology of behavior. Topics include the genetic basis for behavior, neural anatomy, the evolution of behavior patterns, behavioral ecology, communication, orientation and navigation, and comparative vertebrate social behavior. Emphasis on results from animal studies which lead to a better understanding of human behavior. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: two courses in biology at the 200 level including either Biology 201 or 203. Offered alternate years.

BIOL 321L - ANIMAL BEHAVIOR LAB
Field and laboratory experiments in animal behavior, as well as projects and discussions supporting and complementing BIOL 321. Hours Credit: 1. Prerequisite or corequisite: BIOL 321. Offered alternate years.

BIOL 324 - ORNITHOLOGY-MAMMALOGY
An examination of the evolution, structure, ecology, and behavior of birds and mammals. Topics include the impact of Pleistocene glaciations on avian and mammalian evolution and diversity, predator-prey relationships, mammalian thermoregulation and water economy, mammalian echolocation, and the mechanics of avian flight. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: two courses in biology at the 200 level including Biology 201. Corequisite: Biology 324L. Offered alternate years.

BIOL 324L - ORNITHOLOGY-MAMMALOGY LABORATORY
Field and laboratory studies and experiments illustrating the concepts presented in Biology 324. Topics include the comparative skeletal anatomy of major mammalian groups and basic avian anatomy and physiology. Students also gain experience with preparing study skins and identifying Virginia species of birds and mammals. Hours credit: 1. Corerequisite: Biology 324. Offered alternate years.

BIOL 329 - ECONOMIC BOTANY
An examination of how agriculture, industry, and medicine rely on plant diversity and their products. Topics include orgin of crops, medicinal plants, plant fibers, spices, and industrial uses of plants. Emphasis is placed on analyzing primary literature. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: two courses in biology at the 200 level, including BIOL 202-202L, or permission of the instructor. Alternate years.

BIOL 336 - CELL BIOLOGY
An examination of form and function at the cellular level. Topics may include the chemical basis of cellular function, membranes and membrane transport, enzymes and the catalysis of cellular reactions, information storage and flow in the cell, cell growth and division, cellular metabolism, and cancer biology. Emphasis is on eukaryotic cells. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisites: BIOL 203-203L and 204-204L. Corequisite: BIOL 336L. Alternate years.

BIOL 336L - CELL BIOLOGY LAB
Introduction to tissue culture as a laboratory technique, including techniques for the identification and characterization of cells such as protein isolation, histochemistry, fluorescent labeling, and immunocytochemistry. Students will learn how to present scientific data in the form of a poster presentation. Hours credit: 1. Prerequisites: BIOL 203 and 204. Corequisite: BIOL 336. Alternate years.

BIOL 351 - TOPICS IN BIOLOGY
This course is intended to develop and enhance student research skills through analysis of primary literature, presentation, class discussion, and written assignments. Research papers will be analyzed through a global lens and real world ramifications will be discussed. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: two courses in biology at the 200 level.

BIOL 386 - MARINE BIOLOGY
This introduction to the marine environment emphasizes the occurrence and distribution of marine organisms. Oceanographic principles are discussed, and special consideration is given to the biology of common plants inhabiting beaches, estuaries, and near-ocean waters in Atlantic, Caribbean, and Bahamian biota. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: two courses in biology at the 200 level, including BIOL 201-201L. One time only.

BIOL 495 - SENIOR PROGRAM
Topics in biology. Students perform in-depth library research on a contemporary topic in biology that is relevant to their own post-graduate goals or general interests. Students present their findings in a formal paper and in an oral presentation. Hours credit: 3.

BIOL 497H - HONORS IN THE MAJOR

BIOL 498H - HONORS IN THE MAJOR