BIOL 101. Contemporary Bioscience with Laboratory (4E)
An introductory biology course for students who desire an overview of biological concepts and contemporary issues in biology and environmental sciences. The scientific method as a way of knowing will be stressed. Sections of this course are topical, with topics drawn from ecology and environmental sciences, cell and molecular biology, evolution, human biology, and other areas of biology. This course is recommended to those students who do not plan to continue in the biological sciences. This course satisfies the Core Curriculum requirement in Natural Sciences with Laboratory.
BIOL 105. Principles of Biology I (4F)
An introductory course on the organization and function of cells. Topics include biological chemistry, cell structure, membranes, metabolism, and fundamental molecular genetics. This course and BIOL 105L together satisfy the Core Curriculum requirement in Natural Sciences with Laboratory. Co-requisite: BIOL 105L.
BIOL 105L. Principles of Biology Lab I (1F)
A laboratory course to accompany Principles of Biology I. Topics include microscopy, spectrophotometry, enzymology, and microbiology. Students will design and execute their own experiments, then present their results orally and in writing. Co-requisite: BIOL 105.
BIOL 106. Principles of Biology II (4S)
An introductory course on the structure, function, and diversity of plants and animals, with evolution as the unifying theme. Particular emphasis will be given to organisms’ interactions with and adaptations to their environment. Prerequisite: BIOL 105, BIOL 105L, Co-requisite: BIOL 106L.
BIOL 106L. Principles of Biology II Lab (1S)
A laboratory course to accompany Principles of Biology II. Topics include plant and animal diversity as they relate to structure, function, adaptation and fundamental principles of evolution. Students will design and execute a series of their own experiments, then present their results orally and in writing. Prerequisite: BIOL 105, BIOL 105L. Co-requisite: BIOL 106.
BIOL 199/299/399/499. Independent Study (1-4E)
This course consists of an independent creative or research project designed by the student and supervised by a biology faculty member. The nature of the project, the schedule for accomplishment and the means of evaluation must be formalized in a learning contract prior to registration. (See “Independent Study” under “Academic Policies” section.)
BIOL 270. Genetics (4F)
An examination of the fundamental principles underlying heredity and variation. This course will trace the origins of contemporary genetic thought from the discovery of Mendel’s Laws through the development of the chromosome theory of inheritance, followed by a consideration of the recent advances in molecular genetics. Prerequisites: BIOL 106, BIOL 106L. Co-requisite: BIOL 270L, CHEM 103.
BIOL 270L. Genetics Lab (1F)
A laboratory course to accompany Genetics. Methodologies pertinent to classical Mendelian and modern molecular genetics will be included. Students will undertake an investigative experience to learn the elements of experimental design and interpretation of results. Prerequisite: BIOL 106, BIOL 106L. Co-requisite: BIOL 270L, CHEM 103.
BIOL 271. Ecology and Evolution (4S)
An examination of ecological principles and concepts and the evolutionary basis of ecological relationships at the community, population, and species levels of organization. Class discussions will focus on ecological and evolutionary processes, including ecosystem and community function, population dynamics, population genetics, natural selection, biogeography and speciation. Prerequisite: BIOL 270, BIOL 270L. Co-requisite: BIOL 271L.
BIOL 271L. Ecology and Evolution Lab (1S)
A laboratory course to accompany Ecology and Evolution. Students practice ecological and evolutionary techniques such as field sampling, bacterial evolution, competition, and environmental analysis, culminating in an independent project with a complete research report. Prerequisites: BIOL 270, BIOL 270L. Co-requisite: BIOL 271.
BIOL 303. Invertebrate Zoology (4AF)
A systematic examination of invertebrate life. Both lecture and laboratory emphasize phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary advancement in both terrestrial and marine invertebrate animals. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 106, BIOL 106L.
BIOL 305. Animal Behavior (4AF)
An examination of principles and methods of the study of animal behavior based on ethology, comparative psychology, and neurobiology. Topics include methods, evolution, genetic control, learning, physiology of the senses and nervous system, orientation and migration, biological rhythms, communication, and sociobiology. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 271, BIOL 271L.
BIOL 311. Biostatistics (4)
This course is an overview or introduction of statistical methods applied to biology and builds on the basic statistics taught very generally in the four core courses of the biology curriculum. After an introduction to data, probability, and sampling distributions, statistical inference and hypothesis testing will be covered. We will examine a variety of statistical tests, including one- and two-sample tests, correlation and regression analyses, multinomial tests, analysis of variance, and nonparametric tests. Among the natural sciences, biological data can present particular challenges, such as a high amount of variability, as well as spatial and temporal correlation problems. We will discuss how to identify and mitigate these issues. Students should be prepared to work independently and in small groups on assignments and homework. Students will use statistical software to perform analyses and learn how to apply their statistical knowledge to their own research projects. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 106 and BIOL 106L.
BIOL 313. Computing For Biologists (4AF)
Biological data is getting more expansive with every passing year, making it necessary to develop new computational approaches to gather, sort, analyze, and visualize data. This course will survey a variety of computational approaches used in the analysis of biological data. Specifically designed for students with little-to-no experience writing computer code, this course will introduce students to working in a UNIX-like environment, to a variety of scripting languages (Python, R, bash), and to the creation and use of databases. This course will be laboratory intensive with many lecture periods being used as laboratory periods and will also survey recent primary literature that applies computational approaches to fundamental questions in ecology, genetics, and evolutionary biology. Pre-requisite: BIOL270, or permission of instructor.
BIOL 316. Tropical Biology (4)
An examination of physical, chemical, and biological characteristics and processes of tropical ecosystems. Lectures and discussions focus on ecological interactions within tropical communities, characteristics unique to tropical ecosystems, identification of tropical biota, and human impacts on tropical habitats. Laboratory exercises prepare students for field studies to either the Paleotropics (Africa, Asia or Australia) or Neotropics (Central or South America). The study tour trip may occur over the winter, spring or summer break depending on the semester that the course is offered. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 271, BIOL 271L and consent of instructor.
BIOL 330. Human Anatomy and Physiology (4AF)
A comprehensive and integrated overview of the structure and function of organs and organ systems of the human body. This course is specifically designed to provide a strong foundation of knowledge for students planning a career in the health sciences. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisites: BIOL 105, BIOL 105L, BIOL 106, BIOL 106L, or consent of instructor.
BIOL 359. Photobiology (4AS)
An integrative view of biology using a single environmental factor-light- as the unifying theme. Light is critical to organisms from all the kingdoms of life, and we will examine its effects at ecological, organismic and cellular levels. We will consider how organisms use light as an energy source and as an information source, how light can damage living organisms and how it may be used in medicine. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisites: BIOL 106, BIOL106L, CHEM 106, or consent of the instructor.
BIOL 360. Microbiology (4S)
An examination of the classification, physiology, metabolism, cell structure and ecology of microorganisms with major emphasis on the prokaryotes. Laboratories will cover isolation, cell structure, metabolism, ecology and quantification of microorganisms. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 270, BIOL 270L.
BIOL 380. Topics in Biology (2-4)
An investigation of a specialized area of biology not normally covered in the biology curriculum. Topics will be selected by the biology faculty according to student interest. Students are encouraged to suggest topics for this course. May be repeated for credit if the topic is not repetitive. Lecture, or lecture and laboratory. Taught according to student demand and staff availability. Topics in Biology also includes graduate seminars (ecology, toxicology, fisheries, and environmental chemistry) taught annually at Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, and St. Mary’s students may attend these courses under the College’s cooperative agreement with the University of Maryland. Some topics may have prerequisites. Check the online “Schedule of Classes” for possible pre-requisites.
BIOL 384. Ichthyology (4AS)
Ichthyology involves the study of fishes, the largest group of extant vertebrates on the planet. The content of this course is divided into three parts: (1) comparative anatomy and physiology; (2) systematics; (3) ecology and conservation. In the laboratory we will explore, in a comparative context, the relationship between form and function in various families of fishes. Additionally, each student will perform a detailed description of a fish species of choice. Special emphasis will be placed on osteology. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 106.
BIOL 387. Sensory Biology (4AS)
One of the key characteristics of life is the ability to react to environmental stimuli. Sensory biologists seek to understand how organisms interface with signals, transduce the information into neural codes, interpret this neural input and initiate appropriate behavioral responses. We will explore sensory systems at the molecular, cellular and neurophysiological levels using prokaryote, invertebrate and vertebrate models. Evolutionary and comparative contexts will be used to review a broad spectrum of sensory modalities (e.g., mechanosenses). Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 106 and BIOL 106L, or NEUR 201.
BIOL 398/498. Off-Campus Internship (4-16E)
A variety of off-campus experiential learning opportunities can be arranged through the Career Development Center. The off-campus internship is an individually designed experience that allows the student to explore the relationship between learning in the classroom and the practical application of knowledge in everyday work situations. Prerequisites: Admission to the Internship Program and approval of the academic adviser and the department chair. Credit/no credit grading.
BIOL 400. Genomics (4AS)
This course will survey recent advances in genomics including: transmission of genetic information, the structure of the genome and its components (genes, regulatory elements, microRNAs, etc), the evolution of genomes, the relationship between genomes and phenotypes including molecular population genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics. The lab will focus on the use of state-of-the-art sequencing data to understand genomes and their architecture. The course will be laboratory-intensive with many lecture periods being used as laboratory periods. Pre-requisite: BIOL271, or permission of instructor.
BIOL 401. Developmental Biology (4S)
A consideration of the development of plant and animal embryos, including the processes involved in cell and tissue differentiation. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 270, BIOL 270L.
BIOL 418. Virology (4F)
This course is designed for the upper-division biology and natural science student with an interest in the study of viruses. Lectures will encompass the areas of viral taxonomy, structure, life cycle, as well as detailed discussion of individual viruses that could include but not be limited to HIV, Ebola, Herpes, Rabies, influenza and oncogenic viruses. Historical as well as current literature will be presented in both lecture and discussion formats. Students will be expected to become familiar with reading and understanding original virological research papers. Prerequisite: BIOL 270, BIOL 270L. Co-requisite: CHEM 311.
BIOL 419. Neurobiology (4AS)
This course will offer students an introduction to the basic concepts in neurobiology. The content will range from molecular and cellular biology of the neuron and brain systems, to comparative neuroanatomy and brain development, to behavior. Integrated topics will include drugs of abuse, methods and drugs used in research, and the genetics and animal models of neurological disease. Learning will take place through lectures, demonstrations, laboratory exercises, discussions of outside readings and student presentations. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 106, BIOL 106L.
BIOL 425. Biochemistry II (4S)
A continuation of the material covered in CHEM 420 with an emphasis on metabolic processes. Prerequisite: CHEM 420. This course is cross-listed as CHEM 425. Students may receive credit for either course but not both.
BIOL 432. Limnology (4AS)
A survey of biological, chemical, and physical features of both flowing and standing freshwater systems. Laboratory includes numerous field experiences and stresses sampling techniques and analyses. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 271, BIOL 271L.
BIOL 435. Plant Physiology (4AF)
A study of the life processes of plants. We will discuss the physiological processes of higher plants (water relations, metabolism, and development) and consider the potential of modern biotechnological methods for improved agricultural production. In the laboratory, during the first part of the semester, students will learn up-to-date techniques used in plant physiology. Students will then design and carry out individual projects employing techniques they have learned. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisites: BIOL 106, BIOL 106L, and CHEM 106.
BIOL 436. Comparative Animal Physiology (4F)
The study of animal function, especially as it is related to survival in the organism’s natural environment. Animal functions at the level of the whole organism, the organ system, and the cell are discussed. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisites: BIOL 106, BIOL 106L, CHEM 106; PHYS 122, or PHYS 142, or PHYS 152 recommended.
BIOL 438. Cancer Cell Biology (4S)
An examination of the fundamental life processes occurring within cells. The cellular and molecular basis of life is discussed, with emphasis on how dysfunction of cellular processes leads to cancer. Topics include apoptosis, growth and replication, cytoskeletal and organelle structure and function, motility and adhesion, signaling and second-messenger systems, angiogenesis and various cancer treatments. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 270, BIOL 270L. CHEM 420 recommended.
BIOL 463. Ecology of Coastal Systems (4F)
This is a field-oriented course that examines physical, chemical and biological variables in estuarine and coastal marine ecosystems, and how they affect the distribution and ecology of aquatic and intertidal organisms. Methods of measuring physical, chemical and biological parameters will be discussed and demonstrated. Laboratory will include a student-designed research project on some aspect of estuarine or marine ecology. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 271, BIOL 271L.
BIOL 470. Immunology (4AF)
An introduction to the immune system, including innate, adaptive and memory immune responses. The following topics are examined in depth: inflammation, antigens and pattern recognition, complement, immune cell development, antibody and MHC gene structure and expression, antigen processing and presentation, T and B cell effector functions, allergies, transplantation, tolerance and autoimmunity. Prerequisite: BIOL 270, BIOL 270L. Co-requisite: CHEM 311.
BIOL 471. Molecular Biology (4S)
An integrated lecture and laboratory course on the theoretical basis and laboratory practice of modern molecular biology. An initial examination of the biochemistry of nucleic acids and the structure and expression of genes will be followed by an exploration of the recombinant DNA methods used to study genes. Using current research literature, students will also learn how molecular techniques are applied to problems in human genetics, medicine, plant biology and industry. Co-requisite: CHEM 311 or consent of instructor.
BIOL 472. Molecular Evolution (4AF)
Molecular evolution encompasses two basic areas: 1) the study of the rates and patterns of change that occur in DNA and proteins over evolutionary time, and 2) the study of the evolutionary history of genes and organisms. In this course we will examine these two broad areas by focusing on gene structure and mutation, population genetics, change in nucleotide sequences, molecular systematics and evolution by genome organization. Laboratory will reflect topics covered in lecture; students will become skilled in molecular methods, such as DNA sequencing, and various computational methods for analyzing molecular data (for example, PAUP, Maclade, etc.). Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 271, BIOL 271L.
BIOL 480. Topics in Biology (2-4)
An investigation of a specialized area of biology not normally covered in the biology curriculum. Topics will be selected by the biology faculty according to student interest. Students are encouraged to suggest topics for this course. May be repeated for credit if the topic is not repetitive. Lecture, or lecture and laboratory. Taught according to student demand and staff availability.
BIOL 485. Practicum in Biology Laboratory Instruction (2E)
Supervised experience in organizing, preparing, and teaching biology laboratories. Students are assigned to a specific biology course and will assist the instructor in one laboratory section each week. Grade evaluation will be based on attendance, preparation, teaching ability and specific tasks assigned by the instructor, such as designing a demonstration or experiment to illustrate a biological principle. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: Students must be third- or fourth-year biology or natural science majors and/or must obtain consent of the instructor.
BIOL 493/494. St. Mary’s Project in Biology (1-8E)
The project, which may take many forms, draws on and extends knowledge, skills of analysis and creative achievement developed through previous academic work. In consultation with a faculty mentor, the student initiates the project, identifies an area to be explored, and proposes a method of inquiry appropriate to the topic. Although the project may be within this discipline, across disciplines, or in established cross-disciplinary studies programs, students will be responsible for proposing a project that can gain the approval and support of the biology program and faculty. The project should include a reflection on the body of literature, or the conceptual framework to which it is a contribution. It must be shared with the College community through posters, presentations, or other means. This course is repeatable for up to eight credit hours and fulfills four of the 16 credit hours of upper-division biology courses required to earn a degree in biology. Prerequisite: Approval of faculty mentor and department chair of the student’s major(s). Consult faculty mentor for project guidelines.