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Current Biology Courses 

Only one course per semester, alternating years

Comparative Physiology

BIOL 424 / graduate section, 3 credits

I use a comparative approach to examine the physiology of animals including major physiological systems, with an emphasis on vertebrates. Topics to be covered include metabolic, temperature, osmotic and ionic regulation; respiration and circulatory transport, digestive, muscle, nervous, and locomotor systems; endocrine regulation and biological rhythms. We will further examine how physiological systems are integrated and thus allow animals to respond, physiologically, in different environment.

Prerequisite course is mammalian physiology. Because this is not an introductory course, you should brush up on the basics before the start of the semester.

Developmental Biology

Biol 424/ graduate section, 3 credits

I use the Evo-devo approach to explore the intricacies of development.  At the end of the course you should be able to: 

1) Name, describe and order the main stages of development common to most multicellular organisms. 2) Describe the main anatomical changes that occur during development. 3) Identify the cellular behaviors that lead to morphological change during development. 4) Describe the hierarchy of gene activation that occurs in early Drosophila development. 5) Understand how gene activation plays a role in differentiation and development. 6) Describe the unique characteristics of the Hox genes and explain how they act as master regulators of development in multicellular organisms. 7) • Describe the main signaling pathways that play important roles in development. 8) Explain how embryonic stem cells and their alternatives can be used in medical treatments.

Perquisite courses: Foundations of Cellular and Molecular Biology and Foundations of  Ecology and Evolution.

Biology and evolution of sex for non-biology majors

Biol 115. 3 credits

This course will examine the biological basis of sex determination and resultant gendered behavior in all animals, including humans. We will discuss how and why sex evolved, how different organisms express (& often change) their gender, and what selection pressures shape mating systems and mate selection. In addition, we will examine how gender-specific selection influences offspring care and attachment, aggression and friendship. Throughout the course, we will evaluate which principals can and cannot be extrapolated to human behavior as well as how we as humans project our ideas of gender onto our study of the natural world. We will critically discuss contemporary articles concerning gender in the popular media.

No prerequisites.

Science in the news

(currently running as a non-credit journal club)

We discuss ALL aspects of science: from physics to evolution from chemistry and medicine, psychology and astronomy. If it is in the news we talk about it.

We decide a popular science article on Mondays from the previous week, and discuss it on Fridays (hopefully at a coffeeshop). Outside material is encouraged! The presenter must come prepared with background knowledge, and the attendees must come with questions.

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