Course Offerings

Courses currently offered by the Biology Department

Huggett_plant _phys_lab
Students in Brett Huggett’s Plant Physiology class (Bio 380) learn hands-on about how plants function.

Courses offered for the current and upcoming terms can be accessed through the Garnet Gateway. To help students plan for the future, projected course offerings for the current year and two years beyond are provided by the department. These projections are subject to change and are updated on a regular basis.

BIO 113 Marine Science

An integrated, interdisciplinary marine science overview encompassing physical, biological, and social aspects of the marine environment. Oceanography topics encompass origins and geological history of the oceans, structure of basins and sediments, ocean chemistry, as well as currents, waves, and tides. Biological subjects include diversity, physiology, and behavior of marine organisms, ecology of major marine communities, and global change biology. Social considerations include human impacts on marine environments (including fisheries) and conservation.

BIO 117 Plants and Human Affairs

Economic botany is the study of how humans use plants for food, shelter, medicine, or textiles. Ethnobotany is the study of traditional knowledge and customs of particular human cultures concerning the use of plants for sustenance and for medicinal and religious purposes. This course provides a broad overview of both disciplines, with an introduction to plant anatomy and biology. Students explore the human uses of plants (and fungi) for perfumes, spices, medicines, hallucinogens, fermentation products, oils, rubber, textiles, wood, sugar, cereals, and legumes, in addition to exploring how various indigenous cultures have used plants.

BIO 126 Science Communication

The ability to effectively communicate science-related topics to nonexperts is essential for a successful career in science, and also critical for fostering public support of taxpayer-funded science research programs. Using recent examples from the biological sciences, students explore various ways and means to communicate science to public audiences through creative project-based learning exercises, including written science journalism articles, public speaking to local community groups, and multimedia video productions. Students examine how narratives and storytelling can be more effective for public engagement and comprehension of science than the information deficit model, and inevitably learn a fair amount of biology along the way.

BIO 127 Emerging and Reemerging Infections across the Globe

Emerging infections are those that are newly described, appear in different geographic regions, or move into new host populations. Reemerging infections are those that were controlled in the past but are again of concern. In this course students examine the biology of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other organisms that cause these infections as well as the mechanisms by which they produce disease. Consideration is given to transmission patterns, treatments, and prevention. Topics may include infections of global concern such as malaria, tapeworms, dengue fever, HIV-AIDS, polio and other childhood diseases, cholera, and tuberculosis. Not open to students who have received credit for BIO s28 or FYS 236 or 262.

BIO 128 Out of the Sea

This course examines human existence through the lens of the world’s oceans. Students consider animal evolution on deep time scales and how signs of our marine origins can be found throughout our bodies. Next, they focus on more recent time scales, and evaluate the role of oceans in human migrations. In the process of “finding our roots,” a goal of this course is to demonstrate human connections, and to deconstruct typological concepts of “human race.” Finally, oceans control global climate and students explore human-induced changes to global environments, and how oceans might offer solutions to sustainable existence.

BIO 129 Human Nutrition

This course examines nutrition and its relationship to health and disease. Emphasis is on the chemical, anatomical, and physiological aspects of ingestion, digestion, absorption, and metabolism of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). This course explores the relationships between nutrition and disease and the role of nutrition to reinstate health. It also considers the relationship among nutrition, the scope of practice of different healthcare providers, and culture. This course fulfills the nutrition prerequisite for students planning to apply to health professions programs such as nursing, physician assistant, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. Recommended background: high school biology and chemistry.

BIO 132 Vaccines, Fasting, and Coconut Oil: Online Misinformation and Your Health

While we all care about our health, nearly all Americans now receive the majority of their science and health information from non-medical sources like social media or talking with their friends. Whether accidentally or by design, much of this information is misleading, inaccurate, or even harmful. In this course, students explore individual topics such as popular diets, vaccines, probiotics, and even GMO foods, and identify what major claims are being circulated. Then students use primary scientific sources to research and present their findings about which claims are supported by science and which are exaggerated or just plain wrong.

BIO 133 Biology of Cooperation

This course explores how and why organisms cooperate with a strong focus on scientific reasoning skills. Types of cooperation considered include mutually beneficial interactions among species, sociality and cooperation within species, and cooperation between cells in multicellular organisms. Students ask how evolution by natural selection can favor cooperation and altruistic behavior, exploring benefits of cooperation in a wide variety of biological contexts. Activities provide students with experience evaluating scientific information and using results of scientific research to assess alternative hypotheses about cooperation.

BIO 195A Lab-Based Biological Inquiry: Marine Biology in a Changing Ocean

In this course-based research experience in the biological sciences, students build research skills through open-ended, authentic experimentation or observations of the natural world. They gain experience reading scientific literature, formulating and testing hypotheses, analyzing data, interpreting results, communicating in disciplinary style, and working in teams. The marine biology version of the course is focused on the living (including humans) and nonliving influences on organisms that live in marine environments. Topics encompass ecology, evolution, and natural history. Intended for students majoring in biology, biochemistry, neuroscience, or environmental studies, or preparing for a health-related career. Several class meetings during the semester involve field trips that may run past the official scheduled time. Recommended corequisite(s): CHEM 107A or 108A. Not open to juniors or seniors.

BIO 195B Lab-Based Biological Inquiry: Host-Parasite Evolution

In this course-based research experience in the biological sciences, students build research skills through open-ended, authentic experimentation or observations of the natural world. Students gain experience reading scientific literature, formulating and testing hypotheses, analyzing data, interpreting results, communicating in disciplinary style, and working in teams. The host-parasite evolution version of the course is focused on how hosts and parasites interact to shape each other’s traits, with roots in ecology, evolution, immunology, and life history theory. Intended for students majoring in biology, biochemistry, neuroscience, or environmental studies, or preparing for a health-related career. Recommended corequisite(s): CHEM 107A or 108A. Not open to juniors or seniors.

BIO 195C Lab-Based Biological Inquiry: Symbiotic Microalgae

This is a course-based research experience in the biological sciences. Students build research skills through open-ended, authentic experimentation or observations of the natural world. Students gain practice reading scientific literature, formulating and testing hypotheses, analyzing data, interpreting results, communicating in disciplinary style, and working in teams. The symbiotic microalgae version of the course investigates the potential of microalgae isolated from animal host cells as renewable and sustainable sources of biofuels and bioactive medicinal products. Topics encompass areas of molecular and cellular biology, ecology, evolution, physiology, and biotechnology. The course is intended for students majoring in biology, biochemistry, neuroscience, or environmental studies, or preparing for a health-related career. Recommended co-requisite(s): CHEM 107A or 108A. Not open to juniors or seniors.

BIO 195D Lab-Based Biological Inquiry: Living in a Microbial World

This is a course-based research experience in the biological sciences. Students build research skills through open-ended, authentic experimentation or observations of the natural world. Students gain practice reading scientific literature, formulating and testing hypotheses, analyzing data, interpreting results, communicating in disciplinary style, and working in teams. The microbial community version of the course examines how and why microbial communities form in nature, the roles of such communities, and how they can be controlled. Topics encompass areas of microbiology, molecular and cellular biology, ecology, evolution, and biotechnology. Intended for students majoring in biology, biochemistry, neuroscience, or environmental studies, or preparing for health-related careers. Recommended corequisite(s): CHEM 107A or 108A. Not open to juniors or seniors.

BIO 195E Lab-Based Biological Inquiry: Sponge Fluid Dynamics

In this course-based research experience in the biological sciences, students build research skills through open-ended, authentic experimentation or observations of the natural world. Students gain practice reading scientific literature, formulating and testing hypotheses, analyzing data, interpreting results, communicating in disciplinary style, and working in teams. The sponge fluid dynamics version of the course investigates water flow around and through sponges, and the effects of sponge morphology on current-induced flow. Topics encompass areas of physiology, ecology, evolution and fluid dynamics. This course is intended for students majoring in biology, biochemistry, neuroscience, or environmental studies, or preparing for a health-related career. Recommended corequisite(s): CHEM 107A or 108A. Not open to juniors or seniors.

BIO 195F Lab-Based Biological Inquiry: Phenotypic Plasticity and the Changing World

This is a course-based research experience in the biological sciences. Students build research skills through open-ended, authentic experimentation or observations of the natural world, gaining practice reading scientific literature, formulating and testing hypotheses, analyzing data, interpreting results, communicating in disciplinary style, and working in teams. This version of the course explores how environmentally induced variation in morphology, physiology, and behavior influences animal performance and the role this plasticity may play as animals respond to climate change and pollution. Topics encompass areas of physiology, biochemistry, ecology, and evolution. Intended for students majoring in biology, biochemistry, neuroscience, or environmental studies, or preparing for a health-related career. Recommended corequisite(s): CHEM 107A or 108A. Not open to juniors or seniors.

BIO 195G Lab-Based Biological Inquiry: Growing Wildflowers

This is a course-based research experience in the biological sciences. Students build research skills through open-ended, authentic experimentation or observations of the natural world. Students gain practice reading scientific literature, formulating and testing hypotheses, analyzing data, interpreting results, communicating in disciplinary style, and working in teams. This version of the course is focused on developing effective seed propagation methods for native wildflowers needed to improve pollinator habitat in the Lewiston-Auburn area. Topics encompass ecology, evolution, physiology, and conservation biology. The course is intended for students majoring in biology, biochemistry, neuroscience, or environmental studies, or preparing for a health-related career; it is recommended that students taking BIO 195 simultaneously enroll in CHEM 107A or CHEM 108A. Not open to seniors.

BIO 195H Lab-Based Biological Inquiry: Cellular Neuroscience

This is a course-based research experience in the biological sciences. Students build research skills through open-ended, authentic experimentation or observations of the natural world. Students gain practice reading scientific literature, formulating and testing hypotheses, analyzing data, interpreting results, communicating in disciplinary style, and working in teams. The cellular neuroscience version of the course investigates how lipids regulate the activity of neuronal cells, and how a combination of experimental and computational approaches can be used to study cellular metabolic networks. Topics encompass areas of physiology, neuroscience, molecular and cellular biology, mathematical modeling, and evolution. Intended for students majoring in biology, biochemistry, neuroscience, or environmental studies, or preparing for a health-related career; it is recommended that students taking BIO 195 simultaneously enroll in CHEM 107 or CHEM 108. Not open to juniors or seniors.

BIO 195J Lab-Based Biological Inquiry: Life of a Forest

This is a course-based research experience in the biological sciences. Students build research skills through open-ended, authentic experimentation or observations of the natural world. Students gain practice reading scientific literature, formulating and testing hypotheses, analyzing data, interpreting results, communicating in disciplinary style, and working in teams. This version of the course is focused on how forests grow and survive with emphasis on plant biology, forest ecology, and mycology. Intended for students majoring in biology, biochemistry, neuroscience, or environmental studies, or preparing for a health-related career; it is recommended that students taking BIO 195 simultaneously enroll in CHEM 107 or CHEM 108. Not open to juniors and seniors.

BIO 195K Lab-Based Biological Inquiry: Poisons

This is a course-based research experience in the biological sciences. Students build research skills through open-ended, authentic experimentation or observations of the natural world. Students gain practice reading scientific literature, formulating and testing hypotheses, analyzing data, interpreting results, communicating in disciplinary style, and working in teams. This version of the course surveys historical and emerging poisons, examines their impact on human health, and tests the behavioral and molecular effects of exposure to poisons using animal models. Intended for students majoring in biology, biochemistry, neuroscience, or environmental studies, or preparing for a health-related career. Recommended corequisite(s): CHEM 107A or 108A. Not open to juniors or seniors.

BIO 202 Cellular Basis of Life

A view of life at the cellular and molecular levels drawing examples from organisms. Topics include the chemical basis of cellular life, cellular structure and function, cellular division, and the expression of genes in cells. Prerequisite(s): BIO 195 and CHEM 108A.

BIO 204 Biological Research Experience: Molecules to Ecosystems

This is an intermediate-level research experience in the biological sciences. Students learn and apply research methods using multiple approaches that span a range of disciplines in biology, from molecular to ecological. Research topics include a place-based component that engages students in the Lewiston-Auburn area or in nearby ecosystems. Students practice common conventions for communication within the biological sciences. Only open to sophomores and juniors. Prerequisite(s): BIO 195. Recommended background: CHEM 108A.

BIO 205 Biomechanics

This course explores how plants and animals interact with their physical world. Students draw on principles and tools of physics and mechanical engineering to characterize the functional implications of biological design and analyze how organisms generate and respond to flows, loads, and motions. Prerequisite(s): BIO 190 or 195. Recommended background: prior experience with calculus.

BIO 206 Evolution and Interactions of Life

An introduction to ecological and evolutionary patterns, principles, and processes. Topics include speciation, mechanisms of evolution, pivotal events in evolutionary history, adaptation to environmental challenges, life history strategies, population dynamics, community structure and species interactions, and ecosystem processes in a changing world. Only open to sophomores and juniors. Prerequisite(s): BIO 195 or ENVR 203.

BIO 213 Marine Botany

Marine animals, from tiny zooplankton to giant marine mammals, rely on marine “plants” (photosynthesizers) to form the base of productive, multilevel food webs. This course introduces students to the fascinating underwater world of marine photosynthesizers (microalgae, seaweeds, seagrasses, etc.), including key adaptations, ecology, physiology, life history strategies, and interactions with other species, including humans. Students consider conservation strategies and challenges and the effects of climate change on marine environments. They also gain experience in science communication, hone critical thinking skills, and have multiple opportunities to collaborate with peers. Prerequisite(s): BIO 190, 195, or ENVR 203.

BIO 217 Human Anatomy and Physiology I

This course explores human anatomy and physiology with an integrative approach that links all organ systems to the neuroendocrine system and examines the interactions among organ systems. Topics include the organization of the human body; the nervous system and special senses; and the endocrine, musculoskeletal, and integumentary systems. This course is intended to fulfill the human anatomy and physiology prerequisite for students planning to apply to health professions programs such as nursing, physician assistant, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. Students planning to apply to veterinary programs should enroll in BIO 311 and BIO 337. Prerequisite(s): BIO 190 or 195 and CHEM 108A.

BIO 218 Human Anatomy and Physiology II

A continuation of BIO 217, this course explores human anatomy and physiology with an integrative approach that links all organ systems to the neuroendocrine system and examines the interactions among organ systems. Topics include the cardiovascular, immune, respiratory, urinary, digestive, and reproductive systems. This course is intended to fulfill the human anatomy and physiology prerequisite for students planning to apply to health professions programs such as nursing, physician assistant, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. Students planning to apply to veterinary programs should enroll in BIO 311 and BIO 337. Prerequisite(s): BIO 217.

BIO 221 Plant and Fungal Diversity/Lab

This course provides an overview of the evolution and diversity of plants and fungi. In lecture and laboratory studies, students are introduced to the anatomical and functional characteristics that define each group with an emphasis on adaptations to the environment. Throughout the course, the ecological importance and human uses of plants and fungi are explored. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level biology course.

BIO 225 Biogeography

Biogeography is the study of spatiotemporal distribution of biota through the interplay between living systems and the environment. This course explores how biogeographic processes influence the evolution of species, communities, and ecosystems, and provides background and analytical techniques for studying the effects of global change on biota. The course combines evolutionary and ecological perspectives in the field of biogeography and shows how Earth history, contemporary environments, and evolutionary and ecological processes have shaped species distributions. General patterns in space and time across the Earth’s aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems are used to illustrate biogeography. This course examines how geographically-linked processes influence evolution and extinction of biota, and provide an overview of the techniques and applications for studying the interplay between geographic ranges, environment, evolution, and extinction. Prerequisite(s): BIO 195 or 204 or ENVR 203 or 240.

BIO 244 Biostatistics

A course in the use of statistics in the biological sciences, focusing on core concepts and skills necessary for the analysis and interpretation of data, including types of data, the fundamentals of study design, sampling distributions, the meaning and interpretation of p-values and confidence intervals, statistical errors, and power. Students learn to select and carry out appropriate statistical tests for a variety of simple datasets. Statistical methods considered include analyses such as binomial tests, Fisher’s exact tests, t- and chi-square tests, 1- and 2-way ANOVA, correlation and regression, and simple nonparametric techniques for numerical data. Prerequisite(s): BIO 190, 195, or ENVR 203, 240, or 310.

BIO 246 Conservation Biology

The work of conserving the ecological systems on which we and other species rely draws on many disciplines, including biology, policy, ethics, and other disciplines to conserve biological diversity. This course focuses on the biological aspects of conservation work while also considering their context within a complex, interdisciplinary endeavor. Students examine conservation at multiple scales, including the conservation of species, biological communities, and ecosystems. Classroom activities help students develop scientific reasoning skills and apply them to conservation problems. Readings and discussions encourage students to consider social, ethical, and other perspectives on conservation work. Prerequisite(s): BIO 190, 195 or ENVR 203, 240, or 310.

BIO 255A Mathematical Models in Biology

Mathematical models are increasingly important throughout the life sciences. This course provides an introduction to a variety of models in biology, with concrete examples chosen from biological and medical fields. Students work both theoretically and with computer software to analyze models, compute numerical results, and visualize outcomes. Prerequisite(s): MATH 205.

BIO 271 Dendrology and the Natural History of Trees/Lab

In this field-based course, students engage in the scientific study of the natural history and identification of trees and important shrubs native to New England, and some commonly planted non-native trees. Topics include the anatomy, function, taxonomy, biology, and uses of trees. Lecture topics support weekly outdoor laboratories, which may include trips to such field sites as the Saco Heath, Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary, and Wolfe’s Neck State Park. Study of the woody flora of New England serves as a foundation for further work in biology, environmental studies, conservation, or related fields. Prerequisite(s): BIO 117, 124, 190, 195, or ENVR 203.

BIO 301 Pathophysiology

This course introduces the students to the understanding of human diseases that most commonly affect us. Students learn about the most common pathological conditions by organ systems, examining the abnormal function of cells and body systems, clinical manifestations, diagnostic testing, and adaptations used by the organism to restore homeostasis. Students apply critical thinking skills to integrate how the malfunction of one organ affects other organ systems and the individual as whole, with the goal of expanding students’ knowledge of the human body. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: BIO 114, 217, 218, 311, 337, or NS/PY 160.

BIO 302 Restoration Ecology/Lab

Ecological restoration assists the recovery of ecosystems damaged or destroyed by human activities, improving habitat for threatened species and increasing the ability of natural systems to serve a wide variety of human needs. Students learn ecological concepts and practical approaches used in this important and growing field and explore the complex human values that shape restoration goals and practices. Course activities emphasize critical reading of the primary scientific literature, discussion of restoration goals and practices, and developing skills relevant to restoration work. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: BI/ES 246, 271, 306, 333; BIO 206, 221, 270, s32, s37; ENVR 221, 240, or 310.

BIO 303 Restoration Ecology

Ecological restoration assists the recovery of ecosystems damaged or destroyed by human activities, improving habitat for threatened species and increasing the ability of natural systems to serve a wide variety of human needs. Students learn ecological concepts and practical approaches used in this important and growing field and explore the complex human values that shape restoration goals and practices. Course activities emphasize discussion of restoration goals and practices and critical reading of the primary scientific literature. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: BI/ES 246, 271, 306, 333; BIO 206, 221, 270, s32, s37; ENVR 221, 240, or 310.

BIO 304 Biochemistry of Virus Replication and Host Cell Defense Systems

Viruses that infect eukaryotic cells have evolved a wide range of strategies to co-opt the biochemical machinery of host cells for the purpose of maximizing virus replication success. Eukaryotic cells have simultaneously evolved mechanisms to limit the extent to which viruses can establish successful infections. This course examines, in large part through the primary literature, the replication biochemistry used by representative examples of mammalian viruses and the cellular biochemical pathways designed to defend cells and organisms from viral takeover. Students are expected to apply what they learn by preparing a grant application narrative as a final project. Prerequisite(s): BIO 242, or BIO 195 and 202, and CHEM 218.

BIO 305 Gene Editing in Biology and Neuroscience

The development of genome editing techniques by molecular biologists has raised great hopes that a treatment for genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis or Huntington’s disease might finally be available. In this course, students analyze how genome editing techniques such as CRISPR/Cas9 have evolved, how they can be applied to study the role of individual genes or to alter mutant genes, and what approaches exist for the delivery of DNA-modifying enzymes into an organism. In addition, students use scientific publications and popular literature to discuss ethical implications of usage of genome editing techniques for society. Prerequisite(s): BIO 242, or BIO 195 and 202.

BIO 306 Disturbance Ecology

Many ecosystems have a long evolutionary history of being adapted to natural disturbances such as wildfire, insect outbreaks, and drought. These disturbance processes are required for such systems to persist. On the other hand, anthropogenic disturbances—nuclear disasters, invasive species, oil spills—can have profound effects on systems that are not evolutionarily prepared for them. In this course students examine the effects of natural and anthropogenic disturbances on ecological systems and discuss whether climate change is increasing disturbance severity. Students are introduced to concepts of disturbance probability and risk, and the complexities of conveying this information to the general public. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: BI/ES 246, 271; BIO 113, 128, 133, 206, 221, 270; ENVR 203, 221, 240, or 310. Open to juniors and seniors.

BIO 308 Neurobiology

An introduction to the molecular and cellular principles of neurobiology and the organization of neurons into networks. Also investigated are developmental and synaptic plasticity, analysis of signaling pathways in cells of the nervous system, and the development of neurobiological research, from studies on invertebrate systems to usage of stem cell-derived brain organoids and gene-editing techniques such as CRISPR/Cas9. Laboratories include analysis of nerve cell activity, computer simulation and modeling, and the use of molecular techniques in neurobiology. Prerequisite(s): BIO 242, or BIO 195 and 202. The course may be offered with a lab in some semesters; this is indicated in the Schedule of Courses.

BIO 310 Bioinspiration

Wind turbine blades inspired by insect wings are more efficient than conventional blades. The nose cones of Japanese bullet trains are modeled after kingfisher beaks to reduce noise pollution. Condiment bottles will soon feature a non-stick surface inspired by lotus leafs. Technology is increasingly looking to biology for design inspiration because evolution often yields elegant and robust solutions to real-world problems. In this project-based course, students explore examples of biological form and function, and use this knowledge to design a product that is inspired by nature to solve a problem faced by today’s society. Prerequisite(s): BIO 204 or 242 or PHYS 108.

BIO 311 Comparative Anatomy of the Chordates/Lab

An introduction to the comparative anatomy of the vertebrates and their kin, with laboratory study of both sharks and mammals. Prerequisite(s): BIO 190 or 195.

BIO 313 Marine Ecology

An examination of the complex ecological interactions that structure marine systems in a changing ocean. Habitats studied include intertidal, estuary, coral reef, deep sea, salt marsh, and pelagic. Laboratories include work in local marine communities and require occasional weekend trips. Prerequisite(s): BIO 206 or 270 or ENVR 203 or 240.

BIO 315 Microbiology/Lab

A survey of the structure, function, and diversity of microorganisms, including viruses, bacteria, and eukaryotic microbes, with emphasis on adaptations to specific niches. Particular attention is given to organisms of ecological, medical, and industrial interest. Prerequisite(s): BIO 242, or BIO 202 and 204.

BIO 321 Cellular Biochemistry

This course explores the biochemical mechanisms of cellular functions with the goal of extending student knowledge about the structure, synthesis, and metabolism of biological macromolecules and contextualizing the regulation of these molecules in healthy and diseased cells and tissues. The course does not satisfy a requirement for the biochemistry major. Not open to students who have received credit for CHEM 321 or 322. Prerequisite(s): BIO 242, or BIO 202 and 204. Strongly recommended: CHEM 217 and 218.

BIO 323E Philosophy of Evolution

Evolutionary theory raises many deep and complicated philosophical issues as well as questions about how science operates: Are concepts like function, selection, and optimality scientifically legitimate? How do we make inferences about the unobserved past? Can thinking about the evolutionary past help us understand how biological processes, such as the mind, work today? It also raises questions about who we are and where we come from: How do we relate to other species? Can we better understand our moral and intellectual strengths and weaknesses by looking to evolution? In this course, students approach these questions from an interdisciplinary perspective, including philosophy, biology, and the cognitive sciences. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: PHIL 211; two courses in philosophy; or one course in philosophy and one course in biology.

BIO 326 Cancer Biology/Lab

Despite a robust increase in cancer research, the World Health Organization predicts that incidents of cancer are still expected to rise 70% over the next two decades. All of these cancers begin as a single cell. This course is designed to introduce students to the cancer cell and the various processes through which this single preneoplastic cell establishes a clonal niche and metastasizes. Drawing on primary literature, students consider current topics in the field of cancer biology and how they relate to current therapeutic potentials. Prerequisite(s): BIO 242, or BIO 202 and 204.

BIO 328 Developmental Biology/Lab

Developmental biology is a dynamic field that addresses questions related to how organisms come into being and grow. This course introduces students to developmental biology with a particular emphasis on the molecular basis for developmental events. The course focuses on the mechanisms involved in making cells that are different from one another (cell differentiation) and the associated mechanisms by which patterns are created (morphogenesis). In the lab, students explore the phenomenon of development in several of the most prominently utilized model organisms. The lab culminates in an independent project. Prerequisite(s): BIO 242, or BIO 202 and 204.

BIO 331 Molecular Biology/Lab

A laboratory and lecture introduction to the molecular biology of genes and chromosomes. The course emphasizes current research about gene structure and function, experimental techniques, and eukaryotic genetics. Prerequisite(s): BIO 242, or BIO 202 and 204.

BIO 333 The Genetics of Conservation Biology/Lab

Conserving biodiversity is important at multiple scales, including genetic variation within species. Does a species have enough variation to evolve in a changing world? Are individuals differentially adapted to local environmental variation? In a captive population of a rare animal, which individuals should be bred to minimize the erosion of genetic variation? Lectures and labs cover the fundamentals of classical, molecular, and population genetics, applying them to current issues in biological conservation. Prerequisite(s): BIO 202, 206, 242 or 270.

BIO 336 The Genetics of Conservation Biology

Conserving biodiversity is important at multiple scales, including genetic variation within species. Does a species have enough variation to evolve in a changing world? Are individuals differentially adapted to local environmental variation? In a captive population of a rare animal, which individuals should be bred to minimize the erosion of genetic variation? Lectures and labs cover the fundamentals of classical, molecular, and population genetics, applying them to current issues in biological conservation. Prerequisite(s): BIO 202, 242, 206, or 270.

BIO 337 Animal Physiology/Lab

The major physiological processes of animals, including digestion, circulation, respiration, excretion, locomotion, and both neural and hormonal regulation. Examples are drawn from several species and include a consideration of the cellular basis of organ-system function. Prerequisite(s): BIO 202 or 242.

BIO 342 Ecological and Evolutionary Physiology

This course explores the interaction between the environment and physiological phenotypes in animals while emphasizing the role of evolutionary processes in shaping physiological variation. Topics may include the evolution of endothermy, adaptation to extreme environments (e.g., high altitudes, deserts), and controversial concepts such as symmorphosis. Readings from the primary scientific literature highlight diverse methodological approaches used to understand the evolution of physiological traits, such as comparative and phylogenetic analysis, selection experiments, genetic and phenotypic manipulation, and quantitative genetics. Prerequisite(s): BIO 206 or 270.

BIO 344 Genetics

Genetics is the study of information transfer across generations. In this course, students examine the molecular basis of genetic information, consider the consequences of mutations, identify common patterns of inheritance, apply probability and statistics to understand genetic problems, and learn about techniques used commonly in genetic research, screening, and testing. Prerequisite(s): BIO 195 and 202.

BIO 351 Immunology

This course focuses on the human immune system using selected clinical applications (case studies) to understand the immune system. This course considers the cells, tissues, and molecules of the immune system and their purpose in the human body. Students discuss the basic biology of the innate and adaptive immunity, formation and activation of B-cells and T-cells as well as the structure and function of antibodies, antigen recognition, and immunity to microorganisms. Other topics include hypersensitivities, immunodeficiencies, transplantation, cancer, immunotherapy, and vaccinology. Prerequisite(s): BIO 202. Recommended background: coursework in microbiology and human anatomy and physiology.

BIO 360 Independent Study

BIO 365 Special Topics

BIO 380 Plant Physiology/Lab

A study of organismal and cellular functions important in the life of green plants. Topics include mineral nutrition, water relations, carbon assimilation, metabolism, and regulatory processes with an emphasis on how plant structure and function are influenced by pressures in the growing environment or by interactions with other organisms. Weekly laboratories provide a research-led approach to understanding physiological processes in plants. Prerequisite(s): BIO 190 or 195 and CHEM 108A in addition to one of the following courses: BIO 221, 242, 270, or BI/ES 271.

BIO 457 Senior Thesis

Permission of the department and the thesis advisor are required. Students register for BIO 457 in the fall semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both BIO 457 and 458.

BIO 458 Senior Thesis

Permission of the department and the thesis advisor are required. Students register for BIO 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both BIO 457 and 458.

BIO 460 Junior Seminar

Reading original biological literature is an essential skill for biology majors. Focusing on the topics addressed by invited speakers for the semester’s biology seminar program, students review articles, write analyses, and contribute oral presentations in a small group format. Students attend afternoon and/or evening seminars and discuss the content, context, and presentation of original investigations. Prerequisite(s): BIO 190, 195, 202, or 242, and 206 or 270. One of these courses may be taken concurrently, only by permission of the instructor.

BIO 470 Seminar and Research in Ecology

Laboratory, field, or library study of a current research topic in experimental ecology. A topic is selected with reference to the research interests of the instructor. Prerequisite(s): Biology 270.

BIO 472 Seminar and Research in Physiology/Lab

Laboratory or library study of a current research topic in animal physiology. A topic is selected with reference to the research interests of the instructor. Only open to seniors. Recommended background: BIO 337.

BIO 476 Seminar and Research in Evolutionary Biology

Laboratory or library study of a current research topic in evolutionary biology. A topic is selected in reference to the research interests of the instructor. Open to seniors only.

BIO 477 Seminar and Research in Microbiology/Lab

Laboratory and library study of a current research topic in microbiology or immunology. Topics are selected with reference to the research interests of the instructor and students. Open to seniors only.

BIO S14 The Ecology of Place: Field Methods for Coastal Research at Bates-Morse Mountain

This course immerses students in coastal issues facing Maine with the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area and Phippsburg as the course setting. Students examine community dependence on fisheries and aquaculture and learn how to assess the health of the environment, including salt marshes, mudflats, the rocky intertidal zone, sandy beaches, and coastal forests. By combining the study of human and natural systems, students consider ways to manage resources within the broader context of a changing environment. The course introduces social-ecological systems theory and field methods including basic experimental design, data collection, and analysis. This course includes overnight stays at the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area.

BIO S27 Ecology is Everywhere

This course explores the foundations of ecology through readings, online resources, and a hands-on, community-based project that allows students to explore the ecology of their own geographic location. Students design a natural history field guide to the student’s “ecosystem,” appropriate for a general audience, helping students combine their knowledge of ecology with effective science communication techniques. Recommended background: one college-level science course.

BIO S30 Ecology and Natural History of the Maine Coast

This course examines the ecology and natural history of the coast of Maine using a combination of experiential learning (field trips, lab activities, group research project) and interactive lectures and presentations by guest speakers. Students have the opportunity to experience the ecology and natural history of the Maine coast, including saltmarsh, sandy beach, mudflat, and rocky shore ecosystems. This course includes at least one community-engaged learning activity. Students gain skills in the identification of local marine flora and fauna, experimental design and hypothesis testing, and science communication to varied audiences. Prerequisite(s): one biology course.

BIO S31 Avian Biology/Lab

Birds are among the most conspicuous animals in the environment, occupying terrestrial and aquatic niches from the tropics to the poles. This course examines the origin and diversification of birds and explores avian morphology, physiology, and behavior in an ecological and evolutionary context. Topics include flight, communication, feeding, migration, and reproduction. The course includes a laboratory and may require several extended field trips. Prerequisite(s): BIO 206 or 270.

BIO S39A Biological Skills: Rodents in Research

This course is designed to build particular skills in an area of biology, with a general aim of preparing students for summer internships and careers in the biological sciences. The Rodents in Research version of this course builds skills in working with rodents in a laboratory setting. Topics may include animal welfare laws and policies, routine care and handling of rodents, aseptic surgical procedures, and other best practices to enhance the quality of research. The course is intended for students majoring in biology but may be relevant to students in biochemistry or neuroscience, or preparing for health-related careers. Prerequisite(s): BIO 195.

BIO S39B Biological Skills: Field Ecology

This course is designed to build particular skills in an area of biology, with a general aim of preparing students for summer internships and careers in the biological sciences. The Field Ecology version of this course builds skills in observing, counting, and analyzing ecological populations and communities. Topics may include species identification, point counts, community diversity indices, and approaches to quantifying behavior as well as best practices in data analysis and scientific communication. The course is intended for students majoring in biology but may be relevant to students in biochemistry, neuroscience, earth and climate sciences, or environmental studies, or preparing for health-related careers. Prerequisite(s): BIO 195.

BIO S39C Biological Skills: Microscopy and Microdissection

This course is designed to build particular skills in an area of biology, with a general aim of preparing students for summer internships and careers in the biological sciences. The microdissection and microscopy (M&M) version of this course builds skills in fine dissection and confocal microscopy. Topics may include fly husbandry and genetics, formulating a scientific hypothesis/question, setting up experiments to address the question, data analysis, observations, deriving conclusions, and communication. The course is intended for students majoring in biology but may be relevant to students in biochemistry, neuroscience, earth and climate sciences, or environmental studies, or preparing for health-related careers. Prerequisite(s): BIO 195.

BIO S50 Independent Study

FYS 461 Gut Microbiome: The Next Frontier

The “gut microbiome” is a burgeoning frontier in medical research. Vastly out-numbering human cells, the diverse world of bacteria, protozoa, fungi, and viruses that inhabits our gut is being identified as a key player in moderating health. This seminar looks at how human behaviors, diets, and medications influence how microbes mediate mood, energy, resistance to infection, and overall health. Can we shape our own gut microbiome in a way that keeps us healthy?

FYS 465 Communicating Science to the Public

The ability to effectively communicate science research to non-experts encourages sound public policy and is an essential skill for those interested in pursuing a career in science, journalism, or government. In this course, students critically evaluate primary literature in the biological sciences and consider various methods for communicating science research to public audiences through project-based learning exercises, including written blog posts, science journalism articles, and public presentations. Students become familiar with the scientific method of inquiry and examine how narratives and storytelling can be more effective for public engagement and comprehension of science than the information deficit model.

FYS 486 Wildlife Diseases: The Nature of Parasitism

How and why do wild animals get sick? What threats do infectious diseases pose for wildlife? Are those pathogens dangerous to humans? This course introduces students to the dynamics of wildlife diseases, with roots in ecology, evolution, public health, and the changing relationships between humans and nature.

FYS 497 Community Science of Brain Injury in Sports

The risk of concussion-causing head injuries in professional, collegiate, and high school sports competitions are a topic of intense debate in society. In this course, students analyze the complex of sports-related concussions and the risks for human health from different perspectives, including an exploration of the neurobiological foundations of concussion-induced changes in brain functionality, and an analysis of the occurrence and handling of concussions in athletes from local sport teams. For this purpose, students work with local schools to gather information about the risk of concussions in school sports and changes in training practices aiming at circumvention of concussions.

FYS 508 The Rest of Nature through Human Eyes

Although our connections to the rest of nature may be hidden from us, we remain reliant on a complex network of interactions with other species. As we shape their environments, other species influence us in turn, feeding us, protecting us, destroying, sustaining, and inspiring us. How are we to understand the living world of which we are a part? In this seminar, students explore different ways of learning about other species, with a particular emphasis on scientific methods, and communicate what they have learned through a variety of genres.

FYS 520 Vaccines

From the first immunizations in ancient Chinese medicine to the social and medical campaigns that led to the eradication of smallpox, and during the current search for a vaccine for COVID-19, vaccines have been controversial. On the one hand, vaccines are the single-most effective way to prevent disease; on the other hand, people often fear and resist them. If vaccines are so effective, why don’t we have more? As students explore the past, present, and future of immunizations, they explore the biological bases of vaccines and the difficulties in developing effective ones as well as the ethics of vaccination development and public health policies. Students also examine how vaccination programs in the United States compare with those in other countries and why some programs are more successful than others. How vaccines have shaped human life and why humans resist vaccines despite their efficacy are also considered.

FYS 521 Physiology of Climate Change

Animals respond to environmental change across multiple time domains, from acute responses to phenotypic plasticity to evolutionary adaptation. How do these diverse responses stack up against the rate and magnitude of anthropogenic climate change? This course evaluates evidence that animals are already responding to climate change and considers their capacity for future responses. Which species are likely to be successful, which species may not, and how confident are we in these predictions? Along the way, students discuss the implications of climate change for human health.