Biology Courses

The courses listed below count toward the biology major or minors unless otherwise noted. Some courses in the department are offered in alternate years and are so designated below. Please consult with the instructor or with the Class Schedule, available online or at the Registrar's Office, to determine when a course will next be offered.

111 First-Year Colloquium in Biology (1/4)
Prerequisites: First-year standing and invitation of instructor.
Seminar in which selected topics and research papers are reviewed and discussed. Offered on credit/no credit basis. Does not count toward the biology major or minors. Two-hour discussion. Staff.

187, 188, 189 Selected Topics (1/4, 1/2, 1)
An examination of subjects or areas not included in other courses. Staff.

195 Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity (1)
Focuses on whole organisms and their evolutionary and ecological relationships. Evolutionary processes, biological diversity, conservation biology and human impacts on ecology and biodiversity are major themes. Skills introduced are hypothesis testing, experimental design, use of primary literature in writing assignments and basic statistics. Lecture and laboratory. Staff.

206 Tropical Forest and Reef Biology (1)
Prerequisites: Biology 195 and permission of instructors.
An introduction to rain forests, mangrove islands and coral reefs of the neotropics. Students meet weekly throughout the semester and must spend spring break in Belize, Central America, where intensive field trips and individual projects are conducted. Counts as an elective toward the biology major, but does not satisfy the field work or seminar requirements. Lecture/discussion. Offered in alternate years. Team-taught.

207 Biology of Subtropical Florida (1)
Prerequisite: Biology 195 and permission of instructors.
An introduction to the ecosystems of subtropical Florida. Students meet weekly throughout the semester and must spend spring break in Florida, where intensive field trips and individual projects are conducted. Counts as an elective toward the biology major, but does not satisfy the field work or seminar requirements. Lecture/discussion. Offered in alternate years. Team-taught.

210 Cell and Molecular Biology (1)
Prerequisite: Biology 195. Prerequisite or corequisite: Chemistry 121.
Focuses on organisms at the cellular and molecular levels, including biological chemistry, bioenergetics and metabolism, Mendelian and molecular genetics, cellular communication and the molecular control of the cell cycle. Builds upon skills from Biology 195 to expand abilities in hypothesis testing and experimental design to produce an individual research paper, and to carry out more advanced statistical analyses. Lecture and laboratory. Staff.

211 Sophomore Research (1/2)
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing and invitation of instructor.
Independent research projects for invited sophomores. Staff.

215 Aquatic Botany (1)
Prerequisite: Biology 195.
A study of representative algae, aquatic fungi and bryophytes, emphasizing the relationships of structure and function. Reproductive strategies and environmental physiology are discussed. Taxonomy is based upon current hypotheses of evolutionary relationships. Lecture and laboratory. Offered in alternate years. Schmitter.

216 Vascular Plants (1)
Prerequisite: Biology 195.
Morphology, taxonomy and distribution of vascular plants. Representatives of local flora receive special attention in laboratory and field studies. Lecture and laboratory. Skean.

225 Invertebrate Zoology (1)
Prerequisite: Biology 195.
Field-oriented course emphasizing evolution, classification, ecology, behavior and natural history of invertebrate animals. Class involves field trips and use of the Whitehouse Nature Center. Lecture and laboratory. McCurdy.

227 Vertebrate Zoology (1)
Prerequisite: Biology 195.
Classification, behavior, ecology and evolution of the vertebrates. Mammals and birds are emphasized more than other groups. Lecture and laboratory. Kennedy.

236 Ecology for K-8 Pre-service Teachers (1)
Prerequisite: Admission to the elementary teacher certification program.
A field-based ecology course on topics including ecosystems, energy flow, evolution, population dynamics, community ecology and human impacts on the environment. Specific focus on the Michigan Science Curriculum Standards and Benchmarks. Taught at the Pierce Cedar Creek Institute near Hastings, Michigan. Lecture/discussion and laboratory. Skean.

237 Ecology (1)
Prerequisite: Biology 195.
A study of interactions between organisms and their environment including adaptation, competition, parasitism, population and community dynamics and the ecosystem concept. Class involves field trips and use of the Whitehouse Nature Center. Lecture and laboratory. Lyons-Sobaski.

240 Conservation Biology (1)
Prerequisite: Biology 195.
Presents concepts and issues concerning the causes and consequences of the loss of biodiversity. Emphasizes the science of conservation biology including the evolutionary potential of populations and species, as well as the history of the field, international efforts to conserve species, and the current status of policies such as the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Includes a conservation-related outreach project. Lyons-Sobaski.

248 Ornithology (1)
Prerequisite: Biology 195.
The biology of birds with emphasis on evolution, behavior, ecology and conservation. Field experience in identification, population studies, bird banding, song recording and analysis, and carrying out a research project. Students will learn to critically evaluate the ornithological literature. Lecture and laboratory. Kennedy.

287, 288, 289 Selected Topics (1/4, 1/2, 1)
Prerequisite: Biology 195.
An examination of subjects or areas not included in other courses. Staff.

300 Genetics (1)
Prerequisite: Biology 210. Not open to students who have completed Biology 317.
Mechanisms of inheritance and of gene structure and function in living organisms. Both classical and molecular genetics are considered as they relate to function. Staff.

301 Cell Biology (1)
Prerequisite: Biology 300 or permission of instructor.
An in-depth investigation of biological systems at the cellular, subcellular and molecular levels. Studies of a variety of cell types and energy relations within cells. Lecture emphasizes metabolism, metabolic regulation and cellular diversity. Laboratory emphasizes measurement and analysis of subcellular features. Offered in alternate years. Schmitter.

309 Vertebrate Paleontology (1)
Prerequisite: Geology 103 or Biology 195.
Must be taken as Biology 309 for credit toward the major. Lecture and laboratory.
Same as Geology 309. Bartels.

310 Evolution (1)
Prerequisite: Biology 300 or permission of instructor.
A study of the course and processes of organic evolution. Topics include the history of ideas of evolution, population genetics, population ecology, speciation, adaptation, coevolution, evolutionary rates, evolutionary convergences, mass extinctions and biogeography. Lecture and laboratory. Offered in alternate years. McCurdy.

312 Advanced Genetics Laboratory (1/2)
Prerequisite: Biology 300 or permission of instructor; Chemistry 211 recommended. Not open to students who have completed Biology 317.
Project-based laboratory course that will introduce students to general techniques in genetics. Under faculty guidance, students will design and carry out their own experiments, read primary literature, and present results in written and oral format. Staff.

314 Comparative Anatomy (1)
Prerequisite: Biology 300 or permission of instructor.
Comparative anatomical study of vertebrate organ systems, their development and evolution. Lecture and laboratory. Kennedy.

321 Medical Microanatomy (1)
Prerequisite: Biology 300 or permission of instructor.
Microanatomy of primate cells and tissues as depicted by light and electron microscopy. Relationships of structure and function are stressed, as are medical conditions resulting from cell or tissue damage. Lecture and laboratory. Schmitter.

324 Developmental Biology (1)
Prerequisite: Biology 300 or permission of instructor.
The genetic, molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying early development of multicellular organisms. Potential topics include fertilization and early development, gene regulation during development, neural pathfinding, cell signaling, cell division and growth, organogenesis, limb development, metamorphosis, regeneration, sex determination, the evolution of development, genomics, and stem cell research. Lecture and laboratory. Albertson.

332 Microbiology (1)
Prerequisite: Biology 300 or permission of instructor; Chemistry 211 recommended.
Introduction to the microbial world. Explores the morphology, physiology, genetics and diversity of microorganisms. Stresses the relationships among microbes and other organisms, including humans. Lecture and laboratory. Olapade.

337 Biochemistry (1)
Prerequisites: Chemistry 211; and Biology 300 or Chemistry 212; or permission of instructor.
Same as Chemistry 337. Must be taken as Biology 337 for credit toward the major. Lecture. Rohlman.

341 General Physiology (1)
Prerequisite: Biology 300 or permission of instructor; Chemistry 211 recommended.
The processes which contribute to the maintenance of dynamic equilibria of cells and how those processes relate to the organismal level of plants and animals. Lecture and laboratory. Rabquer.

362 Molecular Biology (1)
Prerequisite: Biology 300 or permission of instructor; Chemistry 211 recommended.
The theory and practice of modern molecular genetics will be explored. Techniques potentially considered include: DNA cloning, DNA hybridization, the polymerase chain reaction, DNA sequencing, and the expression of cloned genes in bacteria. Lecture/discussion and laboratory. Offered in alternate years. Saville.

365 Environmental Microbiology (1)
Prerequisite: Biology 300 or permission of instructor.
Microbes in action: bioremediation, biodegradation, cycling of nutrients and energy flow, biopesticides and phytopathogens, spread of antibiotic resistance, molecular ecology of infectious diseases, microbial symbionts and extremophiles. Explores these and other topics through discussions, field trips and experimental work. Lecture and laboratory. Offered in alternate years. Olapade.

366 Medical Endocrinology (1)
Prerequisites: Biology 300 or permission of instructor, Chemistry 211; Biology 341 or Chemistry 337 strongly recommended.
Examination of the evolution of endocrinological systems, and the modes of action, mechanisms of control, and interactions of selected human hormonal systems under normal and compromised (disease) states. Offered in alternate years. Staff.

367 Virology (1)
Prerequisite: Biology 300 or permission of instructor.
Are viruses living organisms or not? Addresses this and many more questions in molecular architecture, replication strategies, transmission modes, pathogenicity, carcinogenicity and usefulness of viruses. Lecture and discussion. lecture and laboratory. Offered in alternate years. Olapade.

368 Behavioral Ecology (1)
Prerequisite: Biology 300 or permission of instructor.
Patterns and functions of behavior examined from an ecological-evolutionary perspective. Topics include history of animal behavior, behavioral genetics, habitat selection, foraging, antipredator behavior, cooperation and altruism, communication, sexual selection, mating systems, parental behavior and optimality models. Independent field studies of living animals. Lecture and laboratory. Offered in alternate years. McCurdy.

369 Population Genetics (1)
Prerequisite: Biology 300 or permission of instructor.
An introduction to population genetics, the study of gene frequencies and selection pressures within natural or managed populations. Topics include understanding concepts of genetic variation, recombination, linkage disequilibrium, selection, gene flow, genetic drift and mutation, as well as quantitative genetics. Lyons-Sobaski.

371 Pathophysiology (1)
Prerequisites: Biology 210, Chemistry 121; Chemistry 211 recommended.
Develops an understanding of the physiological basis of disease. Relates changes in function that contribute to disease states in otherwise normally functioning physiological systems. Presents the functional anatomy and physiological basis of "healthy" human systems in a normal state, and then examines compromises that result from disease states. Intended for students planning to pursue post-graduate studies in programs such as nursing, physician assistant, physical therapy and medicine. Rabquer.

387, 388, 389 Selected Topics (1/4, 1/2, 1)
Prerequisite: Biology 300 or permission of instructor.
An examination of subjects or areas not included in other courses. Staff.

391, 392 Internships (1/2, 1)
Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing and permission of department.
No more than one unit may be counted toward the major. Offered on a credit/no credit basis. Staff.

401, 402 Seminar (1/2, 1)
Prerequisites: Biology 300 and junior or senior standing, or permission of instructor.
Topics in diverse areas of biology. Recent topics have included genes and cancer, literature and medicine, conservation biology, and biology of sharks and their relatives. Discussion. Staff.

411, 412 Directed Study (1/2, 1)
Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing and approval by both the faculty sponsor and department chair of a research proposal prior to registration.
Independent research by an individual student under the direction of a staff member. A detailed summary research paper or other appropriate evidence is required at the end of the work. Normally offered on a credit/no credit basis. Staff.