Course Offerings

Winter 2021

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Fundamentals of Biology

BIOL 111 - Ayoub, Nadia A.

An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication applied to topics that vary among sections and terms. Specific subjects, chosen from within the scope of modern biological investigation according to the expertise of individual instructors, are examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. This course, and its companion laboratory, are prerequisites for all higher level biology courses.

Fundamentals of Biology

BIOL 111 - Blythe, Sarah N.

An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication applied to topics that vary among sections and terms. Specific subjects, chosen from within the scope of modern biological investigation according to the expertise of individual instructors, are examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. This course, and its companion laboratory, are prerequisites for all higher level biology courses.

Fundamentals of Biology

BIOL 111 - I'Anson, Helen

An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication applied to topics that vary among sections and terms. Specific subjects, chosen from within the scope of modern biological investigation according to the expertise of individual instructors, are examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. This course, and its companion laboratory, are prerequisites for all higher level biology courses.

Fundamentals of Biology

BIOL 111 - Marsh, David M.

An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication applied to topics that vary among sections and terms. Specific subjects, chosen from within the scope of modern biological investigation according to the expertise of individual instructors, are examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. This course, and its companion laboratory, are prerequisites for all higher level biology courses.

Biology Laboratory

BIOL 113 - Winder, Charles T.

A laboratory course to accompany BIOL 111. Students are trained in basic techniques of biological research by demonstrations and investigatory exercises, including data analysis and scientific communication.

Biology Laboratory

BIOL 113 - Lanier, Leah S.

A laboratory course to accompany BIOL 111. Students are trained in basic techniques of biological research by demonstrations and investigatory exercises, including data analysis and scientific communication.

Introduction to Data Science in Python

BIOL 187 - Toporikova, Natalia

In this era of data science, major discoveries in science and medicine are being made by exploring datasets in novel ways using computational tools. The challenge in the biomedical sciences is the same as in Silicon Valley: knowing what computational tools are right for a project and where to get started when exploring large data sets. In this course, students learn to use Python, a popular open-source programming language and Jupyter Notebook data-analysis environment, to explore data interactively. Case studies are drawn from across the sciences and medicine. Topics include data visualization, physiological modeling, image analysis, and statistical inference on large data sets. We also emphasize best practices in coding, data handling, and adherence to the principles of reproducible research.

Statistics for Biology and Medicine

BIOL 201 - Marsh, David M.

This course examines the principles of statistics and experimental design for biological and medical research. The focus is on the practical and conceptual aspects of statistics, rather than mathematical derivations. Students completing this class will be able to read and understand research papers, to design realistic experiments, and to carry out their own statistical analyses using computer packages.

Statistics for Biology and Medicine

BIOL 201 - Toporikova, Natalia

This course examines the principles of statistics and experimental design for biological and medical research. The focus is on the practical and conceptual aspects of statistics, rather than mathematical derivations. Students completing this class will be able to read and understand research papers, to design realistic experiments, and to carry out their own statistical analyses using computer packages.

Cell Biology

BIOL 211 - Lanier, Leah S.

This course will focus on understanding the components of a cell, the internal organization of a cell, how they move, how they function, how they respond to cues from their external environment, and the limits of our current knowledge. Lecture topics will include the internal organization of a cell, structure and function of DNA, RNA and proteins, membrane and cytoskeleton structure function, protein sorting, membrane transport, cell cycle and cell-cycle control, cell signaling and communication, and cell death. The lab component reinforces the lecture by emphasizing the experimental approaches to the study of cell biology. Laboratory course.

Biochemistry of the Cell

BIOL 215 - Whitworth, Gregg B.

A study of the molecular basis of cell structure and function. Topics include biomolecular structure and chemistry, enzyme kinetics and inhibition, bioenergetics, intermediary metabolism and its regulation, membrane structure and transport, membrane receptors and signal transduction, and the endomembrane system. The laboratory stresses techniques for use in current biochemical research. Laboratory course.

Reproductive Physiology

BIOL 255 - I'Anson, Helen

An examination of sex as a biological phenomenon with consideration of the genetic (chromosomal), embryological, endocrine, and neurological bases of sexual development, differentiation, and identity.

Anatomy and Physiology

BIOL 260 - Blythe, Sarah N.

This course is an introduction to the structure, function, and homeostatic properties of the major organ systems of humans.  Laboratory exercises include basic histology, kinesthetic clay modeling of human musculature, and standard diagnostic medical tests such as urinalysis and spirometry. Laboratory course.

Topics in Biology

BIOL 297A - Sackman, Andrew M.

Topics vary with instructor and term.

Winter 2021, BIOL 297A-01: Topics in Biology: Evolutionary Medicine (3). Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and BIOL 113. Sackman.

Topics in Biology

BIOL 297A - Hurd, Lawrence E. (Larry)

Topics vary with instructor and term.

Topics in Biology

BIOL 297A - Lanier, Leah S.

Topics vary with instructor and term.

Microbiology

BIOL 310 - Simurda, Maryanne C.

A broadly based course in the study of microorganisms, specifically: prokaryotic cells, microbial diversity, and the effects of microbes in the world, in society and in the bodies of animals and plants. It concerns the central role of microbiology as a basic biological science that enhances our understanding of the biology of higher organisms. Laboratory course.

Conservation Genetics

BIOL 322 - Sackman, Andrew M.

A study of the central issues of population genetics and their application to species preservation and conservation. Topics include genetic surveys of rare or threatened species; population structure and dispersal; inferring population histories from genetic data; phylogenetics of threatened species' groups; hybridization between species; the use of genetic data in captive breeding programs and the prosecution of endangered species legislation; and the use of biotechnologies, such as cloning.

Experimental Botany: Global Climate Change

BIOL 330 - Hamilton, Eugene W. (Bill)

Lectures focus on the major impacts of global climate change (elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and elevated temperatures) on plant function (photosynthesis and respiration) and plant communities. Additional topics include global carbon budgets, plant carbon sequestration, and agricultural impacts. Participants review the pertinent primary literature and conduct a term-long laboratory research project. Laboratory course.

Evolution

BIOL 340 - Ayoub, Nadia A.

An examination of the evidence for evolution and the mechanisms by which evolution occurs.

Selected Topics in Ecology and Evolution

BIOL 398A - Hurd, Lawrence E. (Larry)

Topics include ecology, behavior, evolution, and natural history of selected taxonomic groups. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2021, BIOL 398A-01: Topics in Ecology and Evolution: Biodiversity and Conservation Ecology (3). Prerequisites: BIOL 201 or CBSC 250 or INTR 202. Hurd.

Directed Individual Research

BIOL 421 - Hamilton, Eugene W. (Bill)

Each student conducts primary research in partnership with a faculty member, by prior mutual agreement and according to departmental guidelines (available from biology faculty). Consult the department web page or individual faculty for a description of current research areas. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. No more than six credits of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major. May be carried out during summer.

Directed Individual Research

BIOL 421 - I'Anson, Helen

Each student conducts primary research in partnership with a faculty member, by prior mutual agreement and according to departmental guidelines (available from biology faculty). Consult the department web page or individual faculty for a description of current research areas. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. No more than six credits of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major. May be carried out during summer.

Directed Individual Research

BIOL 421 - Marsh, David M.

Each student conducts primary research in partnership with a faculty member, by prior mutual agreement and according to departmental guidelines (available from biology faculty). Consult the department web page or individual faculty for a description of current research areas. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. No more than six credits of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major. May be carried out during summer.

Directed Individual Research

BIOL 421 - Simurda, Maryanne C.

Each student conducts primary research in partnership with a faculty member, by prior mutual agreement and according to departmental guidelines (available from biology faculty). Consult the department web page or individual faculty for a description of current research areas. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. No more than six credits of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major. May be carried out during summer.

Directed Individual Research

BIOL 422 - Hamilton, Eugene W. (Bill)

Each student conducts primary research in partnership with a faculty member, by prior mutual agreement and according to departmental guidelines (available from biology faculty). Consult the department Web page or individual faculty for a description of current research areas. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. No more than six credit hours of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major. May be carried out during summer.

Directed Individual Research

BIOL 422 - I'Anson, Helen

Each student conducts primary research in partnership with a faculty member, by prior mutual agreement and according to departmental guidelines (available from biology faculty). Consult the department Web page or individual faculty for a description of current research areas. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. No more than six credit hours of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major. May be carried out during summer.

Directed Individual Research

BIOL 423 - Toporikova, Natalia

Each student conducts primary research in partnership with a faculty member, by prior mutual agreement and according to departmental guidelines (available from biology faculty). Consult the department Web page or individual faculty for a description of current research areas. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. No more than six credit hours of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major. May be carried out during summer.

Fall 2020

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Fundamentals of Biology

BIOL 111 - Simurda, Maryanne C.

An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication applied to topics that vary among sections and terms. Specific subjects, chosen from within the scope of modern biological investigation according to the expertise of individual instructors, are examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. This course, and its companion laboratory, are prerequisites for all higher level biology courses.

Fundamentals of Biology

BIOL 111 - Hamilton, Eugene W. (Bill)

An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication applied to topics that vary among sections and terms. Specific subjects, chosen from within the scope of modern biological investigation according to the expertise of individual instructors, are examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. This course, and its companion laboratory, are prerequisites for all higher level biology courses.

Fundamentals of Biology

BIOL 111 - Humston, Robert

An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication applied to topics that vary among sections and terms. Specific subjects, chosen from within the scope of modern biological investigation according to the expertise of individual instructors, are examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. This course, and its companion laboratory, are prerequisites for all higher level biology courses.

Fundamentals of Biology

BIOL 111 - Toporikova, Natalia

An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication applied to topics that vary among sections and terms. Specific subjects, chosen from within the scope of modern biological investigation according to the expertise of individual instructors, are examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. This course, and its companion laboratory, are prerequisites for all higher level biology courses.

Biology Laboratory

BIOL 113 - Winder, Charles T.

A laboratory course to accompany BIOL 111. Students are trained in basic techniques of biological research by demonstrations and investigatory exercises, including data analysis and scientific communication.

Biology Laboratory

BIOL 113 - Lanier, Leah S.

A laboratory course to accompany BIOL 111. Students are trained in basic techniques of biological research by demonstrations and investigatory exercises, including data analysis and scientific communication.

Data Science: Visualizing and Exploring Big Data

BIOL 185 - Whitworth, Gregg B.

No prior programming experience required. We live in the era of Big Data. Major discoveries in science and medicine are being made by exploring large datasets in novel ways using computational tools. The challenge in the biomedical sciences is the same as in Silicon Valley: knowing what computational tools are right for a project and where to get started when exploring large data sets. In this course, students learn to use R, a popular open-source programming language and data analysis environment, to interactively explore data. Case studies are drawn from across the sciences and medicine. Topics include data visualization, machine learning, image analysis, geospatial analysis, and statistical inference on large data sets. We also emphasize best practices in coding, data handling, and adherence to the principles of reproducible research. Fulfills the computer science requirement for biology and neuroscience majors.

Statistics for Biology and Medicine

BIOL 201 - Toporikova, Natalia

This course examines the principles of statistics and experimental design for biological and medical research. The focus is on the practical and conceptual aspects of statistics, rather than mathematical derivations. Students completing this class will be able to read and understand research papers, to design realistic experiments, and to carry out their own statistical analyses using computer packages.

Genetics

BIOL 220 - Ayoub, Nadia A.

A study of the three main branches of modern genetics: 1) Mendelian genetics, the study of the transmission of traits from one generation to the next; 2) molecular genetics, a study of the chemical structure of genes and how they operate at the molecular level; and 3) population genetics, the study of the variation of genes between and within populations. This course is a prerequisite to most 300-level courses in biology.

Genetics

BIOL 220 - Sackman, Andrew M.

A study of the three main branches of modern genetics: 1) Mendelian genetics, the study of the transmission of traits from one generation to the next; 2) molecular genetics, a study of the chemical structure of genes and how they operate at the molecular level; and 3) population genetics, the study of the variation of genes between and within populations. This course is a prerequisite to most 300-level courses in biology.

Genetics Laboratory

BIOL 221 - Sackman, Andrew M.

Techniques in modern molecular genetics.

Genetics Laboratory

BIOL 221 - Ayoub, Nadia A.

Techniques in modern molecular genetics.

Animal Behavior

BIOL 243 - Marsh, David M.

An introduction to the scientific study of animal behavior, including exploration of the evolutionary basis of behavior and examination of how animals choose mates, defend territories, find food, and avoid predators. Field and laboratory exercises focus on testing hypotheses through experiments with a variety of animals, including fish, amphibians, birds, and humans. Laboratory course.

Ecology

BIOL 245 - Hurd, Lawrence E. (Larry)

An introduction to the study of interactions between organisms and their environments. Topics are arranged hierarchically: a) evolution and elementary population genetics; b) population dynamics and regulation; c) interspecific competition, predation, parasitism and symbiosis; d) community structure, energy and material flux in ecosystems. Laboratory is field oriented and investigative. Laboratory course.

Food for Thought

BIOL 275 - Blythe, Sarah N.

This course utilizes problem-based learning to investigate nutrition and metabolism, as well as to the neural and hormonal regulation of feeding behavior. Through the use of primary literature and service-learning experiences, students develop an understanding of the experimental tools used in basic and applied nutritional sciences research.  Because nutrition directly relates to many health care and quality-of-life issues at the forefront of modern society, this course also examines popular literature on food-related topics. 

Immunology

BIOL 350 - Simurda, Maryanne C.

A study of the structural and functional aspects of the immune system from the perspective of cellular and developmental biology; the biochemical and structural properties of antibodies and the possible origins of their diversity; and immunopathology.

Microanatomy

BIOL 355 - I'Anson, Helen

A study of the normal microscopic structure of the mammalian body with emphasis placed on structural and functional correlations. Laboratory work includes the study of prepared tissue and the preparation of tissues for microscopy. Laboratory course.

Molecular Mechanics of Life

BIOL 385 - Whitworth, Gregg B.

How do we study complex networks of interactions between molecules in cells? How do we discover what roles different molecular machines play in the development and behavior of cells and animals? How can we identify the ways in which medical illness is caused by the misregulation of biological complexes because of a pathogenic infection or genetic disease? Our approach to answering these questions reflects the same interdisciplinary strategy being used at the forefront of current biomedical research. We consider the ways in which traditional approaches in biochemistry, genetics and cell biology can be merged with new systems-level approaches such as genomics and proteomics, to allow us to probe the underlying molecular mechanics of life. In the classroom, we examine different molecular networks, while readings include selections from the primary literature. The laboratory is based on an investigation of a novel research question, designed and addressed by student participants. Laboratory course

Directed Individual Research

BIOL 421 - Hamilton, Eugene W. (Bill)

Each student conducts primary research in partnership with a faculty member, by prior mutual agreement and according to departmental guidelines (available from biology faculty). Consult the department web page or individual faculty for a description of current research areas. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. No more than six credits of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major. May be carried out during summer.

Directed Individual Research

BIOL 421 - I'Anson, Helen

Each student conducts primary research in partnership with a faculty member, by prior mutual agreement and according to departmental guidelines (available from biology faculty). Consult the department web page or individual faculty for a description of current research areas. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. No more than six credits of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major. May be carried out during summer.

Directed Individual Research

BIOL 421 - Ayoub, Nadia A.

Each student conducts primary research in partnership with a faculty member, by prior mutual agreement and according to departmental guidelines (available from biology faculty). Consult the department web page or individual faculty for a description of current research areas. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. No more than six credits of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major. May be carried out during summer.

Directed Individual Research

BIOL 421 - Whitworth, Gregg B.

Each student conducts primary research in partnership with a faculty member, by prior mutual agreement and according to departmental guidelines (available from biology faculty). Consult the department web page or individual faculty for a description of current research areas. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. No more than six credits of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major. May be carried out during summer.

Directed Individual Research

BIOL 421 - Marsh, David M.

Each student conducts primary research in partnership with a faculty member, by prior mutual agreement and according to departmental guidelines (available from biology faculty). Consult the department web page or individual faculty for a description of current research areas. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. No more than six credits of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major. May be carried out during summer.

Directed Individual Research

BIOL 421 - Simurda, Maryanne C.

Each student conducts primary research in partnership with a faculty member, by prior mutual agreement and according to departmental guidelines (available from biology faculty). Consult the department web page or individual faculty for a description of current research areas. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. No more than six credits of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major. May be carried out during summer.

Directed Individual Research

BIOL 422 - Hamilton, Eugene W. (Bill)

Each student conducts primary research in partnership with a faculty member, by prior mutual agreement and according to departmental guidelines (available from biology faculty). Consult the department Web page or individual faculty for a description of current research areas. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. No more than six credit hours of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major. May be carried out during summer.

Directed Individual Research

BIOL 422 - I'Anson, Helen

Each student conducts primary research in partnership with a faculty member, by prior mutual agreement and according to departmental guidelines (available from biology faculty). Consult the department Web page or individual faculty for a description of current research areas. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. No more than six credit hours of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major. May be carried out during summer.

Directed Individual Research

BIOL 422 - Ayoub, Nadia A.

Each student conducts primary research in partnership with a faculty member, by prior mutual agreement and according to departmental guidelines (available from biology faculty). Consult the department Web page or individual faculty for a description of current research areas. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. No more than six credit hours of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major. May be carried out during summer.

Directed Individual Research

BIOL 422 - Whitworth, Gregg B.

Each student conducts primary research in partnership with a faculty member, by prior mutual agreement and according to departmental guidelines (available from biology faculty). Consult the department Web page or individual faculty for a description of current research areas. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. No more than six credit hours of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major. May be carried out during summer.

Directed Individual Research

BIOL 422 - Marsh, David M.

Each student conducts primary research in partnership with a faculty member, by prior mutual agreement and according to departmental guidelines (available from biology faculty). Consult the department Web page or individual faculty for a description of current research areas. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. No more than six credit hours of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major. May be carried out during summer.

Directed Individual Research

BIOL 422 - Cabe, Paul R.

Each student conducts primary research in partnership with a faculty member, by prior mutual agreement and according to departmental guidelines (available from biology faculty). Consult the department Web page or individual faculty for a description of current research areas. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. No more than six credit hours of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major. May be carried out during summer.

Spring 2020

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Environmental Biology: Endangered Plants of the Appalachians

BIOL 101 - Winder, Charles T.

Using case studies in plant endangerment as a focal point for understanding ecological and evolutionary processes and the impact of human activities on biodiversity, students gain fundamental insight into their relationship with the living world and the importance of preserving biological diversity through a combination of targeted readings, intensive discussions, and basic research in the field, Field activities take place in regional hotspots of plant endemism and give students experience in applied conservation research. Field sites and subject species vary from year to year.

CSI: W&L

BIOL 160 - Watson, Fiona L. / LaRiviere, Frederick J. (Fred)

This laboratory course is an introduction to the field of forensic science with a focus on the physical, chemical, and biological basis of crime scene evidence. A particular emphasis is on the analysis of trace physical (e.g., glass, soil, fiber, ballistics) and biological (e.g., hair, blood, DNA) evidence and forensic toxicology (e.g., drugs, alcohol, poisons). The laboratory portion of this course provides "hands-on" opportunities to analyze collected crime scene samples and to utilize some of the commonly used forensic laboratory techniques such as microscopy, chromatography, and spectroscopy. The course also introduces some of the legal aspects associated with collection and analysis of crime-scene evidence. Laboratory course.

Field Herpetology

BIOL 242 - Marsh, David M.

Field Herpetology is a research-based course on the ecology and behavior of amphibians and reptiles. Research projects vary from year-to-year and are designed to give students plenty of time on the field and exposure to a diverse assortment of amphibian and reptile species. Students should be prepared for hiking off-trail, wading in swamps, and catching live animals.

Topics in Biology

BIOL 297 - Bleicher, Sonny S.

Topics vary with instructor and term.

Spring 2020, BIOL 297-01: Topic: Urban Ecology (4). An integration of the complexity of interactions between living organisms and the rapidly changing, human-dominated, urban environment. Students study the implications of urbanization on water and nutrient cycles, invasive species, heat island effects, and how humans are altering the evolutionary trajectory of human commensal species. The course includes a week-long field component running an experiment on human-wildlife interactions. Bleicher.

Plant Functional Ecology

BIOL 332 - Hamilton, Eugene W. (Bill)

The emphasis and location of the study area differs from year to year. Information regarding the specific course topic and field trip schedule is made available in the fall. Through novel research projects in a variety of field settings (e.g., on-campus, Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains, The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem), this field-based laboratory course covers topics which investigate the vital roles that plants play in shaping Earth's ecosystems. Topics focus on the responses of native plants to environmental stresses, such as global climate change (elevated temperature and carbon dioxide and drought), herbivory, and invasive species. Field and laboratory exercises focus on testing hypotheses through experiments using a variety of species from intact plant communities. A review of the pertinent literature is used to develop and conduct a term research project. Laboratory course.