Course Offerings

Spring 2022

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: Forest Ecology of House Mountain

BIOL 101 - Winder, Charles T.

Since 2015, BIOL 101 has provided students with an opportunity to perform conservation-oriented research on House Mountain, a local landmark with a rich cultural and natural history. The goal of the research is to characterize forest composition on the mountain, and monitor changes over time due to invasive species, climate change, and other factors. Students taking this class will develop skills such as plant identification, ecological sampling procedures, data analysis, and scientific communication, and will become familiar with the biology of forest ecosystems. Students will serve the local community by working to protect the mountain, and will gain greater awareness of their role in larger environmental issues. Note: This course is physically demanding: there will be three full days per week of fieldwork on House Mountain, involving 15+ miles of hiking per week, often on steep slopes and without trails. There will also be a certain amount of lifting, carrying, and installation of equipment. Field work will take place regardless of weather.

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 297A - Correa-Garhwal, Sandra M.

Topics vary with instructor and term. Repeatable for credit if topics are different.

 

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.

A Walk Through the Ages: Using Artificial Intelligence to Understand the Evolution of Exercise

BIOL 357 - Toporikova, Natalia / Watson, Cody A.

Exercise leaves us healthier and happier, yet many of us struggle to get enough physical activity. Why it is so hard to hit the gym? Our biology and evolutionary past might play a role in our reluctance to undertake physical activity. In this course, students will learn how to quantify the amount of physical activity using wearable exercise trackers. We will collect data on different types of activities in different environments and physiological conditions. Using machine learning tools, we will develop a unique classifier that will predict the environmental/physiological setting based on the data. We will go through the processes of experimental design, data extraction, data preprocessing, data modeling and finally, data interpretation. These aspects of the course will culminate in a course project which will require students to build a model that represents the exercise data gathered.

Experimental Neurophysiology

BIOL 360 - Blythe, Sarah N.

An in-depth exploration of the theory and techniques of cellular neurophysiology. Labs utilize extracellular and intracellular recording techniques to explore motor neuron and sensory receptor firing properties and to examine the ionic basis for resting and action potentials and synaptic transmission. Laboratory course.

Directed Individual Research

BIOL 423 - 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.

Winter 2022

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 - 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 - Cabe, Paul R.

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 - Lanier, Leah S.

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.

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.

Cell Biology

BIOL 230 - Watson, Fiona L.

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. 

Cell Biology Laboratory

BIOL 231 - Watson, Fiona L.

The lab component reinforces Cell Biology lecture by emphasizing the experimental approaches to the study of cell biology. 

Comparative Animal Biology

BIOL 240 - Hurd, Lawrence E. (Larry)

Form and function of animals with emphasis on evolution and ecology of major invertebrate and vertebrate groups. Laboratory course.

Reproductive Physiology

BIOL 255 - Blythe, Sarah N.

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.

Seminar in Biology

BIOL 295A - Hamilton, Eugene W. (Bill)

Seminar topics vary with instructor and term. Sample topics include: genetics, molecular genetics, virology, evolutionary biology, history of medicine, biology of aging, ecology, cancer, reproductive strategies, neuroendocrinology, microbiology and immunology. These are in-depth studies of restricted topics within the broad areas indicated by the titles, involving critical review of literature, discussion and oral and/or written presentation. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

 

Topics in Biology

BIOL 297A - Ghosheh, Heather

Topics vary with instructor and term. Repeatable for credit if topics are different.

 

Microbiology

BIOL 310 - Correa-Garhwal, Sandra M. / Hamilton, Eugene W. (Bill)

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 - Cabe, Paul R.

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 - Hurd, Lawrence E. (Larry)

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

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 - 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 - 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 - 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 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 - 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 - 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 - 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.

Directed Individual Research

BIOL 422 - Watson, Fiona L.

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.

Honors Thesis

BIOL 493 - Hamilton, Eugene W. (Bill)

Laboratory and/or field research resulting in an honors thesis. A total of six credits is required. No more than six credit hours of work at the 400 level may apply toward the major.

Fall 2021

We do not offer any courses this term.