Biology

Students may complete a major or minor in Biology. Within the major, students may complete a minor in computational methods, or a concentration in environmental studies or neural and behavioral sciences.

Faculty

Peter D. Brodfuehrer, Professor
Monica Chander, Assistant Professor
Gregory K. Davis, Assistant Professor
Tamara L. Davis, Associate Professor
Wilfred A. Franklin, Instructor
Stephen L. Gardiner, Senior Lecturer
Sarah Gibbs, Lecturer
Karen F. Greif, Professor and Chair
Paul Grobstein, Professor (on leave semester I)
Michelle Wien, Lecturer
Neal M. Williams, Assistant Professor

The programs of the department are designed to introduce students to unifying concepts and broad issues in biology, and to provide the opportunity for in-depth inquiry into topics of particular interest through coursework and independent study. Introductory- and intermediate-level courses examine the structures and functions of living systems at all levels of organization, from molecules, cells and organisms to populations. Advanced courses encourage the student to gain proficiency in the critical reading of research literature, leading to the development, defense and presentation of a senior paper. In addition, there are opportunities for independent research projects with faculty.

Major Requirements

Course requirements for a major in Biology include two semesters of introductory biology, BIOL 101 and 102 (or 103 plus either 101 or 102, with the department’s permission); six courses at the 200 and 300 level (excluding BIOL 390-398), of which at least three must be laboratory courses; and one senior seminar course (BIOL 390-395, or 398). Two semesters of supervised laboratory research, BIOL 401 or 403, may be substituted for one of the required laboratory courses. In addition, two semester courses in general chemistry and three additional semester courses in physics, chemistry, geology, mathematics, computer science, psychology (courses that satisfy the Division II requirement) or statistics are required for all majors. Selection of these three science courses needs to be done in consultation with the student’s major adviser and be approved by the department. Students interested in pursuing graduate studies or medical school are encouraged to take two semesters each of physics and organic chemistry.

Students with a score of 4 or 5 on their Advanced Placement examinations, or equivalent International Baccalaureate scores, will receive divisional credit only; they may not be used for the major in biology. A student wishing to enter biology courses at the 200 level without having taken BIOL 101 and 102 must pass the departmental placement exam. Courses in other departments may be substituted for major requirements with the department’s permission.

Honors

The honors distinction requires maintaining a course average of 3.7 in the major and participating in departmental activities and events. Final selection for honors is made by the Biology faculty from the list of eligible students.

Minor Requirements

A minor in Biology consists of six semester courses in Biology. Courses in other departments may be substituted for minor requirements with the department’s permission.

Minor in Computational Methods; Concentrations in Environmental Studies and Neural and Behavioral Sciences

The Department of Biology participates with other departments in offering two concentrations within the major: environmental studies (see page 156) and neural and behavioral sciences (see page 245). A minor in computational methods is available for students interested in computational methods and their applications to biology (see page 117).

Teacher Certification

The College offers a certification program in secondary teacher education (see page 41).

Animal Experimentation Policy

Students who object to participating directly in laboratory activities involving the use of animals are required to notify the faculty member of her or his objections at the beginning of the course. If alternative activities are available and deemed consistent with the pedagogical objectives of the course by the faculty member, then a student will be allowed to pursue alternative laboratory activities without penalty.

BIOL B101 Introduction to Biology I: Molecules to Cells

A comprehensive examination of topics in biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, genetics and development. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours a week. (Chander, T. Davis, Franklin, Wien, Division IIL)

BIOL B102 Introduction to Biology II: Organisms to Populations

A comprehensive examination of topics in organismal diversity, physiology, ecology and evolution. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours a week. BIOL 101 is strongly recommended. (Brodfuehrer, Franklin, Wien, Williams, Division IIL)

BIOL B103 Biology: Basic Concepts

An introduction to the major concepts of modern biology that both underlie and emerge from exploration of living systems at levels of organization ranging from the molecular and biochemical through the cellular and organismal to the ecological. Emphasis is placed on the observational and experimental bases for ideas that are both common to diverse areas of biology and represent important contributions of biology to more general intellectual and social discourse. Topics include the chemical and physical bases of life, cell theory, energetics, genetics, development, physiology, behavior, ecology and evolution. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours a week. (Franklin, Greif, Division IIL)

BIOL B201 Genetics

An introduction to heredity and variation, focusing on topics such as classical Mendelian genetics, linkage and recombination, chromosome abnormalities, population genetics and molecular genetics. Examples of genetic analyses are drawn from a variety of organisms, including bacteria, viruses, Drosophila and humans. Lecture three hours. Prerequisites: BIOL 101, 102 and CHEM 103, 104. (T. Davis, Division IIL)

BIOL B202 Neurobiology and Behavior

An introduction to the attempt to understand behavior in terms of the nervous system. A brief overview of fundamental principles of nervous system structure is followed by consideration of several topics chosen to illustrate how studies of the nervous system illuminate behavior and how studies of behavior contribute to better understanding of the nervous system. Examples cover a wide variety of invertebrate and vertebrate species, including humans. Lecture three hours a week. Prerequisites: BIOL 101, 102 or permission of instructor. (Grobstein, Division II)

BIOL B204 Histology

A lecture and laboratory course examining the cellular structure of tissues and the ways in which those tissues are combined to form the major organs of the body. The focus on tissue structure is used as a springboard throughout the course for discussing how structure provides the basis for understanding function. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours a week. Prerequisites: BIOL 101 and 102, or permission of instructor. (staff, Division IIL) Not offered in 2008-09.

BIOL B209 Environmental Toxicology

An introduction to natural and man-made toxins and the impact they have on ecosystems. Effects on animal and plant systems are emphasized, but effects on humans are also considered. Risk analysis is presented and reference is made to their economic impact and the efforts to eliminate or control their presence in the ecosystem. Policy development and the factors—political, economic, ethical and public health—that play a role in policy development are analyzed. Lecture three hours a week. A required two-day field trip is taken in late spring; an extra fee is collected for this trip. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. (staff, Division II) Not offered in 2008-09.

BIOL B210 Biology and Public Policy

A lecture/discussion course on major issues and advances in biology and their implications for public policy decisions. Topics discussed include reproductive technologies, genetic screening and gene therapy, environmental health hazards, and euthanasia and organ transplantation. Readings include scientific articles, public policy and ethical considerations, and lay publications. Lecture three hours a week. Prerequisite: one semester of introductory biology or equivalent, or permission of instructor. (Greif, Division II)

BIOL B215 Experimental Design and Statistics

An introductory course in designing experiments and analyzing data. This course is structured to develop students’ understanding of when and how to use different quantitative methods rather than the theory of specific tests. Topics include summary statistics, sampling distributions, randomization, replication, parametric and nonparametric tests, and introductory topics in spatial statistics. The course is geared around weekly problem sets and interactive learning. Three hours of lecture/laboratory a week. Prerequisites: introductory biology, geology or permission of instructor. (Williams, Division II and Quantitative Skills) Not offered in 2008-09.

BIOL B220 Ecology

A study of the interactions between organisms and their environments. Current environmental issues and how human activities influence the biota are also discussed. Students become familiar with ecological principles and with methods ecologists use to address tricky ecological issues. Because sound ecological theory rests on a good understanding of natural history, students learn to develop their natural history intuition by making weekly field observations and keeping a field journal. Lecture three hours a week, laboratory/field investigation three hours a week. There will be one field trip early in the semester lasting beyond regular lab hours. Prerequisite: introductory biology or GEOL 103. (Williams, Division IIL)

BIOL B223 The Story of Evolution and the Evolution of Stories

(Dalke, Grobstein, Division II or III; cross-listed as ENGL B223)

BIOL B225 Biology of Plants

In-depth examination of the structures and processes underlying survival, growth, reproduction, competition and diversity in plants. Three hours of lecture a week. Prerequisites: BIOL 101 and 102. (Franklin, Williams, Division II and Quantitative Skills)

BIOL B233 Psychobiology of Sex Differences

The goal of this course is to survey and review research and theory regarding biological, psychological, social and cultural determinants of sex differences. This course will follow a lecture/discussion format with weekly lab meetings. Over the semester we will examine sex differences in behavior. Specifically, we will explore the role that sex chromosomes and hormones, developmental processes, cultural socialization, and gender-role stereotypes play in the creation of sex differences in brain and behavior. Prerequisites: a course in biology or psychology, or permission of the instructors. (Thapar, Division II) Not offered in 2008-09.

BIOL B236 Evolution

A lecture/discussion course on the development of evolutionary thought, generally regarded as the most profound scientific event of the 19th century; its foundations in biology and geology; and the extent of its implications to many disciplines. Emphasis is placed on the nature of evolution in terms of process, product, patterns, historical de-velopment of the theory, and its applications to interpretations of organic history. Lecture three hours a week. Prerequisite: a 100-level science course or permission of instructors. (Gardiner, Saunders, Division II; cross-listed as ANTH B236 and GEOL B236)

BIOL B245 The Brain and Mental Health

A seminar course exploring implications of brain research for thinking about the nature of mental health and existing therapeutic approaches to mental health problems. Participants will read and discuss papers from the professional and semi-popular literature, and write papers that help others make sense of aspects of the brain/mental health interface. (Grobstein, Division II; cross-listed as PSYC B245)

BIOL B250 Computational Methods in the Sciences

(Allen, Division II and Quantitative Skills; cross-listed as CMSC B250 and GEOL B250) Not offered in 2008-09.

BIOL B255 Microbiology

Invisible to the naked eye, microbes occupy every niche on the planet. This course will examine how microbes have become successful colonizers; review aspects of interactions between microbes, humans and the environment; and explore practical uses of microbes in industry, medicine and environmental management. The course will combine lecture, discussion of primary literature and student presentations. Three hours of lecture per week. Prerequisites: BIOL B101 or permission of the instructor. (Chander, Division II)

BIOL B260 Biogeography

Biogeography is the study of the distribution of species and the causal processes (physical and biological) underlying such patterns. This includes principles of speciation, spacial analysis and the effect of natural processes and human impact on species distributions. Three lectures and one three-hour lab a week. Prerequisites: GEOL 102 or 103 or BIOL 102. (staff, Division IIL and Quantitative Skills; cross-listed as GEOL B260)

BIOL B271 Developmental Biology

An introduction to animal embryology and the concepts of developmental biology. Concepts are illustrated by analyzing the experimental observations that support them. Topics include gametogenesis and fertilization, morphogenesis, cell fate specification and differentiation, pattern formation, regulation of gene expression, neural and behavioral development, and sex determination. The laboratory focuses on vertebrate embryology and involves study of prepared slides and observations and experiments on living embryos. Lecture three hours, laboratory three scheduled hours a week; most weeks require additional hours outside of the regularly scheduled lab. Prerequisites: BIOL 101, 102 or permission of instructor. (G. Davis, Division IIL)

BIOL B303 Animal Physiology

A comprehensive study of the physical and chemical processes in tissues, organs and organ systems that form the basis of animal function. Homeostasis, control systems and the structural bases of function are emphasized. Laboratories are designed to introduce basic physiological techniques and the practice of scientific inquiry. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours a week. Prerequisites: BIOL 101, 102, CHEM 103, 104 and one 200-level biology course (Brodfuehrer) Not offered in 2008-09.

BIOL B309 Biological Oceanography

A comprehensive examination of the principal ecosystems of the world’s oceans, emphasizing the biotic and abiotic factors that contribute to the distribution of marine organisms. A variety of marine ecosystems are examined, including rocky intertidal, and hydrocarbon seeps, with an emphasis on the distinctive characteristics of each system and the assemblage of organisms associated with each system. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours a week. One required three-day field trip, for which an extra fee is collected, and other occasional field trips as allowed for by scheduling. Prerequisites: BIOL 101, 102 and one 200-level science course, or permission of instructor. (Gardiner, Division IIL)

BIOL B310 Philosophy of Science

(Grobstein, Krausz, Division III; cross-listed as PHIL B310) Not offered in 2008-09.

BIOL B313 Integrative Organismal Biology I

The first semester of a two-semester course focusing on how organisms cope with environmental challenges by investigating the requirements for life at the level of individual cells and multi-cellular organisms, the anatomical and physiological properties of cells, tissues and organ systems, and how these properties allow organisms to interact successfully with their environment. Two three-hour lecture/laboratory sessions per week. Prerequisites: Two semesters of introductory biology and general chemistry. (Brodfuehrer, Gardiner, Division IIL)

BIOL B314 Integrative Organismal Biology II

The second semester of Integrative Organismal Biology. Two three-hour lecture/laboratory sessions per week. Prerequisite: BIOL 313 or permission of instructor. (Brodfuehrer, Gardiner, Division IIL)

BIOL B321 Neuroethology

This course provides an opportunity for students to understand the neuronal basis of behavior through the examination of how particular animals have evolved neural solutions to specific problems posed to them by their environments. The topics will be covered from a research perspective using a combination of lectures, discussions and student presentations. Prerequisite: BIOL 202, PSYC 218 or PSYC 217 at Haverford. (Brodfuehrer, Division II)

BIOL B326 From Channels to Behavior

Introduces the principles, research approaches, and methodologies of cellular and behavioral neuroscience. The first half of the course will cover the cellular properties of neurons using current and voltage clamp techniques along with neuron simulations. The second half of the course will introduce students to state-of-the-art techniques for acquiring and analyzing data in a variety of rodent models linking brain and behavior. Prerequisites: BIOL 101 and one of the following: PSYC 218, PSYC 217 at Haverford, or BIOL 202. (Thomas, Brodfuehrer, Division IIL; cross-listed as PSYC B326) Not offered in 2008-09.

BIOL B328 Analysis of Geospatial Data Using GIS

(staff; cross-listed as ARCH B328, CITY B328 and GEOL B328)

BIOL B340 Cell Biology

A lecture course with laboratory emphasizing current knowledge in cell biology. Among topics discussed are cell membranes, cell surface specializations, cell motility and the cytoskeleton, regulation of cell activity, energy generation and protein synthesis. Laboratory experiments are focused on studies of cell structure, making use of techniques in cell culture and immunocytochemistry. Lecture three hours, laboratory four hours a week. Prerequisites: BIOL 201 or 271, CHEM 211, 212 (may be taken concurrently), or permission of instructor. One semester of biochemistry is recommended. (Greif, Division IIL) Not offered in 2008-09.

BIOL B341 Introduction to Biochemistry

A course on the structure, chemistry and function of amino acids, proteins, lipids, polysaccharides and nucleic acids; enzyme kinetics; metabolic relationships of carbohydrates, lipids and amino acids, and the control of various pathways; and protein synthesis. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours a week. Prerequisite: CHEM 212. (staff, Division IIL) Not offered in 2008-09.

BIOL B343 Introduction to Biochemistry

A course on the structure, chemistry and function of amino acids, proteins, lipids, polysaccharides and nucleic acids; enzyme kinetics; metabolic relationships of carbohydrates, lipids and amino acids, and the control of various pathways; and protein synthesis. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours a week or library project. Prerequisite: CHEM 212. (staff; cross-listed as CHEM B343) Not offered in 2008-09.

BIOL B361 Emergence

(Allen, Blank, Grobstein; cross-listed as CMSC B361)

BIOL B372 Molecular Biology

This course will introduce students to molecular biology as a method for scientific inquiry. In addition to learning basic techniques for manipulation and analysis of nucleic acids, students will read and critically evaluate primary literature. Students will demonstrate knowledge of the material through written work, class discussion and oral presentations. Lecture three hours a week, laboratory three hours a week. Prerequisites: either BIOL 201, 340, 341 or permission of instructor. (T. Davis, Division IIL) Not offered in 2008-09.

BIOL B375 Integrated Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I

The first semester of a two-semester course that focuses on the structure and function of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids, enzyme kinetics, metabolic pathways, gene regulation and recombinant DNA techniques. Students will explore these topics via lecture, critical reading and discussion of primary literature and laboratory experimentation. Three hours of lecture, three hours of lab per week. Prerequisite: Two semesters of introductory biology and two semesters of organic chemistry. (Chander, T. Davis, Division IIL)

BIOL B376 Integrated Biochemistry and Molecular Biology II

This second semester of a two semester course will continue investigating macromolecules, molecular pathways and gene regulation through lecture, critical reading and discussion of primary literature and laboratory experimentation. Three hours of lecture, three hours of lab per week. Prerequisite: BIOL B375 or permission of the instructor. (Chander, T. Davis, Division IIL)

BIOL B390 Senior Seminar in Ecology

A focus on the interactions among organisms and their environments. Students read and discuss current and classic papers from the primary literature. Topics may include biogeographic patterns, population and community dynamics, and ecosystem functioning. We may explore current issues such as global warming, habitat degradation and fragmentation, loss of biodiversity and the introduction of alien species. The effects of these human induced changes on the biota are examined. Students write, defend and publicly present one long research paper. Three hours of class lecture and discussion a week, supplemented by frequent meetings with individual students. Prerequisite: BIOL 220 or permission of instructor. (Williams)

BIOL B391 Senior Seminar in Biochemistry

Topics of current interest and significance in biochemistry are examined with critical readings and oral presentations of work from the research literature. In addition, students write, defend and publicly present one long research paper. Three hours of class lecture and discussion a week, supplemented by frequent meetings with individual students. Prerequisites: BIOL 341, 375 or permission of instructor. (Chander)

BIOL B392 Senior Seminar in Physiology

An advanced course in the study of the organization and function of physiological systems from the molecular level to the organismal level. Specific topics related to the organization and function of physiological systems are examined in detail using the primary literature. In addition, students write, defend and publicly present one long research paper. Three hours of class lecture and discussion a week, supplemented by frequent meetings with individual students. Prerequisite: BIOL 303 or 304, or permission of instructor. (Brodfuehrer) Not offered in 2008-09.

BIOL B393 Senior Seminar in Molecular Genetics

This course focuses on topics of current interest and significance in molecular genetics, such as chromatin structure and mechanisms of gene regulation. Students critically read, present and discuss in detail primary literature relevant to the selected topic. In addition, students write, defend and publicly present one long research paper. Three hours of class lecture and discussion a week, supplemented by frequent meetings with individual students. Prerequisite: BIOL 201 or 372, or permission of instructor. (T. Davis)

BIOL B394 Senior Seminar in Evolutionary Developmental Biology

Topics of current interest and significance in evolutionary developmental biology are examined with critical readings and oral presentations of work from the research literature. In addition, students write, defend and publicly present a research paper based on their readings. Three hours of class lecture and discussion a week, supplemented by frequent meetings with individual students. Prerequisite: BIOL 236 or 271, or permission of instructor. (G. Davis)

BIOL B395 Senior Seminar: Cellular Biology of Cancer

Topics focus on the current understanding of the mechanisms of cancer, with emphasis on cell signaling pathways and tumor suppressors. Students read and make critical presentations of papers from the current research literature. In addition, students write, defend and publicly present one long research paper or proposal. Three hours of class lecture and discussion a week, supplemented by frequent meetings with individual students. Prerequisite: BIOL 340 or BIOL 372 or permission of instructor. (Greif)

BIOL B396 Topics in Neural and Behavioral Science

A seminar course dealing with current issues in the neural and behavioral sciences. It provides advanced students concentrating in neural and behavioral sciences with an opportunity to read and discuss in depth seminal papers that represent emerging thought in the field. In addition, students are expected to make presentations of their own research. Required for those with the concentration. (Greif, Thomas; cross-listed as PSYC B396)

BIOL B397 Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies

(Oze, Stroud; cross-listed as ANTH B397, CITY B397 and GEOL B397)

BIOL B398 Senior Seminar in Science in Society

Why do scientists cheat? This seminar will explore various aspects of scientific misconduct, a topic very much in the news. Among the areas to be discussed through case studies are types of misconduct, motivations for misconduct, distinguishing misconduct from genuine scientific disagreement, and mechanisms for detecting and preventing misconduct. (Greif) Not offered in 2008-09.

BIOL B399 Senior Thesis

(staff)

BIOL B401 Supervised Research in Neural and Behavioral Sciences

Laboratory or library research under the supervision of a member of the Neural and Behavioral Sciences committee. Required for those with the concentration. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. (staff)

BIOL B403 Supervised Laboratory Research in Biology

Laboratory research under the supervision of a member of the department. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. (staff)

BIOL B425 Praxis III

(staff)

Updated August 25, 2008 by Tracy Kellmer