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Cover Photo 2007-2008 Catalog Online

Course Descriptions:


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Biological Sciences (BIO)

Chairperson: Professor Goldsmith

101 Principles of Biology I (4)

Chemistry, structure, metabolism, and reproduction of cells. Principles of genetics. Structure, development, and physiology of animals. Survey of the animal kingdom. (Lec. 3, Lab. 2) (N)

102 Principles of Biology II (4)

Structure, physiology, and reproduction of plants. Diversity of plants, fungi, and algae. Principles of ecology and evolution. (Lec. 3, Lab. 2) Pre: 101. (N)

105 Biology for Daily Life with Laboratory (3)

Basic biological principles needed to understand contemporary issues in biology, for example, forensic biology, cloning, genetic engineering, reproductive technologies, “alternative” medicine, biodiversity, habitat alteration, and endangered species. Designed for nonmajors. (Lec. 2, Lab. 2) (N)

106 Biology for Daily Life with Recitation (3)

Basic biological principles needed to understand contemporary issues in biology, for example, forensic biology, cloning, genetic engineering, reproductive technologies, “alternative” medicine, biodiversity, habitat alteration, and endangered species. Designed for nonmajors. (Lec. 2, Rec. 1) (N)

121 Human Anatomy (4)

Elementary anatomy of the organ systems, studies with the aid of charts, models, and predissected specimens. (Lec. 3, Lab. 3) Open to B.A. biology, B.S. biological sciences, physical education, nursing, pharmacy, pre-physical therapy, clinical lab science, nutrition, dietetics, and biomedical engineering majors only.

130 Topics in Marine Biology (1)

Current and classical issues considered in small classes. Designed for students interested in marine biology. (Seminar) Pre: Limited to marine biology majors. Required of all freshman marine biology majors and students entering the major with fewer than 24 credits. May not be repeated.

201 General Animal Physiology (3)

Basic principles of physiology with emphasis on cellular and membrane mechanisms. Topics include bioenergetics and metabolism, enzymes, respiratory functions of blood cells, osmoregulation, bioelectricity and motility, cellular responses to humoral stimuli. (Lec. 2, Lab. 3) Pre: two semesters of biological sciences and one semester of chemistry recommended.

242 Introductory Human Physiology (3)

Functions of the organ systems of the human body and their coordination in the whole human organism. Attention is given to the needs of students preparing for health-related professions. (Lec. 3) Pre: 121. Not open to students with credit in 442.

244 Introductory Human Physiology Laboratory (1)

Mechanisms of physiological processes are illustrated by experiments on vertebrate animals. (Lab. 3) Pre: credit or concurrent enrollment in 242.

250 (or GEO 250) Evolution (4)

Introduction to evolution as the unifying thread in the biosphere. Processes and patterns discussed, including microevolution and macroevolution. Social impact of evolution discussed from a biological perspective. Pre: GEO 102 or one semester of biological sciences, or permission of instructors.

262 Introductory Ecology (3)

Structure and function of ecosystems, limiting factors, population dynamics, population interactions, and community relationships. Selected habitats and general ecological effects of humans. (Lec. 3) Pre: 101, 102 or equivalent.

286 (or ENT 286) Humans, Insects, and Disease (3)

Role of insects, ticks, and mites as vectors and as direct agents of diseases in humans; factors affecting the spread of these diseases and their role in our cultural development. (Lec. 3) Not for major credit for B.S. in biological sciences. (N)

301 Physiological Experiments (3)

Methods of investigating physiological problems in the laboratory. Topics and techniques will be presented briefly, then employed in an individual laboratory project. (Lab. 6) Pre: 201 and 302.

302 Animal Development (4)

Survey of the patterns and mechanisms of animal development, including the molecular genetic control of development, medical developmental biology, and evolution of development. (Lec. 3, Lab. 3) Pre: 101, 102, and two additional semesters of biological sciences; genetics recommended.

304 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (4)

Anatomy of chordates emphasizing functional and evolutionary diversity. Lecture focuses on morphological variation and evolution. Laboratory focuses on comparative anatomy through dissections and models. (Lec. 3, Lab. 3) Pre: 101 and 102 or equivalent.

311 Plant Structure and Development (4)

Structure of vascular plant cells, tissues, and organs; cellular and molecular mechanisms controlling developmental processes including cell division, leaf initiation, epidermal patterning, and vascular differentiation. (Lec. 2, Lab. 3) Pre: 102 or permission of instructor.

321 Plant Diversity (3)

Representative forms of prokaryotes, algae, fungi, bryophytes, and vascular plants with emphasis on evolution, ecology, and life cycle. (Lec. 2, Lab. 3) Pre: 102 or permission of instructor.

323 Field Botany and Taxonomy (4)

Collection, identification, and study of vascular flora of Rhode Island, including use of manuals and herbarium specimens. Field trips throughout Rhode Island. Discussion of principles, methods, and data used in classification. (Lec. 2, Lab. 4) Pre: 102.

327 Vertebrate Histology (3)

A study of the normal microscopic organization of the cells and tissues that compose the organ systems of vertebrates. An introduction to histochemical and cytochemical methods is included. (Lec. 3) Pre: one year of biological sciences and one semester of organic chemistry.

329 Vertebrate Histology Laboratory (1)

A detailed study in the laboratory of prepared microscope slides of cells and tissues of vertebrates. (Lab. 3) Pre: credit or concurrent enrollment in 327.

332 (or PLS 332) Plant Pathology (4)

Nature, cause, and control of plant diseases. Use of basic techniques for identification of major types of plant diseases and their causal agents. (Lec. 4) Pre: 102 or permission of instructor.

334 Physiology of Exercise

See Kinesiology 334.

335 Physiology of Exercise Laboratory

See Kinesiology 335.

341 Principles of Cell Biology (3)

An introduction to the structure and organization of eukaryotic cells. Topics include membranes and organelles, gene expression, protein synthesis and secretion, energy utilization, the cytoskeleton, and signal transduction. (Lec. 3) Pre: one semester of biological sciences and one semester of organic chemistry.

345 Marine Environmental Physiology (3)

The physiological basis of adaptation to the marine environment. Physiological methods adapted to marine plants and animals. (Lec. 2, Lab. 3) Pre: Two semesters of biological sciences.

346 Plant Physiology (3)

Development and function of vascular plants, including energy and nutrient assimilation, growth, reproduction, and interactions with other organisms and the physical environment. (Lec. 3) Pre: 102, one semester of chemistry, or permission of instructor.

348 Plant Physiology Laboratory (1)

Laboratory methods in plant physiology, including experimental design and reporting. Techniques include water potential measurement, chromatography, spectrophotometry, enzyme assay, tissue culture, bioassay, protein extraction, and gel electrophoresis. (Lab. 3) Pre: 346, may be taken concurrently.

352 (or BCH 352) General Genetics (4)

Introduction to basic genetic principles and concepts leading to an understanding of genes, heredity, and the nature of inherited variation. Applications and implications for animals, plants, fungi, and bacteria. (Lec. 3, Rec. 1) Pre: 101 and 102.

353 Genetics Laboratory

See Biochemistry 353.

354 Invertebrate Zoology (4)

Study of the origin and evolutionary relationship of the invertebrate animals. Emphasis on marine forms. Laboratory sessions include comparative study of selected examples and field trips to local environments. (Lec. 2, Lab. 4) Pre: 101 and 102.

355 Marine Invertebrates of Southern New England (3)

Collection and identification of marine invertebrates of southern New England. Emphasis on field and laboratory studies. Student collection will incorporate video photography. (Lab. 6) Pre: 101 and 102 or permission of instructor.

360 Marine Biology (4)

The nature of plants and animals of the sea. Diversity of species and adaptations to habitats from the sea surface to the depths of the ocean. (Lec. 3, Lab. 3) Pre: 101, 102.

366 Vertebrate Biology (3)

Life histories, adaptations, ecology, classifications, and distribution of vertebrate animals. Laboratory and extensive field work on local vertebrates. (Lec. 2, Lab. 3) Pre: 262 recommended.

385 Introductory Entomology

See Entomology 385.

386 Introductory Entomology Lab

See Entomology 386.

396 Biology and Society (2)

A seminar course dealing with the impact of biological discoveries on societal questions and with the social influences that affect biological discovery. Discussion of original papers, magazines, newspaper articles, and books about various discoveries. (Seminar) Pre: three courses in biology (including current enrollment) or permission of instructor.

397, 398 Colloquium in Biological Sciences (0 each)

Introduction to modern scholarly work in biology. Lectures by visiting and resident scholars, with questions from the audience. Expected of students enrolled in the biology honors program. (Lec.) Pre: open to biological sciences majors only. S/U only.

418 Ecology of Marine Plants (4)

Ecology, development, and physiology of marine algae and higher plants. Topics include competition, herbivory, nutrient uptake, photosynthesis, and growth. (Lec. 3, Lab. 3). Pre: 102, 262 or permission of instructor. In alternate years.

432 Mycology: Introduction to the Fungi (4)

Structure, development, cytology, distribution, and identification of fungi, with consideration of their importance in industry, medicine, plant disease, and organic decomposition. (Lec. 2, Lab. 4) Pre: 102; 321 recommended.

437 (or BCH 437) Fundamentals of Molecular Biology (3)

Biochemical basis of heredity as seen through the structure and function of nucleic acids. Includes DNA replication, transcription, translation, gene regulation, and gene organization in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Current methods emphasized. (Lec. 3) Pre: MIC 211, BIO 352, and BCH 311, or permission of instructor.

441 Environmental Physiology of Animals (3)

The dynamics of the interaction of animal functions with the environment. Emphasis on quantitative study of physiological adaptations to environmental fluctuations. (Lec. 3) Pre: 201 or equivalent.

442 Mammalian Physiology (3)

Intensive study of the physiological mechanisms that regulate the animal body and its organ systems. Emphasis on knowledge obtained from experimental physiology. Class discussion of applied physiology. (Lec. 2, Rec. 1) Pre: one semester each of anatomy and physiology courses or permission of instructor.

444 Experimental Physiology (1)

Introduction to non-invasive research methods in physiology. Emphasis on experimental design, recording and analyzing data, and use of laboratory notebooks in writing for publication. (Lab. 3) Pre: one semester each of anatomy and physiology courses or permission of instructor.

445 Endocrinology I (3)

Comparative approach to the endocrine regulation of the organism and to the molecular basis for hormone action. (Lec. 3) Pre: BCH 311 or equivalent and BIO 201 or 242 or equivalent. In alternate years.

446 Introduction to Cellular and Behavioral Neurobiology (3)

Basic principles of excitable cell function. Emphasis will be on cellular and membrane mechanisms as they relate to behavior (Lec. 3) Pre: an animal physiology course; one semester of calculus, physics, or biochemistry is strongly recommended or permission of instructor. Next offered spring 2008. Not for graduate credit.

451 (or BCH 451 or MIC 451) Laboratory in Cell Biology (1)

Analysis of subcellular processes, structures, and molecules using techniques including gel electrophoresis, spectrophotometry ultracentrifugation, and protein purification. Topics range from analysis of gene expression to subcellular localization of enzymatic activity. (Lab. 2) Pre: concurrent enrollment in 453 (or MIC 453) or permission of instructor.

452 Advanced Topics in Genetics

See Biochemistry 452.

453 (or BCH 453 or MIC 453) Cell Biology (3)

Structure, replication, and function of eukaryotic cells at subcellular level. Topics considered include cell membranes, cytoplasmic organelles and nuclei, cell division, cellular differentiation, and methods. Emphasis on recent publications. (Lec. 3) Pre: two semesters of biological sciences, BCH 311, junior standing, or permission of instructor.

455 Marine Ecology (3)

Investigation of the structure and dynamics of various marine ecosystems. Includes mineral cycling, energy flow, community and population organization, and behavioral ecology in selected marine environments. (Lec. 3) Pre: 262 or permission of instructor.

457 Marine Ecology Laboratory (1)

Field and laboratory work on community relationships of dominant organisms in Rhode Island marine environments. (Lab. 3) Pre: concurrent enrollment in 455. Limited to 15 students.

458 Freshwater Ecology (4)

Interactions among physical, chemical, and biological processes that affect distribution and abundance of freshwater organisms (Lec. 3, Lab. 3) Pre: 206 or 262 and one semester of chemistry.

465 Biology of Algae (4)

Taxonomy, morphology, and evolution of all major algal divisions. Laboratory/field component focuses upon taxonomic identification of both live and preserved microscopic and macroscopic algal species. (Lec. 3, Lab. 3) Pre: 102. In alternate years.

467 Animal Behavior (3)

Ethology and sociobiology of animals. Topics in the control and development of behavior patterns, orientation in time and space, social behavior, and behavioral ecology. (Lec. 3) Pre: two semesters of biology; 262 recommended.

469 Tropical Marine Invertebrates (5)

Systematic survey of tropical invertebrates. Emphasis on examples from Bermuda’s marine environment. Laboratory includes field collections, identification and preparatory techniques for taxonomic studies. (Practicum, Lab. 8) Taught in Bermuda. Pre: 101 and 102, junior standing, snorkeling experience.

475 Coral Reef Ecology (5)

Structure and function of coral reef ecosystems with emphasis on the biology of corals. Laboratory sessions focus on field surveys and research techniques. (Practicum, Lab. 8) Taught in Bermuda. Pre: 262 and junior standing; SCUBA certification required.

491, 492, Independent Biological Research (1-3 each)

Individualized laboratory, field, or literature research projects. May be repeated for a total of 6 credits. Pre: open only to undergraduates on arrangement with staff. S/U only.

495 Tropical Marine Biology Research (6)

Independent marine research in Bermuda. Topics may include marine ecology, physiology, systematics, etc. Proposal, oral report, and project paper required. (Practicum, Lab. 12). Taught in Bermuda. Pre: junior standing 475, 469.

505 Biological Photography (3)

Application of scientific photography to biological subjects, living and prepared. Photomacrography. Principles of photography as applied to the specialized needs of biological research and publication. (Lec. 1, Lab. 5) Pre: permission of instructor.

508 (or BCH/MIC/AFS/AVS/NRS/PLS 508) Seminar in Biological Literature (1)

Survey of biological literature including traditional methods of bibliographic control, contemporary information retrieval services, and the development of a personalized information system. (Lec. 1) Pre: graduate standing or permission of the instructor.

511 Special Readings in Developmental Plant Anatomy (3)

Intensive tutorial work, research, and reading on ontogeny of plant structures and morphogenetic mechanisms. (Independent Study) Pre: graduate standing and permission of instructor. Concurrent audit of 311 required. Offered on demand.

513 Functional Morphology (3)

Advanced study of the evolution and biological role of organismal structure including critical evaluation of recent research in functional morphology with an emphasis on vertebrates. (Lec. 3) Pre: graduate standing; 304 or 366 recommended.

515 Light Microscopy Research Methods (4)

Introduction to optical techniques and biological specimen preparation for light microscopy with emphasis on application of these methods in biological research. Topics include optics, embedding and sectioning, fluorescence and immunocytochemistry, and computer image analysis. (Lec. 1, Lab. 6) Pre: graduate standing or permission of instructor.

521 Recent Advances in Cell and Molecular Biology

See Microbiology 521.

524 Methods in Plant Ecology (3)

Methods in analysis of vegetation and microenvironments. Emphasis on quantitative techniques in analysis of vegetation, soil, and microclimate; techniques in physiological ecology. (Lec. 2, Lab. 3) Pre: 102 and 262 or equivalent; STA 412 recommended. In alternate years.

536 Seminar in Plant Stress Physiology (1-2)

Readings, discussion, and analysis of current literature with emphasis on biochemical and genetic aspects of responses. Students electing 2 credits will write review papers. (Seminar) Pre: one course in plant physiology and one course in biochemistry. In alternate years.

541 Comparative Physiology of Marine Animals (3)

Comparison of physiological mechanisms by which animals maintain life with emphasis on marine invertebrates. Responses to external environment mediated by receptors, nervous systems, effectors. Living control systems for muscular activity and circulation. (Lec. 3) Pre: one physiology course. In alternate years.

545 Endocrinology II (3)

Integration of cell and molecular processes with whole animal function. Hormones and their regulation, of early development, growth, metabolism, salt and water balance, adaptation to stress, reproduction, and behavior. (Lec. 3) Pre: graduate standing or permission of the instructor.

546 Introduction to Neurobiology (2)

Fundamental processes in neurobiology with emphasis on cellular and membrane mechanisms of nerve functioning. (Lec. 2) Pre: 201 and MTH 141. In alternate years.

549, 550 Advanced Topics in Neurobiology (3 each)

Published papers in selected aspects of neurobiology will be discussed. Representative topics include role of Ca++, c-AMP in the nervous system, gating currents learning at the cellular level, cellular rhythmicity. (Seminar) In alternate years.

551 (or NRS 551) Seminar in Marine Ecology (1)

Readings and discussion on current research involving ecological interactions of marine species. (Seminar) Pre: permission of instructor. May be repeated.

560 Seminar in Plant Ecology (2)

Recent topics and investigations pertinent to plant ecology. Library research, oral presentation of reports, and group discussions. (Seminar) Pre: 262 or equivalent or permission of instructor. May be repeated.

561 Behavioral Ecology (3)

The interaction of animal behavior, ecology, and evolution. Topics include predator-prey relationships, resource partitioning, competition, territoriality, and reproductive behavior. Term project required. (Lec. 3) Pre: a course in animal behavior and a course in ecology. In alternate years.

563 Ichthyology (3)

Fishes of the world. Their structure, evolution, classification, ecology, and physiology. Emphasis on local marine and freshwater fauna. Several field trips. (Lec. 2, Lab. 3) Pre: 366.

564 Elasmobranch Biology (3)

Sharks, skates, rays, and chimeras of the world. Their structure, evolution, classification, ecology, and physiology. (Lec. 3) Pre: 366; graduate standing or permission of instructor.

567 Natural Selection (3)

Ideas and controversies concerning the action of natural selection. Maintenance of genetic variability, neutral mutation, levels of selection, recombination and sexual reproduction, and rates of evolution. (Lec. 2, Lab. 3) Pre: 262 and 352 or 206 or permission of instructor.

568 Ornithology (2)

Biology of birds with emphasis on the role of birds in biological research. Areas covered include systematics, evolution, physiology, ecology, and behavior. Discussion of current topics in ornithology. (Lec. 2) Pre: 466 or permission of instructor.

572 (or ENT 586) Medical and Veterinary Entomology (3)

Life history, classification, habits, and control of insects and other arthropods affecting human and animal health. Topics will include public health significance, vector-parasite interactions, and survey and research methodologies. (Lec. 1, Lab. 4) Pre: 385 or equivalent. In alternate years.

573 (or BCH 573) Developmental Genetics (3)

An examination of animal and plant model systems incorporating concepts of cell biology, physiology, molecular biology, and genetics to understand fundamental mechanisms regulating patterns of organismal development. (Lec. 3) Pre: introductory courses in genetics development, biochemistry, or molecular biology preferred.

579 (or BCH 579) Advanced Genetics Seminar (1)

Current topics in genetics, including cytological, ecological, molecular, physiological, population, quantitative, and radiation genetics. (Seminar) Pre: 352 and permission of instructor.

581, 582 Biological Sciences Colloquium (1 each)

Invited talks on selected research topics in selected areas related to biology. Required of graduate students majoring in biological sciences. (Seminar). Pre: graduate standing in the department of Biological Sciences. S/U credit.

587 Seminar in Neurobiology (1)

Current literature in the neurosciences will be surveyed. Topics include molecular and behavioral electrophysiology, ultrastructure of excitable cells, receptor and pharmacological neurobiology of invertebrates and vertebrates. (Seminar) Pre: graduate standing or one advanced neuroscience course.

591, 592 Independent Biological Research (1-6)

Individualized laboratory, field, or literature research projects. May be repeated for a total of 6 credits. Pre: graduate standing, permission of instructor. S/U credit.

593, 594 Special Topics in Biological Sciences (1-6)

Selected areas pertinent to needs of individuals or small groups. Class, seminar or tutorial. Topics may include the following: biomechanics, cell biology, ecological morphology, functional morphology, ichthyology, molecular biology, morphology and mechanics, physiology, plant cell development, and zoology. May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.

599 Master’s Thesis Research

Number of credits is determined each semester in consultation with the major professor or program committee. (Independent Study) S/U credit.

641, 642 Seminar in Physiology (1-3 each)

Reports and discussions on topics of current research in physiology. Subject matter adapted to meet interests of students. (Seminar) Pre: permission of instructor.

654 Seminar in Ichthyology (2)

Reading, library research, reports, and class discussion on problems of current research interest in the biology of fishes. (Seminar) Pre: 563 or permission of instructor. In alternate years.

661 Phytoplankton Taxonomy

See Oceanography 661.

663 Phytoplankton Physiology

See Oceanography 663.

664 Phytoplankton Ecology

See Oceanography 664.

675 Advanced Ecology Seminars (2 each)

Specialized and advanced areas of ecological research and theory, including biogeography, Pleistocene ecology, population dynamics, energy flow in ecosystems, and radiation ecology. (Seminar) Pre: permission of instructor.

691 Biological Problems (1-6)

Special work to meet the needs of individual students who are prepared to undertake special problems. (Independent Study) Pre: permission of chairperson. Open only to doctoral students.

695 Graduate Seminar (1)

Students to give seminar reports on their thesis research. Topics may also include professional development subjects, such as grant writing, presentation techniques, résumé writing, etc. (Seminar) Pre: graduate standing. S/U credit. May be repeated for credit, but only 2 credits may be applied to the program of study.

699 Doctoral Dissertation Research

Number of credits is determined each semester in consultation with the major professor or program committee. (Independent Study) S/U credit.

930 Workshop in Biology Topics for Teachers (0-3)

Especially designed for secondary school science teachers. Basic topics in biology from an advanced or pedagogical perspective. (Workshop) Pre: teacher certification.

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