BISC 104
BISC 104 - Science or Science Fiction

This course will examine the scientific facts behind phenomena portrayed in a variety of Hollywood and foreign movies. We will cover topics ranging from the definition and recreation of life, genetics and behavior to evolution and environmental issues. The course will include weekly screenings of movies outside of class time as well as lectures, assigned readings and discussions. While obtaining an introduction to key concepts in biology, students will also explore misconceptions about science and scientists that are perpetuated by these movies.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 16

Prerequisites: Fulfillment of the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) component of the Quantitative Reasoning & Data Literacy requirement.

Instructor: Königer

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Typical Periods Offered: Summer

Notes:

BISC 106
BISC 106/ ES 106 - Natural History of National Parks

The U.S. National Parks System was designed to preserve wild landscapes that contain unique communities of organisms. But ecosystems in National Parks are not static: historical context and management decisions play a critical role in structuring the ecology of National Parks. Furthermore, many ecosystems in National Parks are experiencing current stress due to climate change and other human impacts. This intensive, field-based course will use National Parks as a study system to observe and interpret the interactions among biological organisms, the context of the physical environment, and human management actions that shape emergent ecosystems. We will also investigate the ways in which scientists and managers working in National Parks study and plan for future scenarios of rapid change. The majority of the course will be conducted in the field during an intensive 1-week trip to a U.S. National Park.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 14

Crosslisted Courses: ES 10 6

Prerequisites: None.

Instructor: J. Matthes

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

BISC 107
BISC 107 - Stem Cells in Regenerative Med with Lab

In this course we will focus on the cellular, evolutionary, and developmental biology of stem cells, how these cells contribute to development, regeneration, and aging in animals and plants, and how stem cells have been harnessed as novel patient therapies. Questions to be addressed include: How were stem cells discovered? Where do stem cells come from, and how can they be used to study and cure human diseases? What are the similarities and differences between embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, and "induced pluripotent stem cells"? How does the capacity to regenerate vary across the plant and animal kingdom and why? We will also discuss the scientific, bioethical and political controversies associated with regenerative medicine and recent stem cell research. Students will be able to explain how translational research, basic research, science policy, and the layman's perspective all impact how that science is done and where it could lead. In the lab, students will observe and track stem cells in developing embryos, visualize stem cells in a variety of organisms, and design experiments to test the limits of regeneration.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 14

Prerequisites: Fulfillment of the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) component of the Quantitative Reasoning & Data Literacy requirement.

Instructor: Laslo

Distribution Requirements: LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory; NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Degree Requirements: DL - Data Literacy (Formerly QRF); DL - Data Literacy (Formerly QRDL)

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

BISC 108
BISC 108 - Environmental Horticulture w/ Lab

What can we learn from plants and ecosystems to harvest food, source energy, and support a stable climate? This course will deepen our appreciation of plants, exploring how plants grow, respond to change, and create resilient communities. We will apply an ecological lens toward understanding how humans can cultivate plants in responsible and creative ways, whether caring for a houseplant, growing vegetables, or planting forests. Students will learn from diverse plants in the campus greenhouses and gardens, building scientific and horticultural skills through observation, experimentation and collaborative projects.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 48

Prerequisites: Fulfillment of the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) component of the Quantitative Reasoning & Data Literacy requirement.

Instructor: Jones, Nickles

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences; LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

BISC 109
BISC 109 - Human Biology w/Lab

This course focuses on human anatomy, physiology, and evolution. Lecture topics will include: human origins and evolution; the structure and function of the major physiological systems; exercise physiology; and human genetics. Laboratories explore human physiology, focusing on the development and application of skills in experimental design, statistical analysis, and scientific writing.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 28

Prerequisites: Fulfillment of the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) component of the Quantitative Reasoning & Data Literacy requirement.

Instructor: Skow, Dolce

Distribution Requirements: LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory; NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Degree Requirements: DL - Data Literacy (Formerly QRF); DL - Data Literacy (Formerly QRDL)

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

BISC 110
BISC 110 - Intro Cellular Biology w/Lab

A foundation course that focuses on the study of life at the cellular and molecular level, including eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell structure, function of biological macromolecules, molecular genetics, cellular metabolism, and key topics in cell biology. This course will provide the fundamental tools for exploration of cellular and molecular biology with the aim of enhancing conceptual understanding. Laboratories focus on experimental approaches to these topics and are shared with BISC 112. Either BISC 110, BISC 110P, BISC 112, BISC 112Y, or BISC 116; or BISC 111, BISC 111T, BISC 113, or BISC 113Y may be taken first. Students must attend lab during the first week in order to continue in the course.

When considering swapping labs, please note the availability of seats will depend on how many people are on the waitlist, and there is no guarantee you will receive a seat offer in another lab section even if you are already registered for a different section.  Therefore, we encourage that you make initial registration choices carefully and wisely.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 32

Prerequisites: Fulfillment of the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) component of the Quantitative Reasoning & Data Literacy requirement. Not open to students who have taken BISC 112, BISC 112Y, or BISC 116.

Instructor: Staff

Distribution Requirements: LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory; NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall; Spring

Notes:

BISC 110P
BISC 110P - Intro Cellular Biology w/Lab

A foundation course that focuses on the study of life at the cellular and molecular level, including eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell structure, function of biological macromolecules, molecular genetics, cellular metabolism, and key topics in cell biology. This course will provide the fundamental tools for exploration of this field with the aim of enhancing conceptual understanding. Laboratories focus on experimental approaches to these topics. This course is intended for students who do not meet the prerequisites for BISC 110 and for students who, because of their previous biology, chemistry and math experiences, require additional academic support for the study of introductory biology. Includes two additional class meetings per week. Students in BISC 110P must enroll in BISC 110P lab. Students must attend lab during the first week in order to continue in the course.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 16

Prerequisites: Open by permission of the instructor to students regardless of high school background or of whether they have already completed the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) component of the Quantitative Reasoning & Data Literacy requirement. Not open to students who have taken (BISC 110, BISC 112, BISC 112Y, or BISC 116).

Instructor: Roden, Okumura

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences; LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

BISC 111
BISC 111 - Intro Organismal Biology w/Lab

A study of life, ranging from the physiology of organisms to the structure of ecosystems. The main themes of the course are evolution and biodiversity, form and function in plants and animals, and ecological interactions among organisms. The course provides the fundamental tools for exploration of organismal biology with the aim of enhancing conceptual understanding. Laboratories focus on experimental approaches to these topics and are shared with BISC 113 and BISC 113Y. Either BISC 110, BISC 110P, BISC 112, BISC 112Y, or BISC 116; or BISC 111, BISC 111T, BISC 113, or BISC 113Y may be taken first. Students must attend lab during the first week in order to continue in the course.

When considering swapping labs, please note the availability of seats will depend on how many people are on the waitlist, and there is no guarantee you will receive a seat offer in another lab section even if you are already registered for a different section.  Therefore, we encourage that you make initial registration choices carefully and wisely.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 32

Prerequisites: Fulfillment of the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) component of the Quantitative Reasoning & Data Literacy requirement. Not open to students who have taken BISC 111T, BISC 113, or BISC 113Y.

Instructor: Staff

Distribution Requirements: LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory; NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Degree Requirements: DL - Data Literacy (Formerly QRDL); DL - Data Literacy (Formerly QRF)

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring; Fall

Notes:

BISC 111T
BISC 111T - Intro Organismal Biology w/Lab

Introduction to the central questions, concepts, and methods of experimental analysis in selected areas of organismal biology with a focus on tropical island biology. Topics include evolution, ecology, and plant and animal structure and physiology. Lectures and discussions during the Spring semester will prepare students for the field laboratory taught at the Central Caribbean Marine Institute in Little Cayman. Laboratory work will be carried out primarily in the field and includes introductions to the flora and fauna of the island and the coral reefs, as well as group projects. The nine-day field portion of the class will take place in mid-May.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 12

Prerequisites: Fulfillment of the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) component of the Quantitative Reasoning & Data Literacy requirement. Not open to students who have taken BISC 111, BISC 113, or BISC 113Y. Contact instructor for the application in early October.

Instructor: Königer, Sequeira

Distribution Requirements: LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory; NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Degree Requirements: DL - Data Literacy (Formerly QRF); DL - Data Literacy (Formerly QRDL)

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

BISC 112
BISC 112 - Expl Cellular & Molecular Bio w/Lab

Seminar-style introduction to life at the cellular and molecular level, designed as an alternative to BISC 110 for students with strong high school preparation (such as AP, IB, or other). The course will include eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell structure, function of biological macromolecules, molecular genetics, cellular metabolism, molecular genetics, and mechanisms of growth and differentiation, with an emphasis on experimental approaches to investigating these topics. This course will aim to develop students' skills in data analysis and scientific writing along with building foundational knowledge in the field. Lab sections are shared with BISC 110. This course differs from BISC 110 in its small class size and discussion-based format; it meets for one discussion and one lab session per week. Either BISC 110, BISC 110P, BISC 112, BISC 112Y, or BISC 116; or BISC 111, BISC 111T, BISC 113, or BISC 113Y may be taken first. Students must attend lab during the first week in order to continue in the course.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 16

Prerequisites: Biology AP/IB, or equivalent experience, or permission of the instructor. Fulfillment of the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) component of the Quantitative Reasoning & Data Literacy requirement. Not open to students who have taken BISC 110, BISC 110P or BISC 116.

Instructor: Staff

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences; LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

BISC 112Y
BISC 112Y - FYS: Expl Cellular Bio w/Lab

Seminar-style introduction to life at the cellular and molecular level, designed as an alternative to BISC 110 for students with strong high school preparation (such as AP, IB, or other). The course will include eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell structure, function of biological macromolecules, molecular genetics, cellular metabolism, molecular genetics, and mechanisms of growth and differentiation, with an emphasis on experimental approaches to investigating these topics. This course will aim to develop students' skills in data analysis and scientific writing along with building foundational knowledge in the field. Lab sections are shared with BISC 110. This course differs from BISC 110 in its small class size and discussion-based format; it meets for one discussion and one lab session per week. Either BISC 110, BISC 110P, BISC 112, BISC 112Y, or BISC 116; or BISC 111, BISC 111T, BISC 113, or BISC 113Y may be taken first. Students must attend lab during the first week in order to continue in the course.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 16

Prerequisites: Open to First-Year students only. Biology AP/IB, or equivalent experience, or permission of instructor. Fulfillment of the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) component of the Quantitative Reasoning & Data Literacy requirement. Not open to students who have taken BISC 110, BISC 110P or BISC 116.

Instructor: Staff

Distribution Requirements: LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory; NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

BISC 113
BISC 113 - Expl Organismal Bio w/Lab

An exploration of the central questions, concepts, and methods of experimental analysis in selected areas of organismal biology, designed as an alternative to BISC 111 for students with strong high school preparation (such as AP, IB, or other). Topics include: the evolution and diversification of life, the form and function of plants and animals, and ecological interactions among organisms, with an emphasis on laboratory methods, data analysis, and science writing. Lab sections are shared with BISC 111. This course differs from BISC 111 in its smaller class size, a seminar-style format, and a focus on discussion of landmark scientific studies that shape this field; it meets for one discussion and one lab session per week. Either BISC 110, BISC 110P, BISC 112, BISC 112Y, or BISC 116 or BISC 111, BISC 111T, BISC 113, or BISC 113Y may be taken first. Students must attend lab during the first week in order to continue in the course.

When considering swapping labs, please note the availability of seats will depend on how many people are on the waitlist, and there is no guarantee you will receive a seat offer in another lab section even if you are already registered for a different section.  Therefore, we encourage that you make initial registration choices carefully and wisely.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 16

Prerequisites: Biology AP/IB, or equivalent experience, or permission of the instructor. Fulfillment of the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) component of the Quantitative Reasoning & Data Literacy requirement. Not open to students who have taken BISC 111, BISC 111T, or BISC 113Y

Instructor: Staff

Distribution Requirements: LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory; NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Degree Requirements: DL - Data Literacy (Formerly QRF); DL - Data Literacy (Formerly QRDL)

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring; Fall

Notes: Ann E. Maurer '51 Speaking Intensive Course, Fall sections only.

BISC 113Y
BISC 113Y - FYS: Expl Organismal Bio w/Lab

An exploration of the central questions, concepts, and methods of experimental analysis in selected areas of organismal biology, designed as an alternative to BISC 111 for students with strong high school preparation (such as AP, IB, or other). Topics include: the evolution and diversification of life, the form and function of plants and animals, and ecological interactions among organisms, with an emphasis on laboratory methods, data analysis, and science writing. Lab sections are shared with BISC 111. This course differs from BISC 111 in its smaller class size, a seminar-style format, and a focus on discussion of landmark scientific studies that shape this field; it meets for one discussion and one lab session per week. Either BISC 110, BISC 110P, BISC 112, BISC 112Y, or BISC 116; or BISC 111, BISC 111T, BISC 113, or BISC 113Y may be taken first. Students must attend lab during the first week in order to continue in the course.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 16

Prerequisites: Open to First-Year students only. Biology AP/IB, or equivalent experience, or permission of instructor. Fulfillment of the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) component of the Quantitative Reasoning & Data Literacy requirement. Not open to students who have taken BISC 111, BISC 111T, or BISC 113Y.

Instructor: Staff

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences; LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory

Degree Requirements: DL - Data Literacy (Formerly QRDL); DL - Data Literacy (Formerly QRF)

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

BISC 116
BISC 116 - Intro Integ Chem Bio w/Lab

A foundation course that provides an integrated introduction to the application of chemical principles to understand biological systems and covers the content of both (BISC 110, BISC 110P, BISC 112, or BISC 112Y) and CHEM 105. It is designed for students whose interests lie at the interface of chemistry and biology and must be taken concurrently with CHEM 116. Students will learn how structure and function of biological systems are shaped by principles of atomic properties and chemical bonding. Cellular metabolism and molecular genetics are integrated with quantitative introductions to thermodynamics, equilibrium, and kinetics. Other topics motivated by the application of chemistry to biology include nuclear chemistry and cellular growth and differentiation. The laboratory is a hands-on introduction to spectroscopy, microscopy, and other experimental techniques, as well as quantitative analysis, experimental design, and scientific writing. Successful completion of this course enables a student to take any course for which either CHEM105 or (BISC 110, BISC 110P, BISC 112, or BISC 112Y) is a prerequisite.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 32

Prerequisites: One year of high school chemistry, math equivalent to two years of high school algebra, and fulfillment of the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) component of the Quantitative Reasoning & Data Literacy requirement. Not open to students who have taken BISC 110 , BISC 110P, BISC 112, BISC 112Y, CHEM 105, CHEM 105P, or CHEM 120. Students must attend lab during the first week to continue in the course.

Instructor: M. Radhakrishnan (Chemistry), Matthews, Oakes (Chemistry)

Distribution Requirements: MM - Mathematical Modeling and Problem Solving; LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory; NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes: CHEM 116-01 and BISC 116-01 are co-requisite courses and students must register for both sections at the same time. Students must also register simultaneously for a lab section (either BISC 116 L01 or BISC 116 L02). Students must attend the first lab session in order to continue in the course. Students with AP or IB credit in chemistry who elect this course forfeit the AP or IB credit.

BISC 150H
BISC 150H/ ES 150H - Climate Change & Agriculture

Agricultural systems both contribute to and are impacted by the growing threat of global climate change. Promoting the resilience of agricultural systems is essential for feeding rapidly growing populations, eradicating global malnourishment, and minimizing the impact of agriculture on Earth’s other ecosystems. This course will use scientific evidence to evaluate the ways in which agricultural systems contribute to climate change and to assess climate change risks to agricultural systems. Students will develop skills in systems analysis and decision-making under conditions of uncertainty. A central focus of the course will be on the presentation of quantitative data in visually intuitive formats for decision-making support.

Units: 0.5

Max Enrollment: 12

Crosslisted Courses: ES 150H

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: J. Matthes

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes: Mandatory Credit/Non Credit

BISC 195
BISC 195 - Intro to Computational Biology

This course will provide an introduction to the essential computer science concepts necessary for doing bioinformatics and biological data analysis, including abstraction, control flow, functional programming, and modularization. This knowledge will enable students to design, create and debug their own programs to wrangle large datasets, use command-line tools with confidence, and perform reproducible analyses. In addition, students will learn practical coding-adjacent skills such as interacting with their computer using the shell, distributed version control systems, and interaction with online biological sequence databases for DNA and protein through application program interfaces (APIs).

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 12

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Bonham

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Typical Periods Offered: Summer

Notes:

BISC 198
BISC 198 - Applied Stats & Data Sci in Biology

This course applies  statistical theory to problems in  ecology and experimental biology to illustrate some of the more common techniques of experimental design and data analysis. Students will learn how to plan an experiment and consider the observations, measurements, and potential statistical tests before data are collected and analyzed. The course will enable students to work with complex datasets and distill them into meaningful information from which they can draw reasoned conclusions and communicate their findings. Specific topics include best practices in data visualization, probability distributions and their applications, one- and two-way ANOVA and t-tests, regression and correlation, goodness-of-fit tests, and nonparametric alternatives. The course will be run as a studio with combined lecture and hands-on data analysis using the open-source computing software R.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: Fulfillment of the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) component of the Quantitative Reasoning & Data Literacy requirement and one course in biology, chemistry, ES 100 or ES 101.

Instructor: Zipf

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Degree Requirements: DL - Data Literacy (Formerly QRF); DL - Data Literacy (Formerly QRDL)

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

BISC 201
BISC 201 - Ecology w/Lab

An introduction to the scientific study of the interrelationships among organisms and their interactions with the environment.  Topics include evolutionary adaptation in dynamic environments, behavioral ecology and life-history strategies, population dynamics, interactions among organisms, and the structure and function of biological communities and ecosystems. Emphasis is placed on the development of quantitative skills and reading the primary scientific literature to address issues such as the stability and resilience of ecosystems with climate change, conservation of endangered species, and the dynamics of infectious disease.  Laboratory will focus on applying ecological concepts to observational and experimental field data collection, data organization, and statistical analysis.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 28

Prerequisites: BISC 108 or (BISC 111, BISC 111T, BISC 113, or BISC 113Y) or ES 100 or ES 101 or by permission of the instructor.

Instructor: J. Matthes, Skow

Distribution Requirements: LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory; NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Degree Requirements: DL - Data Literacy (Formerly QRDL); DL - Data Literacy (Formerly QRF)

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

BISC 202
BISC 202 - Evolution w/Lab

Examination of evolution, the central paradigm of biology, at the level of populations, species, and lineages. Topics include the genetics of populations, the definition of species, the roles of natural selection and chance in evolution, the reconstruction of phylogeny, the evolution of sex, the impact of sexual selection, the importance of evolutionary thinking in medicine, and patterns in the origination of, diversity, and extinction of species over time. Class work emphasizes collaborative work and reading and interpreting primary literature. Labs include hands-on assessments of genetic variation in populations using DNA and protein based analyses; estimation of mutation rates in bacteria; exploration of computer simulations to understand the effects of genetic drift and student-designed experiments to assess the effects of natural selection in populations.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 12

Prerequisites: (BISC 111, BISC 111T, BISC 113, or BISC 113Y) or by permission of the instructor. (BISC 110, BISC 110P, BISC 112, or BISC 112Y is strongly recommended.)

Instructor: Sequeira, Dolce

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences; LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

BISC 203
BISC 203 - Comp Phys & Anat Vert w/Lab

How do animals work?  This course addresses the structure, systems of physiology, and energetics of vertebrate animals, with comparisons of the adaptations of animals of different thermal regime, body size, lifestyle, and environment.  The laboratories include projects in diversity, respirometry, digestion, muscle energetics, study of comparative anatomy through dissections of vertebrate specimens, and the use of statistics and graphing.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 24

Prerequisites: BISC 109 or (BISC 111, BISC 111T, BISC 113, or BISC 113Y) or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Ruhr, Dolce, Nickles

Distribution Requirements: LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory; NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

BISC 204
BISC 204 - Biological Modeling w/Lab

Can we anticipate the effects that genetic variation will have on the future of a species? How can we predict the spread of an impending epidemic? How many fish will be in the ocean next year? Mathematical models liberate biologists from only being able to draw inferences from what we can directly observe, and these models allow us to develop a deeper understanding of complex systems. In this course students will develop skills in conceptualizing, writing, programming, and interpreting results from biological models through theoretical examples and laboratory exercises.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 14

Prerequisites: (BISC 110, BISC 110P, BISC 112, BISC 112Y, or BISC 116) or (BISC 111, BISC 111T, BISC 113, or BISC 113Y) and MATH 116 (or equivalent); or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: J. Matthes

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences; LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory; MM - Mathematical Modeling and Problem Solving

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

BISC 207
BISC 207 - Biology of Plants w/Lab

An overview of the physiology and development of land plants from the cell/molecular level to the whole organism. Topics include photosynthesis, transport systems, patterns and regulation of growth and development, and interactions with the environment – both biotic (pathogens, animals, other plants) and abiotic (light, water, temperature). Applied aspects including medicinal plants and the potential for biotechnology to increase food production in the face of climate change will be addressed. The investigative, exploratory laboratory sessions will provide an introduction to techniques currently employed in answering research questions ranging from the cellular to the organismal level.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 12

Prerequisites: (BISC 110, BISC 110P, BISC 112, BISC 112Y, or BISC 116) or (BISC 111, BISC 111T, BISC 113, or BISC 113Y) or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Peterman, Beers

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences; LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

BISC 209
BISC 209 - Microbiology w/Lab

Comprehensive overview of the microbial world, with emphasis on bacteria. Topics include microbial cell structure and function, diversity, metabolism, evolution, genetics, and ecology. Also covered are applied aspects of microbiology with a focus on the food industry, biotechnology, human health, and the role microbes play in environmental processes. Labs encompass inquiry-based projects exploring microbial ecology, metabolism and interactions between microbes, production of antibiotics, and sequence-based identification of microbes and microbial communities. Students will have the opportunity to design and conduct an experiment on microbes. Students must attend both lecture and lab during the first week in order to continue in the course.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 24

Prerequisites: ((BISC 110, BISC 110P, BISC 112, or BISC 112Y) and one unit of college chemistry) or BISC 116.

Instructor: Klepac-Ceraj, Roden

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences; LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

BISC 210
BISC 210 - Marine Biology w/Lab

Oceans cover more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface and are our planet’s primary life support system.  This course examines adaptations and interactions of plants and animals in a variety of marine habitats.  Focal habitats include the photic zone of the open ocean, the deep-sea, subtidal and intertidal zones, estuaries, and coral reefs.  Emphasis is placed on the dominant organisms, food webs, and experimental studies conducted within each habitat.  Laboratories will emphasize diversity of species in marine habitats and will highlight local coastal ecosystems. Partnerships with other marine scientists around the country and globe will be leveraged for comparative study.  The course will include projects on phase shifts and alternative stable states, harmful algae blooms, coral reef resilience, seabird foraging, deep sea biodiversity, sea level rise, and local seafood markets.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 14

Prerequisites: One of the following (BISC 111, BISC 111T, BISC 113, BISC 113Y) or ES 101; or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Staff, Beers

Distribution Requirements: LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory; NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

BISC 214
BISC 214 - Animal Behavior w/Lab

In meeting the challenges of survival and reproduction, animals have evolved behaviors that can be spectacular and sometimes unpleasant. With an eye to how behaviors ultimately shape an animal's fitness, we will explore the aspects of life that make each animal's strategy unique, including communication, reproduction, parental care, and sociality. Laboratories will expose students to the challenges of experimental design and collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and presenting data on animal behavior.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 24

Prerequisites: BISC 109 or (BISC 111, BISC 111T, BISC 113, or BISC 113Y) or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Mattila, Skow

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences; LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

BISC 216
BISC 216 - Developmental Biology w/ Lab

In this course, we will explore animal development beginning with the process of fertilization. We will consider how a single cell gives rise to the many specialized cell types of the adult and how the development of tissues is coordinated. The mechanisms that determine cell fate during embryonic development will be discussed. Topics will include: embryonic induction, pattern formation, organ development, regeneration, stem cells, and aging. Laboratory sessions will focus on experimental approaches to development. This course does not have a waitlist, we know enrollments shift and spaces open up, so check back regularly for spots.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 36

Prerequisites: One of (BISC 110, BISC 110P, BISC 112, BISC 112Y, or BISC 116) and one of (BISC 111, BISC 111T, BISC 113, or BISC 113Y) or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Suzuki, Beers

Distribution Requirements: LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory; NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

BISC 219
BIOC 219/ BISC 219 - Genetics w/Lab

The goal of the course is to develop an understanding of the fundamental principles of genetics at the molecular, cellular, organismal and population levels. The course establishes a link between the generation of genetic variants through mutation and recombination, their patterns of inheritance, interactions between genes to produce complex phenotypes, and the maintenance of such genetic variation in natural populations. The course also explores principles of genome organization and the mechanisms that regulate gene expression. Other topics include: DNA sequencing and the use of genomic data to address questions in genetics, comparing and contrasting genetic regulation strategies across the three domains of life, and exploring experimental approaches for addressing genetic questions. Laboratory investigation will expose students to the fundamentals of genetics including transmission, molecular, and computational techniques for genetic analysis.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 60

Crosslisted Courses: BIOC 219

Prerequisites: BISC 110, BISC 110P, BISC 112, BISC 112Y or BISC 116. One unit of college chemistry is recommended. Not open to First-Year students.

Instructor: Beers, Königer, Carmell, Okumura

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences; LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

BISC 220
BIOC 220/ BISC 220 - Cell Biology w/Lab

Examines structure-function relationships in eukaryotic cells. We will explore the operation and regulation of molecular machines that carry out processes central to life. Considerable emphasis is placed on experimental approaches for investigating the following topics: protein structure and enzyme kinetics, biological membranes and transport, cytoskeletal assembly and function, protein biogenesis and trafficking, cell communication and signaling, the cell cycle, and intercellular interactions. Laboratory investigations will provide students with experience in classical and modern approaches to examine and quantify cellular processes. Students must attend lab during the first week in order to continue in the course.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 60

Crosslisted Courses: BIOC 220

Prerequisites: One of the following (BISC 110, BISC 110P, BISC 112, or BISC 112Y) and two units of college chemistry; or  BISC 116 and CHEM 116 and one unit of college chemistry. Not open to First-Year students.

Instructor: L. Darling, Goss, Okumura, Roden

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences; LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

BISC 247
BISC 247/ ES 247 - Plant Diversity & Ecology w/Lab

This course is a combination of “What's that wildflower?” and “Why does it grow over there and not here?” We begin by examining large-scale patterns of plant diversity from an evolutionary and phylogenetic perspective and then shift to an ecological perspective. Along the way, we zoom in to specific concepts and processes that help us understand overall patterns. Laboratories will primarily be taught in the field and greenhouses and will include plant identification, observational and experimental studies, and long-term study of forest communities on the Wellesley campus. Laboratories will also include aspects of experimental design and data analysis. The goal of the course is not only to train students in botany and plant ecology, but to engage them in the world of plants every time they step outside.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 14

Crosslisted Courses: BISC 247

Prerequisites: One of the following - ES 100, ES 101, BISC 108, BISC 111, BISC 111T, BISC 113, BISC 113Y; or permission of the instructor. Not open to students who have taken BISC 347/ES 347.

Instructor: Griffith

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences; LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes: The course is offered at the 300-level as BISC 347/ES 347.

BISC 250
BISC 250 - Research or Individual Study

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

Instructor:

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall; Spring

Notes:

BISC 250G
BISC 250G - Research or Individual Study

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

Instructor:

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring; Fall

Notes:

BISC 250H
BISC 250H - Research or Individual Study

Units: 0.5

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

Instructor:

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring; Fall

Notes:

BISC 274
ANTH 274/ BISC 274 - Anthropological Genetics

This course will provide an introduction into the core concepts of population genetics, with special focus on their application to human and nonhuman primate evolution. Population genetics is the branch of evolutionary biology concerned with how genetic variation is patterned within and between populations and how these patterns change over time. Though the theory is applicable to all organisms, specific examples drawn from the human and nonhuman primate literature will be used as case studies. Topics will also include the genetic basis for disease, pedigree analysis, and personal genomics. The course will be structured around lectures and discussion with regular computer labs to provide firsthand experience working with anthropological genetic topics and analyses of genetic data sets.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: BISC 274

Prerequisites:

Instructor: Van Arsdale

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Typical Periods Offered: Every four years

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

BISC 302
BISC 302 - Human Physiology w/Lab

This course takes an integrated approach to the study of organ system function in humans. We will examine control mechanisms that allow the body to maintain a constant balance in the face of environmental challenges, such as exercise, temperature change, and high altitude. Our particular focus will be recent findings in the areas of neural, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, and muscle physiology. In the laboratory, students gain experience with the tools of modern physiological research at both the cellular and organismal levels.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 12

Prerequisites: (BISC 111, BISC 111T, BISC 113, BISC 113Y or NEUR 100) and (BISC 203 or NEUR 200).

Instructor: Dolce, Staff

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences; LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

BISC 303
BISC 303 - Reproductive Medicine Seminar

In some countries, 3-5% of births are achieved with assisted reproductive technologies, and this number is projected to grow as societies become increasingly interested in beating the biological clock. This class will introduce the basic biology behind fertility and explore the etiology and diagnosis of infertility. We will cover the latest developments in reproductive science and consider the clinical challenges of translating research findings into medical treatments. We will discuss gonadal stem cells and their use for rejuvenation of fertility, oocyte and embryo cryopreservation, and mouse models with abnormal reproductive phenotypes. This class will highlight open questions in reproductive biology, familiarize students with both tried-and-true and emerging reproductive technologies, and explore the advantages and pitfalls of each. A major goal of the class is to teach students to read and critically evaluate the primary research literature. Student participation in discussions will be emphasized.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 12

Prerequisites: One of the following (BISC 110, BISC 110P, BISC 112, BISC 112Y, BISC 116) and two of the following three courses (BISC 219/BIOC 219, BIOC 220/BISC 220, BISC 216), or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Carmell

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

BISC 305
BISC 305 - Sem: Evolution

A brief history of life. Topics include the origin of life from nonlife, evolution of replicatory molecules, the early history of photosynthesis and eukaryotic structure, the diversification of domains, kingdoms and animal phyla, and the stepwise appearance of strategies for life in terrestrial and aerial environments. The course will emphasize student participation and make extensive use of the primary literature.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 12

Prerequisites: Two units in Biological Sciences at the 200 level or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Staff

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

BISC 306
BISC 306/ NEUR 306 - Principles of Neural Development

This course will discuss aspects of nervous system development and how they relate to the development of the organism as a whole. Topics such as neurogenesis, programmed cell death, axon guidance, synaptogenesis, and the development of behavior will be discussed, with an emphasis on the primary literature and critical reading, writing and speaking skills.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 12

Crosslisted Courses: BISC 30 6

Prerequisites: NEUR 200 or BISC 216, or permission of the instructor. Open to Juniors and Seniors only.

Instructor: Beltz

Distribution Requirements: EC - Epistemology and Cognition; NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

BISC 307
BISC 307/ ES 307 - Ecosystem Ecology w/Lab

The emergent structure and function of ecosystems are regulated by feedbacks between biological and physical systems from the microscopic to the global scale. We will study how ecosystems cycle carbon and nutrients and how the energy balance of ecosystems influences climate. We will also examine the role that humans play in managing, creating, and using services from ecosystems in our current era of rapid global change. Synthesizing these concepts, we consider the role of protected areas in preserving ecosystem functioning. Students will develop statistical skills working with authentic long-term ecosystem ecology datasets. Students in this course will develop independent data analysis projects that include scientific communication through presentations, writing, and visual displays of data.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 12

Crosslisted Courses: ES 30 7

Prerequisites: One of the following - BISC 201, BISC 202, BISC 209, BISC 210, BISC 247/ES 247, ES 220; or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Zipf

Distribution Requirements: LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory; NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes: Ann E. Maurer '51 Speaking Intensive Course. Wendy Judge Paulson '69 Ecology of Place Living Laboratory course.

BISC 308
BISC 308 - Tropical Ecology with Lab

Tropical forests and coral reefs are among the most fascinating and diverse ecosystems, but unfortunately face an ever increasing number of threats. In this discussion based class, students present and analyze papers that illustrate how these ecosystems function, why they are struggling and what can be done to prevent further decline and to hopefully restore them. We will pay attention to the observational, experimental and analytical approaches that are used in this field of study. The week-long laboratory part takes place at the Central Caribbean Marine Institute in Little Cayman at the end of May. Students will have the opportunity to carry out their own research projects that they designed during the semester. To receive more information including the application form, please reach out to Prof. Königer. Applications are due Oct. 6th

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 12

Prerequisites: One of the following courses - BISC 201, BISC 202, BISC 207, BISC 210, BISC 214, or permission of the instructors.

Instructor: Königer, Sequeira

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences; LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

BISC 310
BISC 310/ ES 310 - Sem: Climate Change & Marine Eco

This course will focus on the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems. As greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have increased, the oceans have absorbed more than 93% of the excess heat and roughly ¼ of the carbon dioxide. The triple threat of warming temperatures, depletions in oxygen, and drops in ocean pH have led to dramatic effects on ocean ecosystems. Students will analyze the primary literature to examine 1) how these stressors are affecting physiology, demography, phenology, and distributions of marine species separately and when acting together, 2) the potential for adaptation/evolution, 3) what lessons can be learned from the paleorecord, and 4) the impacts on coastal communities and nations. The course incorporates student-led seminar-style discussions, and a final synthetic project where teams will present evidence for the impacts of climate change on a particular marine ecosystem.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 12

Crosslisted Courses: ES 310

Prerequisites: One of the following courses - BISC 201, BISC 202, BISC 209, BISC 210, BISC 214, BIOC 219/BISC 219, ES 201, ES 220, EXTD 225, EXTD 226 or permission of instructor.

Instructor: Selden

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

BISC 311
BISC 311 - Evolutionary Developmental Bio w/Lab

The diversity of organismal forms has fascinated human beings for centuries.  How did butterflies get eyespots? What is the evolutionary origin of bird feathers? How did snakes get to be so long? How did humans evolve? The field of evolutionary developmental biology, or evo-devo, integrates the long-separate fields of evolutionary biology and developmental biology to answer these questions.  In this course, we will explore topics such as the evolution of novelties, body plan evolution, developmental constraints, convergent evolution, and the role of environmental changes in evolution. Through reading of original papers, we will examine recent advances made in evo-devo and critically analyze the role of evo-devo in biology and the implications beyond biology.  Students will have the opportunity to design and conduct an independent research project using molecular tools in arthropods.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 12

Prerequisites: BISC 202, or BISC 216, or BISC 219/BIOC 219, or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Suzuki

Distribution Requirements: LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory; NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

BISC 312
BISC 312 - Evolutionary Medicine

Evolution is the foundation for all biology. We have long been able to recognize its contributions to understanding infectious disease and genetics, but we are yet far from realizing its full potential in the medicine field. We often think of the human body as an efficient machine. We view disease as a defect arising in an otherwise perfect device. An evolutionary perspective offers a more realistic view of the body as a product of natural selection: functional and remarkable in many ways, but also flawed in many ways, for good evolutionary reasons. In this course we will explore the premise that the human body and its pathogens are not perfectly designed machines but evolving biological systems shaped by selection under the constraints of tradeoffs that produce specific compromises and vulnerabilities. We will explore fundamental evolutionary principles such as arms races, maladaptation, evolutionary mismatch, and evolutionary theories of senescence, and their connections to medicine.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 12

Prerequisites: One of the following (BISC 111, BISC 111T, BISC 113, BISC 113Y) and either (BISC 202 or BISC 219/BIOC 219), or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Sequeira

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

BISC 314
BISC 314 - Environmental Microbio w/Lab

The availability of next generation sequencing in the last 10-15 years has revolutionized the field of environmental microbiology. Although most of the microbial world remains to be discovered and explored, we are now starting to find answers to some central ecological questions such as: What microbes are present in various ecosystems? What is the distribution of each type of organism? What are their roles (functions)? How does each role relate to the magnitude of microbial activity? What factors influence microbial activity and interactions? We will explore the questions in the context of the human and cheese microbiomes. The topics will include microbial diversity, microbial evolution, phylogeny, physiology, metabolism, community ecology, genomics, metagenomics and proteomics. Through reading of original papers on the human microbiome, we will examine recent advances made in microbial ecology and critically analyze the role of microorganisms on human health and beyond. Students will have the opportunity to design and conduct an independent research project to explore the cheese microbiome.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 12

Prerequisites: CHEM 211 and any of the following - BISC 201, BISC 202, BISC 209, BISC 210, BISC 219/BIOC 219 or BISC 220/ BIOC 220, or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Klepac-Ceraj

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences; LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes: Ann E. Maurer '51 Speaking Intensive Course.

BISC 315
BISC 315/ NEUR 315 - Neuroendocrinology

Hormones act throughout the body to coordinate basic biological functions such as development, differentiation, and reproduction. This course will investigate how hormones act in the brain to regulate physiology and behavior. We will study how the major neuroendocrine axes regulate a variety of functions, including brain development, reproductive physiology and behavior, homeostasis, and stress. The regulation of these functions by hormones will be investigated at the molecular, cellular, and behavioral levels.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 12

Crosslisted Courses: BISC 315

Prerequisites: NEUR 200; or one of the following (BISC 110, BISC 110P, BISC 112, or BISC 112Y) and BISC 203; or BISC 116, CHEM 116 and BISC 203; or permission of the instructor. Open to Juniors and Seniors only.

Instructor: Tetel

Distribution Requirements: EC - Epistemology and Cognition; NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

BISC 316
BISC 316 - Molecular Genetics w/Lab

Molecular genetic techniques, which allow us to identify, analyze and manipulate genes, have revolutionized our understanding of how organisms develop and function. This course focuses on the use of molecular genetic and genomic approaches to dissect and manipulate complex biological systems. In this semester-long project-based course, students will use these approaches to pursue an original research question in a genetic model organism. Seminar-style class sessions will focus on critical analysis, presentation and discussion of the primary literature relevant to the research project. In the laboratory, students will gain experience with a variety of current molecular genetic methods (e.g. DNA cloning and sequencing, PCR, genomic analysis, RNAi, gene knock-outs, mutagenesis, bioinformatics) with an emphasis on experimental design and data analysis.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 12

Prerequisites: BIOC 219/BISC 219 or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Peterman

Distribution Requirements: LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory; NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes: Ann E. Maurer '51 Speaking Intensive Course.

BISC 317
BISC 317 - Sem: Environmental Physiology

Animals are found in nearly every habitat on Earth, but not all environments are suitable or hospitable to humans. Unlike people, some animals can live without liquid water, endure being frozen, withstand immense pressure, and even live months in the complete absence of oxygen. Our goal for this course is to address a singular question: What adaptations do animals possess that enable them to survive under conditions lethal to humans? By comparing and contrasting the different ways animals overcome stressors in their biotic and abiotic environment, we will both broaden and deepen our understanding of how animals survive. We will consider the physiology of vertebrate and invertebrate animals, with an emphasis on the basic principles of physiology, and explore how adaptations to extreme environments are conserved or have diverged among phylogenetically diverse groups. The goal of this course is to introduce students to current topical questions in environmental physiology, through a combination of lectures, invited seminars, review of the primary literature, class discussions, individual projects, and oral presentations.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 12

Prerequisites: One of the following - BISC 201, BISC 202, BISC 203, BIOC 219/BISC 219; or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Ruhr

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

BISC 318
BISC 318 - CRISPR Gene Editing

CRISPR gene editing is at the center of an ongoing revolution in biology. This system for precise and efficient gene editing in living cells has led to numerous applications in medicine, agriculture and the environment. This course will examine the molecular genetic, cellular and biochemical principles that govern CRISPR and its myriad uses. Topics will include the microbial adaptive immune system and its modification for use as a gene editing tool, applications of CRISPR to the study and treatment of cancer, human genetic diseases and the improvement of food crops, CRISPR gene drives as tools to control disease-spreading insects and invasive species in wild populations, and CRISPR as a powerful tool to study model organisms and probe biological functions. We will also evaluate ethical and legal issues surrounding this revolutionary genome engineering system.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 12

Prerequisites: BISC 219/BIOC 219

Instructor: Peterman

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

BISC 327
BISC 327/ ES 327 - Sem: Topics in Biodiversity

How do other species interact with landscapes and habitats that people have modified or even completely restructured?  Which species live in human-dominated environments, and how does the diversity of species in these habitats affect the function and health of these ecosystems?  In this course we will build our scientific understanding of biodiversity and its consequences, and explore how this understanding can inform the design and management of spaces we occupy.  We will consider habitats from agricultural landscapes to suburban parks to buildings, with special attention to the opportunities afforded by Wellesley’s remarkable campus, including the Global Flora greenhouse.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 12

Crosslisted Courses: ES 327

Prerequisites: Two courses from the following - BISC 201, BISC 202, BISC 204, BISC 207, BISC 209, BISC 210, BISC 214, ES 201, ES 220, or ES 247/BISC 247; or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Jones

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes: This is a topics course and can be taken more than once for credit as long as the topic is different each time.

BISC 327H
BISC 327H/ ES 327H - Sem: Current Topics in Ecology

Topic for 2021-22: Biodiversity in the Built Environment

Topic for 2021-22: Biodiversity in the Built Environment

How do other species interact with landscapes and habitats that people have modified or even completely restructured? How does biodiversity in human-dominated habitats affect the function and health of these ecosystems, and resilience with respect to climate change? In this course we will build our understanding of biodiversity and its consequences, and explore how this understanding can inform the design and management of spaces we occupy. We will consider habitats from agricultural landscapes to suburban parks to buildings.

Not open to students who have taken BISC 327/ES 327 with the same topic.

Units: 0.5

Max Enrollment: 16

Crosslisted Courses: ES 327H

Prerequisites: Two of the following course - BISC 201, BISC 207, BISC 209, BISC 210, ES 220, BISC 247/ES 247; or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Jones

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes: This is a topics course and can be taken more than once for credit as long as the topic is different each time. Mandatory Credit/Non Credit. Students taking BISC 327H/ES 327H in the academic year 2021-2022 may combine with BISC 150H/ES 150H, BISC 350H or BISC 350 taken any year to fulfill either the 300-level course without lab requirement or the elective course requirement for the BISC major.

BISC 328
BISC 328 - Sem: Modern Biological Imaging

This course will take an interdisciplinary approach to examine how scientists address physiologically significant questions in cell and molecular biology using imaging-based techniques and modalities. We will examine the development and utilization of both qualitative and quantitative optical microscopy techniques, focusing on fluorescent microscopy. Student exploration and analysis of review and primary literature will be integral to this course along with a hands-on fluorescence microscopy project. The course incorporates a combination of introductory lectures, seminar-style discussions, practical experience, and student presentations throughout the semester.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 12

Prerequisites: Two 200-level BISC or BIOC courses, one of which should be BISC 219/BIOC 219 or BISC 220/BIOC 220, or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: L. Darling

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

BISC 329
BISC 329 - Biological Microscopy with Lab

Cell biology was born in the microscope, which now allows us to visualize the dynamic processes of life inside cells. This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to examine how scientists address physiologically significant questions using microscopy and imaging approaches. The course’s main goal is to empower students to explore and evaluate the use of microscopy in cell and molecular biology. We study the development and utilization of qualitative and quantitative optical microscopy techniques, focusing on fluorescence microscopy. Theoretical and practical fundamentals are discussed, and student analysis of review and primary literature is integral to this course. Class meetings may include a combination of introductory lectures, literature discussions, student presentations throughout the semester, and hands-on experience in the laboratory where students work with research-grade microscopes. Student-designed investigations will incorporate the expression and assessment of fluorescent protein tags in mammalian cell model systems with an emphasis on experimental design and image analysis. Assignments and activities are designed to help students learn to collaborate successfully to solve problems in an interdisciplinary team.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 12

Prerequisites: Two 200-level BISC or BIOC courses, one of which is BISC 219/BIOC 219 or BISC 220/BIOC 220, or permission of instructor. Not open to students who have taken BISC 328.

Instructor: L. Darling

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences; LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

BISC 333
BISC 333 - Genomics & Bioinformatic w/Lab

Computational analyses of large-scale datasets have become central to modern biology. In this class, students will learn how 'omics' techniques such as genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics can help to answer questions in diverse fields ranging from cell biology to ecology and evolution. Lectures and discussions of primary literature will introduce students to the design and analysis of 'omics'-based studies, with a focus on bacteria. We will explore the theory behind key bioinformatic algorithms and gain hands-on experience using these tools on real data. The laboratory will culminate in an original research project utilizing genomic data to study marine microbial ecosystems. Topics covered include genome sequencing, assembly and interpretation; comparative genomics; metagenomics; transcriptomics; metabolic modeling; phylogenetics; and network analysis.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 14

Prerequisites: BISC 219/BIOC 219 or BISC 209; or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Biller

Distribution Requirements: LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory; NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes: Ann E. Maurer '51 Speaking Intensive Course.

BISC 334
BISC 334 - Sem: The Biology of Stem Cells

In this course, we will study stem cells in terms of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. We will focus on different types of stem cells, particularly embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, and induced pluripotent stem cells. More specifically, we will explore how stem cells develop, the criteria by which stem cells are defined, and stem cell characteristics under investigation. Current research in the areas of disease, potential stem cell therapies, and regenerative medicine will also be discussed. Bioethical issues related to stem cell biology will be described. Students will present and discuss original literature throughout the course.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 12

Prerequisites: BISC 216 or BISC 219/BIOC 219 or BISC 220/BIOC 220.

Instructor: O'Donnell

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

BISC 335
BISC 335 - Sem:Cell/Mol Mechnisms Disease

This course will explore the underlying mechanisms of a variety of human diseases whose causes have been heavily studied at the cellular and molecular level. We will take a research-oriented approach to the material through critical reading and analysis of primary literature on each topic and we will explore how this knowledge informs the design, development and implementation of treatments. Topics of study may include diseases related to: metabolism, genetics, protein folding, cytoskeleton, membrane trafficking, inflammation, and/or pathogenic infection. This course will utilize a combination of lectures to introduce general concepts, seminar-style discussions of primary literature articles, and student presentations throughout the semester.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 12

Prerequisites: BIOC 220/BISC 220

Instructor: Goss

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes: Ann E. Maurer '51 Speaking Intensive Course.

BISC 336
BISC 336 - Sem: Immunology

In this course, we will analyze the molecular, cellular, and biochemical mechanisms involved in the development and function of the immune system. We will also explore the immunological basis of infectious diseases (e.g. influenza and tuberculosis), allergic disorders, autoimmune diseases (e.g. multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis), immunodeficiency syndromes (e.g. AIDS), transplantation, and cancer. This course will utilize a combination of lectures to introduce new material, seminar-style discussions of primary research articles, and student presentations.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 9

Prerequisites: Two 200-level BISC/BIOC courses. At least one of these 200-level courses must be either BISC 219/ BIOC 219 or BISC 220/ BIOC 220.

Instructor: Matthews

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes: Ann E. Maurer '51 Speaking Intensive Course.

BISC 337
BISC 337 - Sem: Cellular Stress Response

Maintaining cellular homeostasis in the face of environmental stress is paramount to cell survival. In this course we will examine the cellular and molecular responses of eukaryotic cells to stress at the levels of DNA, RNA, and protein, with consideration of organelle-specific responses. Topics will include heat shock, osmotic stress, hypoxia, starvation, and oxidative stress. This course focuses primarily on conserved and mammalian mechanisms activated in response to macromolecular strain, rather than stress responses unique to organisms adapted to environmental extremes. Throughout the course, we will discuss the evolution and conservation of the cellular stress response, connections to disease, as well as the challenges and future directions of the field. This course will consist of lectures, invited seminars from researchers in the field, and discussion of scientific reviews and primary articles. Articles will showcase classic stress response research as well as new findings and methods in the field.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 12

Prerequisites: Two 200-level BISC/BIOC courses. At least one of these must be BISC 219/BIOC 219 or BISC 220/BIOC 220.

Instructor: Riggs

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

BISC 338
BISC 338 - Sem: Biology of Social Insects

Warfare, communication, agriculture, and caring for family are phenomena that are typically attributed to human societies, but social insects do these same things. In this course, we will explore the weird and wonderful world of social insects to discover why sociality is the most successful animal strategy on the planet. We will learn about how conflict and selfishness have shaped the cooperative effort that characterizes these seemingly utopian communities, and why human survival depends on their ecosystem services. Using social insects as a lens for major themes in biology, we will discuss biodiversity, invasions, animal communication and cognition, self-organized systems and the evolution of biological oddities. The format for the course will consist of discussion and presentation of classic literature, groundbreaking research papers, and topical writing for the general public.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 12

Prerequisites: BISC 201, BISC 202, or BISC 214 or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Mattila

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

BISC 340
BISC 340 - CSPW: Biology in the News

Scientists have made great progress revealing intricate details of many biological processes. They understand the importance of their work like the back of their hands. The scientific literacy of the general public, however, has not kept pace. This seminar aims to equip students with the writing skills necessary to communicate important ideas from a breadth of biological disciplines in an exciting, clear and relevant manner to a range of audiences. The body of work created in this class will include short pieces on articles from the primary literature, reviews of presentations and books by experts, as well as op-eds on scientific issues of interest and a profile of a scientist of choice. Peer editing and writing workshops play a large part, aiding students as they write multiple drafts of each assignment.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 12

Prerequisites: Any two BISC 200-level courses or permission of the instructor. Open to Juniors and Seniors only.

Instructor: Königer

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Other Categories: CSPW - Calderwood Seminar in Public Writing

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

BISC 347
BISC 347/ ES 347 - Adv Plant Diversity & Ecology w/Lab

This course meets along with BISC 247/ES 247 and offers an opportunity for students to engage more deeply with the material and perform independent research. Students will be expected to more thoroughly review and reference peer-reviewed literature and assist in leading in-class discussions. Additionally, each student will develop and conduct an experiment (or observational study) over the course of the semester that examines mechanisms of plant diversity and coexistence.

Units: 1.25

Max Enrollment: 14

Crosslisted Courses: BISC 347

Prerequisites: One of the following - BISC 201, ES 220, BISC 207, or permission of instructor. Not open to students who have taken BISC 247/ES 247.

Instructor: Griffith

Distribution Requirements: LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory; NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes: This course is also offered at the 200-level as BISC 247/ES 247.

BISC 350
BISC 350 - Research or Individual Study

Independent research supervised by a member of the faculty of the Department of Biological Sciences or an off-campus director. Off-campus projects require an on-campus advisor from the department. Students will be expected to devote 10-12 hours per week to their research.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

Instructor:

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall; Spring

BISC 350H
BISC 350H - Research or Individual Study

Independent research supervised by a member of the faculty of the Department of Biological Sciences or an off-campus director. Off-campus projects require an on-campus advisor from the department. Students will be expected to devote 5-6 hours per week to their research.

Units: 0.5

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall; Spring

BISC 355
BISC 355 - Thesis Research

The first course in a two-semester investigation of a significant research problem, in the preparation of a thesis and defense of that thesis before a committee of faculty from the Department of Biological Sciences. This route does not lead to departmental honors.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: Open only to Seniors with permission of the instructor.

Instructor:

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall; Spring

Notes:

BISC 360
BISC 360 - Senior Thesis Research

Students enroll in Senior Thesis Research (360) in the first semester and carry out independent work under the supervision of a faculty member. If sufficient progress is made, students may continue with Senior Thesis (370) in the second semester. This route can lead to departmental honors.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: Permission of the department.

Instructor:

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall; Spring

BISC 365
BISC 365 - Thesis

The second course in a two-semester investigation of a significant research problem, culminating in the preparation of a thesis and defense of that thesis before a committee of faculty from the Department of Biological Sciences. This route does not lead to departmental honors.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: BISC 355 and permission of the department.

Instructor:

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall; Spring

Notes:

BISC 370
BISC 370 - Senior Thesis

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: BISC 360 and permission of the department.

Instructor:

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring; Fall

Notes: Students enroll in Senior Thesis Research (360) in the first semester and carry out independent work under the supervision of a faculty member. If sufficient progress is made, students may continue with Senior Thesis (370) in the second semester.