Students will gain an understanding of the historical, theoretical, quantitative, methodological, and evolutionary aspects of behavioral ecology by reading and discussing primary literature and reference materials.
Bioinformatics is a one-semester advanced undergraduate lecture/lab course. The overall objective is to learn current information about the intersection of information science and biology, to develop facility in the many web-based tools and resources for further studies and research in genomics/bioinformatics, and to appreciate the power and limitations of current resources and knowledge. The focus of this introductory course will be on building databases and computer programs to manage and analyze biological sequence data, and secondarily on the theoretical aspects of the fields.
There are many disciplines where science and art come together, whether in research, science communication, marketing, education or art-for-art’s-sake. Having skill and knowledge about the best way to represent a specimen or concept in science can be extremely valuable in an environment focused on the more traditional aspects of science. In this class, students will spend time improving their artistic skills with biological subjects. We will sketch, paint, photograph and digitally illustrate microscopic specimens, live and dead plants and animals, bones, cellular processes and scientific methodology. Students will be instructed in different illustration techniques and be encouraged to find their preferred medium to produce a portfolio of images. Enrolment with permission from instructor.
An introduction to the evolution and ecology of pathogenic microorganisms, with an emphasis on the bacteria. Students will discuss and learn to evaluate the primary and review research literature in the field, and to give formal scientific presentations on topics of their choice.
We will study the function, structure, and composition of forested ecosystems through critiquing peer-reviewed scientific articles. Topics will include regeneration ecology, forest succession, disturbance, invasive species, and the influence of climatic and edaphic factors on species and forest distribution. We will link ecosystem-level forest ecology to forest management and restoration and discuss how climate change may affect forest distribution worldwide. In addition, we will learn about strategies to market the conservation and restoration of forests, such as carbon trading and ecosystem services. In lab, we will conduct field studies in the local forests to apply the concepts discussed during class time.
This course covers the causes of cancer, the cell mechanisms affected during cancer development and how these contribute to cancer development. The evolutionary process of cancer development from a preneoplastic state to invasive metastasis is discussed. Case studies will be used to explore the roles of specific mutations in cancer development and the pathways they affect, as well as the classes of genes targeted during cancer development.
This course explores the geology and marine ecology of the shallow water marine environment by examining the preeminent modern example, the Bahamas platform. Shallow-water carbonate environments were widespread in the geologic past, and a significant volume of the bedrock in North America was deposited in a warm shallow-water environment that was in many ways very similar to that of the modern Bahamian archipelago. The Bahamas provide an excellent model for understanding and interpreting both modern and ancient carbonate and reef deposits, and also preserve paleontological and sedimentological evidence for recent, glacially-induced sea level changes. The course will be based at the Gerace Field Centre for Geological, Biological, and Anthropological Research on San Salvador Island, Bahamas.
This course is a lecture and laboratory combined cell biology course for IDLS majors intending to teach elementary or middle school. This courses uses the NSTA teacher preparation guidelines and K-8 VA SOLs as a guideline for learning about structure and components of the cell, cell type variation, dynamic processes that take place within the cell and between cells and how all of these alterations in cell function impact larger scale processes like animal physiology and ecosystem dynamics. There is a significant thread of science teaching pedagogy throughout the course relating our knowledge and learning to that of K-8 students.
This course covers light microscopy techniques including brightfield, phase contrast, differential interference contrast, fluorescence, confocal microscopy and specimen preparation. We also see demonstrations of transmission and scanning electron microscopy. In addition, several classes are devoted to the ethics of image processing and preparing images for publication. The class is a combination of lecture, discussion and lab. During the lab portion of the class, students get hands-on experience with the different microscopes and techniques. An emphasis is placed on microscopy for biologists.