Undergraduate Courses

Undergraduate Courses offered in the Biology Department as of August 2014

Please consult your academic adviser, the Bulletin, and the Wake Forest Information Network for detailed information on course offerings and degree requirements. Note that BIO 101, 113, 114, 213, and 214 are offered every semester, but that other courses are offered only once every year or once every two years. Courses not currently being taught are designated as on hiatus at the end of the course description.

101. Biology and the Human Condition. (4h) An introductory course that focuses on the relevance to society of recent breakthroughs in biology. Basic principles of biology will be covered, but the course will emphasize recent advances in biology placed in the context of their ethical, social, political, and economic implications. This non-majors course is intended for students with little or no previous experience in biology and does NOT count toward the major or minor in biology. It is NOT recommended for those who are pursuing a career in the health professions. Lab—three hours. Satisfies a divisional requirement.

105. Plants and People. (4h) Explores various associations between plants and people, their interrelationships (medical as well as ethical), and the impact of these interrelationships on various societies. This non-majors course is intended for students with little or no previous experience in biology and does NOT count toward the major or minor in biology. Lab—three hours. Satisfies a divisional requirement.

111. Biological Principles. (4h) A study of the general principles of living systems with focus on the cellular, organismal, and populational levels of biological organization, emphasizing the role of heredity and evolution in these systems. This course does NOT count toward the major or minor in biology, and is not presently being offered, although the BIO 111 designation is sometimes awarded as transfer credit. BIO 114 is recommended instead for students who want to pursue a health career but do not intend to major in biology. Lab—three hours.

113. Evolutionary and Ecological Biology. (4h) An introduction to the principles of genetics, ecology, and evolution as they apply to organisms, populations, and communities, with emphasis on evolutionary processes within an ecological context. Intended as a beginning course in biology for prospective majors; appropriate for any student with adequate high school preparation in biology. Lab—three hours. Satisfies a divisional requirement. Satisfies the quantitative reasoning requirement. Can be used as an elective for the Environmental Studies/Science minors.

114. Comparative Physiology. (4h) An introduction to the form and function of multicellular organisms (plants and animals), with emphasis on structure and function of organ systems, organs, tissues, and cells. Intended as a beginning course in biology for prospective majors; appropriate for any student with adequate high school preparation in biology. A required course for many health professions careers. Lab—three hours. Satisfies a divisional requirement.

210. Doing the Right Thing: Ethical Decision-making in Biology and Medicine. (3h) This course examines contemporary issues in bioethics, including responsible conduct in research, implications of technological advances in biology, environmental issues, and controversies in health care and medical practice. P—BIO 114 or POI.

213. Genetics and Molecular Biology. (4h) An introduction to the principles and processes of heredity, genetic information flow, and gene function. Topics covered include Mendelian genetics, molecular genetics, and the origin of genetic variation. This course is required for all biology majors and recommended for many health professions careers. Lab—three hours.

214. Cellular Biology. (4h) An introduction to the principles and processes of cellular biology and their impact on organismal function. Topics will include molecular organization of cellular structures, regulations of cellular functions, bioenergetics, and metabolism. The course will also introduce cancer, immunology, and developmental biology. This course is required for all biology majors and recommended for many health professions careers. Lab—three hours. P—BIO 114 and CHM 109 or CHM 111, or POI.

216. Biodiversity. (4h) An introductory course that traces the history of life on earth and looks at its diversification in an evolutionary and ecological context. Lectures cover the mechanisms of biological diversification and surveys life on earth. Labs introduce students to the broad diversity of life through exercises with living organisms. Lab—three hours. Satisfies a divisional requirement.

226. Introductory Microbiology. (4h) The biology of microorganisms and their roles in nature, including pathogenesis. Special topics include the control of microorganisms. Intended for non-biology majors interested in careers in the health professions. Biology majors should take BIO 326, and credit will NOT be granted for both BIO 226 and BIO 326. P—CHM 111 and either BIO 113 or BIO 114.

301-306. Topics in Biology. (1-4h) Seminar and/or lecture courses in selected topics, some involving laboratory instruction. May be repeated if the course title differs. Some topics courses may have prerequisites. Contact the Department of Biology office for current offerings and individual course instructors for more information.

307. Biophysics. (3h) An introduction to the structure, dynamic behavior, and function of DNA and proteins, and a survey of membrane biophysics. The physical principles of structure determination by X-ray, NMR, and optical methods will be emphasized. P—BIO 114 or 214, Physics 113, 114, or POI. Also listed as PHY 307. If taken together with PHY 325 (1h), can be counted toward the biology major requirement for two 300-level courses with labs.

309. Molecular Biology. (3h) Analyzes the molecular mechanisms by which stored genetic information directs cellular development. Emphasizes storage and transmission of genetic information, regulation of gene expression, and the role of these processes in development. Note that a student may not receive credit for both BIO 309 and BIO 310. P—BIO 114, 113, and 214.

310. Molecular Biology. (4h) Analyzes the molecular mechanisms by which stored genetic information directs cellular development. Emphasizes storage and transmission of genetic information, regulation of gene expression, and the role of these processes in development. The lab focuses on modern techniques of recombinant DNA analysis. Note that a student may not receive credit for both BIO 309 and BIO 310. Lab—three hours. P—BIO 114, BIO 213, and BIO 214.

311. Ecology and Conservation Biology of Coral Reefs. (3h) In-depth study of the various biotic and abiotic components that come together to structure ecosystem function and biodiversity at all spatial scales in one of Earth’s most productive and diverse environments, yet one most threatened by human use and climate change. P—BIO 113.

312. Ecology and Conservation Biology of Coral Reefs. (4h)  In-depth study of the various biotic and abiotic components that come together to structure ecosystem function and biodiversity at all spatial scales in one of Earth’s most productive and diverse environments, yet one most threatened by human use and climate change. Lab component is a one-week field trip over spring break. Note that a student may not receive credit for both BIO 311 and BIO 312. Lab—three hours. P—BIO 113.

313. Herpetology. (3h)  Lecture course on the biology of reptiles and amphibians, emphasizing the unique morphological, physiological, and behavioral adaptations of both groups, and their evolutionary histories and relationships. Local field trips are included.  P—BIO 113 and BIO 114.

314. Evolution. (3h) Analysis of the theories, evidences, and mechanisms of evolution. P—BIO 113.

315. Population Genetics. (4h)  Study of the amount and distribution of genetic variations in organisms, and how processes such as mutation, recombination, and selection affect genetic variation. Lectures introduce theoretical studies, and include discussion of molecular and phenotypic variation in natural populations. Labs make use of computer modeling and simulation, and experiments using populations of fruitflies and other model organisms as appropriate. P—BIO 113 and BIO 213. Satisfies the quantitative reasoning requirement.

317. Plant Physiology and Development. (3h) Lecture course examines the growth, development, and physiological processes of plants. Control of these processes is examined on genetic, biochemical, and whole plant levels. Note that a student may not receive credit for both BIO 317 and BIO 318. P—BIO 114, 213, and 214.

318. Plant Physiology and Development. (4h) Lecture and laboratory course examines the growth, development, and physiological processes of plants. Control of these processes is examined on genetic, biochemical, and whole plant levels. Labs consist of structured experiments and an independently designed research project. Note that a student may not receive credit for both BIO 317 and BIO 318. Lab—3 hours. P—BIO 114, BIO 213, and BIO 214.

320. Comparative Anatomy. (4h) A study of the vertebrate body from an evolutionary, functional, and developmental perspective. Laboratories emphasize structure and function, primarily through the dissection of representative vertebrates. Lab—three hours. P—BIO 113 and BIO 114.

321. Parasitology. (4h) A survey of protozoan, helminth, and arthropod parasites from the standpoint of morphology, taxonomy, life histories, and host/parasite relationships. Lab—three hours. P—BIO 113 and  BIO 114.

322. Biomechanics. (4h) Analysis of the relationship between organismal form and function using principles from physics and engineering. Solid and fluid mechanics are employed to study design in living systems. Lab—three hours. P—BIO 114.

323. Animal Behavior. (4h) A survey of laboratory and field research on animal behavior. Lab—three hours. P—BIO 113 and BIO 114. Counts as an elective in the Neuroscience Minor.

324. Hormones and Behavior. (3h) Introduction to the hormonal regulation of behavior in a broad range of animals, including humans and invertebrates. Topics include reproductive behavior, parental behavior, social behavior, sex differences, aggressive behavior, stress, mood, and the regulation of molting in insects. P—BIO 114. Counts as an elective in the Neuroscience Minor.

325. Chronobiology. (3h) Introduces the field of biological rhythms, covering different types of rhythms, their evolution, and the mechanisms by which such rhythms are generated and regulated at the molecular, cellular, and system levels. P—BIO 213 or BIO 214, or POI. Counts as an elective in the Neuroscience Minor.

326. Microbiology. (4h) The structure, function, and taxonomy of microorganisms with emphasis on bacteria. Covered special topics include microbial ecology, industrial microbiology, and medical microbiology. Lab emphasizes microbial diversity through characterizations of isolates from nature. Note that credit will not be granted for both BIO 226 and BIO 326. P—BIO 213 and BIO 214; CHM 122.

327. Epigenetics. (3h) An introduction to the concepts and methods of epigenetics. This course involves the study at the molecular level of how chromatin structure affects DNA template processes including transcription, DNA replication, and DNA repair. Topics will cover the mechanisms of chromatin modifications, the role of non-coding RNA in epigenetics, how epigenetic modifications affect phenotypic expression, the environmental impact on the epigenome, heritability of epigenetic modifications, and the role of epigenetics in health and diseases. P—BIO 114 and BIO 213.

328. Biology of Aging. (3h) Explores mechanisms of aging and effects of aging on cellular and physiological processes in a range of organisms. P—BIO 113, BIO 114, and BIO 214; or POI.

330. Land and Natural Resource Management. (3h) Provides a fundamental understanding of land and resource management. The major focus is on federal oversight and policies but state, local, non-profit, and international aspects are included. P—BIO 113.

331. Invertebrates. (4h) Systematic study of invertebrates, with emphasis on functional morphology, behavior, ecology, and phylogeny. Lab—three hours. P—BIO 113 and BIO 114. This course is currently on hiatus.

333. Vertebrates. (4h) Systematic study of vertebrates, with emphasis on evolution, physiology, behavior, and ecology. Laboratory devoted to systematic, field, and experimental studies. Lab—three hours. P—BIO 113 and BIO 114.This course is currently on hiatus.

335. Insect Biology. (4h) A study of the diversity, structure, development, physiology, behavior, and ecology of insects. Lab—three hours. P—BIO 113 and BIO 114. This course is currently on hiatus.

335S. Insect Biology, Summer. (4h) A five-week course taught during the summer. A study of the diversity, structure, development, physiology, behavior, and ecology of one of the most diverse taxa on earth. Course location and field trip destinations to be announced each summer. P—POI. This course is currently on hiatus.

336. Development. (3h) A study of the molecular, cellular, and anatomical aspects of embryonic development of invertebrate and vertebrate animals.  Note that a student may not receive credit for both BIO 336 and BIO 337. P—BIO 114, BIO 213, and BIO 214, or POI. This course is currently on hiatus.

337. Development. (4h) Lecture and laboratory study of the molecular, cellular, and anatomical aspects of embryonic development of invertebrate and vertebrate animals. Note that a student may not receive credit for both BIO 336 and BIO 337. Lab—three hours. P—BIO 114, BIO 213, and BIO 214, or POI. This course is currently on hiatus.

338. Plant Diversity. (4h) Explores the evolution of the diversity of flowering and non-flowering plants from the perspective of function and environment in the context of current phylogenetic and biogeographic knowledge.  Lab—three hours. P—BIO 113.

339. Principles of Biosystematics. (4h) Explores the current theoretical and practical approaches to the study of macroevolution in plants and animals. Topics include theory and methods of constructing evolutionary trees, sources of data, and cladistic biogeography. Lab—three hours. P—BIO 113.

340. Ecology. (4h) Interrelationships among living systems and their environments; structure and dynamics of major ecosystem types; contemporary problems in ecology. Lab—three hours. P—BIO 113 and BIO 114. Satisfies the quantitative reasoning requirement. Can be used as an elective for the Environmental Studies/Science minors.

341. Marine Biology. (4h) An introduction to the physical, chemical, and biological parameters affecting the distribution of marine organisms. Lab—three hours. P—BIO 113 and BIO 114. This course is currently on hiatus. Can be used as an elective for the Environmental Studies/Science minors.

342. Aquatic Ecology. (4h) Covers the general principles and concepts of limnology and aquatic biology as they apply to lentic and lotic habitats. A major portion of the field study is centered at the Charles M. Allen Biological Station. Lab—three hours. P—BIO 113.Can be used as an elective for the Environmental Studies/Science minors.

343. Tropical Ecology. (3h) Explores the ecology, biodiversity, history, and future of tropical ecosystems. Lectures emphasize ecological principles and rely heavily on the primary literature. An upper-level ecology course is strongly recommended, but not required. P—BIO 113 and BIO 114. Can be used as an elective for the Environmental Studies/Science minors.

344S. African Savanna Ecology and Conservation. (4h) An intensive field course offering and in-depth study of the ecology and conservation of African savannas. Emphasizes savanna structure and function, ecological determinants of the savanna biome, and co-evolutionary relationships between plants and large mammalian herbivores. Includes 3 weeks in Tanzania (2 in Serengeti National Park). P—Minimum of one year of college biology including BIO 113 and POI. Offered in the summer only; contact Professor T. M. Anderson for additional information on when this course might be offered. Can be used as an elective for the Environmental Studies/Science minors.

345. Neurobiology. (3h) Introduces the structure and function of the nervous system including the neural basis of behavior. Anatomical, physiological, and neurochemical approaches are integrated in the study of the peripheral and central nervous systems. Note that a student may not receive credit for both BIO 345 and BIO 346. P—BIO 114 and BIO 214.Counts as an elective in the Neuroscience Minor.

346. Neurobiology. (4h) Introduces the structure and function of the nervous system including the neural basis of behavior. Anatomical, physiological, and neurochemical approaches are integrated in the study of the peripheral and central nervous systems. The laboratory will emphasize electrophysiological techniques with experiments from the cellular to the behavioral level. Note that a student may not receive credit for both BIO 345 and BIO 346.  Lab—three hours. P—BIO 114 and BIO 214.Counts as an elective in the Neuroscience Minor.

347. Physiological Plant Ecology. (3h) Provides a fundamental understanding of how plants have adapted to the stresses of their habitats, particularly in harsh or extreme environments such as deserts, the alpine, the arctic tundra, and tropical rain forests. Note that a student may not receive credit for both BIO 347 and BIO 348. P—BIO 113 and BIO 114.Can be used as an elective for the Environmental Studies/Science minors.

348. Physiological Plant Ecology. (4h) Provides a fundamental understanding of how plants have adapted to the stresses of their habitats, particularly in harsh or extreme environments such as deserts, the alpine, the arctic tundra, and tropical rain forests.The laboratory will introduce students to a broad array of field instrumentation.  Note that a student may not receive credit for both BIO 347 and BIO 348. P—BIO 113 and BIO 114. Satisfies the quantitative reasoning requirement. Can be used as an elective for the Environmental Studies/Science minors.

349S. Tropical Biodiversity. (4h) Intensive field course in tropical biodiversity. Students will travel to major tropical biomes, including deserts, glaciated peaks and rain forests. Lectures emphasize the basic ecological principles important in each ecosystem; laboratories consist of student-designed field projects. Course location varies yearly. P—BIO 113, BIO 114, and POI. Offered in the summer only.

350. Conservation Biology. (3h) Lectures, readings, and discussions examining biological resources, their limitations and methods for sustainability. Genetic, aquatic, terrestrial, and ecosystem resources will be examined. P—BIO 113. Can be used as an elective for the Environmental Studies/Science minors.

350L. Conservation Biology Lab. (1h) Taught using the case study approach with an in-depth field study of the ecology and conservation of a particular ecosystem. P—BIO 113 and POI. Can be used as an elective for the Environmental Studies/Science minors.

351. Vertebrate Physiology. (4h) A lecture and laboratory course examining regulatory principles, integration in the nervous system and the physiology of the cardiovascular, respiratory, and renal systems of vertebrates. Lab—three hours. P—BIO 114 and BIO 214.

352. Developmental Neuroscience. (4h) This course focuses on the development of neural structures and the plasticity of the mature nervous system. Special attention is given to experimental model systems, particularly Drosophila melanogaster. The laboratory features molecular, immunocytochemical, and cell culture techniques for the study of neurons. Lab—three hours. P—BIO 213 and BIO 214.Counts as an elective in the Neuroscience Minor.

353. Functional Neuroanatomy. (3h) An introduction to the gross and cellular anatomical organization of the vertebrate nervous system. Attention is given to relating structure to function, the anatomical basis of neuropathologies, and modern approaches to neuroanatomy and imaging. P—BIO 114 and BIO 214.Counts as an elective in the Neuroscience Minor.

354. Vertebrate Endocrinology. (3h) Lecture course which considers the evolution of the endocrine glands and hormones and the physiology of the main hormonal pathways of vertebrates. P—BIO 114 and BIO 214. Counts as an elective in the Neuroscience Minor. This course is currently on hiatus.

355. Avian Biology. (4h) A lecture and laboratory course emphasizing ecological and evolutionary influences on the physiology, behavior, and population biology of birds. Includes taxonomy of the world’s major bird groups. Lab—three hours. P—BIO 113 and BIO 114.

356. Ecology and Resource Management of Southeast Australia. (4h) Intensive field-oriented course focusing on ecosystems, natural resource management, and environmental conservation of southeast Australia. Students travel to major biomes including subtropical rainforests, coral reefs, and the Australian urban environment. Laboratories are field-based, with some consisting of student-designed field projects. Lab—three hours. P—BIO 113 or POI. Taught only in summers in Australia. Can be used as an elective for the Environmental Studies/Science minors.

357. Bioinspiration and Biomimetics. (3h) Explores the ways in which biological mechanisms can inspire new technologies, products, and businesses. The course combines basic biological and entrepreneurial principles. Also listed as ESE 357.

359. Genomics. (3h) Introduces the concepts and methods of genomics. The course will cover standard molecular biology topics with emphasis on the genomic perspective. Topics include DNA transactions such as DNA replication, repair, and recombination; transcription and gene regulatory networks; translation and protein interaction networks. P—BIO 114 and BIO 213.

361. Microbial Pathogenesis. (3h) Examines important human pathogens, how they cause disease, and their global impact on society. Topics include pathogens infecting developing countries, important routes of transmission, and epidemiology. Special emphasis is given to mobile genetic elements related to pathogenesis and antibiotic resistance. P—BIO 114 and BIO 214. This course is currently on hiatus.

362. Immunology. (3h) A study of the components and protective mechanisms of the immune system. P—BIO 114 and BIO 214.

363. Sensory Biology. (3h) Lecture course emphasizing sensory physiology and other aspects of sensory systems, e.g. molecular biology and anatomy. Note that a student may not receive credit for both BIO 363 and BIO 364.. P—BIO 114 and BIO 214.Counts as an elective in the Neuroscience Minor.

364. Sensory Biology. (4h) Lecture and laboratory course with emphasis on sensory physiology and other aspects of sensory systems, e.g. molecular biology and anatomy. Note that a student may not receive credit for both BIO 363 and BIO 364. Lab—three hours. P—BIO 114 and BIO 214. Counts as an elective in the Neuroscience Minor.

366. Bioethics: Decision-making in Biology and Medicine. (3h) Seminar examining contemporary issues in bioethics, including responsible conduct in research, implications of technological advances in biology, environmental issues, and controversies in health care and medical practice. P—BIO 114 and BIO 214 or POI.

367. Virology. (3h) A course designed to introduce students to viruses, viral/host interactions, pathogenicity, methods of control and their use in molecular biology, including gene therapy. P—BIO 114, BIO 213, and BIO 214.

368. The Cell Biological Basis of Disease. (3h) This course examines some of the defects in basic cellular mechanisms that are responsible for many diseases. Note that a student may not receive credit for both BIO 368 and BIO 369. P—BIO 114 and BIO 214.

369. The Cell Biological Basis of Disease. (4h) This course examines some of the defects in basic cellular mechanisms that are responsible for many diseases. The laboratory will use advanced microscopic and histological techniques to investigate basic properties of cells. Note that a student may not receive credit for both BIO 368 and BIO 369. Lab—three hours. P—BIO 114 and BIO 214.

370. Biochemistry: Macromolecules and Metabolism. (3h) Lecture course introducing the principles of biochemistry, with an emphasis on the experimental approaches that elucidated these principles. Major topics include structure, function, and biosynthesis of biological molecules, analysis of enzyme function and activity, bioenergetics, and regulation of metabolic pathways. P—BIO 214 or CHM 223 or CHM 280. Also listed as CHM 370. Also offered in Salamanca. If taken together with BIO 371L (1.5h), can be counted toward the biology major requirement for two 300-level courses with labs.

371L. Advanced Biochemistry Lab. (1.5h) Emphasizes approaches for isolation and analysis of enzymes. Required for the chemistry major with concentration in biochemistry and recommended for research-focused biology students.  Lab—four hours. P—BIO 214 or CHM 223 or CHM 280. Also listed as CHM 371L. A 1h course titled 370L designed for biology majors is under development.

375. Great Threatening and/or Neglected Diseases of Mankind. (3h) This course examines various diseases, particularly those found in developing countries. Students will research these diseases, prepare a PowerPoint presentation on them, and write a comprehensive paper on each disease that will include clinical aspects of the diseases, treatments (if any), social and political aspects of the diseases, and an evaluation of why these diseases remain threats to mankind. P—BIO 213, BIO 214, and POI.

376. The Biology of Fishes. (4h) A comparative study of structure/function, classification, and phylogeny of fish. Lab—three hours. P—BIO 113 and BIO 114. This course is currently on hiatus.

377. Community Ecology. (4h) An advanced ecology course covering mechanisms that determine the dynamics and distribution of plant and animal assemblages: life-history, competition, predation, geology, climate, soils, and history. Lectures focus on ecological principles and theory. Lab includes local field trips and discussion of the primary literature. Several weekend field trips. Lab—three hours. P—BIO 113, BIO 114, and BIO 214. This course satisfies the quantitative reasoning requirement.

379. Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) (4h) Lecture and laboratory course that introduces the concepts and uses of GIS as a mapping and analytical tool. Lectures cover the history of GIS, GIS data structures, and sources of data, map projections, GIS tools, applications, and resources. Exercises include examples of GIS applications in environmental modeling, sociodemographic change, and site suitability analyses.  Lab—three hours. P—BIO 113. Can be used as an elective for the Environmental Studies/Science minors.

380. Biostatistics. (3h) An introduction to statistical methods used by biologists, including descriptive statistics, hypothesis-testing, analysis of variance, and regression and correlation. A student who receives credit for this course may not also receive credit for ANT 380, Business 201, HES 262, or SOC 371. This course satisfies the quantitative reasoning requirement. Can be used as an elective for the Environmental Studies/Science minors.

381. Biostatistics Laboratory. (1h) Application of computer-based statistical software. This course may not be used to satisfy one of the three 300-level four-hour courses required for the major if paired with BIO 380. This course satisfies the quantitative reasoning requirement if paired with BIO 380.

383. Biology of the Cell. (4h) Analysis and interpretation of experimental data in the primary literature, focusing on topics such as the targeting of macromolecules, cell-cell communication, and the control of cell division. The lab introduces basic techniques in cell biology and leads to an independent project. Lab—three hours. P—BIO 114, BIO 213, and BIO 214.

391, 392. Research in Biology. (2h,2h) Independent library and laboratory investigation carried out under the supervision of a member of the staff. P—POI. Pass/Fail or for grade at discretion of the instructor. The same numbered course cannot be repeated. Subsequent courses should be taken in consecutive order. Consult your advisor for more information. BIO 391 and BIO 392 can be counted as hours in the major.

393, 394. Research in Biology. (2h,2h) Courses designed for students who wish to continue research projects beyond BIO 391 and BIO 392. P—POI. Pass/Fail or for grade at discretion of the instructor. The same numbered course cannot be repeated. Subsequent courses should be taken in consecutive order. Consult your advisor for more information. Note that BIO 393 and BIO 394 cannot be counted as hours in the major.