Spring 2013 Courses

027. Evolutionary Links
William Jackman T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Druckenmiller-110
Seminar exploring our deep evolutionary history from the first multicellular animals to Homo sapiens. Emphasizes the living and fossil species that illustrate important transitions that resulted in the evolution of new anatomical features, physiology, and behavior. Includes an embryo observation unit with data collection and analysis. Readings from online media, popular science books, and primary scientific articles. Frequent writing with an emphasis on styles used in modern biology.
056. Ecology and Society
Vladimir Douhovnikoff T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25 Druckenmiller-020
Presents an overview of ecology covering basic ecological principles and the relationship between human activity and the ecosystems that support us. Examines how ecological processes, both biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living), influence the life history of individuals, populations, communities, and ecosystems. Encourages student investigation of environmental interactions and how human-influenced disturbance is shaping the environment. Required field trips illustrate the use of ecological concepts as tools for interpreting local natural history.
059. Plants and Symbiosis
Samuel Taylor M 8:00 - 9:25, W 8:00 - 9:25 Druckenmiller-241
Interdependence between organisms is a ubiquitous feature in biology with important consequences for how we think about the world. Plant biology is used as a starting point to explore a variety of inter-species, particularly symbiotic, interactions observed in nature.Theories of the origin, maintenance and persistence of symbioses are discussed. Biological examples include ancient intracellular symbioses underlying photosynthesis and respiration, plus interactions between plants, pathogens, parasites and symbionts, including nitrogen fixers and nutrient scavengers important to human food supply. An experimental research project in plant biology demonstrates the scientific process.
063. Where the Wild Things are: Wading through Waves, Whelks and Whales
Michael Nishizaki T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55 Druckenmiller-016
The world has become increasingly coastal with some 3.2 billion people now living within 120 miles of the sea. Examines ocean ecosystems from sandy shores to coral reefs to kelp forests, and considers the consequences of this human population explosion - habitat loss, overfishing, pollution, invasive species, and ocean acidification. Also explores the potential the ocean holds for a sustainable future - biofuels, renewable power generation from waves or tides, and ecotourism. Presents material through a combination of lectures, assigned readings and group presentations. Semester-long team projects examine a variety of current controversies in marine science. Evaluation process includes exams and an end of semester term paper. Assumes no background in science.
102. Biological Princiiples II
Barry Logan T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Banister-106
The second in a two-semester introductory biology sequence. Emphasizes fundamental biological principles extending from the physiological to the ecosystem level of living organisms. Topics include physiology, ecology, and evolutionary biology, with a focus on developing quantitative skills as well as critical thinking and problem solving skills. Lecture and weekly laboratory/discussion groups.
109. Scientific Reasoning in Biology
Nathaniel Wheelwright T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Druckenmiller-016
Lectures examine fundamental biological principles, from the sub-cellular to the ecosystem level with an emphasis on critical thinking and the scientific method. Laboratory sessions will help develop a deeper understanding of the techniques and methods used in the biological science by requiring students to design and conduct their own experiments. Lecture and weekly laboratory/discussion groups. To ensure proper placement, students must take the biology placement examination and must be recommended for placement in Biology 109.
158. Perspectives in Environmental Science
John Lichter T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Druckenmiller-020
Functioning of the earth system is defined by the complex and fascinating interaction of processes within and between four principal spheres: land, air, water, and life. Leverages key principles of environmental chemistry and ecology to unravel the intricate connectedness of natural phenomena and ecosystem function. Fundamental biological and chemical concepts are used to understand the science behind the environmental dilemmas facing societies as a consequence of human activities. Laboratory sessions consist of local field trips, laboratory experiments, group research, case study exercises, and discussions of current and classic scientific literature.
212. Genetics and Molecular Biology
Jack Bateman T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Druckenmiller-020
Integrated coverage of organismic and molecular levels of genetic systems. Topics include modes of inheritance, the structure and function of chromosomes, the mechanisms and control of gene expression, recombination, mutagenesis, techniques of molecular biology, and human genetic variation. Laboratory sessions are scheduled.
214. Comparative Physiology
Patsy Dickinson T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55 Druckenmiller-020
An examination of animal function, from the cellular to the organismal level. The underlying concepts are emphasized, as are the experimental data that support our current understanding of animal function. Topics include the nervous system, hormones, respiration, circulation, osmoregulation, digestion, and thermoregulation. Labs are short, student-designed projects involving a variety of instrumentation. Lectures and four hours of laboratory work per week.
216. Evolution
Michael Palopoli M 10:30 - 11:25, W 10:30 - 11:25, F 10:30 - 11:25 Druckenmiller-020
Examines one of the most breathtaking ideas in the history of science—that all life on this planet descended from a common ancestor. An understanding of evolution illuminates every subject in biology, from molecular biology to ecology. Provides a broad overview of evolutionary ideas, including the modern theory of evolution by natural selection, evolution of sexual reproduction, patterns of speciation and macro-evolutionary change, evolution of sexual dimorphisms, selfish genetic elements, and kin selection. Laboratory sessions are devoted to semester-long, independent research projects.
218. Microbiology
Anne McBride M 9:30 - 10:25, W 9:30 - 10:25, F 9:30 - 10:25 Druckenmiller-004
An examination of the structure and function of microorganisms, from viruses to bacteria to fungi, with an emphasis on molecular descriptions. Subjects covered include microbial structure, metabolism, and genetics. Control of microorganisms and environmental interactions are also discussed. Laboratory sessions every week. Chemistry 225 is recommended.
258. Ornithology
Nathaniel Wheelwright M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25 Druckenmiller-110
Advanced study of the biology of birds, including anatomy, physiology, distribution, and systematics, with an emphasis on avian ecology and evolution. Through integrated laboratory sessions, field trips, discussion of the primary literature, and independent research, students learn identification of birds, functional morphology, and research techniques such as experimental design, behavioral observation, and field methods. Optional field trip to the Bowdoin Scientific Station on Kent Island.
266. Molecular Neurobiology
Hadley Horch M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 Druckenmiller-004
Examination of the molecular control of neuronal structure and function. Topics include the molecular basis of neuronal excitability, the factors involved in chemical and contact-mediated neuronal communication, and the complex molecular control of developing and regenerating nervous systems. Weekly laboratories complement lectures by covering a range of molecular and cellular techniques used in neurobiology and culminate in brief independent projects.
280. Plant Responses to the Environment
Samuel Taylor M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Hatch Library-210
Plants can be found growing under remarkably stressful conditions. Even your own backyard poses challenges to plant growth and reproduction. Survival is possible only because of a diverse suite of elegant physiological and morphological adaptations. The physiological ecology of plants from extreme habitats (e.g., tundra, desert, hypersaline) is discussed, along with the responses of plants to environmental factors such as light and temperature. Readings from the primary literature facilitate class discussion. Excursions into the field and laboratory exercises complement class material.
307. Evolutionary Developmental Biology
William Jackman W 6:45 - 9:25 Druckenmiller-110
Advanced seminar investigating the synergistic but complex interface between the fields of developmental and evolutionary biology. Topics include the evolution of novel structures, developmental constraints to evolution, evolution of developmental gene regulation, and the generation of variation. Readings and discussions from the primary scientific literature.
317. Molecular Evolution
Michael Palopoli W 2:30 - 3:55, F 2:30 - 3:55 Druckenmiller-110
Examines the dynamics of evolutionary change at the molecular level. Topics include neutral theory of molecular evolution, rates and patterns of change in nucleotide sequences and proteins, molecular phylogenetics, and genome evolution. Students read and discuss papers from the scientific literature, and complete independent projects in the laboratory.
333. Advanced Cell and Molecular Biology
Bruce Kohorn T 6:45 - 9:25 Druckenmiller-110
An exploration of the multiple ways cells have evolved to transmit signals from their external environment to cause alterations in cell architecture, physiology, and gene expression. Examples are drawn from both single-cell and multi-cellular organisms, including bacteria, fungi, algae, land plants, insects, worms, and mammals. Emphasis is on the primary literature, with directed discussion and some background introductory remarks for each class.
363. Marine Ecomechanics
Michael Nishizaki T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55 Druckenmiller-110
Explores the interaction between marine organisms and their physical environment. Examines the physical ecology of marine ecosystems across a variety of spatial and temporal scales. Emphasis placed on critical readings of primary scientific literature and the incorporation of works from the fields of ecology, evolution, development, physiology, and biomechanics. Material presented through assigned readings, class discussion and oral presentations. Evaluation process includes an end of semester term paper.