Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences
Graduate Courses in Biology (BIO)
Additional offerings by the department include courses in General Science (GS)
Zack Murrell, Interim Department Chair
BIO 5000. Bibliography and Research (4).S. A study of scientific writing and oral presentations using exercises in writing and speaking. Skills in searching the literature, presenting papers in specific formats, and reviewing science writing will be developed. Students are required to attend and critique science seminars and to develop a presentation using modern computer technologies to present before fellow students. Required in the first year of graduate study. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours.
BIO 5202. Organismal Ecology (4).S. Alternate years. The study of the relationships among individual organisms and the biotic and abiotic environments. Structure/function relationships will be emphasized throughout the course. Topics to be covered include: energy budgets; gas exchange by plants and animals; resource acquisition; water relations; and morphological, physiological and behavioral adaptations to environmental selection pressures. Lab will cover techniques of measuring gas exchange in both animals and plants; nutrient uptake; water relations; foraging efficiencies and physiological optima; and techniques in microclimate measurement. Prerequisites: BIO 3302 (Ecology) and either BIO 3301 (Human Systems Physiology) or BIO 5555. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours.
BIO 5212. Population Ecology (4).F. Alternate years. This course will employ genetic and ecological principles to explore the population dynamics of plants and animals. The role of populations in evolutionary and ecological processes will be emphasized. Topics will include conservation and loss of genetic variation in natural populations; growth and regulation of populations; and factors affecting their demography, distribution and abundance. Labs will include models of growth and regulation along with techniques for analysis of populations in the field. Prerequisites: BIO 3302 (Ecology). Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours.
BIO 5222. Communities and Ecosystem Ecology (4).F. A holistic consideration of the interactions among populations of different species with their biotic and abiotic environments. Topics to be covered include succession; patterns in species diversity; community productivity; biogeochemical cycling; ecosystem structure and function. Labs will involve studies of net primary production, nutrient cycling, succession, and diversity, and will include both laboratory and field work. Prerequisite: BIO 3302 (Ecology). Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours.
BIO 5240. Aquatic Biology (4).S. This course will introduce students to the foundations, key concepts and current topics in freshwater, estuarine, marine and groundwater biology, ecology and management. Students will learn about how these ecosystems are tied to all of earth's life forms and ecosystems as well as humanity's role in global water cycles. Laboratory sessions will be used to develop computer, bench and field skills key to the study of aquatic ecosystems. Students will learn from and interact with personnel from state and federal resource-management agencies, nongovernment organizations and other stakeholders and develop skills essential to a career as an aquatic scientist. Prerequisites: An undergraduate course in ecology or permission of the instructor. Lecture three hours. Lab three hours. [Dual-listed with BIO 4240.]
BIO 5250. Current Topics in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (3).F;S. This seminar is designed to encourage students to delve more deeply into the ecological and evolutionary literature, with a focus on current issues. The students will be required to interpret the results of recent literature (published within the last year), and to present those findings to other students and faculty. Students will be asked to do one or two presentations per semester, to critique the other students, and to engage in discussion of all the papers read. Course content changes each offering. May be repeated for a total credit of 12 semester hours.
BIO 5500. Independent Study (1-4).F;S.
BIO 5502. Freshwater Ecology (4).F. A study of the abiotic and biotic factors that influence the distribution and abundance of species in freshwater communities. Laboratory exercises include field trips to local streams and lakes. Prerequisites: BIO 1101 (Biology in Society I) and BIO 1102 (Biology in Society II); BIO 2000 (Intro to Botany), BIO 2001 (Intro to Zoology), BIO 3302 (Ecology) or equivalent, or permission of the instructor. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours.
BIO 5503. Basic and Applied Microbiology (3).S. Lecture, laboratory and field trips dealing with the underlying principles and applications of techniques used in ecological, industrial and medical microbiology. Lecture two hours, laboratory work to be arranged by the instructor. Prerequisite: BIO 3308 (Microbiology).
BIO 5504. Taxonomy of Vascular Plants (3).SS. A study of the gross structure, reproduction, and development of the spermatophytes. Special emphasis is placed upon the classification and nomenclature of the spermatophytes. Lecture two hours, field work two hours.
BIO 5505. Nature Study (3).On Demand. Study of common plants and animals with emphasis on ecology, collecting techniques and identification. Designed for students with limited biology backgrounds. Not open to biology majors for credit. [Dual-listed with BIO 4550.]
BIO 5506. Advanced Animal Physiology (4).F. A comprehensive study of the physiology of the nervous, muscular, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, excretory and endocrine systems with an emphasis on system coordination and integration. Laboratory experiments, readings and reports. Prerequisite: a course in general physiology or permission of the instructor. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours.
BIO 5507. Comparative Invertebrate Physiology (4).S. This course provides a comprehensive study of physiological processes in invertebrate animals, with emphasis on adaptations to differing life history strategies. The principal goal of the course is to contribute significantly to the student's understanding of basic biological theory. Some prior knowledge of cellular physiology, classification, and morphology of invertebrates will be assumed. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours.
BIO 5508. Biogeography (3).S. The biological, climatological, geographic, and geological factors which affect the distribution of animal and plants. Patterns of distribution will be studied in relation to various sizes of geographical units. Lecture three hours.
BIO 5512. Local Flora (3).SS. A study of the common flora and economic plants of North Carolina including collection, identification, and methods of preservation. Lecture two hours, laboratory and field work two hours.
BIO 5513. Plant Molecular Biology (4).F.Alternate years. A study of molecular aspects of plant life, examining features that distinguish plants from other organisms on a cellular and molecular level. The laboratory introduces methods and applications of modern plant science and biotechnology. Students should be familiar with the basic concepts of molecular biology and plant genetics and have some experience in molecular laboratory techniques. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours. Prerequisites: BIO 3800 (Molecular Biology) or permission of the instructor. [Dual-listed with BIO 4513.]
BIO 5514. Plant Anatomy and Morphology (3).S. A general survey of the external and internal structure of plants; detailed study of anatomy and morphology of representative plants from all the divisions. Lecture two hours, laboratory two hours.
BIO 5520. Cells, Organisms and Evolution (3).S. Various topics in cell and developmental biology are explored as they relate to evolutionary biology. In addition to a lecture format, this course is based on group discussions, oral presentations and written reports. Lecture three hours.
BIO 5530-5549. Selected Topics (1-4).On Demand.
BIO 5551. Ornithology (4).S. The morphology, physiology, behavior, ecology and identification of birds. Early morning field trips are required. Extended field trips to a variety of habitats will be arranged. Lecture and laboratory will emphasize techniques of observing, recording and analyzing data using a research project format. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours. [Dual-listed with BIO 4551.]
BIO 5552. Entomology (4).F. A study of the insects, including relevant anatomy for identification and physiology for function, with a special emphasis on the ecological roles of insects and their interaction with other organisms. Evolutionary relationships with related arthropods are also covered. Basic taxonomy of the major insect groups is addressed with a required insect collection, which teaches collecting and preservation techniques. Students are involved in basic experimentation that allows for investigating this very diverse animal group. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours. [Dual listed with BIO 4552.]
BIO 5555. Plant Physiology (4).F. A study of the basic principles of plant physiology and fundamental processes such as cell properties, water relations, growth, photosynthesis, respiration, and mineral nutrition. Prerequisites: CHE 1101 (Intro to Chemistry I), CHE 1110 (Intro to Chemistry Laboriatory I), CHE 1102 (Intro to Chemistry II), CHE 1120 (Intro to Chemistry Lab II) and CHE 2201 (Organic Chemistry I) is strongly recommended. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours. [Dual-listed with BIO 4555.]
BIO 5556. Mycology (4).F. An investigation of the fungi with particular reference to the techniques of working with these organisms. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours. [Dual-listed with BIO 4556.]
BIO 5557. Ichthyology (4).F. This course focuses on the ecology, evolution and diversity of fishes. Aspects of fish physiology and behavior will also be covered along with important conservation issues. In the laboratory, students will have the opportunity to learn how to identify major groups of fishes with emphasis on freshwater species. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours. [Dual listed with BIO 4557.]
BIO 5558. Taxonomy of the Fleshy Fungi (3).On Demand. An in-depth study of the fleshy fungi [mushrooms (agarics), chanterelles, hydnums, polypores, and corals] with an emphasis on morphology, systematics, and ecology. Methods of collection, macroscopic and microscopic dissection, identification, and preservation are covered. Fields trips are required. Lecture two hours, laboratory three hours. [Dual-listed with BIO 4558.]
BIO 5559. Mammalogy (4).S. The natural history, distribution, adaptations, taxonomy and economic importance of mammals. Field trips and visits to zoos will be arranged. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours. [Dual-listed with BIO 4559.]
BIO 5560. Herpetology (4).F. The history, morphology, systematics, physiology, and distribution of amphibians and reptiles. Methods of collecting, storing, studying and identifying specimens as well as behavioral aspects of species in their natural habitats will be covered. Field trips will be required. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours. [Dual-listed with BIO 4560.]
BIO 5563. Biology of Aging (3).F. General study of biological/physiological changes over time in the structure and function of the systems of organisms with emphasis on the human body. Prerequisites: BIO 1101 (Biology in Society I) and BIO 1102 (Biology in Society II), or equivalent. Lecture three hours. [Dual-listed with BIO 4563.]
BIO 5564. Microscopy (4).F. A study of the principles and techniques of biological microscopy. Lectures include discussions on preparative techniques for various types of bioimaging, the optical theories behind the imaging technologies, and the structure and function of cellular organelles. Laboratories examine practical techniques of tissue preparation for various kinds of microscopy, the effective use of various types of microscopes, and the interpretation of data obtained from various imaging systems. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours. [Dual-listed with BIO 4564.]
BIO 5567. Lichenology (3).On Demand. A study of the morphology, diversity, evolution, ecology, physiology, and chemistry of lichens as well as their significance as biological indicators. Field trips are required. Lecture two hours, laboratory three hours. [Dual-listed with BIO 4567.]
BIO 5568. Immunology (4).S. A study of the immune system with emphasis on cellular interactions involved in the generation of humoral and cell-mediated immune responses. Lecture includes discussions on inflammation, antibody diversity, tissue transplantation, and immunopathologies. Laboratories examine lymphoid tissue organization, lymphocyte function, and antibody-antigen reactions with emphasis on clinical application. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours. [Dual-listed with BIO 4568.]
BIO 5569. Invertebrate Zoology (4).F. Students will be introduced to the 34 extant major and minor invertebrate phyla which make up 99% of the Earth's named animal species and virtually 100% of those animals yet undiscovered. The intriguing natural history, symmetry and development, mode of locomotion, nutrition, reproduction, and primary environments of the invertebrates will be discussed. Labs will emphasize invertebrate habitats, field collection, phylogenetic relationships as well as ecological and physiological adaptations and examination of major morphological characteristics. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours with required field trips. [Dual-listed with BIO 4569.]
BIO 5570. Parasitology (4).F. A survey of protozoan, helminthic and arthropod parasites with emphasis on organisms of medical and veterinary importance. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours. [Dual-listed with BIO 4570.]
BIO 5571. Plant-Insect Interactions in Terrestrial Ecosystems (4).F. Alternate years. A study of the associations between insects and plants, using lecture, class discussions and laboratory exercises. Lecture topics include constraints imposed by plants on herbivorous insects and the strategies insects use to overcome them, pollination biology and ecology and the interplay between biotic and abiotic factors in determining interactions. Students are expected to lead class discussions of current literature. Laboratory exercises are field-based mini-experiments leading to the development of an individual project with experimentation and paper presentation. As a graduate student, mentoring of undergraduate research projects is required. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours. [Dual-listed with BIO 4571.]
BIO 5572. Virology (3).F. The objective of this course is to introduce students to the principles of virology as related to the structure, biochemistry, replication, pathogenesis and control of viruses. There will be an emphasis on disease processes and the interaction of animal viruses. General topics include the chemical and physical properties of viruses, virus classification, cultivation and assay of viruses, pathogenesis, persistent infections, biotechnology, and viruses as a cause of neoplasia. The students' analytical and intuitive skills will be challenged by analyzing figures and data from journal articles in class discussions. Lecture three hours. [Dual-listed with BIO 4572.]
BIO 5575. Ecotoxicology (4).S. This course introduces the various classes of toxicants, their fate within organisms and ecosystems, and the chemical transformations and mechanisms of toxicity. This course will also introduce students to standard lab and field toxicity tests, analysis of toxicity and quantification of toxins, data reduction and analysis, and the power of statistical analyses to identify significant effects. A case study approach will be utilized in lecture and labs to examine the toxic effects of heavy metals, organic compounds, insecticides, and environmental endocrine disrupters. Students will learn about important endpoints and bio-indicators of toxin exposure specific to each class of toxin and how they are used in ecological risk assessment. A service-learning component of the course will require students to design, write a mock grant proposal for, and lead a group toxicology project with a local community partner. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours with some required field trips. [Dual-listed with BIO 4575.]
BIO 5601. Animal Behavior-Ethology (4).S. Basic principles of animal behavior are approached from an evolutionary perspective. Topics such as instinct, learning, biological clocks, sociobiology, communication and physiological mechanisms of behavior are stressed. Laboratory emphasizes techniques of observing, recording, and analyzing behavior using a research project format. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours. [Dual-listed with BIO 4601.]
BIO 5650. Bioinformatics (3).F. Alternate years. An introduction to computational molecular and cellular biology. Students will have the opportunity to learn how to mine biological databases for information; retrieve, analyze, and compare biological sequence data; and predict sequence features and relationships using computational tools. Lecture two hours, laboratory two hours. Prerequisite: BIO 3800 (Molecular Biology) or permission of the instructor.
BIO 5700. Advanced Cell Biology (3).S. Alternate years. A detailed study of cellular structures and their functions as well as cellular communication and regulatory mechanisms, focusing on the eukaryotic cell. Prerequisite: a class in cell biology, molecular biology, or biochemistry or permission of the instructor. Lecture three hours.
BIO 5710. Genomics (3).S. Alternate years. An exploration of how genomic information is obtained; new insights gained from this information into the workings of life at the molecular, cellular and organismal level; and how this information is being used to understand evolution, symbiosis, pathogenesis, effectiveness of vaccines, cancer diagnosis and treatment, and other current issues. Lecture three hours. Prerequisites: BIO 3800 (Molecular Biology) with a grade of "C" or higher in each, or permission of the instructor.
BIO 5720. Gene Regulation (3).S. Alternate years. An exploration of the molecular principles underlying the regulation of the expression of a gene in the context of the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology. Topics include: the Central Dogma, DNA structure and packaging, general transcription, and cis and trans regulatory elements and factors. Lecture three hours. Prerequisites: BIO 3800 (Molecular Biology) with a grade of "C" or higher in each, or permission of the instructor.
BIO 5777. Biostatistics (4).F. An introduction to biological statistics, both parametric and non-parametric, including descriptive statistics, probability, inference testing, hypothesis development, t-tests, ANOVA, regression, categorical data analysis and basic experimental design. Laboratory is designed to allow students to analyze data using the SAS system. Lecture three hours, laboratory two hours. Prerequisite: STT 2810 (Introduction to Statistics) or equivalent, or permission of the instructor.
BIO 5900. Internship (1-6).F;S. Practical biological experiences in federal, state, and local agencies. Graded on an S/U basis. [Dual-listed with BIO 4900.]
BIO 5980. Instructional Methods in the Life Sciences (2).F;S. This course will provide training on effective pedagogy and communication skills for teaching assistants in the introductory biology program. In addition to the scientific principles of the weekly lab sessions, students in this course will be familiarized with the design of science lab content and the principles of developing effective assessment procedures. BIO 5980 may be repeated for two semester hours each semester; however, it cannot be counted toward the 30 semester hours minimum that are required for the Master of Science degree in Biology. Required of Graduate Teaching Assistants in their first year. Graded on an S/U basis.
BIO 5989. Graduate Research (1-9).F;S. This course is designed to provide access to University facilities for continuing graduate research at the master's and specialist's levels. Graded on an S/U basis. BIO 5989 does not count toward a degree.
BIO 5998. Thesis Preparation (1-3).On Demand. This course enables students to plan their master's thesis project by examining the pertinent literature, developing the experimental design, and carrying out the proposed research. Extensive collaboration with the student's thesis chair is expected. BIO 5998 may be repeated for 1-3 s.h. each semester, however, it cannot be counted toward the 30 semester hours minimum that are required for the Master of Science degree in Biology. Graded on an S/U basis.
BIO 5999. Thesis (4-8).On Demand. Required in the program of study for the Master of Science degree in Biology. Graded on an SP/UP basis until the thesis has been successfully defended and received final approval, at which time all grades will be changed to S.
BIO 6500. Independent Study (2-4).F;S. Student selects an area of investigation which must be approved by the instructor and advisor.
BIO 6520. Teaching Apprenticeship (4).On Demand. This course provides a teaching experience in undergraduate courses under direct supervision of a graduate faculty member. Specific objectives will be determined in a conference between the student and the graduate faculty member involved. Graded on an S/U basis.
BIO 6530-6549. Selected Topics (1-4).On Demand.
BIO 6610. Advanced Seminar in Current Research Topics (2).S. Lectures, readings, and discussions dealing with biological principles and theories.
BIO 6615. Current Topics in Molecular Biology (3). F;S. Seminar course exploring recent advances in Cell and Molecular Biology using primary literature published within the last six months. Course content changes each offering. BIO 6615 may be repeated for a total credit of 18 semester hours.
BIO 6618. Advanced Bacteriology (2).S. Modern techniques and procedures in bacteriology, including instrumental and biochemical methods of analysis and interpretation of data.
BIO 6989. Independent Research (1-8).F.S. A total of 8 hours credit is required for this course and may be taken in blocks of 1-8 hours. Results of the research must be reported in a scientifically acceptable manner. Graded on an S/U basis.