500-Level Biology Courses
CAS BI 502 Topics in the Mathematical Structure of Biological Systems Prereq: CAS MA 123; CAS MA 124; CAS BI 203; (or CASBI213), or consent of instructor. Examines mathematical principles for the control of biological systems, including themes of behavioral switching, adaptation, noise, and memory. Subjects range from bacteria to vertebrates. Assignments include student presentations on primary literature, and the option of computational modeling. 4 cr. 2nd sem.
CAS BI 503 Symbiosis (EBE) Prereq: senior standing. Explores a dominant survival mechanism in the Earth’s history. Emphasizes partner integration in cell evolution, metabolic basis of the associations, the ubiquity of such association in all ecosystems, and the study of key symbolic systems on Earth today, including coral reefs, mycorrhizae/plants, and lichens. Three hours lecture. Zook. 4 cr. either sem.
CAS BI 506 Phenotypic Plasticity Prereq: CAS BI 107 and either BI 303 or BI 304, or consent of instructor. Explores the flexible phenotype as a product of development and target of natural selection, and addresses the role of plasticity in ecological interactions and evolutionary diversity. Topics: plasticity genetics, evolution, developmental mechanisms, functional ecology, learning, and diversification of life. Three hours lecture, one hour discussion. Warkentin. 4 cr. 2nd sem.
CAS BI 508 Behavioral Ecology (EBE) Examines the adaptive significance of behavior in an ecological context. Topics include the evolution of social behavior, mating systems, sexual selection, alternative reproductive behaviors, life history strategies, optimal foraging, territoriality, cooperation and conflict, host-parasite co-evolution, the ecology of communication, and comparative analyses. Sorenson. 4 cr. 2nd sem.
CAS BI 512 Mammalian Ecology (EBE) Prereq: CAS BI 302 and CAS BI 303; or consent of instructor. Evaluation of ecological, behavioral, and physiological adaptations of mammals, with emphasis on social behavior, reproductive ecology, feeding ecology, energetics, evolution, and conservation biology. Research papers. Oral presentations. Three hours lecture, three hours lab. Kunz. 4 cr. 1st sem.
CAS BI/NE 520 Sensory Neurobiology Prereq: senior standing, BI 325 or NE 203. Fundamental properties of sensory system function including the cellular mechanisms of transduction, neural coding of sensory information, and relationship between neural activity sensory perception. Lab component focuses on the neurophysiology of sensory systems in model organisms. Three hours lecture, one hour discussion. Dionne. 4 cr. 1st sem.
CAS BI 527 Biochemistry Laboratory I, II Prereq: CAS CH 204 & CAS CH 212 & CAS CH 214 or CAS CH 282. Emphasizes the purification and characterization of proteins and DNA. Development and use of modern instrumentation and techniques. Same as CH 527 and laboratory portion of CAS BI/CH 421/621. Required for BMB students enrolled concurrently in GMS BI 555/556. Four hours lab, one hour discussion. Kyte, Tolan. 2 cr. 1st sem.
CAS BI 528 Biochemistry Laboratory I, II Prereq: CAS CH 204 & CAS CH 212 & CAS CH 214 or CAS CH 282. Emphasizes protein, carbohydrate, nucleic acid, and lipid chemistry. Development and use of modern instrumentation and techniques. Four hours lab, one hour discussion. Same as CAS CH528 and laboratory portion of CAS BI/CH 422. Required for BMB students enrolled concurrently in GMS BI 556. Four hours lab, one hour discussion. Kyte, Tolan. 2 cr. 2nd sem.
CAS BI 530 Forest Ecology Prereq: CAS BI 107 and CAS BI 303 or CAS BI 306, or consent of instructor. The major biotic and abiotic factors influencing forest ecosystem composition, structure, and function. Role of solar radiation, hydrology, soils, succession, and management of forest ecosystems. Includes New England case study. Three hours lecture plus discussion. Meets with CAS GE 530. Templer. 4 cr. On Demand
CAS BI 531 Ichthyology: Behavior, Ecology, and Evolution of Fish (EBE) Prereq: CAS BI 260 and consent of instructor. A comprehensive introduction to fish biology and systematics. Emphasis on phylogenetic relationships, ecology, and behavior. Labs include morphological studies of specimens and behavioral studies of live fishes. This course is a prerequisite for the field course. Lobel. 4 cr. 1st sem.
CAS BI 532 Field Biology of Belize Coral Reefs: Expeditionary Ichthyology (EBE) Prereq: CAS BI 531, MS Core and CAS BI 531, or consent of the instructor and director. Grad Prereq: CAS BI 531. Builds on the basic ichthyology course, from which students apply their knowledge to the in-depth study of fishes in the wild. Focus on students’ independent research projects. Primarily snorkeling, scuba optional. Taught in Belize, Central America. Lobel. 4 cr. 1st sem.
CAS BI 543 Global Ecology Prereq: Bio/Earth Science/Env. Studies graduate students and seniors, previous undergraduate ecology or environmental science. Explores the many biospheric threads that link and exchange throughout the earth. Overview of element flow, climate change, microbial dominance and human impacts. Particularly for those in the Global Ecology Education Graduate Certificate, Masters of Education, and MAT programs of SED. Zook. 4 cr. 2nd sem.
CAS BI/NE 545 Neurobiology of Motivated Behavior (PER/Neuro) Prereq: CAS BI 315 or BI 325, or NE 203, or consent of instructor. Molecular and neuroendocrine mechanisms controlling reproductive and parental behaviors, ingestive behaviors and metabolism, and circadian rhythms, pain perception and reward in vertebrates. Three hours lecture plus student-led discussions of relevant research papers. Baum, 4 cr. 2nd sem.
CAS BI 546 Marine Megafaunal Ecology: Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and Surrounding Waters Prereq: CAS BI 260 & CASMA213, or consent of instructor. Marine macrofauna: whales, seals, seabirds, fishes, turtles, jellies, and people in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Evolution, food webs, and distributional ecology; physical and human influences on foraging and movement behavior. Student research builds ecosystem-based science for Sanctuary management. Kaufman, 4 cr. 1st sem. On Demand
CAS BI 547 Marine Ivertebrates of the New England Coast Prereq: admission to the Marine Semester. Explores the diversity of marine invertebrates, including body plans, feeding biology, reproductive strategies, and developmental programs. Field biodiversity surveys and laboratory studies on invertebrates from coastal New England habitats, especially salt marshes and coastal embayments. Part of the Marine Semester. Finnerity. 4 cr. 1st sem.
CAS BI 549 Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (EBE) Prereq: junior standing. Methods and applications of phylogenetic analysis with emphasis on molecular data. Tree-building algorithms and associated methods of hypothesis testing. Application of phylogenetic analysis in systematics, molecular evolution, comparative biology, and other fields. Three hours lecture, two hours discussion/computer lab. Schneider, Sorenson. 4 cr. 1st sem.
CAS BI 551 Biology of Stem Cells Prereq:(CASBI203 & CASBI206) and consent of instructor. Views on stem cell research range from assumptions of a potential cure for most diseases to fears that it will depreciate the value of human life. This course equips students with the science that underlies this discussion, including the biological properties of stem cells and the experimental hurdles to utilization in regenerative medicine. Frydman, 4 cr. 2nd sem.
CAS BI 552 Molecular Biology I (CM) Prereq: CAS BI 203 & CAS BI 206. Synthesis, structure, and function of biologically important macromolecules (DNA, RNA, and proteins). Regulation and control of the synthesis of RNA and proteins. Introduction to molecular biology of eukaryotes. Discussion of molecular biological techniques, including genetics and recombinant DNA techniques. Three hours lecture, one hour discussion. Loechler. 4 cr. 1st sem.
CAS BI 553 Molecular Biology II (CM) Prereq: CAS BI 552 (CAS BI/CH 421/422 recommended). Continuation of CAS BI 552 with emphasis on eukaryotes. General areas of focus include genome organization, mechanisms of gene regulation, and cell signaling. Topics including genomics, chromatin structure, cell cycle, mouse transgenics systems, signal transduction, and apoptosis. Naya, 4 cr. 2nd sem.
CAS BI/NE 554 Neuroendocrinology (PER/Neuro) Prereq: CAS BI 315, or 325, or BI 425, or equivalent. Studies how the two major integrative organ systems of animals, the endocrine and the nervous systems, interact to control physiological and behavioral aspects of reproduction, development, growth, biological rhythms, and homeostasis. Three hours lecture, one hour discussion. Callard, G. 4 cr. 2nd sem.
CAS BI 556 Membrane Biochemistry and Cell Signaling (CM) Prereq: CAS BI 552 & CAS BI 421 & CAS CH 421. Coreq: CAS BI 422 or CAS CH 422. Structure and biosynthesis of membrane proteins and lipids, regulation of cholesterol homeostasis, protein prenylation and fatty acylation, receptor-mediated endocytosis, protein trafficking, and cell signaling. Critical readings of research publications employing modern techniques of biochemistry, cell biology, and molecular biology to study the structure and function of biological membranes. Three hours lecture, one hour discussion. Waxman. 4 cr. 1st sem.
CAS BI/ES 558 Coastal Biogeochemistry Prereq: CH 101 &102, ES 144 (or equivalents), admission to the Marine Semester. Examines coastal energy flow and nutrient cycling in the context of human impacts. Links between local and global scales are emphasized. Class is part of the Marine Semester and will involve field and laboratory work. Fulewiler. 4 cr. 1st sem.
CAS BI 563 Sensory Biology Fundamentals of sensory biology with focus on chemical signals. Principles of physics, chemistry, and statistics describe signal noise distributions. Chemical stimuli from the perspective of the animal and its receptor cells and organs. Atema, 4 cr. On Demand.
CAS BI 569 Tropical Marine Invertebrates Prereqs: admission to the MS. Explores the diversity of marine invertebrates, including body plans, feeding biology, reproductive strategies, and developmental programs. Field biodiversity surveys and behavioral studies in shallow water tropical marine environments especially seagrass beds, and mangrove. Par of the Marine Semester. Finnerty. 4 cr. 1st sem.
CAS BI 572 Advanced Genetics Prereq: CAS BI 206 & CAS BI 203; CAS BI 552 is recommended. An in-depth study of eukaryotic genetics, ranging from the history and basic principles to current topics and modern experimental approaches. Genetics of Drosophila, C. elegans, mice, and humans are explored in detail, including readings from primary literature. Three hours lecture, one hour discussion. McCall. 4 cr.1st sem.
CAS BI 576 Carcinogenesis Prereq: CAS BI 203; CAS BI 206; CAS BI 552. Covers multiple aspects of cancer biology with a focus on molecular mechanisms underlying cancer development and progression, and the implications for therapy. Topics include oncogenes, tumor supperssors, apoptosis, angiogenesis, metastasis, mouse models, and chemotherapy. Emphasis son current research. 4 hours lecture. Gilmore, McCall. 4 cr. 2nd sem.
CAS BI 578 Marine Geographic Information Science Prereq: CAS BI 260 & CAS ES 144 ; CAS MA 213 strongly recommended. Introduction to marine geographic information systems and spatial analysis for conservation, management, and marine landscape ecology. Comparative examples from Gulf of Maine and tropics. Solve problems in coastal zoning and marine park design, whale and coral reef conservation. Lagueux, 4 cr. 1st sem.
CAS BI 581 Seminar in Biology Prereq: consent of instructor. Grad Prereq: consent of instructor. Open to seniors and graduate students concentrating in biology. Informal discussion and student reports on subjects of current interest based on an intensive study of the literature. Topics vary. List of approved seminars available at preregistration each semester. Schneider, 2 cr. 1st sem.
CAS BI 582 Seminar in Biology Prereq: consent of instructor. Grad Prereq: consent of instructor. Open to seniors and graduate students concentrating in biology. Informal discussion and student reports on subjects of current interest based on an intensive study of the literature. Topics vary. List of approved seminars available at preregistration each semester. 2 cr. 2nd sem.
CAS BI 599 No course description currently available. Prereq: CAS BI 325 & CAS BI 481 (or CAS BI 445) and junior standing, or consent of instructor. This course description is currently under construction. 4 cr. On Demand
Courses marked with a cross (†) satisfy natural sciences divisional studies requirements. An asterisk (*) indicates that the course does not count toward concentration credit in biology.
Andrew Reinmann's research is focused on quantifying the role of winter climate change in carbon storage in temperate forests. He works with Dr. Pamela Templer and is a part of the graduate Ecology, Behavior, & Evolution program.
Marie Jordan is studying at the interface between organic chemistry and biology, with an emphasis on DNA mutagenesis. She works in Dr. David Waxman's lab and is a part of the graduate Cell and Molecular Biology program.
Eva Fast has been studying the study how Wolbachia, obligate intracellular bacteria, get transmitted vertically through the female germline of insects. She works with Dr. Horacio Frydman as a part of the graduate Neurobiology program.