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Courses in Biological Sciences

Undergraduate Courses


BSCI 1100

Biology Today

Broad coverage of the biological sciences presenting evolution as the unifying concept. Particular emphasis on basic biological processes in cells and the relationships/interactions between organisms and their environment. Topics include cell structure and function, genetics and inheritance, evolution and diversity, populations, communities and ecosystems, and topics related to biology and society. Students who take BSCI 1510 and 1511 shall not receive credit for BSCI 1100. Corequisite: BSCI 1100L. [3] (MNS)

 

Mark Woelfle


BSCI 1100L

Biology Today Laboratory

Laboratory investigations of the genetics, physiology, and ecology of plants and animals. One three-hour laboratory per week to accompany BSCI 1100. Students who take BSCI 1510L, 1511L, or 1512L shall not receive credit for BSCI 1100L. Corequisite: BSCI 1100. Satisfies the AXLE lab course requirement when completed with BSCI 1100. [1] (No AXLE credit)

 

 Mark Woelfle


BSCI 1103 

Green Earth: The Biodiversity and Evolution of Plants

Biodiversity of plants, their adaptations to the environment, and their evolutionary and ecological relationships.  Basic biology of plant form and function and the importance of plants for life on Earth.  Not intended for students planning to major in biological sciences.  Three hours of lecture and one laboratory period per week [4] (MNS)

                                                                                                                                   Amanda Benson

BSCI 1105 

Human Biology

Recent advances in genetics, reproduction, and biotechnology. Social, legal, and ethical implications. Three lectures and one laboratory period per week. Not intended for students majoring in Biological Sciences. Students who take BSCI 1510 and 1511 may not receive credit for BSCI 1105. [4] (MNS)

 

 Denise Due-Goodwin


BSCI 1111, Section 2 

First-Year Writing Seminar: Genes and Society

[Note: We will open five seats in this class for each of the three weeks of enrollment for first year students.  The final enrollment limit will be 15.]  Our future has changed due to the availability of complete genomic DNA sequences ranging from microbes to humans.  With these sequences we have entered a new era that holds the promise of a better world through personalized medicine, gene therapy, cloning, and genetically modified crops.  Are we ignoring the dangers that these discoveries pose on our society and planet?  We will learn to critique the scientific literature and to discern science from science fiction.  However, most importantly, we will begin to understand the limitations of science and explore the possible impact of these scientific discoveries on the world.  FALL. [3] Benson, Amanda R. (P) (Click here for current seminar topics.)  

                                                                                                                                   Amanda Benson

BSCI 1510 

Introduction to Biological Sciences

An integrative approach to the science of life for science and engineering students. Macromolecular structure and function. Cell structure, reproduction, metabolism, and energy production. Genomes, replication, gene structure, RNA, and protein synthesis. Students who have completed  BSCI 1100 or 1105 will forfeit full credit for 1100 or three hours of credit for 1105 upon completion of this course. Prerequisite or corequisite: CHEM 1601. [3] (MNS)

 

Kendal Broadie 

   Laurence Zweibel

 

Katherine Friedman

Seth Bordenstein

 

Todd Graham 

    James Patton


BSCI 1511 

Introduction to Biological Sciences

Continuation of BSCI 1510. Cell communication. Physiology, organ function and development. Mendelian and population genetics. Evolution, ecology, and speciation. Populations, ecosystems, and conservation biology. Students who have completed BSCI 1100 or 1105 will forfeit full credit for BSCI 1100 or three hours of credit for BSCI 1105 upon completion of this course. Prerequisite: BSCI 1510. [3] (MNS)

 

 Carl Johnson

     Antonis Rokas

 

Patrick Abbot 

    Julian Hillyer


BSCI 1510L 

Biological Sciences Laboratory

Laboratory to accompany BSCI 1510. One three-hour laboratory per week. Satisfies the AXLE lab course requirement when completed with BSCI 1510.  Students who have completed BSCI 110L or BSCI 1105 will forfeit full credit for BSCI 1100L or one hour of credit for BSCI 1105 upon completion of this course. Prerequisite or corequisite:  BSCI 1510. [1] (No AXLE credit)

 

 James Pask


BSCI 1511L 

Biological Sciences Laboratory

Laboratory to accompany BSCI 1511. One three-hour laboratory per week. No credit for students who have completed BSCI 1512L. Satisfies the AXLE lab course requirement when completed with BSCI 1511. Students who have completed BSCI 1100L or 1105 will forfeit full credit for BSCI 1100L or one hour of credit for BSCI 1105 upon completion of this course. Prerequisite or corequisite: BSCI 1511. [1] (No AXLE credit)

 

 James Pask


BSCI 1512L 

Biological Sciences Laboratory

Alternative to BSCI 1511L.  Directed research projects with emphasis on experimental design and analysis. Offered on a graded basis only. No credit for students who have completed BSCI 1511L.  Satisfies the AXLE lab course requirement when completed with BSCI 1511. Students who have completed BSCI 1100L or 1105 will forfeit full credit for BSCI 1100L or one hour of credit for BSCI 1105 upon completion of this course. Prerequisite or corequisite: BSCI 1511. Prerequisite: BSCI 1510L. [2] (No AXLE credit)

 

James Pask


BSCI 2201

Introduction to Cell Biology

Structure and function of cells, subcellular organelles, and macromolecules. Fundamentals of organelle function, membrane transport, energy production and utilization, cell motility, cell division, intracellular transport and mechanisms of signal transduction. Prerequisite: BSCI 1510. [3] (MNS)

 

Todd Graham

Maulik Patel


BSCI 2201L 

Cell Biology Laboratory

One three-hour laboratory and discussion period per week. Satisfies the AXLE lab course requirement when completed with BSCI 2201. Prerequisite or corequisite: BSCI 2201. [1] (No AXLE credit)

                                                                                                                                        Allison Leich Hilbun

BSCI 2205 

Evolution

Evolutionary theory, with emphasis on evolutionary mechanisms. Microevolutionary processes of adaptation and speciation and macro-evolutionary patterns. Evidence from genetics, ecology, molecular biology, and paleontology in the historical context of the neo-Darwinian synthesis. Three lectures per week. No credit for graduate students in Biological Sciences. Prerequisite: BSCI 1511. [3] (MNS)

 

Antonis Rokas

Dan Funk


BSCI 2210 

Principles of Genetics

Basic principles and mechanisms of inheritance discussed and related to other biological phenomena and problems. Prerequisite: BSCI 1511. [3] (MNS)

  Mark Woelfle

BSCI 2210L 

Genetics Laboratory

One three-hour laboratory and discussion period per week. Satisfies the AXLE lab course requirement when completed with BSCI 2210.  Prerequisite or corequisite: BSCI 2210. [1] (No AXLE credit)

 

Mark Woelfle

BSCI 2218 

Introduction to Plant Biology

Diversity of plants within the framework of their evolution and environmental adaptations. Biomes from the tropical rain forest to the Vanderbilt arboretum. Three lectures and one laboratory per week. Prerequisite: BSCI 1511. [4] (MNS)

  Amanda Benson

BSCI 2219 

Introduction to Zoology

A structural and functional study of the major animal groups. The problems presented to animals by their environments, and the anatomical and physiological mechanisms by which they adapt. Three lectures and one laboratory period per week. Prerequisite: BSCI 1511. [4] (MNS)

 

Denise Due-Goodwin

BSCI 2238 

Ecology

Population biology, evolutionary ecology, community structure, with emphasis on species interactions, including competition, predation, and symbiosis.  Prerequisite:  BSCI 1511 [3] (MNS)

                                                                                                                              Maria Luisa S. Jorge

BSCI 2238L 

Ecology Lab

One three-hour laboratory and discussion period or field trip per week.  Prerequisite or Corequisite:  BSCI 2238.  Satisfies the AXLE lab course requirement when completed with BSCI 2238. [1] (No AXLE credit)
                                                                                                                        Denise Due-Goodwin

BSCI 2520 

Biochemistry

Structure and mechanism of action of biological molecules, proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, and polysaccharides. Enzymology. Carbohydrate metabolism. Prerequisite: Either BSCI 1510 or CHBE 2150 and either CHEM 2211 or 2221. [3] (MNS)

 

Brandt Eichman 

Lauren Jackson

Cynthia Brame

Jared Nordman

Hemant Badgandi 


BSCI 3226 

Immunology

The molecular and cellular basis of immunity. Emphasis on molecular structure, the genetic origin of diversity in B-cell and T-cell receptors, antigen presentation, and the cellular interactions leading to the immune response. Tolerance, tumor and transplantation immunity, autoimmune and immunodeficiency diseases, and allergy. Prerequisite: BSCI 2201 or 2210. [3] (MNS).

  Ann Tate

BSCI 3230 

Biological Clocks

Study of innate mechanisms for measurement of time in living organisms. Emphasis on the functional significance and physiological basis of biological clocks in animals and humans. Topics include circadian rhythms, time-compensated celestial navigation, photoperiodism, and the role of biological clocks in human behavior. Prerequisite: BSCI 1511. [3] (MNS)

  Carl Johnson

BSCI 3233 

Conservation Biology

Ecological, evolutionary, social, and economic aspects of biodiversity loss and ecosystem disruption due to human activities. Climate change, habitat fragmentation, species overexploitation, and invasive species. Sustainable development, habitat restoration, and species reintroduction. Prerequisite: BSCI 1511. [3] (MNS)

  Maria Luisa S. Jorge

BSCI 3234 

Microbial Ecology and Evolution

Microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and mobile genetic elements. The origins and universality of microbial life, modes of genome evolution, symbioses between microbes and animals, biotechnology, and human microbiome. Prerequisite: BSCI 1511. [3] (MNS)

  Seth Bordenstein

BSCI 3236 

Parasitology

Biology and epidemiology of eukaryotic parasites of medical and veterinary significance. Diagnosis, treatment, and control of parasitic protists, platyhelminthes, nematodes, and arthropods. Impact on global health. Prerequisite: BSCI 1511. [3] (MNS)

  Julián Hillyer

BSCI 3239 

Evolution of Behavior

Theoretical and empirical research on the evolution of behavior. Evolutionary approaches to the study of animal behavior, including the role of behavior in foraging, competition, predator-prey interactions, and sociality. Behavioral adaptations and their roles in sexual selection, mating systems, and animal communication. Prerequisite: 1511 and 2205. [3] (MNS)

   
  Patrick Abbot

 


 

BSCI 3247 

Molecular Evolution

The theory of evolution at the molecular level. The evolution of DNA and RNA sequences, proteins, and genome structures will be studied using models from population genetics and comparative approaches. Molecular clocks, the evolution of gene regulation and globin genes, molecular phylogeny, and human evolution. Prerequisite: BSCI 2210 and 2205. [3] (MNS)

  Dan Funk

BSCI 3252 

Cellular Neurobiology

Structure and function of nerve cells. Emphasis on electrical excitability, synaptic transmission, and sensory transduction. Cellular mechanisms underlying simple behaviors, sensory information processing, and learning and memory. Prerequisite: BSCI 1511. [3] (MNS)

  Doug McMahon

BSCI 3254 

Neurobiology of Behavior

Nerve cell interactions in neuronal networks of the central nervous system of animals and their impact for regulating behavior. Sensory systems, sensory-motor integration, central processing of information, neuronal-hormonal interactions; and brain anatomy and organization in invertebrates and vertebrates. Prerequisite: BSCI 1511 [3] (MNS).

  Kenneth Catania

BSCI 3256 

Molecules of the Brain

Molecules of neural wiring, involving cell identity, pathfinding, synaptogenesis. Molecules of nerve cell communication, with relationship to drugs of addiction and abuse. Molecules of nervous system plasticity, and the mechanistic bases of learning and memory. Relation of these mechanisms to causes of human neurological diseases. Prerequisite: BSCI 1511. [3] (MNS)

 

Kendal Broadie

     Larry Zwiebel


 


BSCI 3270 

Statistical Methods in Biology

An introduction to statistical methods used in the analysis of biological experiments, including the application of computer software packages.  Emphasis on testing of hypotheses and experimental design.  Topics include descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, regression, correlation, contingency analysis, and the testing of methods for sampling natural populations.  Prerequisites: BSCI 1511. [3] (MNS)

                                                                                                                         Allison Leich Hilbun 

BSCI 3272 

Genome Science

Aims and importance of the science.  Retrieval of genome data from public databases; experimental and computational methods used in analysis of genome data and their annotation.  Functional aspects of genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics; use of phylogenetics and population genomics to infer evolutionary relationships and mechanisms of genome evolution.  Prerequisites: BSCI 1511. [3] (MNS)

                                                                                                                                      John Anthony Capra

BSCI 3850 

Independent Reading

Reading and discussion of research papers with a member of the faculty.  Prerequisite: Consent of Biological Sciences 3850 coordinator before the end of the previous semester.  May be repeated for credit once if there is no duplication in topic.  Students may enroll in more than one section of this course each semester. [1; maximum of 2 credits total for all semesters of BSCI 3850] (No AXLE credit)

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BSCI 3860 

Introduction to Research

Work in the laboratory of a member of the Biological Sciences faculty.  Term paper required.  Consent of course coordinator and enrollment by arrangement before the end of the previous semester is required.  Prerequisite: BSCI 1510.  Prerequisite or corequisite: BSCI 1511. [1] (No AXLE credit)

                                                                                                           

BSCI 3861 

Directed Laboratory Research

Directed student research on a project conceived by a member of the Biological Sciences faculty.  Enrollment by arrangement before the end of the previous semester.  May be taken only once, and participants are ordinarily expected to have overall grade point average of B or better.  Offered on a graded basis only.  Prerequisite: BSCI 1511, one intermediate BSCI course appropriate to the major or BSCI 3860, and consent of the Biological Sciences BSCI 3861 coordinator. [2-4] (No AXLE credit)

                                                                                                             

BSCI 3961

Independent Laboratory Research

Original student research on a defined problem in Biological Sciences and under the supervision of Biological Sciences faculty.  Some independence in the design and execution of the problem.  Enrollment by arrangement before the end of the previous semester.  Prerequisites:  BSCI 3861, consent of Biological Sciences BSCI 3961 coordinator, and cumulative grade point average of B.  May be repeated for credit more than once, but students may only earn up to 6 credits per semester of enrollment. [2-6] (No AXLE credit)

                                                                                                          

BSCI 3965 

Undergraduate Seminar

Discussions and papers based on readings in research journals.  Topics vary.  Prerequisite:  fulfillment of hte intermediate course requirements for the major.  May be repeated for credit more than once if there is no duplication in topic, but only two hours may count toward the major.  Students may enroll in more than one section of this course each semester. [2] (No AXLE credit)

                                                                                                                                 

BSCI 4265 

Biochemistry II

Biochemistry of the expression, transmission, and maintenance of genetic information. DNA transcription, replication, recombination, and repair. Structural mechanisms and biological functions of DNA processing proteins. Prerequisite: BSCI 2520. [3] (MNS)

 

Lauren Parker Jackson

Jared Nordman    


BSCI 4266 

Advanced Molecular Genetics

Principles of classical and molecular genetic analysis: mutation and recombination, mapping, and the application of genetic methodology to the study of complex systems. Special emphasis on modern genomic approaches. Prerequisite: BSCI 2210. [3] (MNS)

  Kathy Friedman

 


BSCI 4999 

Honors Research

Open only to majors in the Honors Program. May be repeated for credit more than once, but students may earn only up to 6 credits per semester of enrollment. [4-6] (No AXLE credit)

Web Page James Patton