For information about Web accessibility, please contact the Webmaster at webmaster@haverford.edu.

Haverford College

2012-13 Course Catalog

Natural Sciences: Biology, 2012-13

DescriptionFacultyMajor RequirementsCoursesDepartment Homepage

Description

Our understanding of the structure and function of living organisms at the cellular and molecular levels is evolving rapidly. The lines traditionally used to demarcate the areas of genetics, biochemistry, microbiology, cell biology and physiology have dissolved in the research laboratory as well as in clinical practice. This necessitates an approach to the teaching of biology that emphasizes the common molecular basis of these disciplines and the involvement of students in the process of discovery so that they have the conceptual tools to both follow and contribute to the rapid advance of knowledge and understanding.

Students interested in learning about biology but not intending to major in this field can enroll in our Perspectives in Biology courses. These are appropriate for students from all backgrounds and disciplines and are separate from the major track.

Students interested in majoring in biology must complete a one–credit natural science course (which includes a laboratory experience) at Haverford, Bryn Mawr or Swarthmore in their first year; appropriate choices include chemistry, physics, geology or computer science. The first course in the biology major curriculum is BIOL 200 (Cell Structure and Function), taken in the sophomore year. The junior–year curriculum consists of two laboratory courses and a suite of half-semester lecture courses. In the senior year, students participate in a research tutorial pursuing original research and reading and reporting on the current literature under the supervision of a faculty mentor, culminating in a written senior thesis. Seniors also enroll in an advanced seminar course where they examine and discuss in detail scientific reviews and articles drawn from the primary literature. These courses are designed to immerse students in contemporary developments in a particular area of cell, molecular or developmental biology and are intended to develop critical faculties as well as creative talents. BIOL 499 (Senior Department Studies) is a half–credit course in which seniors participate in an external seminar program and present their research to the department.

The biology major supports several interdisciplinary areas of concentration, including biochemistry, biophysics, scientific computing, and neural and behavioral sciences. A free-standing minor in environmental studies is also available. Students wishing to combine the biology major with another major may do so in accordance with College guidelines for double majors. Such students must complete the full requirements of the biology major, including the senior thesis. At the present time, the Biology Department does not offer a minor in biology.

Students interested in pursuing careers in medicine, public health or related fields should consult with the Pre-Health Advisor regarding their course selections.

Back to Top

Faculty

Professor Slavica Smit Matacic, emeritus
Professor Melvin Santer, emeritus
Elizabeth Ufford Green Professor of Natural Sciences Judith A. Owen
Professor Robert Fairman
Professor Karl Johnson, Chair
Professor Philip Meneely
Professor Jennifer Punt
Associate Professor Andrea Morris
Associate Professor Iruka Okeke
Assistant Professor Rachel Hoang
Assistant Professor Jon Wilson
Lab Instructor Katherine Heston

Back to Top

Major Requirements

  1. Both semesters of Biology 200a and 200b. Successful completion of a one credit natural science course (which includes a laboratory experience) at Haverford, Bryn Mawr or Swarthmore is a prerequisite for enrolling in Biology 200a.
  2. A minimum of a one credit chemistry course (with associated lab).
  3. At least one semester of advanced coursework (200 level or higher) in a natural sciences department other than biology. Students may not count courses cross-listed in biology toward this requirement.
  4. Two semesters of the junior laboratory, Biology 300a and 300b.
  5. Four half-semester 300-level advanced topics courses (selected from Biology 301-315 and 331-332). Occasionally, a student may substitute an upper-level course from Bryn Mawr or Swarthmore for one or two of the half semester lecture courses, but only with the specific permission of the student's major advisor. We encourage students to take additional topics classes beyond the minimum of four, to enhance their experience of biology.
  6. One half-semester 350-level seminar course in the Haverford Biology Department (chosen from Biology 350—365; no substitutions permitted). Students may take additional seminar courses to enrich their knowledge of the discipline.
  7. A minimum of two 400-level Senior Research Tutorial credits, generally taken over both semesters of the senior year, including active participation in weekly lab meetings and submission of a notebook and a thesis describing the progress and results of the project. Students may take the tutorial for single or double credit each semester.
  8. Biology 499 (Senior Department Studies).

We offer alternative curricula within the major to students interested in interdisciplinary studies within the science division. These are encompassed within the areas of concentration in biochemistry, biophysics, neural and behavioral sciences (NBS), and scientific computing. In these interdisciplinary programs, a student may major in biology and take an enhanced selection of courses to fulfill the requirements of the biology major and their concentration. We provide further information under individual program descriptions for the relevant areas of concentration. Also, the Biology Department may grant equivalencies for certain major requirements to majors participating in study away programs during their junior year, depending upon the specific program and coursework the students undertake.

In addition to the required courses, the Biology Department strongly recommends a year of physics, a course in probability and statistics, and advanced coursework in chemistry (through Physical Chemistry or the equivalent).

Back to Top

Courses

187 Scientific Computing: Discrete Systems NA (Cross-listed in Computer Science)

D. Wonnacott/P. Meneely
Prerequisite: One semester of any (social or natural) science is recommended. Offered occasionally.

217 Biological Psychology NA (Cross-listed in Psychology)

S. Gillihan
Prerequisite: An introductory course in Psychology or Biology or the instructor’s consent.

221 The Primate Origins of Society SO (Cross-listed in Psychology)

S. Perloe
Prerequisite: An introductory course in one of the following: Anthropology, Biology, Psychology, or Sociology or the instructor’s consent.

PERSPECTIVES IN BIOLOGY COURSES FOR STUDENTS NOT INTENDING TO MAJOR IN THE SCIENCES

Prerequisites: None. Not open to students who have taken HC Biology 200 or BMC Biology 100-level courses.

123 Perspectives in Biology: Scientific Literacy NA

A.Morris
This is an introduction to current topics through reading and discussion of articles from the primary and popular literatures. Our texts ill include Science, Nature and The Science Times. We follow new breakthroughs and discoveries as they are reported and consider both evolution and revolution in scientific thought in real time from the viewpoint of the larger scientific community. The class lasts one half semester. Enrollment is limited to 30. Prerequisite: Lottery preference goes to freshmen and sophomores. Students must register for both Perspectives classes paired in a given semester to qualify for the single lottery that will run for both classes. Does not count toward the major.

124 Perspectives in Biology: Tropical Infectious Disease NA (Cross-listed in African and Africana Studies)

I.Okeke
This is an examination of factors that contribute to the emergence and endemicity of selected infectious diseases in tropical developing countries, with a focus on diseases where transmission routes are unique to tropical developing countries or unknown. Examples include waterborne, vaccine-preventable and zoonotic (animal transmitted) infections. Course participants examine the microbiological, epidemiological and public health factors that control the emergence or persistence of infectious diseases in the tropics. The class lasts one half semester. Enrollment is limited to 30. Prerequisite: Lottery preference goes to Freshmen and Sophomores. Students must register for both Perspectives classes paired in a given semester to qualify for the single lottery that will run for both classes. Does not count toward the major.

125 Perspectives in Biology: Genetic Roil and the Royal Families NA

R.Fairman
Family pedigrees reveal the inherited nature of a variety of human conditions and provide a powerful way to identify individual genes and to study the molecular consequences of mutation, particularly through the development of specific diseases, such as hemophilia and porphyria. The Royal Families of Europe offer well-documented family histories in which frequent intermarriages provide unparalleled and often tragic glimpses into both the genetic and molecular basis of disease and other aspects of the human condition. The class lasts one half semester. Enrollment is limited to 30. Prerequisite: Lottery preference to freshmen and sophomores. Students must register for both Perspectives classes paired in a given semester to qualify for the single lottery that will run for both classes. Does not count toward the major.

127 Perspectives in Biology: Human Genetic Diversity NA

P.Meneely
A major scientific milestone marking the start of the 21st century was the publication of the human genome sequence. With the subsequent reading of many human genomes, comparisons reveal clues to the natural history of the human species. Starting with basic concepts of human genetics and topics such as natural selection, founder effects and genetic drift, the course examines issues of human origins and migrations, diversity and the relationship between different populations and ethnic groups. The class lasts one half semester. Enrollment is limited to 30. Prerequisite: Lottery preference to freshmen and sophomores. Students must register for both Perspectives classes paired in a given semester to qualify for the single lottery that will run for both classes. Does not count toward the major.

128 Perspectives in Biology: How Do I Know Who I Am? NA

J.Owen
The capacity of the body to recognize its own cellular and molecular components underlies the functioning of a successful immune system capable of recognizing and appropriately handling invasion and neoplasm. This course places some emphasis on how this problem has been differentially solved by phylogenetically disparate organisms. The class lasts one half semester. Enrollment is limited to 30. Prerequisite: Lottery preference to freshmen and sophomores. Students must register for both Perspectives classes paired in a given semester to qualify for the single lottery that will run for both classes. Does not count toward the major.

129 Perspectives in Biology: The Vexations of Vaccines NA

J.Punt
Vaccines exploit the memory of our immune systems, specifically their ability to produce an overwhelming defensive response to the second exposure to a pathogen. First used as a treatment for smallpox by the Chinese and Turks in the 15th century, vaccination is now the cornerstone of preventative health programs and has eradicated some diseases worldwide. In this course we discuss the history of vaccination, its biological and cellular bases, and the difficulties involved in generating vaccines for current scourges. Finally, we critically evaluate the controversies surrounding vaccination in some communities. The course lasts one half semester. Enrollment is limited to 30. Prerequisite: Lottery preference to freshmen and sophomores. Students must register for both Perspectives classes paired in a given semester to qualify for the single lottery that will run for both classes. Does not count toward the major.

130 Perspectives in Biology: Origins-Evolution and Animal Diversity NA

R.Hoang
This course explores the history and theory of evolution. Key concepts are introduced as we consider a range of topics from Darwin, “selfish genes,” the origin of man, the way a variety of cultures view “origins,” arguments for and against evolution, and some of the implications of evolutionary theory for society. The class lasts one half-semester. Enrollment is limited to 30. Prerequisite: Lottery preference to freshmen and sophomores. Students must register for both Perspectives classes paired in a given semester to qualify for the single lottery that will run for both classes. Does not count toward the major.

OTHER COURSES (NOT PART OF THE MAJOR TRACK)

122 Writing in Public Health NA (Cross-listed in Writing Program)

J.Owen
Prerequisite: Open only to first-year students as assigned by the Director of College Writing. (Satisfies the first year writing requirement.) Does not count toward the major.

220 Unlocking Key Concepts in Biology NA

P. Meneely
A course for biology 200 students designed to teach the principles and methods of biological investigation. Students learn how to identify, develop and test biological hypotheses and how to articulate, analyze and interpret biological data. The class meets once a week during the semester and draws material from current literature, groundbreaking classical experiments and concurrent topics in Biology 200. Enrollment is by invitation from the Department. Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in BIOL 200 and the instructor’s consent.

A CORE PROGRAM OF COURSES IN MOLECULAR, CELL AND DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY WITH PREREQUISITES

200 Cell Structure and Function NA

R. Hoang/I. Okeke/P. Meneely/K. Heston This one-year course in cellular and molecular biology requires three hours of lecture and one laboratory period per week. Biology 200 considers the cell as a unit of biological activity. There is an introduction to the major macromolecules of the cell, which includes a discussion of their synthesis and breakdown, and a section on the gene as a unit of biological information and the flow and transmission of genetic information. The laboratory introduces the student to cell and molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics. Enrollment per lab section is limited to 28. Preference for a specific lab section is given to students preregistering for that lab section; students who do not preregister is assigned on a space-available basis. Prerequisite: Successful completion, with a grade of 2.0 or higher, of a one-credit natural science course (which includes a laboratory experience) at Haverford, Bryn Mawr or Swarthmore. The prerequisite for Biology 200b is successful completion of BIOL 200a with a grade of 2.0 or higher, or the instructor’s consent.

300 Laboratory in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology NA (Cross-listed in Chemistry)

I. Okeke/J. Owen/R. Hoang/J. Wilson
This course requires one lecture and two laboratory periods per week. It is an introduction to the application of modern experimental approaches in the study in interesting biological questions. The course employs techniques drawn from: cloning and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) manipulation, including polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and site-directed mutagenesis; protein expression, purification and characterization, with emphasis on circular dichroism and fluorescence spectroscopy; immunofluorescence, confocal and electron microscopy; and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis. Enrollment is limited to 40 (20 per section). Preference for a specific lab section is given to students preregistering for that lab section; students who do not preregister are assigned on a space-available basis. Prerequisite: Successful completion of BIOL 200a,b with grades of 2.0 or higher, or the instructor’s consent.

301 Advanced Genetic Analysis NA

P.Meneely
This course explores the molecular mechanisms governing the transmission, mutation and expression of genes. It places particular emphasis on the use of experimental genetic methods to analyze other areas of biology. Prerequisite: BIOL 200 or the equivalent, or the instructor’s consent.

302 Cell Architecture NA

K.Johnson
This is an examination of cellular structure and function. Topics include the eukaryotic cytoskeleton and endomembrane systems, with particular emphasis on the dynamic qualities of living cells. Prerequisite: BIOL 200 or the instructor’s consent.

303 Structure and Function of Macromolecules NA

R.Fairman
This study of the structure and function of proteins includes enzymes, assembly systems and proteins involved in interactions with nucleic acids and membranes. Prerequisite: BIOL 200 & CHEM 221 or the equivalent to be taken previously or concurrently, or the instructor’s consent.

304 Biochemistry: Metabolic Basis of Disease and Adaptation NA

J.Punt
This course introduces students to advanced biosynthetic processes associated with carbohydrate, nucleic acid, protein and lipid metabolism. A coverage of the pathways and the experiments that defined them is accompanied by discussions of their direct relevance to disease, abnormality and evolutionary adaptation. Prerequisite: BIOL 200 or the instructor’s consent.

306 Inter- and Intra-Cellular Communication NA

Staff
This is a study of the mechanisms by which individual cells in a multicellular organism communicate via the exchange of molecular signals. The course focuses on the release of molecular messengers, their interactions with specific receptor-bearing target cells of appropriate responses such as increased metabolic activity and/or cell division. We pay considerable attention to the biochemistry of plasma, and discuss internal cell membranes and pathways from a disease perspective. Prerequisite: BIOL 200 or the equivalent or the instructor’s consent.

307 The Cell in Development NA

Staff
This course uses the development of selected model organisms, both invertebrate and vertebrate, to examine the principles of fertilization, cleavage, gastrulation, morphogenesis, and pattern formation. It explores the mechanisms by which genetic information is stored, segregated and activated during cell determination and differentiation. Prerequisite: BIOL 200 and 301, or the instructor’s consent.

308 Immunology NA

J.Owen
This course provides an introduction to the rapidly expanding discipline of immunology. Students learn about the molecular and cellular basis of the immune response through the study of the genetics and biochemistry of antigen receptors, the biochemistry of immune cell activation, the cell physiology of the immune system, immune memory, immune tolerance induction and immune-mediated cell death. Prerequisite: BIOL 200 or the instructor’s consent.

309 Molecular Neurobiology NA

A.Morris
TThis course focuses on molecular approaches to study nervous system development, function and pathology. We discuss topics including the generation of neurons and glia, electrical signaling, learning and memory, and Alzheimer's disease using examples from a variety of model systems. Prerequisite: BIOL 200 or the instructor’s consent.

310 Molecular Microbiology NA

I.Okeke
This is a study of prokaryotic biology, with emphasis on cell structure, gene organization and expression, which incorporates selected readings from the primary literature. Topics include the bacterial and viral cell structure, the genetics of bacteria and bacteriophage, gene regulation, horizontal gene transfer and microbial genomics. The course includes lectures, class presentation and discussion, and workshops. Prerequisite: BIOL 200 or the instructor’s consent.

312 Development & Evolution NA

R.Hoang
This course introduces important links between developmental and evolutionary biology. Genetic changes that produce variations between organisms are an important aspect of evolutionary change. Since one can view development as the process that links genetic information to the final form of an organism, the fields of development and evolution clearly impact one another. We look at Drosophila and zebrafish, where developmental mechanisms have been elucidated in remarkable detail. We then look beyond these model systems to comparative studies that examine development in a range of organisms, considering how these provide insight into evolutionary mechanisms, and how underlying differences in development may account for the differences we see between organisms. Prerequisite: BIOL 200 or the instructor’s consent.

314 Photosynthesis NA (Cross-listed in Biochemistry)

J.Wilson
This is a study of the function, origins, and history of photosynthesis on Earth, from bacteria to plants. This course begins with a survey of photosynthetic metabolisms, explores photosynthetic microbial diversity and investigates the evolution of terrestrial plants through the fossil record. Prerequisite: BIOL 200 or the instructor’s consent.

331 Computational Genomics NA/QU

P.Meneely
Complete DNA sequence information is now available for hundreds of species. Computer-based comparisons of genes or genomes between different species are routine for many biological investigations. This course uses a lecture and workshop format to introduce students to the evolutionary and computational basis for such comparisons, as well as the statistical tools to evaluate these comparisons. Prerequisite: BIOL 301, some familiarity with statistics and probability and the instructor’s consent; BIOL 303 is recommended.

332 Biological Networks and Systems NA/QU

P.Meneely
Biological molecules interact in complex ways. Genomic analysis has identified many of the genes and gene products that comprise the component parts of an organism. This course discusses how one studies the interactions among these molecules and what properties of the biological system emerge from the complex networks of interactions. Prerequisite: BIOL 301 or the instructor’s consent.

ADVANCED HALF-SEMESTER COURSES IN MOLECULAR, CELLULAR, AND DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY

330 Laboratory in Neural and Behavioral Science: Molecular Development NA

A.Morris
This half-semester lab course introduces molecular and cellular approaches to understanding the development of the nervous system. A variety of model organisms is used to investigate neural induction, patterning, neural crest cell migration and axon guidance. Prerequisite: BIOL 200 or the instructor’s consent.

350 Pattern Formation in the Nervous System NA

A.Morris
A fundamental process in the development of the vertebrate nervous system is the partitioning of the nervous system into distinct domains of cellular differentiation, for example the brain versus the spinal cord. This seminar course explores, through a series of student research article presentations, the molecular processes by which pattern is established in the nervous system and the morphological consequences of improper patterning. Human birth defects and pathologies such as spina bifida and brain tumors are used as case studies to discuss the role of crucial patterning genes and signaling molecules. Enrollment is limited to 15 students. Prerequisite: BIOL 309 or the instructor’s consent.

351 Molecular Motors and Biological Nano-Machines NA

K.Johnson
The world of the cell contains a rich array of molecular machinery that carries out life's dynamic processes. Interdisciplinary studies of these mechanisms employing a variety of biological, chemical and physical approaches are revealing a wealth of detail spanning from visible phenomenon to the scale of atoms and molecules. Extensive reading of the primary literature is a basis for student-led discussions. Topics are selected from a list including viral assembly, cellular clocks, mechanoenzyme engines, biosynthetic machinery and the assembly and regulation of cytoskeletal arrays. These systems provide novel insights into how work is accomplished (and regulated) in a nano-scale environment and serve as models for the development of nanotechnologies for science and medicine. Enrollment is limited to 15 students. Prerequisite: BIOL 302 or the instructor’s consent.

352 Cellular Immunology NA

J.Punt
Topics include the description and classification of the cells and tissues of the immune system, cell collaboration in the immune response, transplantation antigens and their role in graft rejection and recognition of virally infected cells, immune tolerance and lymphokines. The course includes student presentations of articles in the original immunological literature, followed by critical discussion. Enrollment is limited to 15 students. Prerequisite: BIOL 300b, 308, or the instructor’s consent.

357 Topics in Protein Science NA

R.Fairman
This course studies current topics in protein science using the primary research literature. We particularly focus on these issues as they relate to function. Topics may include protein: DNA interactions, protein:protein interactions, and chaperones and their role in protein folding, protein aggregation and disease. Enrollment is limited to 15 students. Prerequisite: BIOL 200 and 300b, or the instructor’s consent.

358 Developmental Genetics NA

R.Hoang
This course examines the structure of sex chromosomes, and how differences in sex chromosome constitution give rise to the morphological differences between males and females. The emphasis is the genetic and molecular basis of sex determination, using the primary research literature. Model organisms include invertebrates such as Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster and vertebrates such as placental and non-placental mammals and reptiles. Enrollment limited to 15 students. Prerequisite: BIOL 301 or the instructor’s consent.

360 Bacterial Pathogenesis NA

I.Okeke
The course begins with lectures that give an overview of current concepts in bacterial pathogenesis. Initial readings are from texts or reviews on the subject, and the rest of the course consists of focused discussions on current research in the field and student presentations on the primary literature. Enrollment is limited to 15 students. Prerequisite: BIOL 200 and 300b, or the instructor’s consent.

363 Stem Cell Biology NA

J.Punt/em>
This course develops an understanding of the molecular mechanisms that regulates stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. We examine these issues by exploring the primary literature on topics such as hematopoietic (bone marrow) stem cells and their use as therapeutic agents. Enrollment is limited to 15 students. Prerequisite: BIOL 300b or the instructor’s consent.

SENIOR RESEARCH, INDEPENDENT STUDY AND SENIOR DEPARTMENTAL STUDIES

402 Senior Research Tutorial in Genetics and Meiosis NA

P.Meneely
This course studies the principles and mechanisms by which the chromosome number is reduced and segregated during the production of gametes in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We use genetic, molecular and microscopic methods to isolate and examine mutant strains thatfail to execute meiosis properly. The class supplements laboratory work with readings from the current literature on meiosis and C. elegans. Prerequisite: The instructor’s consent.

403 Senior Research Tutorial in Protein Folding and Design NA

R.Fairman
The laboratory focuses on protein folding and design, with a particular emphasis on the use of proteins in nanoscience. Students have the opportunity to apply chemical and genetic approaches to the synthesis of proteins for folding and design studies. Such proteins are characterized in the laboratory using biophysical methods (such as circular dichroism spectroscopy, analytical ultracentrifugation, and atomic force microscopy). Functional and structural approaches can also be applied as necessary to answer specific questions relating to protein science. The class supplements laboratory work with readings in the original literature. Prerequisite: The instructor’s consent.

404 Senior Research Tutorial in Molecular Microbiology NA

I.Okeke
This course surveys studies in bacterial genetics and pathogenesis. Molecular methods are used to identify and characterize features of diarrhea-causing Escherichia coli that are absent in commensal strains. The class supplements laboratory work with readings from current literature. Prerequisite: The instructor’s consent.

407 Senior Research Tutorial in BioArchitecture NA

K.Johnson
This course explores studies of structure in living systems and applications in nanotechnology. It employs approaches including genetic analysis, biochemistry, biophysics, molecular biology, microscopy and imaging, bioengineering and synthetic biology. The class supplements laboratory work with readings from the current literature. Prerequisite: The instructor’s consent.

408 Senior Research Tutorial on Life and Death Decisions of Developing Lymphocytes NA

J.Punt
The fate of developing T cell depends on the interactions it experiences through its T cell receptor as it traffics through the thymus. Interestingly, identical interactions can have markedly different consequences depending on the T cell developmental stage. Immature T cells (thymocytes) respond to strong T cell receptor signals by dying, while their direct descendants, mature T cells, respond to the very same stimulation by proliferating. We are working to determine the molecular reasons behind this difference in responsiveness. By identifying and comparing the intracellular signals experienced by immature and mature T cells, we are working to solve this developmental mystery. The class supplements laboratory work with readings from current literature. Prerequisite: The instructor’s consent.

409 Senior Research Tutorial in Molecular Neurobiology NA

A.Morris
The developing nervous system of vertebrate embryos rapidly becomes patterned into distinct domains of neural cell differentiation. In order to identify what genes are responsible for establishing this pattern, we employ a variety of molecular screening techniques. The expression pattern of these genes is then determined by in situ hybridization and their function is analyzed in vivo and in vitro, using microinjection and biochemical assays. The class supplements laboratory work with readings from the current literature. Prerequisite: The instructor’s consent.

410 Senior Research Tutorial at Off-Campus Research Labs NA

R. Fairman/K. Johnson
This course involves research in an area of cell, molecular, or development biology conducted under the supervision of a member of a nearby research laboratory who has volunteered time and space for a Haverford student. All students enrolled must have designated on-campus and off-campus supervisors. Prerequisite: BIOL 300 and consent of both the department and the off-campus supervisor.

411 Senior Research Tutorial on The Control of Cell Shape: Molecular & Evolutionary Approaches NA

R.Hoang
All embryos undergo a series of highly elaborate cell movements to produce their final shape and form. Understanding the molecular basis of these movements provides important insight into the underlying molecular mechanisms, and enables us to ask how changes in these mechanisms give rise to differences between organisms. Students therefore approach this subject from both molecular and evolutionary perspectives. Using the fruit fly as a model system, we look inside cells to ask how intricate changes to the cytoarchitecture of individual cells drive movements of entire layers of cells. We hope to further understand how these same developmental processes go awry in situations of human disease (e.g. cancer metastasis). We also examine cell movements in a variety of insects to ask how the developmental mechanisms themselves evolve and change. Projects draw on a variety of techniques including cell and molecular biology, embryology, genetics, genomics and cell imaging. The class supplements laboratory work with readings from the current literature. Prerequisite: The instructor’s consent.

413 Senior Research Tutorial in Plant Biology and Evolution NA (Cross-listed in Biochemistry)

J.Wilson
Plants are an important interface between biology and the environment, and the study of plants' evolutionary history illuminates this interaction. This course focuses on the physiology and evolution of living and extinct plants. Techniques employed include anatomical studies of living and fossil plant tissues, imaging and quantitative investigation of plant structure, and the collection and analysis of fossil plant material. The class supplements laboratory work with readings from the literature. Prerequisite: The instructor’s consent.

480 Independent Study NA

R.Fairm
Prerequisite: The instructor's consent.

499 Senior Department Studies NA

J.Owen
Participation in the department's Phillip's Visitors Program; attendance at seminars by visiting speakers; senior seminar meetings, consisting of presentation and discussion of research plans and research results by students and faculty; and students' presentations of papers on contemporary developments in experimental biology. Prerequisite: The consent of the department.

COURSES OFFERED AT BRYN MAWR COLLEGE

Multiple upper-level biology courses at Bryn Mawr can satisfy certain requirements for the Haverford biology major, with the consent of the major advisor.

Back to Top