Freshman Level and Non-Major Courses
1301. Basic Ideas of Biology.
Biological principles and information are studied by examination of a single thematic
topic such as genetics. Coursework integrates the scientific discoveries within the
field with applied information and societal implications. Two lectures, one laboratory
period weekly. Fall and Spring.
The development of new methodologies in experimental biology has proceeded at an unprecedented
rate in recent years, particularly in the area of DNA technology. This has enabled
biologists to advance their understanding of cellular and organismal function but
has also brought many practical benefits to enterprises such as agriculture and drug
development. This course introduces students to some of the more important methods
of biotechnology, explains their scientific basis, and describes their current applications
in industry and potential for use or misuse in the future. Because the focus of the
course is on DNA technology, students will be given the necessary background instruction
in cell structure and function, with emphasis on the role of DNA in the life of cells.
Two lectures, one laboratory period weekly. Spring.
1311, 1111. General Biology I and Lab.
The first half of the general biology sequence addresses the biochemical, cellular,
genetic, and evolutionary levels of biological study, providing a foundation for courses
in the Molecules to Cells area of the upper-division courses in the department. Three
lectures, one laboratory weekly. Fall.
1312, 1112. General Biology II and Lab.
The second half of the general biology sequence addresses the diversity of life and
the characteristics of the different kingdoms, as well as fundamentals of development,
anatomy, physiology, and ecology of organisms. This course provides a foundation for
upper-division courses in the Cells to Organisms and Organisms to Populations areas.
Two lectures, one laboratory weekly. Spring.
2315, 2115. Human Biology.
This course will be an examination of human form and function through the integration
of anatomy and physiology. Material covered in this course will emphasize a multi-dimensional
view of the human body rooted in the biological sciences, but applicable to art, human
history, and psychology. It will include applied topics such as human performance,
biomechanics, nutrition, medicine, mental and physical development. Three lectures,
one laboratory weekly. Fall.
2341, 2141. Plant Biology.
A study of the origins, evolution, anatomy, and function of land plants. Cell formation
by apical and lateral meristems, cell differentiation, and the anatomy of monocot
and dicot stems, roots, and leaves are described. Aspects of higher plant physiology
such as photosynthesis, water relations, solute uptake, nitrogen metabolism, reproduction,
and responses to environmental stimuli are also discussed. Three lectures and one
laboratory period weekly. Prerequisites: Biology 1312, 1112. Fall.
2360, 2160. Environmental Science and Lab.
Environmental science represents the interface between ecological process, human behavior,
history, and economic/political realities. This course provides students with fundamentals
of the scientific principles that underlie ecological phenomena, combining scientific
concepts with details on human issues related to food, air, water, land use, toxicology,
population, energy, waste, and environmental education. Students analyze case studies
and conduct web research of global issues, and undertake in-class debate of contemporary
issues in environmental science. Three lectures, one laboratory weekly. Prerequisites:
3323, 3123. Anatomy.
Human structure is studied with a strong emphasis on the integration of form and function.
Origins and major systems of the vertebrates are studied through phylogenetic analysis
and laboratory investigations of the cat. The relationship between anatomy and physiology,
and the application of anatomical investigations to the medical field are also discussed.
Three lectures, one laboratory weekly. Prerequisite: Biology 1312, 1112. Fall.
The human immune system consists of a vast array of interacting cells and molecules,
dispersed throughout the body, that are designed to recognize and repel anything foreign
while avoiding harm to self. This course introduces the genetic, molecular, and cellular
basis of vertebrate immunity. Clinical aspects of immunology including diagnostics,
immune deficiencies, and autoimmune disorders also will be discussed. The goal is
to present a broad overview of immune function that allows students to comprehend
the rapid advances being made in this field. Three lectures weekly. Prerequisite:
Biology 1312, 1112. Spring.
3325, 3125. Genetics.
A study of classical genetics as well as of the molecular biology of the genetic material.
Three lectures, one laboratory weekly. Prerequisite: Biology 1312, 1112. Spring.
3326, 3126. Ecology.
Physiological ecology, behavior, population dynamics, community interactions, and
ecosystem function are studied using the framework of natural selection and adaptation.
Ecological models based on fundamental mathematical principles and experimental evidence
from the primary literature complement student laboratory investigations of ecological
principles. Three lectures, one laboratory weekly. Prerequisite: Biology 1312, 1112.
Spring, even-numbered years
3327, 3127. Microbiology.
The majority of life on Earth, at least in terms of sheer numbers, consists of organisms
too small to be seen individually with the unaided eye. All of the currently recognized
domains of life are represented in the microbial world, along with the non-living
viruses, viroids, and prions. This course introduces students to the structure, classification,
physiology, and genetics of microorganisms, as well as their distribution in nature
and interactions with humans, plants, and animals. The laboratory presents fundamental
techniques for observing, handling, and cultivating microbial cells as well as methods
for controlling their growth and identifying unknown microorganisms. Two lectures,
one laboratory weekly. Prerequisite: Biology 1312, 1112. Fall.
3328, 3128. Molecular Biology.
The structure and activity of any living organism are ultimately dependent on information
stored in its DNA genome. This information must be read correctly in a time and space-dependent
manner to produce the nucleic acids, proteins, and other molecules that allow cells
to function. The goal of this course is to provide students with an understanding
of what genes are at the molecular level, and an overview of the mechanisms involved
in transmitting, maintaining, and expressing the vast reservoir of information they
contain. The laboratory introduces techniques for preparing and manipulating DNA,
isolating and cloning genes, and expressing foreign proteins in bacterial cells. Prerequisite:
Biology 1312, 1112. Spring.
3329. Developmental Biology.
Complex living organisms begin their existence as single cells, which must somehow
give rise to diverse cell populations that are organized into characteristic forms
and function coordinately. Developmental biology is the study of processes involved
in creating a new organism and then modifying its structure in an orderly fashion
as it progresses from an embryo to an adult. The goal of this course is to introduce
students to fundamental anatomical, cellular, and molecular aspects of development,
and to some of the rapid and exciting advances being made in this field. While we
focus primarily on the animal kingdom, comparisons to other organisms are included
to provide insight into the surprising conservation of genes, structures, and mechanisms
that exists among living things. Three lectures weekly. Prerequisite: Biology 1312,
3330, 3130. Ornithology.
Study of the anatomy, physiology, development, behavior, ecology and evolution of
bird species, with particular emphasis on North American bird groups and native Texas
birds. Lab exercises focus on taxonomy, identification, dissection, field trips, study
skins, and behavioral observations. Course also includes discussion of birds through
history and their influence on the arts and human society. Three lectures, one laboratory
weekly. Prerequisites: None. Spring.
3331, 3131. Physiology.
Analysis of the physical and chemical phenomena governing the functions of cells,
tissues, organs and organ systems. Provide students with an understanding of the function
& regulation of the human body and physiological integration of the organ systems
to maintain homeostasis. Course content will include neural, musculoskeletal, circulatory,
respiratory, digestive, urinary, immune, reproductive, and endocrine organ systems. Three
lectures, one laboratory weekly. Prerequisite: Biology 1312, 1112; Chem. 1303 and
3334. Human Infectious Diseases.
Focuses on the etiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and immunobiology of the major microbial
diseases. Provide a systems approach to various infectious processes and includes
an overview of antimicrobial therapy, vaccines, sterilization, and public health.
Diseases covered will range from relatively trivial localized infections such as acne
to life-threatening systemic infections such as anthrax.
3335, 3336. Biochemistry I & II.
A sequential year course focusing on the study of living systems at the molecular
and cellular level. An understanding of life's recurring strategies including: 1)
how chemical structures of macromolecules (proteins and carbohydrates) relate to their
biological function, 2) how enzyme mechanisms and energy flow catalyze reactions,
3) how interrelated metabolic pathways are regulated, and 4) how biological systems
store, transfer, and regulate energy and information. Students acquire experience
in reading and presenting the primary scientific literature. Three lectures weekly.
Prerequisite: Chemistry 3322 or permission of the instructor. Biology 3135-3136 should
be taken concurrently. Fall and Spring.
3135, 3136. Biochemistry Laboratory I & II.
The laboratory is designed to introduce several major techniques common to biochemical
investigations. Techniques include protein purification through chromatographic separations,
protein characterization through spectroscopic and electrophoretic methods, immunoassay
methods, enzyme kinetics, and recombinant DNA techniques. One four-hour laboratory
period weekly. Prerequisite: Chemistry 3322 and concurrent enrollment in Biology 3335-3336.
Fall and Spring.
3340. Experimental Techniques.
A laboratory-based course that complements Biochemistry, Cell Biology, and Molecular
Biology. The techniques covered include spectrophotometry, centrifugation, using radioactive
tracers, SDS gel electrophoresis, Western blotting and chromatography. This course
is particularly useful for those intending to do summer research or work as research
technicians. Prerequisites: None. Fall and Spring.
Stages of a biological research investigation, beginning with experimental design
and data collection followed by descriptive statistics and other common statistical
tests (one-and two-sample testing, analysis of variance, correlation, regression,
and chi-square, nonparametric tests). Course work includes statistical analysis using
the computer and a final course project presenting results of analysis of biological
data. Three lectures weekly. Prerequisite: Biology 1312/1112. Spring.
3346, 3146. Animal Behavior.
Study of the adaptive significance of behavior includes analysis of behavioral mechanisms
(genetics, neurobiology) and development (instinct, learning), and focuses on categories
of behavior such as foraging, mating, sociality, territoriality, and parental care.
A wide range of behavioral examples, from microorganisms to humans, are used. Three
lectures, one laboratory period weekly. Prerequisite: Biology 1312/1112. Fall, odd-numbered
3347. Evolutionary Biology.
Study of micro and macroevolutionary processes that result in adaptive phenotypic
change within and across populations. Darwin's ideas on natural selection are discussed
and followed by presentation of evidence for evolution, analysis of the effects of
other evolutionary forces, phylogenetic analysis, population genetics, and speciation.
Three lectures weekly. Prerequisites: Biology 1312, 1112. Spring, odd-numbered years.
Investigations of the life and discoveries of Charles Darwin. Beginning with pre-Darwinian
ideas on transmutation, Darwin's life is outlined from the voyage of the Beagle to
the publication of the theory of natural selection and its subsequent reception by
scientific and nonscientific community. Commentary from critics and supporters of
Darwin's work aid in understanding the current status of the theory of natural selection
and its influence. Prerequisites: None. Spring, even-numbered years.
3V41, 3V42. Special Topics.
Selected topics of current interest. Fall and Spring.
3V54. Community Ecology/Research.
Field investigations of ecological relationships. Projects currently include restoration
of endangered bird species, wetland studies, and examination of native mycoheterotrophic
orchids. Three hours field work required per credit. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
Fall, Spring, Summer.
4245. Advanced Genetics.
Investigations of the study of mutations, comparisons of random and 'directed' mutations,
chromosomal rearrangements, and the molecular basis of selected human diseases. Course
includes student presentation of articles from the primary literature and discussion.
One meeting weekly. Prerequisite: Biology 3325. Fall.
4338. Cell Structure and Function.
The structures of the cell membrane, cytoskeleton, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi, lysosomes,
proteasomes, nucleus, mitochondria, peroxisomes, and chloroplasts are described at
the macro- and the molecular level. The roles of the cell membrane, cytoskeleton,
and organelles in solute transport, signaling, constitutive and regulated secretion,
cell movement, cell division, respiration, and photosynthesis are illustrated. The
use of microscopy, centrifugation, and molecular biology in the study of cell biology
is also discussed. Three lectures weekly. Prerequisites: Biology 1312, 1112. Spring.
4360. Biological Literature Seminar.
The techniques of searching for and acquiring information from the scientific literature,
and the analysis and interpretation of it. Students present oral critiques of research
papers and prepare for the comprehensive examination topics. Prerequisite: Senior
4V43, 4V44. Research.
Research in some phase of biology. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing. Fall,