Associate Professors: Briggs, D. Broussard (Chair)
Assistant Professors: Andrew, Morrison, O'Donnell, Rieck
- Major: Biology
- Tracks: Anatomy and Physiology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Comprehensive, Ecology
- Courses required for all tracks: 13 (B.A.), 16 (B.S.) (not including zero or 1 credit courses)
- Math requirement: two courses from CPTR 125, 246, or above and/or MATH 109, 115, 123, 127, 128,129, or any course above 200
- Non-credit Colloquium: 4 semesters
- Capstone requirement: Practical Experience, Presentation in Colloquium, and Department Exit Examination
- Minors: Biology, Environmental Science
The Department of Biology offers a Biology major that can be applied to either the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Sciences degrees. The Biology major can be completed by following one of four tracks, Anatomy and Physiology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Comprehensive Biology, or Ecology. The Department also offers minors in Biology and Environmental Science and contributes to the interdisciplinary minor in Neuroscience.
The B.A. Degree
To complete the major, students must complete BIO 110, 111, and one of the four tracks listed below. In addition, students must successfully complete CHEM 122/123, 124/125, 219, or 222/223; and two units of mathematical sciences chosen from CPTR 125, 246, or above and/or MATH 109, 115, 123, 127, 128, 129, or any course above 200. Juniors and seniors are required to successfully complete four semesters of BIO 349/449 (non-credit colloquium) and complete the capstone experiences described below. Enrollment in student teaching and/or other similar off-campus academic experiences will be accepted by the department in lieu of that semester’s colloquium requirement. Only two Biology courses numbered below 221 may count toward the major. Declared Biology majors may substitute BIO 106 for BIO 110 and BIO 107 for BIO 111 with written consent of the department chair.
Anatomy and Physiology: students must complete BIO 222, 323, 338, one course from Group 2 (BIO 333 is recommended), and two courses chosen from BIO 321, 347, BIOCH 444, 445.
Cell and Molecular Biology: students must complete BIO 222, 435, either 432 or 437, and one additional course from each of the three groups listed below.
Comprehensive Biology: students must complete BIO 222, 224, 225, 321, 323 and one additional biology course from any of the three groups listed below.
Ecology: students must complete BIO 224, 225, either 334 or 336, one course from Group 1, and two additional courses from Group 2 below.
Group 1 Cell & Molecular Biology
- BIO 222 Genetics
- BIO 322 Neurogenetics
- BIO 347 Immunology
- BIO 348 Endocrinology
- BIO 432 Genome Analysis
- BIO 435 Cell Biology
- BIO 437 Molecular Biology
- BIO 447 Cell & Molecular Biology Research Methods
- BIOCH 444 Biochemistry I
- BIOCH 445 Biochemistry II
- NEURO 210 Introduction to Neuroscience I
Group 2 Ecology & Evolution
- BIO 215 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
- BIO 224 Ecology
- BIO 328 Aquatic Biology
- BIO 329 Tropical Marine Biology
- BIO 333 Medicinal & Poisonous Plants
- BIO 340 Plant Animal Interactions
- BIO 342 Animal Behavior
- BIO 430 Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates
- BIO 436 Evolution
- BIO 446 Plant Physiological Ecology
Group 3 Organismal Biology
- BIO 225 Plant Science
- BIO 321 Microbiology
- BIO 323 Human Physiology
- BIO 330 Nutrition: Metabolism & Health
- BIO 334 Invertebrate Zoology
- BIO 336 Vertebrate Biology
- BIO 338 Human Anatomy
- BIO 341 Developmental Biology
- BIO 346 Virology
- BIO 431 Histology
- BIO 440 Parasitology and Medical Entomology
The B.S. Degree
To qualify for the B.S. degree, Biology majors must complete the major described above and pass three additional courses chosen in any combination from the following: BIO 222 or above (including BIO 400, 401, and/or 470), BIOCH 444, 445, CHEM 224/225 or above, NEURO 210 or 211, PHYS 225 or above, or MATH 127, 128, 129, or any catalog course above 200 (excluding those that earn fewer than 3 credits).
In order to graduate, all biology majors must demonstrate to the Department their command of biology by meeting the following three criteria.
Practical Experience: All students must complete at least one of the experiences in the following list: Internship, Practicum, BIO 447, Relevant Summer Experience, Independent Studies, Honors, Clinical Laboratory Science Internship, Medical Technology Internship, Teaching Semester, Biology Laboratory Assistant, Biology-related volunteer work. (Summer experiences, Biology-related volunteer work, or working as a lab assistant must be approved by the Department in order to be used to meet this requirement.)
Research & Presentation Component: All junior and senior majors are required to successfully complete Biology Colloquia (BIO 349/449) during all their semesters on campus. During their final year, students will research a biological topic and make an oral presentation at the Biology Colloquium. This will demonstrate information literacy in the biological sciences.
Assessment: All majors are required to pass a Biology Department Exit Exam.
Certification in Secondary Education
A Biology major interested in becoming certified at the secondary level to teach Biology and/or General Science must select the Comprehensive Track. The student should, as early as possible, consult the current Department of Education Teacher Education Handbook and should make their plans known to their advisor and the Chair of the Education Department so the required courses can be scheduled before the Professional Semester. Please check with the Education Department for the most current PA State requirements.
Certain specific exceptions to the Biology major will be made for students in accelerated programs. The requirements for accelerated programs in Environmental Studies, Clinical Laboratory Science, and Medical Technology can be found in the Academic Program section of the catalog.
Students interested in these programs should contact the program director before finalizing their individual programs.
A list of courses that, when scheduled as W courses, count toward the Writing Requirement, can be found on the Registrar’s website and in the GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS section of the catalog.
TThe Department of Biology offers two minors: Biology and Environmental Science. The College also offers an Interdisciplinary minors in Neuroscience (see separate Catalog pages).
A minor in biology requires the completion of four courses numbered 200 or higher, with their appropriate prerequisites (i.e., two introductory biology courses). At least two of these must be from the series of courses BIO 222, 224, 225, 321, or 323.
A minor in Environmental Science consists of BIO 111 or 200, BIO 220, BIO 224, two additional BIO courses numbered 200 or higher, one course in economics (recommended ECON 225), and ASTR 102.
Biology majors who minor in Environmental Science must complete all requirements of the biology major. In addition, they need to complete BIO 220, BIO 401, ECON 225, ASTR 112, and one course selected from ANTH 103, BIO 215, or an advanced biology course (328 or higher).
Clean Water Institute
This institute is designed to provide a forum for the natural resource heritage of North Central Pennsylvania, the Susquehanna River and its major tributaries (Pine, Loyalsock, Lycoming, and Muncy Creeks). The institute provides a service not only to Lycoming College students, through coordination of Environmental internships, practica (BIO 401), and independent study/honors projects, but also the community. This may include seminars or workshops on environmental issues as well as monitoring assistance to watershed groups.
SEMINAR IN BIOLOGICAL EDUCATION
Each student planning to teach Biology in secondary schools attends a series of seven seminars, conducted prior to student teaching, during the spring semester of the junior year. These seminars are conducted by members of the biology faculty. In addition to pertinent teaching issues, students are also exposed to procedures for laboratory set up and maintenance and safety procedures for students and materials in a laboratory. Special arrangements will be made for non-degree students. Non-credit course.
A PIECE OF YOUR MIND
Why does music sound good? What causes you to dream? What role does proper nutrition play in the function of your nervous system, and why do some foods make you feel happy? How do common pharmaceuticals affect your brain? How do you make memories and learn new things? This course gives a brief introduction to the science of the human brain. Topics covered include basic brain anatomy and function, how your brain’s sensory systems allow you to appreciate art and music, the science of sleep, the brain’s role in emotional experiences, the strengths and weaknesses of the human brain in decision making, and what the science of learning and memory can teach you about building effective study habits. Four hours of lecture per week. This course does not count towards the biology or neuroscience major.
CHEW ON THIS: NUTRITION
Why are certain diets and habits considered healthy? As we build on our understanding of why fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals are essential in our diet, we also discuss how the shortfalls and excesses of the average American diet influence our mental and physical health. Other topics include the essential role of diet in preventing chronic disease, the role of nutrition in athletic performance, food security, eating disorders, and global nutrition concerns. Four hours of lecture per week.
CELLS, GENES, AND SOCIETY
Investigates the roles that cellular phenomena, genes, and biotechnology play in everyday life. The primary goal of this course is to improve recognition and understanding of the implications of biology in health care, agriculture, law, bioethics, and business. Credit may not be earned for both BIO 106 and 110. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory per week.
ANATOMY FOR HEALTH CARE CONSUMERS
A brief survey of human anatomy and physiology, which includes study of the complementary nature of form and function, as well as study of the levels of biological organization within the body. Provides the background to read, comprehend, and appreciate current articles on this subject in the popular press. Students learn the names, structure, and general functions of the major organs of the body. Animal dissection is optional. Credit may not be earned for both BIO 107 and 111. Four hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory per week.
The health of human populations around the world has improved dramatically over the past 150 years due to improvements in nutrition, water treatment and sanitation, worker and transportation safety, infectious disease prevention and treatment, as well as other medical innovations, including systems for the delivery medical care. This course explores the science behind global public health successes and current challenges through case studies and evaluation of proposed public health policies. Four hours of lecture per week.
NATURAL HISTORY OF DINOSAURS
Explores the origin, evolution, and extinction of dinosaurs with emphasis on paleobiology and paleoecology of the Mesozoic Era. This course covers fundamental paleontological and evolutionary principles, dinosaur anatomy and behavior, physiology, dinosaur-bird relationships, diversity, and the history of dinosaur paleontology. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory per week.
INTRODUCTION TO BIOLOGY I
An introduction to the study of biology designed for students planning to major in the sciences. Major topics include a survey of biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, development, and evolution. Credit may not be earned for both BIO 106 and 110. Four hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory per week.
INTRODUCTION TO BIOLOGY II
An introduction to the study of biology designed for students planning to major in the sciences. Major topics include a survey of eukaryotic diversity, mammalian anatomy and physiology, animal behavior, ecology, and evolution. Prior completion of BIO 110 is recommended, but not required. Credit may not be earned for both BIO 107 and 111. Four hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory per week.
THE 4TH AND 5TH KINGDOMS
While food, oxygen, and medicines are all necessary for human existence, the importance of plants and fungi are often ignored by our society. Plants and fungi play an essential role in our planet’s ecology and are central in human cultural evolution. Covers the ways plants and fungi work, how humans have used plant and fungal products for their benefit and pleasure throughout history, and how different phytochemicals can influence human health. Also examines human impacts on plant and fungal biodiversity, how we have altered the environment in our quest for food and the perfect American lawn, and the impacts of genetic engineering. Four hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory per week. This course does not count toward the biology major.
INTRODUCTION TO GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (GIS)
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is the science of linking data of various types to locations in order to explore spatial patterns and processes. While GIS applications can be used to create maps, this course focuses on tools for spatial analysis. The course covers basic approaches that use spatial data to identify locations and pathways in landscapes and to summarize characteristics of locations for basic and applied purposes. Students learn about the spatial and non-spatial data used in GIS analysis, how projections and coordinate systems affect analysis, and how to summarize spatial relationships. Many examples and topics stem from ecology and environmental science, but approaches include applications for students in public policy, anthropology, archaeology, and any discipline that requires analyses of spatial data. This course is taught in a hybrid format with six hours of combined lab and lecture over three, two-hour periods per week. Not recommended for students with freshman standing.
This course provides an introduction to principles and concepts of contemporary environmental problems. The effects of human population on the earth’s resources are studied against a background of principles in ecology and sustainability. Course material includes topics such as availability of food, processing of solid waste, alternative energy, clean water, and green infrastructure. Four hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory per week. Biology majors may not substitute this course for BIO 110 or 111.
A general consideration of the principles governing inheritance, including the study of heredity; genes and their expression, regulation, and evolution; the structure, replication, and variation of DNA; technology associated with modern genetic analyses. This class offers an intensive overview of the foundations and modern advances in genetics as well as an introduction to modern genetic laboratory techniques. Four hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIO 110 and 111.
The study of the principles of ecology with emphasis on how the biotic and abiotic components of the environment interact to determine the distribution of plant and animal populations and the structure of communities. Course material covers additional topics in population genetics, landscape ecology, and biological conservation. Included are field studies of local habitats as well as laboratory experimentation. Four hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIO 110 and 111. Alternate years.
A survey of the structure, development, function, ecology, taxonomic divisions, and human uses of plants. The course includes four general topic areas: form, including plant cellular structure, plant morphology and plant anatomy; function, concentrating on photosynthesis and plant nutrition; distinctions between different plant divisions and plant identification techniques; and human uses of plants and historical implications of several different plants and fungi. Four hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIO 110 and 111. Alternate years.
A study of microorganisms. Emphasis is given to the identification and physiology of microorganisms as well as to their role in disease, their environmental roles, and industrial applications. Three hours of lecture and two two-hour laboratory periods per week. Prerequisites: BIO 110 and 111.
An examination of the role that genetics plays in the development, function, and health of the nervous system. Topics include the role of classical genetics in elucidating molecular mechanisms of nervous system function and human neurological diseases. Includes recent advances in genomics and large-scale population studies that have facilitated a rapidly-increasing understanding of genetic brain abnormalities. The laboratory portion of the course will illustrate both classical and cutting-edge genetic analyses of behavior in multiple experimental systems. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: Bio 110 and 111, or consent of instructor; Bio 222 is also recommended.
The mechanisms and functions of systems, including the autonomic, endocrine, digestive, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, nervous, and reproductive systems. Four hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIO 110 and 111.
A field-oriented course focused on freshwater ecosystems. Course material examines the physical and chemical characteristics of water that influence aquatic habitats and organisms. Several local field trips and lab activities focus on the collection and identification of aquatic macroinvertebrates in addition to the taxonomic study of fish and a variety of field methods for characterizing aquatic habitats. Alternate years. Four hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIO 110 and 111.
TROPICAL MARINE BIOLOGY
A field-oriented course where students study the creatures of the fringing reefs, barrier reefs, lagoons, turtlegrass beds, and mangrove swamps at a tropical marine laboratory. Studies include survey of plankton, invertebrates, and fish as well as the physical and chemical characteristics that influence their distribution. Prerequisites: BIO 110 and 111. Alternate May terms.
NUTRITION: METABOLISM AND HEALTH
A study of protein, carbohydrate, and lipid metabolic pathways in the human body, as well as the integrated function of vitamins and minerals. Other topics include: nutrient absorption, how a deficiency or an excess of these macro- and micronutrients influences health, how metabolism is altered in various disease states, and the impact of alcohol. Four hours of lecture per week. Prerequisites: Biology 110 and 111; Chemistry 122/123 and 124/125.
MEDICINAL AND POISONOUS PLANTS
An overview of plants, fungi and bacteria that produce physiologically active substances important to humans and animals because of their toxic and/or medicinal qualities. Major themes include types of phytochemicals and their generalized actions, and a survey of organisms known to make metabolically active chemicals. The organismal survey includes toxicity symptoms and known mechanisms of how toxic/medicinal chemicals interfere with physiological functions of organisms consuming them. The course utilizes a problem-solving approach. Laboratory topics include plant classification and identification of common medicinal or poisonous plants. Four hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIO 110 and 111 or consent of instructor.
Comparative study of the invertebrate phyla with emphasis on phylogeny, physiology, morphology, and ecology. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIO 110 and 111. Alternate years.
A biological survey of the vertebrates including aspects of morphology, physiology, behavior, ecology, and evolution. Issues of conservation and biodiversity are also addressed. Laboratories will focus on the field biology of Pennsylvania vertebrates and on dissections to emphasize comparative anatomy. Four hours of lecture and one four-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIO 110 and 111. Alternate years.
A comprehensive overview of the structural, functional, and developmental anatomy of the human body achieved through lectures and dissection studies. Particular consideration is given to the bony structures, musculature, neuroanatomy, and the relationships of the various structures to one another. Students learn the general form, location, function, and relationships of these features and acquire a vocabulary essential for future studies. This course provides a detailed knowledge of the body systems and integrates a basic understanding of embryology and surface anatomy with the study of the human cadaver. Four hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIO 110 and 111.
PLANT ANIMAL INTERACTIONS
An investigation of different herbivorous animals, plant defenses, how plants influence animals and animal evolution, and how herbivores influence plants and plant evolution. Topics include the evolution of plants and problems associated with an herbivorous lifestyle, effects of herbivory on individual plants and communities, how animals deal with plant defenses and potentially use them for their benefit, the advantages and disadvantages of monophagous and polyphagous lifestyles, strategies of carnivorous plants, and mutualisms such as pollination and seed dispersal. Four hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIO 110 and 111 or consent of instructor. Alternate years.
A study of the development of vertebrates from fertilization to the fully formed fetus with an emphasis on the role of gene expression in embryo and organ development. Laboratory includes such topics as chick embryo and zebrafish development and micro-injection techniques. Four hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIO 110 and 111. Alternate years.
A study of causation, function, evolution, and biological significance of animal behaviors in their normal environment and social contexts. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIO 110 and 111. Alternate years.
An introduction to the study of viruses. The course covers virus structure and replication, diseases caused by viruses, modern treatments of viral infections, and viral vaccines produced by recombinant DNA and other technologies. Also includes a description of how viruses are used as tools for genetic engineering and for studying cellular processes like signal transduction, regulation of expression, and oncogenesis (cancer). Four hours of lecture per week. Prerequisites: BIO 110 and 111 or consent of instructor. Alternate years.
An introduction to how pathogens cause disease and how host organisms defend against infectious and autoimmune diseases. Relationships between antigens, antibodies, and T cells are explored. Other topics include immediate and delayed hypersensitivities, autoimmune disease mechanisms, immunohaematology, hybridoma technology, the chemistry and function of complement, and organ transplantation and prevention of rejection by manipulating the immune system. Laboratory experiments include agglutination, immunoprecipitations, ELISA assays, immunofluorescence, microscopy, Western blotting. Four hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIO 110 and 111. Alternate years.
Begins with a survey of the role of the endocrine hormones in the integration of body functions. This is followed by a study of the control of hormone synthesis and release and a consideration of the mechanisms by which hormones accomplish their effects on target organs. Two three-hour lecture/laboratory periods per week. Prerequisites: BIO 110 and 111. Alternate years.
A work-oriented experience for junior or senior biology majors jointly sponsored by the Department and a public or private agency. The practicum is designed to integrate classroom theory with field or laboratory practice. In addition to attendance at a weekly seminar, students spend 10-12 hours per week at the sponsoring agency. May be repeated once for credit with consent of instructor when topics are different..
A work-oriented experience for junior or senior students interested in environmental science. Students work on projects jointly sponsored by the Clean Water Institute and a public or private agency. The practicum is designed to integrate classroom theory with field and/or laboratory practice. In addition to attendance at a weekly seminar, students spend 10-12 hours per week at the sponsoring agency or project. May be repeated once for credit with consent of instructor when topics are different.
COMPARATIVE ANATOMY OF VERTEBRATES
Detailed examination of the origins, structure, and functions of the principal organs of the vertebrates. Special attention is given to the progressive modification of organs from lower to higher vertebrates. Three hours of lecture and one four-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIO 110 and 111. Alternate years.
A study of the basic body tissues and the microscopic anatomy of the organs and structures of the body which are formed from them. Focus is on normal human histology. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIO 110 and 111. Alternate years.
An examination of the genomes of humans, other animals, plants, and microbes to identify characteristics unique to specific groups as well as genomic features shared by multiple groups. Emphasizes the application of this information in the fields of medicine, environmental biology, and evolution. The laboratory integrates experiments at the lab bench with a substantial bioinformatics component. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIO 110, 111, and 222. Alternate years.
An intensive study of the cell as the basic unit of life. Topics include origins of cellular life, biochemistry of the cell, enzymatic reactions, cellular membranes, intracellular communication, the cell cycle, the cytoskeleton and cell motility, protein sorting, distribution, and secretion. Four hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIO 110 and 111 and one semester of organic chemistry. Alternate years.
A study of the mechanics of evolutionary change and its role within populations. Topics typically covered include macroevolution, microevolution, natural selection, adaptation, neutral theory, population genetics, speciation, and extinction. Interactive lectures, readings from the primary literature, laboratory and field investigations, and simulation exercises will be used to actively explore the principles of evolutionary change and its consequences. Four hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIO 110, 111, or consent of instructor. Alternate years.
An in-depth analysis of fundamental cellular information flow processes with particular emphasis on how these processes have been applied in the laboratory, resulting in technologies such as DNA cloning and sequencing, the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), genetic testing, gene therapy, synthetic biology, and CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing. Four hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIO 110, 111, and 222. Alternate years.
PARASITOLOGY AND MEDICAL ENTOMOLOGY
The biology of parasites and parasitism. Studies on the major groups of animal parasites and arthropod vectors of disease involve taxonomy and life cycles. Emphasis will be made on parasites of medical and veterinary importance. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIO 110 and 111. Alternate years.
PLANT PHYSIOLOGICAL ECOLOGY
A study of plant resource acquisition in the face of competing neighbors and the quickly changing global environment. The course focuses on how differences in the environment affect plant water use, carbon dioxide acquisition, light capture, and nutrient uptake. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIO 110, 111, and 225. Alternate years.
CELL AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY RESEARCH METHODS
This course focuses on the culture and methods of biology research. Students meet twice per week to learn experimental design, good record keeping, ordering/preparation of materials, equipment maintenance, and analyses of primary biology literature. Each student designs and conducts a lab project that can be supervised by any member of the biology faculty. Each student prepares a research proposal, an oral presentation, poster presentation, and a research journal-style paper. Two one-hour seminars and six to eight hours of laboratory work per week. Prerequisites: BIO 110, 111, at least two other biology courses, and consent of instructor. May be repeated once for credit with consent of instructor.
This course offers the student a chance to become familiar with research in the biological sciences using techniques such as meeting and talking with active researchers, reading and critically analyzing the current literature, and discussing the ideas and methods shaping biology. Biology majors with junior and senior standing are required to complete colloquium during all semesters on campus except for semesters when student teaching or participating in an equivalent off-campus academic experience such as Study Abroad. One hour per week. Prerequisite: Biology majors with junior or senior class standing. Pass/Fail. Non-credit course.
Recent internships have taken place at the Department of Environmental Protection, waste water treatment facilities, nursing homes, and Susquehanna Health System.
Departmental studies are experimentally oriented and may entail either lab or field work.
INDEPENDENT STUDY FOR DEPARTMENTAL HONORS
Examples of recent honors projects have involved stream analysis, mouse developmental neuroscience studies, analysis of muscle cell gene expression, discovery of novel bacterial species, and vertebrate paleontology.