Program Planning


Biology (BIOL)

Biology (BIOL)
Faculty of Arts and Science

Biology 1010

Cellular Basis of Life
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Fundamental principles of cellular biology, including structure and function, metabolism, genetics, and molecular biology of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. Attention will be given to the application of cellular and molecular biology in medicine, agriculture, and biotechnology.
Prerequisite(s):
Biology 30;
One of Chemistry 30 or Chemistry 0500

Biology 1020

Diversity of Life
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Comparative examination of the diversity of the major lineages of eukaryotic organisms from an evolutionary perspective.
Recommended Background:
Biology 30

Biology 2000

Principles of Genetics
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Fundamental principles of heredity, including Mendelian laws and genetic recombination. Topics include general concepts of gene structure, inheritance, organization, and expression.
Prerequisite(s):
Biology 1010;
Biology 1020;
One of Pure Mathematics 30, Mathematics 30, Mathematics 0500, or [Applied Mathematics 30 and at least 75 percent standing in Athabasca University’s Mathematics 101]

Biology 2003/Health Sciences 2003

Epidemiology: The Ecology of Health and Disease
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Scope and application of epidemiology in relation to factors that affect health and contribute to disease in a global context.
Prerequisite(s):
One of Biology 1010 or admissibility to any program in the Faculty of Health Sciences
Equivalent:
Biology 3003/Health Sciences 3003 (prior to 2010/2011)

Biology 2200

Principles of Ecology
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Examination of relationships between animals, plants, and their non-living and living environment. Topics include energy flow, nutrient cycles, ecological succession, and the ecology of individuals, populations, communities, and ecosystems.
Prerequisite(s):
Biology 1010;
Biology 1020;
One of Pure Mathematics 30, Mathematics 30, Mathematics 0500, or [Applied Mathematics 30 and at least 75 percent standing in Athabasca University’s Mathematics 101]

Biology 2806/Health Sciences 2806

Immunology
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Biological role of immunity and natural resistance.
Prerequisite(s):
One of Biology 1010 or admissibility to any program in the Faculty of Health Sciences
Equivalent:
Biology 4806/Health Sciences 4806 (prior to 2010/2011)

Biology 3000

Gene Expression and Regulation
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Molecular mechanisms of inheritance, rearrangement and regulated expression of genetic information.
Prerequisite(s):
Biology 2000
Recommended Background:
One of Chemistry 2120 or Chemistry 2600

Biology 3005

Genome Maintenance
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Examination of the processes involved in maintaining the stability of the cellular genome. Topics include DNA damage and repair, DNA recombination, transposable DNA elements, and epigenetics.
Prerequisite(s):
Biology 2000

Biology 3105

Signal Transduction
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Intracellular systems regulating cell growth, division, and differentiation; emphasis will be placed on how cells communicate.
Prerequisite(s):
Biology 2000

Biology 3115

Principles of Cell Growth
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Intracellular systems regulating cell communication in selected organisms, with emphasis on animal systems.
Prerequisite(s):
Biology 2000

Biology 3210

Experimental Methods in Molecular and Cellular Biology
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Modern techniques in cell biology including elementary DNA sequence analysis, DNA purification, gene transfer systems, cell culture, cell staining and labelling, cell cycle analysis, and Western blotting.
Prerequisite(s):
Biology 2000;
Chemistry 2000
Equivalent:
Biology 3850 (Experimental Methods in Molecular and Cellular Biology) (prior to 2009/2010)

Biology 3300

Evolution
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-1-0
Study of the mechanisms underlying the evolutionary process. Topics include natural selection, quantitative genetics, adaptation, and speciation.
Prerequisite(s):
Biology 2000;
One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma B.Sc. in Environmental Science program

Biology 3310

Developmental Biology
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Genetic mechanisms controlling embryonic development, pattern formation, morphogenesis, and cell differentiation in selected model organisms.
Prerequisite(s):
Biology 2000;
Biochemistry 2000

Biology 3400

Principles of Microbiology
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Introduction to microorganisms with an emphasis on metabolism, growth and control of growth, genetics, ecology, and microbial diversity, including bacteria, archaea, fungi, protists, algae, and viruses.
Prerequisite(s):
Biology 2000
Equivalent:
Biology 3200 (prior to 2009/2010)

Biology 3420

Animal Physiology
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Organization and diversity of animal functions, including muscle contractions, respiration, circulation, osmoregulation, digestion, thermoregulation, and the roles of the endocrine and nervous systems. Emphasis on vertebrates.
Prerequisite(s):
One of Biology 2000 or Biology 2200
Recommended Background:
Chemistry 2600

Biology 3460

Plant Physiology
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Physiological and molecular basis for plant growth and development. Topics include water relations, photosynthesis, mineral nutrition, active transport, hormones, and physiological acclimation to environmental stress.
Prerequisite(s):
One of Biology 2000 or Biology 2200
Recommended Background:
Chemistry 2500

Biology 3505

Freshwater Biology
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Survey of the major eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms that play an important role within inland aquatic ecosystems. Topics include functional diversity, biogeography, and conservation and management of aquatic biodiversity.
Prerequisite(s):
One of Biology 2000 or Biology 2200
Equivalent:
Biology 3850 (Aquatic Biology) (prior to 2009/2010)

Biology 3520

Invertebrate Zoology
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Phylogeny and evolution of protozoans and invertebrate animals. Emphasis is on functional diversity of form and function, ecology, physiology, conservation, and behaviour of selected groups.
Prerequisite(s):
Biology 2000;
One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma B.Sc. in Environmental Science program

Biology 3530

Vertebrate Zoology
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Comparative survey of the morphology, evolution, classification, and natural history of the vertebrates.
Prerequisite(s):
Biology 2000;
One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma B.Sc. in Environmental Science program

Biology 3560

Integrative Plant Biology
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
A general overview of plant structure and function with emphasis on flowering plant morphology and diversity. Economic uses of plants and the diversity and evolution of local flora.
Prerequisite(s):
Biology 2000;
One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma B.Sc. in Environmental Science program

Biology 3605

Conservation Biology
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Application of genetic, ecological, and evolutionary theory to the understanding and management of biodiversity.
Prerequisite(s):
One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma B.Sc. in Environmental Science program
Recommended Background:
Biology 3300
Equivalent:
Biology 4600 (prior to 2009/2010)

Biology 3610

Prairie Conservation
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Comprehensive overview of the native prairie landscape in Alberta, including physical, ecological, and cultural attributes of the prairies. Examination of ecological, social, industrial, management, and policy issues.
Prerequisite(s):
Biology 2200;
Environmental Science 2000
OR
Admission to the Post-Diploma B.Sc. in Environmental Science program

Biology 3630

Field Biology
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Other hours: 0-0-70
Theory, implementation, and analyses of ecological field experiments. Course involves a series of day-long excursions to selected prairie, foothill, and mountain habitats characteristic of Southern Alberta.
Prerequisite(s):
Biology 2000;
One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma B.Sc. in Environmental Science program
Equivalent:
Biology 3850 (Field Biology) (prior to 2004/2005)
Note:
The mandatory field component is completed during seven consecutive days prior to the start of the regular Fall semester. There is at least one overnight camping trip.

Biology 3700

Ecosystem and Community Ecology
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Examination of processes controlling plant community composition and ecosystem function. Topics include carbon acquisition, water use, decomposition, and nutrient recycling. Field work and computer assignments are included in laboratory projects.
Prerequisite(s):
One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma B.Sc. in Environmental Science program
Recommended Background:
Biology 2000;
Statistics 1770

Biology 3800

Aquatic Ecosystems
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Examination of major processes that occur in rivers and lakes, and the approaches presently used in modelling and managing them. Topics include primary and secondary production, nutrient loading and eutrophication, and physical and chemical processes that underlie aquatic ecosystem function.
Prerequisite(s):
One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma B.Sc. in Environmental Science program
Equivalent:
Biology 3850 (Aquatic Ecology) (prior to 2006/2007)

Biology 4100

Advances in Agricultural Biotechnology
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Recent and advanced aspects of molecular biology and biotechnology related to agriculture.

Biology 4110

Advances in Genetics, Molecular and Cellular Biology
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Recent and advanced aspects of genetics, cellular, and molecular biology.
Prerequisite(s):
One of Biology 3000 or Biology 3005;
One of Biology 3105 or Biology 3115

Biology 4130

Genomics and Biotechnology
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Recent and advanced aspects of molecular genetics, bioinformatics and high throughput genomics, with an emphasis on cloning and human diseases.
Prerequisite(s):
One of Biology 3000 or Biology 3005;
One of Biology 3105 or Biology 3115

Biology 4140

RNA Biology
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Examination of the cellular roles of RNA molecules and their effects on gene expression. Focus on RNA structure, protein-RNA complexes, RNA viruses, RNA processing, and modern experimental techniques used in the study of RNA function.
Prerequisite(s):
Biology 3000
Recommended Background:

Biochemistry 2000
Equivalent:
Biology 4850 (RNA Biology) (prior to 2010/2011)

Biology 4170

Plant Biotechnology
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Lecture, seminar and laboratory study of plant molecular biology and opportunities for biotechnological applications for crop plants in agriculture, horticulture and forestry.
Prerequisite(s):
Biology 3210;
One of Biology 3000 or Biology 3005
Recommended Background:
Biology 3460

Biology 4200

Techniques in Molecular Biology
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 1-5-0
DNA isolation and manipulation, including experiments in subcloning, transformation, mutagenesis, PCR, restriction analyses, agarose gel electrophoresis, and DNA sequencing.
Prerequisite(s):
Biology 3210;
One of Biology 3000 or Biology 3005
Recommended Background:
Fourth-year standing (a minimum of 90.0 credit hours)

Biology 4230

Molecular and Cellular Biology of Cancer
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Recent developments in molecular and cellular biology of cancer. Topics include genetics and epigenetics of cancer, models of carcinogenesis, roles of oncogenes, DNA repair and genome instability, anti-cancer treatment strategies.
Prerequisite(s):
One of Biology 3000 or Biology 3005;
One of Biology 3105 or Biology 3115
Equivalent:
Biology 4850 (Molecular and Cellular Biology of Cancer) (prior to 2009/2010)

Biology 4420

Environmental Physiology
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Comparative study of physiological functions of vertebrates and invertebrates, with emphasis on growth and reproduction, and the adaptations and responses of animals to environmental challenges such as salinity, temperature, hypoxia, food availability, altitude, and pressure.
Prerequisite(s):
One of Biology 3420 or Kinesiology 2610
Equivalent:
Biology 4850 (Environmental Physiology) (prior to 2009/2010)

Biology 4440

Toxicology
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Science of toxicology, including sources of toxicants, toxicokinetics, biotransformation, factors influencing toxicity, and target-organ toxicology with emphasis on the mechanisms of action of toxicants. Topics include cellular responses, biomarkers of exposure and effects, and species differences in vulnerability to toxicants.
Prerequisite(s):
Biology 3420;
Biochemistry 2000
Equivalent:
Biology 3440 (prior to 2009/2010);
Biology 3850 (Physiological Toxicology) (prior to 2006/2007)

Biology 4500

Seminars in Biological Sciences
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Emphasis on understanding principles of research in the modern Biological Sciences through weekly presentations from established researchers and associated readings from the primary literature.
Prerequisite(s):
Biology 3300;
One course (3.0 credit hours) from subfield List 1 (Cellular and Molecular Biology);
One course (3.0 credit hours) from subfield List 2 (Organismal Biology);
One course (3.0 credit hours) from subfield List 3 (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)

Biology 4560

Plant Development
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Examination of molecular genetic mechanisms and environmental factors controlling plant development.

Biology 4700

Molecular Ecology
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Application of genetic data to study the ecology of individuals, populations, and communities. Emphasis is on the use of molecular markers to study biogeography, dispersal, mating systems, biodiversity, ecological interactions, speciation, and conservation genetics.
Prerequisite(s):
One course (3.0 credit hours) from subfield List 1 (Cellular and Molecular Biology);
One course (3.0 credit hours) from subfield List 3 (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)
Equivalent:
Biology 4850 (Molecular Ecology) (prior to 2009/2010)

Biology 4800

Biology of Symbiotic Interactions
Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Application of ecological and evolutionary theory to parasitic and mutualistic interactions. Topics include host/parasite coevolution, evolution of parasite virulence, parasite-mediated natural selection, and parasite control strategies.
Prerequisite(s):
Biology 2200;
One course (3.0 credit hours) from subfield List 2 (Organismal Biology);
One course (3.0 credit hours) from subfield List 3 (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)

Biology 4995

Undergraduate Thesis
Credit hours: 6.0
Contact hours per week: Variable
This is a research-oriented course in which students will conduct empirical research, report orally on the work, and submit a report in the form of an undergraduate thesis, which will be made publicly available. In consultation with their Thesis Supervisor, students will define a research problem and formulate a research plan.
Prerequisite(s):
Fourth-year standing (a minimum of 90.0 credit hours);
A cumulative GPA of 3.30 or higher;
Six Biology courses (18.0 credit hours)
Note:
Contact hours will vary. Students should be aware that this course involves regular contact with the Thesis Supervisor as well as considerable independent work.
See Part 7 - Arts and Science, Sections 5.c. (p. 98), 6.c. (p. 100), and 7.c. (p. 101).