Courses Offered by the Department of Biological Sciences

The Department of Biological Sciences offers a wide range of courses. Some courses are offered every semester, while others rotate on a yearly or every other year rotation.

The comprehensive list of courses below are not offered every semester. Please always refer to the current year's academic calendar for the most accurate list of courses offered. Refer to the Bridge for current semester offerings and to register for courses.

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 2-3-0
Introduction to concepts concerning the organization of life, from macromolecules and cells to ecosystems. Dynamic and interactive properties of living systems. Diversity and classification of living organisms with particular emphasis on evolution as a unifying theme in biology.
Prerequisite(s): Admission to the First Nations' Transition Program AND Biology 20
Equivalent: Biology 0500 (prior to 2016/2017)
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
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): One of Biology 30 or Biology 0520 AND One of Chemistry 30, Chemistry 0500, or Chemistry 0520 OR One of admission to the Post-Diploma BSc in Agricultural Studies or admission to the Post-Diploma BSc in Environmental Science
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
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: One of Biology 30 or Biology 0520
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
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 AND Biology 1020 AND One of Mathematics 30-1, Pure Mathematics 30, Mathematics 0500, or Mathematics 0520 OR Biology 1010 AND One of admission to the Post-Diploma BSc in Agricultural Studies or admission to the Post-Diploma BSc in Environmental Science
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 1-5-0
Experimental approaches and methodology specific to disciplines within the Life Sciences. The scientific process of discovery including: hypothesis testing; experimental design; qualitative and quantitative analysis tools; data acquisition, management and presentation; library resource utilization; scientific writing and presentation. Students will work in small groups under the supervision of several faculty members.
Prerequisite(s): Admission to the Concentration: Research Internship for the major in Biological Sciences AND One of Biology 1010 or Biology 1020
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 1-0-0
Other hours per term: Variable
Working in small groups, students will engage in novel research projects under the supervision of faculty members. In close consultation with faculty, students will propose a set of experiments to address a novel and current research question. Students will be trained in experimental approaches and methodology appropriate to their project. As a cohort, students will be trained in the scientific process of discovery including: evaluating methodology; data acquisition, management and presentation; appropriate methods for analyzing data; critical evaluation of scientific discovery; scientific writing and presentation.
Prerequisite(s): Biology 2001
Lib Ed Req: Science
Note: Contact hours will vary, but will average about five hours per week. Students should be aware that this course involves regular contact with the research supervisor(s) as well as some independent work.

Credit hours: 3.00
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 admission to the Faculty of Health Sciences
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
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 AND Biology 1020 AND One of Mathematics 30-1, Pure Mathematics 30, Mathematics 0500, or Mathematics 0520 OR Biology 1010 AND admission to the Post-Diploma BSc in Agricultural Studies
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Biological role of immunity and natural resistance.
Prerequisite(s): One of Biology 1010 or admission to the Faculty of Health Sciences
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
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
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 1-0-0
Other hours per term: Variable
Working individually, students will engage in novel research projects under the supervision of faculty members. In close consultation with faculty, students will review literature related to a specific area, and then propose and execute a set of experiments to address a novel and current research question. Students will be trained in advanced experimental approaches and methodology. As a cohort, the students will be trained in science development and communication including: establishing a meaningful research project; defining a project within a broad context; different forms of written presentation; effective oral presentation styles and format; making science accessible to a general audience.
Prerequisite(s): Biology 2002
Lib Ed Req: Science
Note: Contact hours will vary, but will average about five hours per week. Students should be aware that this course involves regular contact with the research supervisor(s) as well as considerable independent work.

Credit hours: 3.00
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
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
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
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Intracellular systems regulating cell communication in selected organisms, with emphasis on animal systems.
Prerequisite(s): Biology 2000
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
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 AND Chemistry 2000
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
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 AND One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma BSc in Environmental Science
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
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 AND One of Biochemistry 2000, Biology 3000, or Biology 3105
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
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
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
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): Biology 2000
Recommended Background: Biology 2200 AND Chemistry 2600
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
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
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
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
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
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 AND One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma BSc in Environmental Science
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Comparative survey of the morphology, evolution, classification, and natural history of the vertebrates.
Prerequisite(s): Biology 2000 AND One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma BSc in Environmental Science
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
A general overview of plant structure and function with emphasis on flowering plant morphology and diversity. The molecular mechanisms of the adaptation and acclimation of plant form and function will be explored.
Prerequisite(s): Biology 2000 AND One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma BSc in Environmental Science
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Application of genetic, ecological and evolutionary theory to the understanding and management of biodiversity.
Prerequisite(s): Biology 2000 AND One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma BSc in Environmental Science
Recommended Background: Biology 3300
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
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 AND Environmental Science 2000 OR Admission to the Post-Diploma BSc in Environmental Science
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Other hours per term: 0-0-70
Theory, implementation and analyses of ecological field experiments.
Prerequisite(s): Biology 2000 AND One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma BSc in Environmental Science
Lib Ed Req: Science
Note: The seven-day mandatory field component is completed prior to the regular fall term. This component is based out of a field camp located in Cypress Hills Provincial Park. A fee to offset field-related expenses and accommodation will be applied.

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Lectures, laboratory, and field exercises provide an introduction to the identification, classification, distribution, and ecology of local vascular plants. Mandatory field trips comprise the laboratory component of the course. As this is a field course, students should be prepared for moderately strenuous exercise in a variety of weather conditions.
Prerequisite(s): One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma BSc in Environmental Science
Equivalent: Biology 3850 (Field Botany and Ecology) (prior to 2019/2020)
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Examination of processes controlling ecosystem function. Topics include controls on ecosystem species composition, carbon acquisition, water use, decomposition, and nutrient cycling. Field work, computer simulations, and calculations are included in laboratory assignments.
Prerequisite(s): One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma BSc in Environmental Science
Recommended Background: Biology 2000 AND Statistics 1770
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Population genetics and population ecology, with emphasis on mutation, genetic drift, gene flow, selection and quantitative genetics, population growth, population regulation, demography and life tables, life-history evolution, and species interactions.
Prerequisite(s): Biology 2000 AND One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma BSc in Environmental Science
Recommended Background: Statistics 1770
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
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 BSc in Environmental Science
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Introduction to statistics and experimental design. Topics include descriptive statistics, data visualization, experimental design, goodness-of-fit tests, contingency analysis, two-sample and multi-sample comparisons, correlation, and regression, with emphasis on biological applications. The course includes practical instruction using the statistics program R.
Prerequisite(s): Biology 2200 AND Statistics 1770
Equivalent: Biology 3850 (Experimental Design and Analysis) (prior to 2017/2018)
Substantially Similar: Statistics 3700
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Recent and advanced aspects of molecular biology and biotechnology related to agriculture.
Prerequisite(s): Two of Biology 3000, Biology 3105, Biology 3210, or Biology 3400
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
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 AND One of Biology 3105 or Biology 3115
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
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
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
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 AND One of Biology 3000 or Biology 3005
Recommended Background: Biology 3460
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
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): One of Biology 3210 or Biology 3400
Recommended Background: Fourth-year standing (a minimum of 90.0 credit hours)
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
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 AND One of Biology 3105 or Biology 3115
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
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
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
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 AND Biochemistry 2000
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
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 AND One course (3.0 credit hours) from subfield List 1 (Cellular and Molecular Biology) AND One course (3.0 credit hours) from subfield List 2 (Organismal Biology) AND One course (3.0 credit hours) from subfield List 3 (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Examination of molecular genetic mechanisms and environmental factors controlling plant development.
Prerequisite(s): One of Biology 3000, Biology 3105, Biology 3115, Biology 3310, Biology 3460, or Biology 3560
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
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): Biology 2000 AND One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma BSc in Environmental Science AND One course in Biology (3.0 credit hours) at the 3000 or 4000 level
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Analytical and simulation modelling in ecology and evolution. Population growth, selection, models of disease, the evolution of cooperation, and the evolution of aging.
Prerequisite(s): One course (3.0 credit hours) from subfield List 3 (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) AND One of Mathematics 1410, Mathematics 1560, or Mathematics 1565
Recommended Background: Statistics 1770
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Examination of how ecological contexts shape animal behaviour through natural selection. Topics include foraging, competition, sociality, mating systems, and communication.
Prerequisite(s): Biology 3300
Equivalent: Biology 4850 (Behavioural Ecology) (prior to 2014/2015)
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Application of ecological and evolutionary principles to host-parasite interactions. Topics include parasite biodiversity, ecological epidemiology, host-parasite coevolution, and applied parasitology.
Prerequisite(s): One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma B.Sc. in Environmental Science AND Two courses (6.0 credit hours) from subfield List 2 (Organismal Biology) and/or List 3 (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 6.00
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) AND A cumulative GPA of 3.30 or higher AND 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.