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.

Program Planning Guides are a great way to plan out your degree in advance. Please make sure you are following the appropriate Guide. To double check, speak with an Art & Science Academic Advisor

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 Indigenous Student Success Cohort 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, Biology 0520 or Biology 2500 AND One of Chemistry 30, Chemistry 0500, or Chemistry 0520 AND One of Mathematics 30-1, Mathematics 0500, or Mathematics 0520 OR One of admission to the PostDiploma B.Sc. in Agricultural Studies or admission to the Post-Diploma B.Sc. 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 Chemistry 1000 or Chemistry 1110 OR Biology 1010 AND One of Chemistry 1000 or Chemistry 1110 AND One of admission to the PostDiploma B.Sc. in Agricultural Studies or admission to the Post-Diploma B.Sc. 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: 3-3-0
Introduction to statistics and experimental design in the biological sciences. Topics include descriptive statistics, data visualization, experimental design, goodness-of-fit tests, contingency analysis, two-sample and multi-sample comparisons, correlation, and regression. Includes practical instruction using the statistics program R.
Prerequisite(s): :Biology 1010 AND Biology 1020 AND One of Mathematics 1410, Mathematics 1560, or Statistics 1770 OR Biology 1010 AND Admission to the Post-Diploma B.Sc. in Environmental Science
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 One of Biology 1020 or admission to the Post-Diploma B.Sc. in Agricultural Studies
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Structure and function of a cell, from the most general properties shared by all cells, to the unique, highly intricate functions particular to specialized cells. Exploration of a range of fundamental concepts in cell biology including cellular ultrastructure, metabolism, signaling, extracellular cellular matrix, and histology
Prerequisite(s): Biology 1010 AND Biology 1020
Corequisite(s): Biochemistry 2000; Equivalent: Biology 3850 (Cell Biology) (Prior to 2020/2021)

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Exposure to the biology behind commonly reported topics in the media with the goal of increasing biological literacy. Students will be prepared to make better informed decisions about the biology that impacts daily life.
Equivalent: Biology 1850 (Biology and Society) (Prior to 2020/2021); Biology 2850 (Biology and Society) (Prior to 2020/2021)

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 gene expression and control at the different stages of the gene expression pathway in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. Fundamental concepts of molecular biology and molecular cloning applications
Prerequisite(s): Biochemistry 2000 AND Biology 2000 AND Biology 2300
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): Biochemistry 2000 AND Biology 2000 AND Biology 2300
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
A comprehensive overview of cellular communication. Emphasis will be placed on cell growth, cell cycle, motility, and stem cells from cell biology and experimental perspectives
Prerequisite(s): Biochemistry 2000 AND Biology 2000 AND Biology 2300

Substantially Similar: Biology 3105 (prior to 2020/ 2021); Biology 3115 (prior to 2020/2021)
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): Biochemistry 2000 AND Biology 2000 AND Biology 2300
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 B.Sc. 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): Biochemistry 2000 AND Biology 2000 AND Biology 2300
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): Biochemistry 2000 AND Biology 2000 AND Biology 2300
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 AND Biology 2300 AND One of Biology 2150 or Geography 2700
Recommended Background: Biology 2200 AND Chemistry 2600
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Physiological basis for plant growth. Topics include water relations, photosynthesis, mineral nutrition, active transport, hormones, and physiological acclimation to environmental stress.
Prerequisite(s): One of Biology 2000 or Biology 2300 AND One of Biology 2150 or Geography 2700 AND One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma B.Sc. in Environmental Science
Recommended Background: Chemistry 2500
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): One of Biology 2000 or Biology 2300 AND One of Biology 2150 or Geography 2700 AND One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma B.Sc. 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 2150 or Geography 2700 AND One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma B.Sc. in Environmental Science
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
An overview of plant structure and function with emphasis on flowering plant morphology and diversity. The molecular mechanisms of plant growth and development, including the adaptation and acclimation of plant form and function, will be explored.
Prerequisite(s): One of Biology 2150 or Geography 2700 AND One of Biology 2000 or Biology 2300
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): One of Biology 2150 or Geography 2700 AND One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma B.Sc. 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 2150 or Geography 2700 AND One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma B.Sc. 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 2150 or Geography 2700 AND One of Biology 2000 or Biology 2300 AND One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma B.Sc. in Environmental Science
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): :One of Biology 2150 or Geography 2700 AND One of Biology 2000 or Biology 2300 AND One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma B.Sc. in Environmental Science
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 3-3-0
Exploration of ecological patterns and processes at the community level. Topics include patterns of biological diversity, species coexistence and niche theory, community assembly, and metacommunities. Analysis of community.
One of Biology 2150 or Geography 2700 AND One of Biology 2200 or admission to the Post-Diploma B.Sc. in Environmental Science

Equivalent: Biology 3850 (Community Ecology) (prior to 2020/2021)
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): Biology 3005 AND Biology 3110
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):Biology 3005 AND Biology 3110
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: 3-0-0
Introduction to human endocannabinoid system. Structure, function, and importance for human health, and changes in the function of endocannabinoid system in various diseases. Includes an introduction to variations in Cannabis sativa, including physiology and biochemistry of phytocannabinoids and terpenoids synthesis.
Prerequisite(s): Biology 3110

Equivalent: Biology 4850 (Cannabis and Health) (prior to 2020/2021)
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Natural products are chemicals that are produced in nature and are used in medicine, agriculture, and personal care products. This course will examine the biology of natural products and include a multidisciplinary perspective: chemistry, ecology, business, and traditional knowledge. It will provide students with a scientific background to contribute to the growing Canadian and global use of natural products.
Prerequisite(s): Biology 3110 AND Two of Biology 3000, Biology 3400 or Biology 3420
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 1-5-0
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): 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
Application of genomics to the field of environmental science. High-throughput methods in genomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, proteomics, and epigenomics are first discussed, before exploring their applications in fields including, but not limited to, metagenomics, biodiversity, environmental remediation, and toxicogenomics.
Prerequisite(s):One of Biology 3000 or Biology 3005

Equivalent: Biology 3850 (Environmental Genomics) (prior to 2020/ 2021)

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): Biology 3005 AND Biology 3110
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 or Biology 3110 AND One of Biology 3310, Biology 3460, or Biology 3560
Lib Ed Req: Science

Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0
Overview of past, present, and emerging methods and techniques to develop improved new cultivars, or varieties, of plants, particularly crop plants. Topics include both classical and molecular tools for plant breeding, genetic analysis of traits, application of molecular markers, concepts and techniques of tissue culture, gene transfer, seed production, intellectual property, risks, and case studies of breeding the most important crops
portant crops. Prerequisite(s):Biology 2000 AND One of Biology 3460 or Biology 3560

Equivalent: Biology 3850 (Plant Breeding and Genetics) (prior to 2020/ 2021)
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 3300 AND One course (3.0 credit hours) from subfield List 3 (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)

Equivalent: Biology 3605 (prior to 2020/ 2021)
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 3300 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
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): Biology 3300 AND One course (3.0 credit hours) from subfield List 3 (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) 
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 AND One course (3.0 credit hours) from subfield List 3 (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)
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): Biology 3300 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
Advanced statistics and experimental design in the biological sciences. Topics covered include probability theory, the theoretical foundations and applications of general linear models and generalized linear models, model selection, survival analysis, and other advanced topics. The course includes practical instruction using the statistics program R
Prerequisite(s): Biology 2150 AND Biology 2200 AND Third-year standing (a minimum of 60.0 credit hours)
Equivalent: Biology 3810 (prior to 2020/ 2021); 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: 3-3-0
Limnology (the study of lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and wetlands) is the science that underlies protection of water quality and fisheries. Introduction to aquatic communities and the properties of aquatic ecosystems. Topics covered include: the watershed and its hydrology; fluxes of nutrients and materials through aquatic systems; ecosystem structure and habitat dynamics; an evaluation of major plant, animal, and microbial communities; food webs and feeding interactions; human impacts on limnological properties of systems
Prerequisite(s):Biology 3300 AND Chemistry 2000 AND One course (3.0 credit hours) from subfield 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.