Course Descriptions

BIO 102. Elements of Microbiology (4 hours)

Course content focuses on the principles of microbiology and associated human diseases. Topics covered include prokaryotic cell structure and function, biochemical and metabolic requirements, fundamental mechanisms of pathogenesis, environmental and chemotherapeutic control measures and basic concepts of immunology. Students will gain exposure to some of the techniques used in a clinical laboratory setting: aseptic technique, methods of culture, staining and microscopy, antibiotic resistance testing, and biochemical assays. This course may not be used for a biology major or minor. It is not recommended for premedical students. A lecture and laboratory course. Laboratory fee. (every semester)
 

BIO 110. General Concepts of Biology (4 hours)

An introduction to general concepts in biology. Subjects include the structure and function of the cell, reproduction and genetics, biological diversity, and ecology. A lecture and laboratory course. This course is intended for non-majors and as such will not satisfy course requirements for Biology majors nor will it serve as a prerequisite for upper division Biology courses. (Every year)

BIO 198. Special Introductory Topics in Biology (Subtitle) (1-4 hours)

Study of an introductory topic in Biology not covered in any of the departmental offerings. Students are required to engage in projects or assignments requiring at least one contact hour per week for every hour of credit. This course may not be applied to the Biology major or minor. (Occasionally)

BIO 202. Human Anatomy and Physiology I (4 hours)

This course represents an introduction to the structure and function of the human body from the cellular to the organismal levels. Subjects include tissue and integumentary, skeletal muscular and nervous body systems. This course may not be used for a biology major or minor. It is not recommended for pre-medical students. A lecture and laboratory course. (Every year)

BIO 203. Human Anatomy and Physiology II (4 hours)

Prerequisite: BIO 202. 
This course continues the introduction to the structure and function of the human body from the cellular to the organismal levels. Subjects include the endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, immune, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive systems. This course may not be used toward a biology major or minor. It is not recommended for pre-medical students. A lecture and laboratory course. (Every year)

BIO 205. Introduction to Biology for Biomedical Engineers (4 hours)

Prerequisites: MAT 133 and CHM 112 or CHM 115.
An introduction to selected principles of the biological sciences for biomedical engineering students. Subjects include bioenergetics, biochemistry, physiology, genetics, cell biology, and physiology and homeostasis. The course may not be used for a biology major or minor. This course is not recommended for pre-medical students. A lecture and laboratory course. (Occasionally)

BIO 211. Introduction to Biology I (5 hours)

Pre- or corequisite: CHM 112 or CHM 115. 
An introduction to the unifying principles of the biological sciences. Subjects include evolution, systematics, biodiversity, animal form and function, homeostasis, and ecology. A lecture, recitation, and laboratory course. (Every year)

BIO 212. Introduction to Biology II (5 hours)

Prerequisite: a grade of C or better in BIO 211; or CHM 222.
Continues the introduction to the unifying principles of the biological sciences. Subjects include basic biochemistry, energy transfer, cell biology, physiology, genetics and the vertebrate immune system. A lecture, recitation, and laboratory course. (Every year)

BIO 250. Current Issues in Biology (1 hour)

Pre- or corequisite: BIO 211.
A seminar focusing on current research problems in all disciplines of the biological sciences. Student analysis, discussion, and presentation of primary literature are required. This course may be repeated for a maximum of three semester credit hours; however, no more than two credit hours may be counted as part of the biology major. (Occasionally)

BIO 299. Research in Biology (1-2 hours)

Participation in an on-going research program directed by one or more faculty members. One-hour credit will be awarded for a minimum of three hours per week per semester of participation. A maximum of two credit hours can be earned per semester. This course may be repeated for a maximum of three semester credit hours. Non-optional satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading. (Every semester)

BIO 300. Invertebrate Zoology (4 hours)

Prerequisite: BIO 212.
A systematic study of the invertebrate taxa with emphasis on phylogeny, comparative morphology and physiology, behavior, and ecology. A library research paper is required. A lecture and laboratory course. (Every two years)

BIO 301. Vertebrate Zoology (4 hours)

Prerequisite: BIO 212.
A systematic study of vertebrate organisms with emphasis on comparative morphology, behavior, ecology, and phylogeny. A library research paper is required. A lecture and laboratory course. (Every year)

BIO 302. Plant Biology (4 hours)

Prerequisite: BIO 212.
A systematic study of photosynthetic organisms, including unicellular and multicellular protistans, bryophytes, seedless vascular plants, and seed plants. May include study of fungi. Emphasis is placed on anatomy, morphology, physiology, and evolutionary relationships. A library research paper is required. A lecture and laboratory course. (Every two years)

BIO 303. Microbiology (4 hours)

Prerequisite: BIO 212. Organic chemistry recommended.
A course in general microbiology covering activities and distinguishing characteristics of microorganisms, including viruses. Laboratory work deals with isolation, identification and cultivation of microorganisms, their metabolic activities, and responses to environmental factors. A lecture and laboratory course. (Every two years)

BIO 310. Genetics (4 hours)

Prerequisite: BIO 212. 
A study of the mechanics of heredity considering molecular, cellular, organismal, and population phenomena. Formal laboratory writing is required. A lecture and laboratory course. (Every semester)

BIO 315. Field Studies in Biology (3 hours)

The biological study of a given region of the world through travel, field work, reading, and lecture. Specific topics (e.g., ecology, animal behavior, zoology, botany, and/or environmental issues) will reflect the expertise of the instructor and the characteristics of the region. As appropriate, field experience will be supplemented by informal lectures, seminars, demonstrations, discussions, experimentation, and directed study. A library research paper as well as other forms of writing will be required. A lecture and field course. (Every year)

BIO 322. Identification of Vascular Plants (4 hours)

Prerequisite: BIO 212 or consent of instructor. A study of the families, genera, and species of vascular plants represented in the flora of Georgia and the southeastern United States. Independent work in the field is required. A field, laboratory, and lecture course. (Occasionally)

BIO 325. Comparative Animal Physiology (4 hours)

Prerequisite: BIO 212 or 205. Organic chemistry strongly recommended. A study of the diverse ways in which different kinds of animals meet their functional requirements. Attention will be paid to the evolutionary relationships of animals by comparing physiological and biochemical characteristics. Formal laboratory writing may be required. A lecture and laboratory course. (Every semester)

BIO 330. Vertebrate Histology (4 hours)

Prerequisite: BIO 212.
An observation and discussion of the structure and function of vertebrate cells and tissues. The course involves microscopic examination of selected tissues and the preparation of microscope slides. A lecture and laboratory course. (Every two years)

BIO 361. The Biology of Sex and Gender (3 hours)

(Same as WGS 361)
Prerequisites: BIO 212.
The student will gain a knowledge base of the biology of sex, as well as, exposure to material that inspires one to study science with a critical eye, in particular, from a feminist framework. Topics covered may include the evolution of meiotic sex, human reproductive biology, environmental influences on reproductive biological development, socio-biological theories and sexual behavior in animals, and feminist analyses of the biological sciences. Pedagogy may include collaborative group work. (Every two years)

BIO 370. Principles of Ecology (4 hours)

Prerequisites: BIO 212 or BIO 211 and ENB 150.
A study of relationships between organisms and their physical and biological environment. Ecological relationships will be considered from the perspectives of individuals, populations, and communities. Work in the field is required and oral presentations are emphasized. A lecture, laboratory, and field course. (Every year)

BIO 375. Organic Evolution (3 hours)

Prerequisite: BIO 212.
A study of the principles of evolutionary theory. The course covers the historical development of evolutionary thought, the nature of organic diversity, variation, adaptation, natural selection, and other mechanisms of evolutionary change. A lecture course. (Occasionally)

BIO 381. Urban Ecosystems (3 hours)

Prerequisites: BIO 220/211 or ENB 150. 
A study of the relationship between the urban environment and the associated biological, physical, social and political systems. Emphasis will be placed on ecological principles and processes as they relate to the urban ecosystem including the impacts of urbanization on biodiversity, air and water quality, production and management of waste, energy use and land use patterns. The historical development of cities and current urbanization trends will be considered with a focus on urban sprawl. Lecture/discussion course. (Every two years)

BIO 382. Biological Anthropology (3 credits)

(Same as ANT 382)
Prerequisites: BIO 212 or consent of the instructor. This lecture-based course represents an advanced introduction to the subdiscipline of Biological Anthropology. The discussion will focus on the biological aspects of humans and our closest living relatives, the primates. Specifically the course will include content on biological evolution, a review of living primates and a study of the extensive fossil evidence for human evolution. The course will conclude with a review of modern human variation and the fallibility of the human race concept. (Every two years)

BIO 390. Special Topics in Biology (Subtitle) (1-4 hours)

Prerequisites: to be specified.
Study of a topic not available through normal departmental offerings. Topics will be announced in advance. Credit hours and prerequisites will be determined by the nature of the topic, with a maximum of 4 credit hours per course. No more than 4 credit hours may be counted as part of the biology major. (Occasionally)

BIO 398. Internship in Biology (1-3 hours)

Prerequisites: junior or senior status.
An intensive practicum experience at an approved business, organization, or academic institution. Senior-level students, under the direction of a faculty member and an on-site supervisor, are required to engage in projects or assignments requiring at least three onsite hours per week for every hour of credit. Students will learn through observation, regular discussions with the on-site supervisor and Mercer faculty member, and written reflection. In addition, students may be required to attend training events, workshops or weekly seminars. This course may be repeated for a total of 9 hours and does not count towards a major or minor in Biology. Graded S/U. (Every year)

BIO 410. Molecular Genetics (4 hours)

Prerequisites: BIO 310 and CHM 222.
A detailed study of the molecular aspects of gene structure, function, and evolution. Laboratory work will focus on recombinant DNA technology and other molecular tools used by modern geneticists. Experimental design and formal laboratory writing are required. A lecture and laboratory course. (Every two years)

BIO 421. Biostatistics and Morphology (3 credits)

Prerequisites: BIO 212 and BIO 300, 301, or 302 or consent of instructor.
This course represents an advanced introduction to the quantitative analysis of biological data. As such, focus will be on using statistical methods to better understand morphological aspects of organismal body plans and how these relate to biological adaptation and evolution. The course will begin with an overview of central tendency and dispersion statistical theory as well as problem solving via hypothesis testing. Following this background, both univariate and multivariate quantitative techniques will be introduced and used to evaluate animal size and shape, in addition to growth and allometry. (Every two years)

BIO 440. Aquatic Biology (4 hours)

Prerequisite: BIO 212 or BIO 211 and ENB 150. 
Aquatic ecosystems encompass a wide spectrum of habitats, ranging from the world’s major oceans and rivers down to the smallest tidal pools and mountain streams. Course content will reflect this diversity as well as the fundamental principles unifying these systems, emphasizing the adaptations of representative communities to the physicochemical characteristics of the varied habitats. The laboratory component will combine field trips to local middle Georgia aquatic environments with wet labs, where collected plant and animal samples will be identified. Experimental design and formal laboratory writing are required. A lecture, laboratory, and field course. (Every two years)

BIO 450. Development (4 hours)

Prerequisite: BIO 212. 
A study of the developmental process in animals and plants with emphasis on the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which development is regulated in animals. Experimental design and formal laboratory writing are required. A lecture and laboratory course. (Occasionally)

 

BIO 460. Eukaryotic Cell Biology (3 hours)

Prerequisite: BIO 212. Organic chemistry strongly recommended.
A study of the structure and function of eukaryotic organelles as distinct compartments. Emphasis is placed on understanding the role of each organelle in the overall functioning of the individual cell. Electron micrographs are used extensively. (Every two years)

BIO 460L. Eukaryotic Cell Biology Laboratory (1 hour)

Corequisite: BIO 460.
Investigative laboratory component to complement BIO 460. Techniques include gel electrophoresis, centrifugation, cell culturing, Western blotting, chromatography, and microscopy. Experimental design and formal laboratory writing are required. The course includes one four-hour laboratory each week. (Every two years)

BIO 465. Biochemistry I (3 hours)

(Same as CHM 465)
Prerequisites: BIO 212 and CHM 222. 
A course on the nature of the chemical and physiochemical properties of living organisms. Includes an overview of the synthesis and structure of biological macromolecules, enzyme kinetics, mechanisms of reactions, metabolism, and energy exchange. This course includes three one-hour lectures per week. (Every semester)

BIO 465L. Biochemistry I Laboratory (1 hour)

(Same as CHM 465L) 
Corequisite: CHM/BIO 465.
Investigative laboratory component to complement CHM/BIO 465. Techniques used include electrophoresis, analysis of enzyme kinetics, chromatography, centrifugation, and protein analysis and centrifugation. Experimental design and formal laboratory writing are required. The course includes one four-hour laboratory each week. (Every year)

BIO 466. Biochemistry II (3 hours)

(Same as CHM 466) 
Prerequisite: CHM/BIO 465. 
A continuation of CHM/BIO 465 covering the chemistry of cellular metabolism. Topics include biosynthesis and degradation of lipids, amino acids, and nucleotides; photosynthesis; the chemistry of DNA and RNA; and the concepts of molecular physiology. The course includes three one-hour lectures each week. (Every year)

BIO 466L. Biochemistry II Laboratory (1 hour)

(Same as CHM 466L) 
Corequisite: CHM/BIO 466.
Investigative laboratory component to complement CHM/BIO 466. The course focuses on the analytical tools used in the modern biochemical laboratory. Experimental design and formal laboratory writing are required. The course includes one four-hour laboratory each week. (Every year)

BIO 480. Conservation Biology (4 hours)

Prerequisites: BIO 212 or BIO 211 and ENB 150.
This course is a study of the concepts of conservation biology and the application of ecological principles and techniques to the protection and study of biodiversity. Subjects include threats to biological diversity, conservation at the population and species level, and practical applications of conservation biology. A lecture and laboratory course. (Every two years)

BIO 482. Immunology (3 hours)

Prerequisites: BIO 212, CHM 112.
A detailed study of immunobiology that includes the basic components of the immune system, the development of the components including the underlying genetic mechanisms, the recognition of both foreign and self-antigens, and the outcomes from immune responses. Small group case-based learning will focus on the immune system in health and disease. Group research and formal presentations are required. This is a three-credit course without a laboratory component. (Every year)

BIO 490. Advanced Topics in Biology (Subtitle) (1-4 hours)

Prerequisites: BIO 212 and other courses to be specified. 
A detailed study of an advanced topic not available through normal offerings. Topics will be announced in advance. Credit hours and additional prerequisites will be determined by the nature of the topic with a maximum of 4 credit hours per course. May be taken more than once as part of the biology major. Can be used as the 400-level laboratory course in the major requirements only if a laboratory with experimental design and formal laboratory writing is included. (Occasionally)

BIO 499. Senior Research in Biology (1-4 hours)

A special problem or research project will be arranged according to the qualifications of the student. The student should plan to extend this work over a period of at least two semesters, with the credit being assigned in the second semester. Credit hours to be determined by the nature of the problem or research, with a maximum of 4 credit hours for a single topic. No more than 4 credit hours of BIO 499 can apply toward the major. This project can also be used as part of an Honor Program in Biology. (Every semester)