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First-Year Biology Courses

Fall 2024

Assistant Professor Joseph Parker

Bi 1e. Evolution of the Biosphere
9 units (3-0-6); first term. Prerequisites: none. Evolutionary phenomena have shaped Earth's biosphere, from the structures of molecules to the dynamics of entire ecosystems. This course covers how the biosphere emerged through the actions of evolutionary processes operating over the past 3.7 billion years of Earth history. Evolutionary mechanisms acting at different scales of biological organization will be covered, including gene and protein evolution, gene family and genome evolution, cell type evolution, the evolution of developmental processes controlling morphology, neural circuit evolution and behavior, the molecular mechanisms that physiologically adapt organisms to their environments, and the origins of ecological relationships between species. At each scale, constraints and catalysts on the evolutionary process will be discussed that have led to the spectrum of living systems comprising our planet's tree of life. This course is inclusive of all biodiversity. Instructor: Parker

Professor Justin Bois

Bi 1 x. The Great Ideas of Biology: Exploration through Experimentation
9 units (0-6-3); first term. Introduction to concepts and laboratory methods in biology. Molecular biology techniques and advanced microscopy will be combined to explore the great ideas of biology: the cell, the gene, evolution by natural selection, and life as chemistry. This course is intended for nonbiology majors. May be taken pass/fail if taken in a first-year student's first year. Limited enrollment. Instructor: Bois