Biological Sciences Courses

Bio 501 Special Topics in the Biological Sciences (1-3)

This course will examine emerging trends in biological sciences. New information emerging from recent studies will be stressed.

Bio 504 Cell Biology I (3)

One of two courses on the structural and functional organization of the cell that may be taken in sequence or independently (see Bio 505). This course covers the extracellular matrix, adhesion receptors, cytokines, the actomyosin and microtubule-based cytoskeleton, and membrane- cytoskeleton interactions, in the control of growth, differentiation and the cell cycle, and cytoplasmic structures and motility. Prerequisite: Biochemistry course equivalent to Bio 365.

Bio 505 Cell Biology II (3)

Second of two courses on the structural and functional organization of the cell that may be taken in sequence or independently (see Bio 504). This course covers membrane organization, permeability, channels and active transport, intracellular membrane systems, intracellular transport and secretion, receptors and endocytosis, intracellular signaling, and oxidative phosphorylation and photosynthesis. Prerequisite: Biochemistry course equivalent to Bio 365.   

Bio 513 Modern Use of Light Microscopy (3)

The light microscope as a powerful observational, analytical, and quantitative research tool. Practical use of the microscope is emphasized. Topics include image formation, polarized light, interference and fluorescence microscopy, video techniques for image enhancement, analysis and recording, and specimen preparation and experimental manipulation. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Bio 514 Biotechnology Laboratory (2)

Introduction to technology used to study concepts in molecular and cellular biology. One literature-based paper is required. Prerequisite: Bio 365 or permission of instructor. Course fee applies. Consult the Schedule of Classes.

Bio 515a Responsible Conduct and Skills in Research (1)

Seminar course on good scientific practices and ethical principles that guide scientific research. Topics include: introduction to ethical reasoning, how to give a talk, laboratory safety, scientific record keeping, conflict of interest, scientific misconduct, how to avoid plagiarism, use of animals and humans in research, human genomic research and the protection of privacy and confidentiality, funding opportunities for graduate students, and skills in the use of computer and printed information retrieval sources. Required for all matriculated graduate students. Not open to non-matriculated graduate students.

Bio 515b Responsible Conduct and Skills in Scientific Communication (1)

Seminar course on good scientific practices and ethical principles that guide scientific research. Topics include: effective communication, writing and submitting a scientific paper, peer review, writing grants, ethics of scientific communication, preparing effective and ethical illustrations, use of reference data bases, attending conferences. Overview of skills and training qualifications reflected in current job and postdoctoral opportunities. Students are required to make presentations. Required of all matriculated graduate students. Not open to non-matriculated graduate students. Prerequisite: Bio 515a or permission of the instructor.

Bio 517a Current Literature in Forensic Biology I (1)

Students will research the literature on assigned topics and discuss research and issues of historic and contemporary importance in forensic biology.

Bio 517b Current Literature in Forensic Science (1)

In this course, students will be introduced to topics in forensic biology and forensic chemistry where major advancements have been made in recent years. Using recent journal articles, we will discuss both the science behind these advancements and the impact on the field of forensic science.

Bio 518 (Gog 518, Inf 508) Ecological Modeling (3)

This course introduces various theoretical and mathematical approaches to modeling ecological and environmental data through computer-based exercises in the application of existing models and the development of new models. Modeling topics cover animal population models, vegetation models, and large scale landscape models, as well as model applications in decision making. This course is geared towards demystifying models and providing students with the confidence and skills to apply this very useful tool to research projects. Prerequisites: Statistics and either General Ecology, Environmental Analysis, Environmental Studies or equivalent or permission of instructor.

Bio 519 (Ant 512) Human Population Genetics (3)

The genetics of human populations with emphasis on the application of the principles of population genetics to human groups, particularly concerning inbreeding, selection, drift, flow, and the structure of human populations. Prerequisite: Ant 502 or permission of instructor.

Bio 521 Cell and Molecular Developmental Neurobiology (3)

The cellular and molecular basis of neural development. Students will analyze and discuss the current scientific literature on pattern forming events underlying the regional organization of the nervous system, on neuronal and glial cell differentiation, and on the establishment and maintenance of neuronal connections. Prerequisite: Bio 504, 505 or consent of instructor.      

Bio 523 Biochemistry and Biomolecular Structure (3)

One of the four courses required of incoming graduate students in the cell, molecular, developmental, and neural biology core area. This course includes an introduction to biophysical chemistry; protein structure, folding and function; nucleic acid structure, folding and function; and protein-DNA interactions. Prerequisite: Biochemistry course equivalent to Bio 365.

Bio 524 Advanced Molecular Biology (3)

Biosynthesis and function of biological macromolecules. Current work on the different species of RNA and RNA-containing structures in the cell, DNA synthesis in chromosome replication, protein synthesis, and control mechanisms operating at the levels of nucleic acid and protein synthesis. Two 1 1/2-hour lecture periods per week. Given spring semester only. Prerequisites: Bio 301; 111N or equivalent; Chm 342 or Bio 365, Chm 343 or Bio 367, or Chm 440A,B or equivalents.       

Bio 529 Molecular Virology (3)

Viruses are usually associated with damaging and often fatal infections.  However without viruses our world would be a very different place.  This course will introduce the fundamental principles of virology with an emphasis on the viral replication strategies, virus-cell interactions, pathogenesis, and evolution of viruses; as well strategies applied for control and prevention of infection. Students will be required to write a research proposal on a topic of their choosing. Pre-requisite(s): Advanced Cell Biology (ABIO 504 or 505) or Advanced Molecular Biology (ABIO 524) or permission of instructor.

Bio 530A (Gog 536) Biodiversity and Conservation: Theoretical Issues (4)

Review of principles of ecology with respect to their potential application to biological conservation. Drawing from examples of conservation management problems, students will examine theoretical and empirical evidence from population, community, and ecosystem ecology, and evaluate current and projected strategies for preserving biological diversity in regional and in globally prominent ecosystems. This is a companion course for Bio 530B. Two lectures plus one discussion per week. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Students may choose one course, either Bio 530A or Gog 536 for credit.

Bio 530B (Pad 665, Pln 539) Biodiversity and Conservation: Policy Issues (4)

Survey of approaches to environmental planning and public policy analyses that directly pertain to biological conservation. Students will review economic, political, and legal approaches to policy analysis. In discussions, they will explore strategies for introducing ecological information and conservation needs into the public policy forum. This is a companion course for Bio 530A. Two lectures plus one discussion per week. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Students may choose one course Bio 530B, Pad 665 or Pln 539 for credit.

Bio 534 (Gog 529) Spatial Statistics (3)

This course provides an introduction to spatial statistics for spatially referenced data. Spatial point patterns, geostatistical data, and area (regional/lattice) data are studied using the viewpoint that these are realizations from random processes. Major topics to be covered include spatial stochastic process, exploratory spatial data analysis, intensity function, K function, cluster statistics, spatial interpolation, spatial covariance functions, variograms, kriging, spatial autoregressive models, and geographically weighted regression. Computer exercises with R programming language (www.r-project.org) are designed to help students gain hands-on experience on the topics presented in lectures. Students are required to present and discuss assigned readings and develop an individual research project that applies spatial statistical methods in geographical problem solving. Prerequisites: GOG502/PLN504 or equivalent. In other words, students should be familiar with basic probability theory, multiple linear regression, and basic linear algebra. 

Bio 540 (Sta 569) Principles of Bioinformatics (3)

In this course, you will learn basic programming skills that will allow you to analyze biological data sets with a focus on next-generation sequencing data sets. This course focuses on Unix shell and Python programming skills, and applies them to basic problem sets relating to parsing large files, e.g. data that is generated by next generation sequencing. Students will also learn how to manage computer resources and work in a shared user environment (HPC). Prerequisites: Bio 524 or permission of instructor.

Bio 541 Molecular Neurobiology (3)

The molecular biology of learning and memory, neural development and disease. The course will relate the structure and function of receptors, second messengers, cytoskeletal proteins, transcription factors and gene structure to their roles in the nervous system. Students will be required to write a research proposal on a question of their choosing. Prerequisite: graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Bio 546 Brain Imaging (3)

This course will provide a comprehensive overview of established and emerging imaging techniques that are used to determine the structural and functional properties of the brain. It includes techniques that provide information at different levels of complexity, from single molecules, to subcellular structures, small circuits and complex neuronal networks. Prerequisites: Graduate standing or, for seniors, approval of the Department Chair and permission of instructor.

Bio 547 Cellular Aspects of Neurophysiology: Lecture (3)

The course covers ion channels in excitable membranes, synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity. It correlates the properties of ion channels and synaptic transmission with their physiological functions, such as learning and memory and sensory information processing. It discusses the organization principles for the formation of functional neural networks at synapse and cellular levels. Pre-requisite(s): Permission of instructor.

Bio 552 Forensic Genetics (3)

In this 3-credit lecture course, students will gain an understanding of basic population genetics and its application to the interpretation of forensic genetic data. A fundamental knowledge of population genetics is essential for accurate interpretation of forensic genetic data. ABIO 552 will first introduce students to the concepts of Hardy Weinberg Equilibrium (HWE), Linkage Equilibrium (LE) and the tests utilized to test for HWE and LE in populations. Students will learn about allele frequencies, genotype frequencies, population databases and be shown how to calculate forensic parameters such as the Random Match Probability (RMP), Likelihood Ratio (LR) and the Paternity Index (PI). Prerequisite(s): A BIO 212 or A BIO 205 or permission of instructor.

Bio 553 Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (3)

In this course we examine the ecology and evolution of host-parasite interactions; the diversity of parasitic organisms (microparasites and macroparasites) and their transmission modes; models of disease dynamics in populations; host, parasite, and environmental sources of heterogeneity in transmission rates; eco-immunology; host-parasite co-evolution; community ecology of infectious diseases; parasite biogeography; emerging infectious diseases; the ecological context of One Health initiatives, and zoonoses and public health; infectious diseases and wildlife conservation; parasite conservation; and current challenges and opportunities in the study of ecology and evolution of infectious diseases. Prerequisite(s): A BIO 563 and 564 or permission of instructor.

Bio 554 Introduction to the Biomanufacturing of Pharmaceuticals (3)

The class is structured to introduce students to protein and nucleic acid-based pharmaceuticals and the process of biomanufacturing. Students will gain in depth knowledge on the parameters of protein and nucleic acids-based pharmaceuticals that affect their efficacy and mechanism of action, as well details on how pharmaceuticals are validated for use in humans. Students will be introduced to the cell-based production of proteins, purification techniques, and microbiology concerns specific to biomanufacturing. Students will be introduced to blockbuster pharmaceuticals and late breaking trends in biomanufacturing. Students will learn and apply fundamental concepts in the areas of biology, chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, and molecular biology to gain a broad understanding of pharmaceutical mechanism of action and the biomanufacturing process. Students will develop verbal and written communication skills though presentations and homework assignments. Students will be introduced to team-based science, through group project work and group assessments. Students will also critically evaluate the work of their peers and be required to demonstrate broad knowledge of the biomanufacturing and pharmaceutical fields. Finally, students will be required to explain how new technologies intersect with biomanufacturing, and will theorize future application areas and/or areas of future improvements. Prerequisite: B.S. in Life Sciences discipline or permission of instructor.

Bio 555 Plant Ecology (3)

Current research and theoretical background in the field of plant ecology will be explored. Topics include population and community dynamics, evolution of life history traits, physiological responses to environmental stresses, plant-animal interactions, and the role of vegetation in ecosystem processes. Prerequisite: General Ecology/Field Biology or permission of instructor.

Bio 557 Forensic Science Seminar (0)

In this course, students will be introduced to topics in Forensic Science where major advancements have been made in recent years. Using recent journal articles, we will discuss both the science behind these advancements and the impact on forensic science. Prerequisite(s): Graduate standing. Undergraduates by permission.

Bio 563 Integrative Principles of Evolution (3)

The study of the history of life as shaped by the process of natural selection defines the field of Evolution.  In this course, the historical and intellectual foundations of discipline-defining topics including the development of evolutionary theory, principles of microevolution, and tempo and mode in patterns of macroevolution will be addressed through a combination of lectures and discussion of seminal papers.  Prerequisites: Graduate standing or by permission of the instructor.

Bio 564 Integrative Principles of Ecology and Behavior (3)

The distribution and abundance of living organisms and the interaction of organisms with the environment defines the field of Ecology.  In this course, the historical and intellectual foundations of discipline-defining topics including evolutionary and behavioral ecology, community and ecosystem ecology, and population dynamics will be addressed through a combination of lectures and discussion of seminal papers.  Prerequisites: Graduate standing or by permission of the instructor.

Bio 575 Forensic Biology I (3)

In this 3-credit course (1 credit lecture and 2 credit laboratory), students will learn about many of the techniques routinely carried out in forensic biology laboratories. They will begin with search and recovery of mock biological evidence, move on to serological testing of body fluids, and then spend several weeks focusing on DNA techniques. Students will extract and quantify DNA using three different methods and generate a DNA profile using state of the art methodology. Course fee applies. Consult the Schedule of Classes. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor.

Bio 577 Forensic Science (3)

Forensic Science (1 credit lecture and 2 credits laboratory) will introduce students to commonly used forensic science techniques and instrumentation. Topics covered in this course will include pattern evidence, microscopy, ballistics, forensic chemistry, forensic biology, toxicology, crime scene collection, laboratory safety and quality assurance. Students will follow standard operating procedures with regard to documentation, sample preparation, data collection and analysis and reporting. The laboratory will conclude with students working a mock evidence case or performing quality control on tested samples and reporting their findings. Prerequisites: Graduate Standing or permission of instructor.

Bio 578 Instrumental and Biochemical Analysis (2)

This course (2-credit laboratory) will introduce students to analytical methods as well as classic and state-of-the-art instrumentation typically employed in accredited forensic laboratories for the extraction, separation, identification and quantitative analysis of chemical and biochemical substances. More importantly, students will complete experiments with various platforms that include Ultraviolet-Visible Spectrophotometer, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, Mass Spectrometry, and Gas Chromatography. Laboratory topics will include casework, documentation, sample preparation, data collection and analysis, reporting, quality assurance, and laboratory safety. The laboratory will conclude with students working a sample case, reporting their findings in a written summary and oral presentation. Prerequisite: Graduate Standing or permission of instructor.

Bio 579 Forensic Biology II (3)

In this course, you will build on the knowledge gained from Bio 575. You will learn more about the genetic markers used in forensic science such as Short Tandem Repeats (STRs), Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). You will also learn about recent advances in methodologies that have greatly assisted with processing of casework. Prerequisite(s): A BIO 575 or permission of instructor.

Bio 580 Forensic Chemistry and Toxicology (3)

Forensic Chemistry and Toxicology (1 credit lecture and 2 credits laboratory) is an advanced course that utilizes methodology and instrumentation commonly used in today's accredited forensic chemistry and toxicology laboratories. For example, gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, headspace chromatography, TLC, immunoassay, liquid and solid phase extraction, etc. will be used to forensically analyze and interpret drug chemistry, and biochemical and toxicological substances. Other topics will include casework, documentation, sample preparation, chemical and instrumental analysis, data processing, reporting, uncertainty measurement, and statistical analyses. Laboratory safety and quality assurance will also be included in ABio 580. Students will process evidence from a mock crime scene and collect samples for Forensic Chemistry and Toxicology testing. The laboratory will conclude with students working a sample case, reporting their findings in a 1-2 page summary and oral presentation. Prerequisite: A Bio 578 or permission of the instructor.

Bio 599A Laboratory Rotation I (5)

First year graduate students in the molecular, cellular, developmental, and neural biology core area are required to enroll in this course. For the first 4 weeks, students will visit laboratories to discuss possible rotation projects and meet weekly with the course coordinator to discuss their progress in finding a lab. Students will then spend seven-weeks in a laboratory rotation working on a project assigned by the respective faculty member. All placements in laboratories will be arranged in consultation with and approved by the course coordinator. Students will write a research report on their rotation project to be submitted to the supervisor on or before the last day of the rotation. S/U grading.

Bio 599B Laboratory Rotation II (5)

First year graduate students in the molecular, cellular, developmental, and neural biology core area are required to enroll in this course. This course consists of rotating in laboratories for successive seven-week periods working on a project assigned by the respective faculty members. All placements in laboratories will be arranged in consultation with and approved by the course coordinator. Students will write a report on their rotation projects to be submitted to the supervision on or before the last day of the rotation. S/U grading.

Bio 600 Topics in Evolution (1-4)

Bio 601 Topics in Ecology (1-4)

Bio 602 Topics in Cell Biology (1-4)

Bio 603 Topics in Genetics and Molecular Biology (1-4)

Bio 605 Topics in Developmental Biology (1-4)

Bio 608 Topics in Animal Biology (1-4)

Bio 610 Topics in Biophysics and Biochemistry (1-4)

Bio 611 Topics in Population Biology (1-4)

Bio 612 Topics in Theoretical Biology (1-4)

Bio 613 Research Techniques in Biology (1-4)

The theory and practice of research techniques in biology. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor and department chair.

Bio 619 (Bms 619) Physical and Chemical Principles in RNA Biology (3)

Physical and chemical principles will be exemplified by biological systems, especially those involving RNAs. Topics cover many aspects of RNA, including RNA synthesis, modification, folding, function and catalysis; protein/ligand-RNA interaction. The course will also emphasize physical, chemical, and molecular techniques used in RNA studies, including structural prediction and determination, thermodynamics and spectroscopy, modern sequencing techniques. Prerequisite: Secondary year graduate students from science disciplines with good academic standing are encouraged to take the course. Consent of instructor required.

Bio 620 Tutorial in Computing and Bioinformatics (3)

This course will provide hands-on training in methods of computer-assisted bioinformatics, with specific application to biological research. Topics include: data mining, sequence retrieval, DNA and protein sequence alignment, molecular evolution and phylogenetic analysis, population genetics and analysis of genetic variation within species, comparative genomics of model organisms, and computer-based visualization and analysis of macromolecular structures. Prerequisite: graduate status.

Bio 621 (Pln 621) Principals and Practices of Coastal Zone Management (3)

This course will provide a comprehensive overview of the basic physical, biological, and cultural aspects of coastal zone management.  The course will assess current management policies and practices in New York, the U.S. and internationally.  Through a review of case studies, students will develop an understanding of current problems and potential solutions.  Prerequisites: Course in environmental studies or general ecology; graduate status.

Bio 622 Tutorial in Imaging and Microscopy (3)

This course will include lectures, demonstrations and hands-on exercises to introduce the fundamental principles underlying microscopy and imaging. Topics include: bright and dark field, phase contrast, differential interference, fluorescence and confocal scanning microscopes as well as video and digital image processing and analysis. Prerequisite: graduate status.

Bio 627 Courtroom Testimony for Forensic Scientists (1)

The goal of this course is to prepare students to present scientific evidence to members of jury and court. Students will learn the rules of criminal and civil procedure applicable to expert witnesses. They will learn how to translate highly technical and complex concepts from the sciences (biology, chemistry, and human population genetics) into language that can be understood clearly by members of the court. Special attention will be given to the ethical issues confronting the expert witness as well as issues relating to establishing the weight of the evidence through the application of statistical methods. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

Bio 630 (Gog 630) Topics in Biodiversity, Conservation and Policy (1)

Presentations and discussions of contemporary issues and literature relating to biodiversity, conservation, and policy. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Students may choose one course Bio 630 or Gog 630 for credit.

Bio 631 Interpretation of Forensic Science Evidence (2)

In this 2-credit course, students will build on knowledge gained in the Forensic Biology and Forensic Chemistry courses. Students will learn key criteria for accurately interpreting data using current forensic guidelines and presenting evidence in a courtroom setting. Prerequisite(s): Bio 575 Forensic Biology I, Bio 579 Forensic Biology II, Bio 577, Bio 578 and Bio 580 or permission of instructor.

Bio 633 Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Seminar (0)

Seminars and discussions of the current literature in ecology and evolutionary biology. Required of all graduate students in the EEB program during each semester of residence.

Bio 634 (Gog/Pln 634) Ecosystem-based Management and Climate Adaptation (3)

The course examines ecosystem-based management (EBM) as the preeminent approach to holistic natural resources management, and integrates ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) approaches used by communities striving to adapt their ecosystems, water resources, forests and agricultural systems in the face of unfolding climate change impacts. The course incorporates interdisciplinary ecosystem science, social science, resilience and adaptation science, and explores issues, methods and challenges of EBM and EbA for applications in environmental policy, planning and management.

Bio 650 MCDN Graduate Research Seminar (0)

This course is a seminar series attended by all graduate students and faculty in the MCDN core area (Molecular, Cellular, Developmental and Neural Biology) . Each Ph.D. student beyond the first year will present one formal seminar per academic year on his/her research.

Bio 681 Seminar in MCDN (0)

This course will consist of student presentations based on papers from the current literature of the field. Specific seminar topics will be announced in advance of pre-registration. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: permission of instructor

Bio 682 Seminar in EEB (0)

This course will consist of student presentations based on papers from the current literature of the field. Specific seminar topics will be announced in advance of pre-registration. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: permission of instructor

Bio 697 Graduate Research (2-12)

Individual, independent experimental or theoretical research in biology. By permission of chair of the department Graduate Programs Committee. Credits may be transferred to Bio 699 or Bio 899 if admitted to a degree program. S/U graded.

Bio 698 Internship in Forensic Science (6)

The student will complete a project in Forensic Science laboratory under the supervision of a mentor. Each student will research the literature to identify a problem in Forensic Science, develop an approach to its solution utilizing the scientific method, and document the aims, results, and conclusions in a 1-3 page proposal. Besides a proposal, all students must submit a literature review and a substantial written report that will be examined by an Internship Committee of two members approved by the Department Graduate Committee. Approval of the written report by the Internship Committee and an oral presentation constitutes successful completion of the internship. Prerequisites: Passing the required written Comprehensive Core Examination and permission of instructor.

Bio 699 Master's Research (2-12)

Original research in biology leading to the preparation of a thesis in partial fulfillment of the master's degree. Open to students enrolled in a master's program in biology.

Bio 699C Master's Thesis Continuation (1)

Load Graded.  Appropriate for master's students engaged in research and writing of the master's thesis beyond the level applicable to their degree program.

Bio 898 Doctoral Research (3-15)

Original experimental or theoretical research in biology for students officially accepted in the Ph.D. program in biology, and leading to the preparation of a dissertation. Residence credit earned in this course becomes applicable upon satisfactory completion of all other requirements established for the Ph.D. in biology.

Bio 899 Doctoral Dissertation (1)

Required of all candidates completing the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biological Sciences. Prerequisite: Advancement to candidacy in Biological Sciences. Does not count towards the 60 credit requirement for graduation.