Department of Biological Sciences

Professor Carleton Phillips, Chairperson.

Horn Professor Emeritus Jackson; Horn Professors Baker and Jones; Professors Allen, Burns, Haigler, Heintz, Kendall, Rylander, Schmidly, Willig, and Zak; Associate Professors Bilimoria, Blanton, Carr, Cobb, Collie, Densmore, Dickerson, Dixon, Held, Holaday, Hooper, Houck, Jeter, McGinley, Owen, San Francisco, Strauss, and Werth; Assistant Professors Anderson, Bradley, Deslippe, Gollahon, McMurry, Smith, Tissue, and Zhang; Adjunct Faculty: Morrow.

This department offers study in the following graduate degree programs: BIOLOGY, MICROBIOLOGY, and ZOOLOGY, Master of Science; BIOLOGY and ZOOLOGY, Doctor of Philosophy. The master's and doctoral programs include specializations in the areas of behavior, botany, cell and molecular biology, ecology, environmental toxicology, microbiology, physiology, and systematics and evolutionary biology.

Once admitted to a master's or doctoral degree program, the student may be required by his or her advisory committee to take a preliminary, diagnostic examination that includes subject matter usually required of undergraduates. If the preliminary examination reveals serious weaknesses in the student's subject-matter background, the student may be required to take remedial courses designated by the advisory committee.

The basic degree requirements of the Graduate School determine the policy of the department.

The Department of Biological Sciences has no general requirement of a foreign language. However, it may be necessary for a student to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language in certain programs, if such is necessary for research purposes. The student's advisory committee will make recommendations concerning language options, statistics, and basic work in other sciences.

The 36-hour nonthesis option may be elected by students working toward the M.S. degrees in biology, microbiology, or zoology. However, those students who expect to work beyond the M.S. degree, and toward the Ph.D. degree are strongly encouraged to choose the 30-hour thesis option.

All graduate students majoring in this department are required to take BIOL 6202 during their first fall semester after acceptance in the graduate degree program.

Courses in Biology. (BIOL)

5301. Advanced Genetics (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 8 hours of biology, 8 hours of chemistry, one semester of organic chemistry, or consent of instructor. Genetic and molecular analyses of inheritance. Course is offered to graduate students with limited knowledge in genetics.

5302. Advanced Cell Biology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 8 hours of biology, 8 hours of chemistry, plus at least one semester of organic chemistry; or consent of instructor. Structure and function of cells with introduction to modern techniques for cell study. Course is offered to graduate students with no formal training in cell biology.

5303. Advanced Experimental Cell Biology (3:1:6). Prerequisite: Consent of instructor and prior or concurrent enrollment in BIOL 5302. A project-oriented introduction to modern research techniques used to study cellular and molecular processes in eukaryotic cells.

5305. Organic Evolution for Advanced Students (3:3:0). Prerequisite: BIOL 3301 or equivalent course in genetics. The concept of evolution, its mode and tempo of operation, and its relationship to organic diversity in its broadest sense are emphasized. S.

5309. Advanced Ecology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Background in organismal biology or undergraduate ecology. A detailed examination of the structural and functional relationships underlying the organization of populations, communities, and ecosystems. F.

5310. Advanced Community Ecology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: A course in ecology or consent of instructor. An investigation of both theoretical and experimental approaches to understanding the composition, diversity, and structure of plant, animal, and microbial communities. F, even years.

5320. Advanced Molecular Biology (3:3:0). Coverage includes a rigorous examination of molecular processes in cellular functioning. Experimental approaches used to investigate molecular events in eukaryotes, prokaryotes, and viruses will be emphasized. S.

5405. Systems Ecology (4:3:3). Prerequisite: MATH 1352 or 1552, BIOL 3303 and 3307, or consent of instructor. Theory and techniques of system analysis and mathematical modeling applied to ecological problems. S, even years.

5407. Advanced Population Biology (4:3:3). Prerequisite: BIOL 3301, 3303, or equivalent. Introduction to the genetics or ecology of populations including a survey of topical, historic, and current literature with emphasis on experimental evaluation of testable hypotheses. S.

6000. Master's Thesis (V1-6).

6100. Advanced Topics in Biology (1). Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Special areas of current interest not commonly included in other courses. Content normally different each time offered. May be repeated for additional credit.

6101. Seminar (1:1:0). Various topics in modern biology. May be repeated for credit.

6202. Preparation for Graduate Learning and Teaching in Biology (2:2:0). Prerequisite: Acceptance in a graduate degree program in the Department of Biological Sciences or consent of instructor. Preparation of graduate students for the roles of scholar, researcher, and teaching assistant. Emphasizes literature research, preparation of visual aids, innovative teaching strategies, and problem-solving methods. F.

6301. Advanced Topics in Biology (3). Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Special areas of current interest not commonly included in other courses. Content normally different each time offered. May be repeated for additional credit.

6304. Principles and Practice of Phylogenetic Systematics (3:3:0). Prerequisite: BIOL 4305 or 5305; ZOOL 6302 recommended. Character analysis, phylogeny reconstruction, consensus procedures, and phylogenetic classification, using morphologic and molecular data. F, odd years.

6307. Topics in Biodiversity (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. An investigation of the causes and implications of biological diversity, including species diversity and phenotypic variation among and within species. F, odd years.

6309. Advanced Topics in Quantitative Biology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Studies of current applications of mathematics, statistics, and computing to the biological sciences. Content normally different each time offered. May be repeated for additional credit.

6315. Regulation of Gene Expression (3:3:0). Prerequisite: BIOL 5320 or 4320. An advanced, in-depth analysis of current research on mechanisms that regulate eukaryotic gene expression at transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. S.

6350. Advanced Physiological Plant Ecology (3:3:0). Investigation of the physiological processes of plants that contribute to understanding the ecological distribution and evolutionary success of plants in their physical environment.

6408. Research Techniques in Electron Microscopy (4:1:6). Prerequisite: BA or BS in a scientific field. Introduction to operation of electron microscopes emphasizing independent work with organic or inorganic sample preparation and analysis for transmission or scanning electron microscopes.

6501. Cytogenetics (5:3:6). Prerequisite: BIOL 3301 or PSS 3421. A study of genetic mechanisms of plants and animals and their correlated cytological interpretations. S, odd years.

6502. Biometry (5:4:3). Prerequisite: College algebra. The application of statistical methods to data from various fields of biological research. Special emphasis on conceptual bases of univariate and multivariate tests from both parametric and nonparametric perspectives. F.

7000. Research (V1-12).

8000. Doctor's Dissertation (V1-12).

Courses in Botany. (BOT)

5401. Advanced Plant Physiology (4:3:3). Prerequisite: Organic chemistry or biochemistry and general botany or biology. A general plant physiology course for graduate students with no previous training in plant physiology. Emphasis is placed on recent experimental advances in the field.

5404. Advanced Taxonomy of the Vascular Plants (4:3:3). A survey of the diversity of vascular plants (emphasis on angiosperms) and the methodology of their classification. Lecture emphasizes modern approaches to systematics; lab emphasizes identification and collection techniques. F.

5409. Advanced Developmental Plant Anatomy (4:3:3). Prerequisite: BIOL 1403 or equivalent. Rigorous study of the anatomy of plants and its developmental control. Experimental approaches and recent research progress will be emphasized. F, odd years.

6302. Advanced Field Botany (3:1:6). Prerequisite: BOT 3404, 5404, or consent of instructor. A field-trip and herbarium-based course that will provide students with sophistication in the identification and classification of plants in natural areas of West Texas and adjacent regions.

6304. Advanced Plant Molecular Biology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Introductory biology, genetics, cell biology, or consent of instructor. Molecular mechanisms regulating plant metabolism and plant development. Intensive reading on current literature is required. S, even years.

Courses in Microbiology. (MBIO)

5301. Advanced General Microbiology (3:2:3). Prerequisite or parallel: Organic chemistry. Content is similar to that of MBIO 3401 except that readings or original research in one area of microbiology is required. May not be taken for credit by students who have taken MBIO 3401. F, S.

5303. Microbe-Plant Interactions ( 3:3:0). Prerequisite: MBIO 3400 or 3401 or BIOL 3420 or BOT 3401. Biochemical, molecular, genetic, and ecological basis of pathogenic and symbiotic microbe-plant interactions. F, even years.

5401. Current Perspectives in Microbial Ecology (4:3:3). Prerequisite: A course in microbiology, mycology, ecology, or related area, or consent of instructor; may not be taken for credit by students who have taken MBIO 4401. Course will examine specific theories and concepts concerning ecology of the soil microflora and microfauna, and the roles of these organisms in ecosystem functioning. S, odd years.

5403. Immunobiology (4:3:4). Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Content is similar to that of MBIO 4402 except that readings or research in one area of immunology is required. May not be taken for credit by students who have taken MBIO 4402. S.

5404. Pathogenic Microbiology (4:3:4). Prerequisite: MBIO 3401 or 5301; may not be taken for credit by students who have received credit for MBIO 4404. A detailed study of pathogenic microorganisms. F, even years.

5408. Microbial Genetics (4:3:3). Prerequisite: MBIO 5301 or consent of instructor. Topics include current techniques of genetic analysis, molecular biology, molecular genetics, nucleic acid metabolism, and gene regulation in microorganisms, with emphasis on bacteria and bacteriophages. May not be taken for credit by students who have taken MBIO 4406. F.

6000. Master's Thesis (V1-6).

6302. Advanced Bacterial Physiology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: MBIO 3401 or 5301; 12 semester hours of chemistry, including biochemistry or concurrent registration; consent of instructor. Advanced study of bacterial physiology. S.

6306. General Virology (3:2:3). Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. An introduction to the biology of animal, bacterial, and plant viruses. S.

Courses in Zoology. (ZOOL)

5304. Comparative Endocrinology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ZOOL 2405, 3301, BIOL 3420, or consent of instructor. Hormones as chemical coordinators of bodily functions. S.

5306. Advanced Mammalogy (3:2:3). Studies of recent advances in mammalogy. For students who have not taken ZOOL 4306. F.

5308. Advanced Ornithology (3:2:3). Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Selected topics including avian systematics, migration, physiology, ecology, and comparative behavior. S.

5312. Advanced Animal Behavior (3:3:0). Comparative animal behavior with emphasis on genetics and neurophysiology and how they relate to survival. F.

5315. Molecular Techniques for Systematics and Evolution (3:1:4). Prerequisite: Cell biology, molecular biology, or consent of instructor. Allows beginning graduate students to become proficient in research techniques employed in molecular systematics and evolution labs.

5401. Animal Histology for Advanced Students (4:2:6). Prerequisite: ZOOL 2405 or a course in chordate anatomy or consent of instructor. Microscopic anatomy of the normal cells, tissues, and organ systems of the human and other mammals are studied. Open to graduate students who have not taken ZOOL 3401 or equivalent.

5406. Advanced Invertebrate Zoology (4:3:3). Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. This course develops a comprehension of the structure, function, ecology, and evolution of invertebrate animals, with an emphasis on the relationships among taxa and the diversity within taxa. Written reports on special projects required. F.

5407. Vertebrate Zoology for Advanced Students (4:3:3). Diversity, evolutionary relationships, and adaptations of vertebrates. Field trips required. Open to students who have not taken ZOOL 4307.

5409. Comparative Physiology for Advanced Students (4:3:3). Prerequisite: ZOOL 2405 or 3406; BIOL 3420; CHEM 3305, 3306 recommended. A comparison of physiological functions including homeostatic mechanisms, muscle, nerve, in the major phyla. Laboratory reports written in a journal format are required.

5421. Ecological Entomology (4:3:3). Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. An advanced exploration of the behavior, ecology, and evolution of insects.

6000. Master's Thesis (V1-6).

6302. Principles of Systematic Zoology for Advanced Students (3:3:0). Prerequisite: BIOL 3301 or equivalent; BIOL 4305 or 5305 recommended. Theory and practice of naming, describing, and classifying organisms. Speciation, phylogeny reconstruction, and other current topics in evolutionary biology emphasized. F, even years.

6303. Seminar in Mammalogy for Advanced Students (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. A historical perspective of mammology as a science including advances in ideology, character systems, and data analysis. Current topics and controversies will be addressed. S, odd years.

6320. Comparative Neuroanatomy (3:2:3). Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. A comparative study of the vertebrate central nervous system, with emphasis on the structure, development, and function of the mammalian brain.

6321. Advanced Herpetology (3:2:3). Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. The course will be concerned with the biology of amphibians and reptiles. Stress will be placed on classification, evolution, ecology, and anatomy of the various groups.

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