BIO 520 Professional Aspects of Science. An essential course on scientific professionalism for the beginning M.S. student. This course provides students with an introduction to the professional and ethical responsibilities of scientists. Students will also discuss philosophical and controversial issues in academia and science, as well as political issues that may influence the process and practice of science. Most importantly, this course encourages and helps students to develop skills needed for presenting their research to fellow scientists through the processes of publishing, giving conference presentations, writing grant proposals, and becoming active in the scientific community. Required of all graduate students in Biology. Prerequisite: graduate standing. Credit 2.
BIO 530 Forensic Entomology. The methods and materials necessary for use of insects as forensic evidence in legal investigation will be discussed. Laboratory included. Prerequisites: introductory entomology and graduate standing. Credit 3.
BIO 531 Classification and Natural History of Plants. Classification and natural history of major groups of nonvascular and vascular plants are presented. Emphasis is on morphological recognition, ecological and physiological differences and economic importance of major taxa. Laboratory included. Prerequisites: Introductory Botany course and graduate standing. Credit 3.
*BIO534 Electron Mictoscopy. This course is designed to teach students the methods of preparing specimens for electron microscope analysis and to use the electron microscope as a tool to conduct research. Students will become competent in using the electron microscope for visual analysis or chemical elemental analysis. Prerequisites: 12 hours advanced biology. Credit 3.
BIO 540 Forensic Biology. This course provides theoretical understanding and hands-on experience in biological evidence collection, identification, analysis and interpretation. The course includes the identification of body fluids, species determination, serology and DNA techniques. Different DNA extraction methods will be discussed as well as techniques for quantification of minimal amounts of DNA and strategies for the analysis of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products including short tandem repeats (STRs, Y-STRs) and mitochondrial DNA. Population genetics and interpretation of DNA evidence are also included. Four-hour laboratory. Prerequisite BIO 480. Credit 4.
BIO 548 Comparative Animal Physiology. A study of the physiological adaptive mechanisms and the comparison of adaptive strategies across vertebrate taxa. Emphasis will be directed toward homeostatic mechanisms of water, energy and electrolyte balance, and metabolism. A two-hour laboratory to emphasize investigative skills employing modern laboratory techniques is included. Independent original research project required. Prerequisites: organic chemistry, general physiology, or instructor's consent. Credit 4.
BIO 562 Advanced Plant Physiology. Further studies of the life processes of plants at the molecular, cellular and organismal levels with focus on current research and recent advances in this field. A scholarly paper on a selected physiological topic is required. Three hours of lecture per week. Prerequisite: 12 hours advanced biology. Credit 3.
BIO 564 Cell Structure and Physiology. A study of signal transduction pathways in the cell. For the laboratory portion of the course, students will conduct independent investigations of cells defective in signal transduction and prepare a scientific paper of the results. Prerequisites: cell biology and organic chemistry. Credit 3.
*BIO 568 Advanced Invertebrate Zoology. Invertebrates are the dominant form of life on earth, comprising greater than 75% of all described species. Students will be briefly introduced to the phylum/class level characteristics of the major groups of invertebrate animals. The majority of the course will deal with the evolutionary history and phylogeny of invertebrates, invertebrate ecology, and the myriad solutions invertebrates have evolved to deal with the common problems of reproduction, feeding, osmoregulation, respiration, locomotion and developmental patterns. Prerequisites: 12 hours advanced biology, invertebrate zoology recommended. Credit 3.
BIO 571 Evolution. This course is concerned with modern concepts of the evolution of organisms. Extended reading and classroom discussion supplement the lecture treatment. Three one-hour lectures a week are scheduled. Prerequisite: introductory genetics. Credit 3.
BIO 575 Bacterial Physiology. A study of bacterial metabolism that will include fermentation, anaerobic respiration, bacterial photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation. This course will also discuss how bacteria sense their environment and adjust their metabolism accordingly. Three hours of lecture per week. Prerequisites: microbiology, genetics, and organic chemistry II or general physiology. Credit 3.
BIO 578 Virology. Virology. A study of viruses that infect plants, animals, and bacteria. Areas considered include chemical and structural properties of viruses, virus-host relations, and infection and growth phenomena, including interference and regulation. Also included are the roles of viruses as agents of disease and malignancy, and as gene vectors in natural settings, but also as tools in biotechnology and gene therapy. Three hours of lecture per week. Prerequisites: microbiology, genetics, and organic chemistry. Credit 3.
BIO 580 Advanced Ecology. Advanced Ecology. An advanced theoretical and practical study of biotic and abiotic ecosystem interactions encompassing the physiology of individuals, growth of populations including social and species interactions within populations, analysis of population composition and change, the distribution of communities, and the functioning of ecosystems. Independent study of a selected ecological topic required. Prerequisites: general chemistry I and II, general ecology. Credit 3.
BIO 581 Ecological Computer Modeling. An introduction to the development and application of computer models in ecology and population biology. Principles of modeling, programming concepts, specific model dynamics, and prepackaged computer models will be explored. Two hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory per week. Prerequisite: general ecology. Credit 3.
BIO 582 Ichthyology. Taxonomy, distribution, natural history and economic importance of fishes with emphasis on Texas forms. Field work will include techniques for determining populations, growth studies, food habits and propagation. Two-hour laboratory plus field work. Prerequisites: introductory biology plus 12 hours advanced biology. Credit 3.
BIO 583 Herpetology. An introduction to the biology of amphibians and reptiles and one of the most important evolutionary events in natural history: the rise and diversification of terrestrial vertebrates. A comprehensive introduction will address the taxonomy, systematics, evolution, anatomy, physiology, ecology, distribution, and natural history of these unique vertebrates. Upon completion of this course, students will understand and appreciate why amphibians and reptiles serve as excellent biological models in research, and will become familiar with the major research questions and programs in herpetology. A laboratory and field component will introduce students to a variety of sampling and collecting techniques. Common museum practices for specimen preservation and documentation will also be addressed. Although regional species will receive the most emphasis, this course will address the biology of all amphibians and reptiles. Two-hour laboratory plus field work. Prerequisites: introductory biology plus 12 hours advanced biology. Credit 3.
BIO 584 Ornithology. The classification evolution, anatomy, physiology, ecology, behavior and conservation of birds are studied in this course. Laboratories include general anatomy, taxonomy, identification and field techniques used in the study of behavior and migration. Laboratories may include independent research projects related to topics discussed in this course. Two-hour laboratory plus field work. Prerequisites: introductory biology plus 12 hours advanced biology. Credit 3.
BIO 585 Mammalogy. The taxonomy, systematics, anatomy, ecology, distribution, and life history of mammals are studied in this course. Laboratories include general taxonomy, identification, and field techniques. Two-hour laboratory plus field work. Prerequisites: introductory biology plus 12 hours advanced biology. Credit 3.
BIO 590 Limnology. Limnological techniques are stressed with special emphasis on physiochemical conditions of freshwater environments and their effects on aquatic life. Plankton analysis, a study of bottom fauna, lake and stream mapping and evaluation of aquatic productivity are included. Two-hour laboratory plus field work. Prerequisites: 8 hours college chemistry plus 12 hours advanced biology. Credit 3.
BIO 591 Advanced Genetics. This is an advanced study of the principles of heredity and the nature and function of the gene. Emphasis will be on molecular genetics with special attention to recent advances in DNA technologies. Laboratory studies include completion of a mini-research project and preparation of a scientific paper. Two-hour laboratory. Prerequisite: introductory genetics with grade of C or better and organic chemistry. Credit 3.
BIO 595 Special Graduate Topics in Biology. This course is designed to provide an avenue for selected graduate students to engage in independent studies. Registration is on an individual basis but is limited to students in residence. A topic of study is selected and approved by the Biology faculty. Prerequisites: graduate standing in Biology and consent of department chair. Credit 3.
BIO 596 Reproductive Physiology. Physiological control of animal reproduction is the subject of this course. Current literature relating to this subject is critically examined and evaluated. An individual research problem is undertaken by the student. Two-hour laboratory. Prerequisites: introductory courses in physiology and organic chemistry. Credit 3.