Print Page

Biological Sciences

Chair: Professor Husic
Professors: Bevington, Kuserk, Associate Professors: Fox, Jones; Assistant Professors: Irish; Adjunct Faculty: D. Hosier, M. Hosier, Klem; Faculty Associates: Cheever (nursing), Johnson (psychology)

The mission of the Department of Biological Sciences is to instill in students an understanding and appreciation of the common thread that connects modern biological study at all levels, from molecules to ecosystems. We strive to actively engage students in the process of scientific investigation develop their spirit of inquiry, strengthen their ability to explore in both field and laboratory, hone their analytical and quantitative skills, and foster their capacity to communicate effectively with professional peers and the public. By helping students become independent thinkers and intellectually vibrant individuals, we hope to enable them to achieve a lifetime of personal and professional success and service to society.

Biology today encompasses a very broad range of knowledge, from atoms and molecules to large-scale ecological interactions. As a result, the department supports a variety of life science programs at Moravian: biochemistry, environmental studies and sciences, neuroscience, nursing, and pre-health and allied health professional tracks. The program in biology at Moravian College emphasizes the importance of gaining appreciation for, and some mastery of, all aspects of modern biology as well as the interdisciplinary connects across the sciences. This broad base of knowledge gives our majors the ability to succeed in all arenas calling for biological expertise: teaching at all levels; academic, government, private, and industrial research; science journalism and law; professional fields such as medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, and optometry; allied health areas such as physical and occupational therapy; and graduate study.

Biology majors use contemporary methodological approaches in laboratories, learn about the intricacies of the subject in class, and discuss recent research findings in seminars and other upper-level courses. All students are encouraged to participate in an independent study or Honors project, in which they can work closely with a member of the biology faculty on a research topic. In addition, students may participate in internship opportunities to see how they might put their education to use after graduation. For more information, see the department's website: home.moravian.edu/public/bio.

The Major in Biology

The major in biology consists of nine course units, including 112, 119, 210, 265, and 370. The remaining four courses are selected by the student in consultation with the major advisor; three of these courses must be at the 200-level or higher. Students also may earn elective credits by taking Special Topics, Independent Study, Internship, and Honors. No more than two courses in Independent Study, Internship, or Honors may be counted toward the nine courses required of majors. Biology 100, 102, 103, 104, 107, 205, 206, and 209 do not count as courses in the major or minor. The student who majors in biology must take Mathematics 106-166 or 170 or 107, Chemistry 113-114 and Chemistry 211-212. Students considering graduate work in biology or medical sciences should take Physics 109-110 or 111-112.

The Minor in Biology

The minor in biology consists of five course units: 112 or 119 and four additional courses; three of which must be at least the 200-level or higher. The non-major courses listed above do not count toward the minor.

The Interdepartmental Major

The six courses that compose Set I of the interdepartmental major in biology include 112 or 119. The remaining courses in biology and the six courses of Set II are selected by the student with the approval of the advisor.

Departmental Recommendations

Students considering graduate work in biology or the medical sciences should consider courses in economics, statistics, and computer science.
Students seeking certification to teach biology in secondary school must complete the requirements for a departmental major with a GPA of at least 3.00. Students also must complete the requirements for certification described under education and science education. Students interested in combining biology and general science certification should consult the requirements for general science certification under science education.

Courses in Biology

100. Principles of Biology. Introductory biology course for non-majors that covers major principles in biology as they relate to higher organisms. When possible, the human organism is selected to illustrate a principle. Three 50-minute periods, one 3-hour laboratory. (F4)
Staff

102. Biology of the Birds. Introduction to avian origin and evolution. Topics include theories of flight, migration, behavior, distribution, and concepts relating to territory, courtship, and mating. Laboratories include field trips to identify local bird species and study their behavior and ecology. Cannot be used as a biology elective in the major. Summer. Saturday field trips. (F4)
Klem

103. Human Anatomy and Physiology I. Introduction to concepts and principles important to the understanding of the human body, with clinical applications. Structure and function of tissue, integumentary, skeletal, muscular, articulation, nervous, sensory, and endocrine systems. Three 50-minute periods, one 3-hour laboratory. (F4)
Fox, Hosier

104. Human Anatomy and Physiology II. Second course in the anatomy and physiology sequence. Emphasis on understanding structure and function of the human systems with emphasis on clinical applications. Topics include digestive, respiratory, vascular, lymphatic, immune, excretory, and reproductive systems; early development; genetics. Prerequisite: Biology 103 or permission of instructor. Three 50-minute periods, one 3-hour laboratory.
Fox, Hosier

112. General Zoology. An introduction to basic concepts in biology through study of the major lineages of invertebrate and vertebrate animals. Topics covered will include basic structure and function, development, systematics, and evolution. The laboratory will focus on observation of structure-function relationships in living and preserved representatives of the major animal phyla. This course is designed for science majors. (F4)
Irish

119. Introductory Botany. Introduction to plant science, with attention to historical and cultural importance of plants, structure and function of higher plants, survey of major plant divisions. Laboratory emphasizes relationship between structure and physiological function in major plant divisions. One of two introductory courses for the major. (F4) Three 50-minute periods, one 3-hour laboratory.
Bevington

175. Ecology of Tropical Forests. Introduction to the ecology of neotropical forests with emphasis on the Amazon Basin. Examines the structure of tropical forests, their evolutionary history, and factors that contribute to biological diversity. Geological history of the Amazon Basin, seasonality, forest and river types, forest structure, speciation and biodiversity, epiphyte communities, gap dynamics, and ecological succession. Special attention is given to the adaptive strategies of plants and animals and to examples of mutualistic interactions. Includes a required excursion to the upper Amazon in Peru or Bolivia. During the excursion students conduct field research projects, and meet indigenous peoples. May Term. (F4)
Bevington

205. Pathophysiology. Mechanisms of disease in humans. Emphasis is on dysfunction at cellular, tissue, and organ levels. Chemical, physical, and genetic stress factors are examined to understand how they affect human systems. Prerequisite: Biology 103-104. Three 50-minute periods.
Cheever, Specht, staff

206. Microbiology for Health Sciences. This course is designed to provide students majoring in the health sciences with an introduction to general microbiology with an emphasis on the clinical roles that microorganisms play with regard to medical microbiology. The lab will entail teaching basic skills of microbiology, such as aseptic techniques, inoculations of microbiological media, staining of microorganisms, and identification of microorganisms. Prerequisites: Biology 103, 104, and Chemistry 108.
Staff

209. Humankind and the Global Ecosystem. Increases in human population and advances in technology allow humans to modify or destroy ecosystems at a rate unimaginable a century ago. We will examine current trends associated with environmental change in order to understand what they mean for us and other species with which we share the biosphere. Environmental issues are viewed through the lenses of economics, politics, and culture. Topics include ecology, population growth, environmental ethics, ecological economics, sustainable development, and the loss of biological diversity and the forces that cause it. (U1)
Bevington

210. Genetics. Introductory course with emphasis on eukaryotic organisms. Classical and contemporary aspects of genetics. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Fall. Three 50-minute periods, one 3-hour laboratory.
Jones

225. Invertebrate Zoology. Introduction to adaptive morphology, physiology, systematics, and development of selected invertebrates. Laboratory work includes anatomical, experimental, and field studies. Recommended for students interested in marine biology, secondary school education, graduate school, and laboratory work. Prerequisite: Biology 112. Three 50-minute periods, one 3-hour laboratory.
Irish

230. Field Botany. Introduction to plant systematics and ecology. In systematics, focus is on our concept of species: patterns and sources of variation in plant populations, compatibility and breeding systems, hybridization and introgression, and polyploidy; in ecology, the nature of local plant communities and forces that shape them. Fieldwork includes sampling of plant communities, collecting and identifying specimens, visiting botanical institutions. Prerequisite: Biology 119. Two 50-minute periods, two 3-hour laboratories.
Bevington

235. Microbiology. Nature and activities of microorganisms as seen through their morphology, physiology, genetics, biochemistry, and ecology. Special attention on the microbe as an infectious agent through investigation of host-microbe interaction, action of antibiotics, and immunological responses of host organisms to infection. Prerequisites: Biology 112 or 119 and Chemistry 113-114. Three 50-minute periods, two 3-hour laboratories.
Staff

250. Animal Behavior. (Also Psychology 250) Neurological, ecological, and genetic basis of behavior, with emphasis on evolutionary mechanisms that govern acquisition of behavioral patterns. Prerequisite: Biology 100 or 112 or Psychology 120. Three 50-minute periods, one 3-hour laboratory.
Kuserk

263. Neuroscience. Study of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and neuropathology; special emphasis on functional aspect of brain organization; introduction to theories and research regarding neurodegenerative disorders through journal club discussions. Laboratory includes gross anatomy and microscopic study of the central nervous system, computer assisted neurophysiology experimentation, computerized and radiographic study of the brain and a semester-long behavior project. Prerequisite: Biology 112.
Fox

265. Cell Physiology. Introduction to biochemical and physiological activities of cells. Topics include metabolic pathways, bioenergetics, enzyme kinetics, membrane structure and function, molecular biology of the gene, cell motility, and cellular differentiation. Prerequisites: Biology 112 or 119; Chemistry 113-114. Three 50-minute periods, one 3-hour laboratory.
Bevington

310. Vertebrate Anatomy. An in-depth exploration of the structure and function of vertebrate animals in an evolutionary context. Laboratory exercises examine the structural diversity of vertebrate organ systems through dissection of representative vertebrate classes. This course is designed to provide a strong foundation in vertebrate anatomy for students going on to graduate school or a professional school in the human health or veterinary sciences. Prerequisites: Biology 112.
Irish

327. Biochemistry I. (Also Chemistry 327) Focus on the structural features of the four major classes of biomolecules and the basic functions of these molecules in cells. Coverage of the fundamentals of information flow in biological systems, enzyme kinetics and catalytic mechanisms will set the stage for Biology/Chemistry 328 (Biochemistry II). Students will also be introduced to many of the techniques used in biochemistry laboratories and begin to learn how to investigate biochemical problems. Prerequisites: Biology 112 or 119 and Chemistry 212 or permission of instructor. Three 50-minute lectures, one 50-minute problem session, and one 3-hour laboratory.
Sh. Dunham

328. Biochemistry II. (Also Chemistry 328). Builds upon the biochemical foundations covered in Biology/Chemistry 327. Areas include metabolic pathways, strategies and regulation, membrane transport, enzyme catalysis and regulation, bioenergetics, signal transduction pathways, and the biochemistry of disease. Students will be exposed to additional laboratory techniques, experimental design, bioinformatics, and grant proposal writing. Analysis of primary literature is an integral component of the course. Prerequisite: Biology/Chemistry 327 or permission of instructor. Three 50-minute lectures and one 3-hour laboratory.
Husic

345. Histology. The study of microscopic anatomy dealing with the structures of cells, tissues and organs in relation to their functions. Students will be introduced to various histological techniques for preparing mammalian tissues for microscopic study in the laboratory. This is a lab-intensive experience accompanied by lecture/discussion meetings. Prerequisites: Biology 112 and Chemistry 113-114, or permission of instructor. May Term.
Fox

350. Human Physiology. Functions of vertebrate organ systems, with emphasis on the human body. Topics include the circulatory, digestive, nervous, muscular, hormonal, sensory, and excretory systems. Laboratory work emphasizes experimental techniques to analyze functional activities of animals. Prerequisites: Biology 112; Chemistry 113-114. Three 50-minute periods, one 3-hour laboratory.
Fox

351. Plant Physiology. Important physiological functions of higher plants and relationships between these functions and the structural organization of plants. Topics include water relations and water balance, mineral nutrition, transport phenomena, assimilate allocation and partitioning, plant metabolism, stress physiology, defense strategies against herbivores and pathogens, plant growth and development (germination, flowering, dormancy, plant hormones and growth regulators). Laboratory includes a core of experiments designed to illustrate important concepts in plant physiology and a research project of the student's choice, investigative and open-ended in character. Prerequisites: Biology 119 and Chemistry 113. Three 50-minute periods, one 3-hour laboratory.
Bevington

360. Ecology. Interactions between organisms and their environment that determine their distribution and abundance in nature. Attention to evolutionary adaptation of species, population dynamics, community structure and function, and ecosystem analysis. Laboratory emphasizes qualitative and quantitative field investigations. Prerequisites: Biology 112 or 119 or permission of instructor. Three 50-minute periods, one 3-hour laboratory.
Kuserk

363. Genomics. This course explores the techniques used to sequence and assemble whole genomes and to analyze the results at the gene and genome levels; it is extensively computer-based. By the end of the semester, each student will have improved the sequence quality of 40,000 basepairs of DNA to a publishable level and extensively annotated it, indicating the locations of genes, repeat sequences, and other sequence motifs. Prerequisites: Biology 210 and permission of instructor. Spring, alternate years.
Jones

365. Molecular Genetics. Advanced genetics course emphasizing current knowledge and research in fundamental molecular aspects of genetics, primarily in eukaryotes. Topics include genome structure, transcriptional control, genetic regulatory pathways, and recombinant DNA technology. Prerequisites: Biology 210 and junior or senior standing. Spring. Three 50-minute periods, one 3-hour laboratory.
Jones

370. Biology Seminar. Writing-intensive seminar in an area of biological science, with a focus on information literacy and the oral and written communication of biology. Students will research and present written and oral reports on the general topic. Emphasis on the development of skills in using primary biological literature and scientific databases, analysis and interpretation of data, and communication of ideas. Prerequisite: Senior status or permission of instructor. Fall. Three 50-minute periods.
Staff

375.2. Senior Seminar in Biochemistry. (Also Chemistry 375.2) Advanced topics in biochemistry, designed to provide senior-level students with an opportunity to explore projects that illustrate how concepts from biology and chemistry relate to the study of biochemistry. Emphasis on development of ability for independent analysis of biochemical problems. Includes lectures by visiting speakers on current research. Students also will complete literature research, submit written reports, and make oral presentations on a biochemical topic chosen in consultation with faculty advisor. Prerequisite: Biology/Chemistry 328 or permission of instructor. Spring. One 100-minute period. Writing-intensive.
Staff

190-199, 290-299, 390-399. Special Topics.

286, 381-384. Independent Study.

288, 386-388. Internship.

400-401. Honors.