- Why Colby?
- Request Information
- College Profile
- Student Perspectives
- Alumni Success
- For Counselors
- Contact Admissions
|This page was last updated: 07/04/01 04:00:14 AM|
Chair, Associate Professor W. Herbert Wilson Jr.
Professors Arthur Champlin, F. Russell Cole, David Firmage, and Fekete; Associate Professors Bruce Fowles, Paul Greenwood, and Wilson; Assistant Professors Raymond Phillips, Russell Johnson, Catherine Bevier, Judy Stone, and Andrea Tilden; Visiting Assistant Professor Keith Johnson; NSF AIRE Teaching Fellow Larkspur Morton; Senior Teaching Associates Elizabeth Champlin and Timothy Christensen; Teaching Associates Lindsey Colby, Scott Guay, and Bernadette Graham; Research Scientists Bets Brown and Neal Taylor; Animal Care Technician Austin Segel
The Department of Biology provides its students with a background in, and an appreciation for, important aspects of classical and modern biology. To provide a broad and comprehensive investigation of the biological sciences, the departmental curriculum emphasizes the study of the biology of plants, animals, and microorganisms at the molecular, cellular, organismal, and population levels of organization. Special facilities include the Perkins Arboretum, the Colby-Marston Bog, a scanning and transmission electron microscope suite, several laboratory microcomputer clusters, a radioisotope laboratory, a clean room, two greenhouses, herbarium, numerous environmental chambers, and animal and aquarium rooms.
Department graduates enroll in graduate programs in biology and in medical schools, dental schools, and veterinary colleges. Others are employed as research assistants, as teachers at the secondary level, and by private firms and government agencies.
The concentration in environmental science
The concentration in cell and molecular biology/biochemistry
Students interested in teaching are urged to read the "Education" section of the catalogue and to contact a member of the Education Program. Students majoring in biology and preparing for dental, medical, or veterinary schools must take a year of organic chemistry and a year of introductory college physics with laboratory in addition to the courses required for the major; students preparing for graduate study in the biological sciences also should elect these courses.
Colby is a member of a consortium sponsoring the Center for Sustainable Development Studies, through which qualified students are provided the opportunity for a semester of study in Costa Rica. Studies combine biology with social and political issues to address sustainable development problems. Colby also maintains affiliate status with the School for Field Studies and with the Semester in Environmental Science at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole.
Students are encouraged to take courses at summer laboratories and field stations; with prior approval, such courses may be credited toward the major requirement.
General Requirements for all Major Programs
Requirements for the Basic Major in Biology
Requirements for the Concentration in Environmental Science
Requirements for the Concentration in Cell and Molecular Biology/Biochemistry
Honors Program in Biology
112f Heredity and Evolution An introduction to the concepts of heredity and evolution. Lecture only. Does not satisfy the laboratory science distribution requirement. Satisfies the non-laboratory science distribution requirement. Cannot be counted toward the biology major. Credit may not be obtained for both Biology 112 and 162. Three credit hours. N. FOWLES
115s Biology of Women An introduction to the biology of the female throughout her life span. Topics include reproductive anatomy, the menstrual cycle and its hormonal control, aspects of sexual function, contraception, pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, infertility and other gynecological problems, and menopause. Satisfies the non-laboratory science distribution requirement. Cannot be counted toward the biology major. Normally offered in alternate years. Three credit hours. N. BROWN, MORTON
131f Biodiversity An examination of the variety and variability of life on Earth and the natural complex of relationships. Topics include climatology and habitat diversity, taxonomic diversity, evolution and speciation, interrelationships in ecosystems, and biological conservation. Satisfies the laboratory science distribution requirement. Credit may not be obtained for both Biology 131 and Biology 161. Lecture and laboratory. Four credit hours. N. BEVIER, MORTON
133s Microorganisms and Society An introduction to the importance of microorganisms to human health and the functioning of planet Earth. The diversity of the microbial world presented with relevant examples of how microorganisms affect our daily lives. Discussions and lectures based on the roles microorganisms and viruses play in disease, the food industry, ecological relationships, and biotechnology. Satisfies the laboratory science distribution requirement. Cannot be counted toward the biology major. Lecture and laboratory. Four credit hours. N. FEKETE
161f Introduction to Biology: Organismal Biology Consideration of biological problems and processes common to all organisms. Topics include the acquisition, transformation, and utilization of energy, nutrients, and gases; production and removal of waste products; integration and transmission of information within and among organisms; and reproduction. Biological diversity also will be addressed. Examples drawn from plants, animals, and microorganisms. Lecture and laboratory. Four credit hours. N. R. JOHNSON, TILDEN
162s Introduction to Biology: Genetics and Cell Biology An examination of inheritance and cellular function, with emphasis on experimental findings. Laboratory emphasizes an experimental approach. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: Biology 161. Four credit hours. N. GREENWOOD, K. JOHNSON
198j Darwin on Trial Case studies will be used to examine various lines of evidence supporting the theory of evolution- biogeography, comparative anatomy, molecular biology, and the fossil record- and ways in which to evaluate the validity of scientific claims in general. Cannot be counted toward the biology major. Three credit hours. N. STONE
211f Taxonomy of Flowering Plants An introduction to the study of variation, evolution, classification, and nomenclature of biological organisms and the techniques used by systematists in establishing phylogenetic relationships, with particular emphasis on flowering plants. Recognition of major families of flowering plants and identification of specimens represented in the local flora are stressed. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: Biology 161, 162. Four credit hours. PHILLIPS, STONE
212s Evolution An introduction to the concepts of population genetics and evolution. Fourth credit hour for laboratory. Prerequisite: Biology 161, 162. Three or four credit hours. STONE
214f Plant Physiology The essential mechanisms of plant function. Topics include plant water relations, mineral nutrition, photosynthesis, respiration, nitrogen fixation, and stress physiology. The importance of these physiological processes to plants in agricultural and natural ecosystems will be considered. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: Biology 161, 162. Four credit hours. R. JOHNSON
216s Biology of Vascular Plants A study of vascular plants with emphasis on structure, activities, reproduction, and evolutionary relationships of ferns, gymnosperms, and angiosperms. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: Biology 161, 162. Four credit hours. FOWLES
 Developmental Biology A study of development, with emphasis on the experimental findings that have led to present ideas of the morphological and chemical processes underlying the development and growth of organisms. Fourth credit hour for laboratory. Prerequisite: Biology 161, 162. Three or four credit hours.
 Horticulture Basic principles in the areas of plant structure and function will be considered and related to plant cultivation. Practical application of these principles discussed in areas such as lighting, propagation, pruning, and floriculture. Offered in alternate years. Fourth credit hour for laboratory. Prerequisite: Biology 161, 162. Three or four credit hours. N.
238f Bacteriology An introduction to pathogenic bacteriology. Mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis and mammalian responses against infectious agents of disease; development of general knowledge in these areas and practical experience in laboratory techniques. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: Biology 161, 162, Chemistry 141, 142. Four credit hours. FEKETE
252s Plant Development A study of the mechanisms by which plants increase their size and develop different tissues and organs to carry out specific functions. The influence of hormones as well as light and other environmental factors on plant morphogenesis will be considered. Fourth credit hour for laboratory. Prerequisite: Biology 161, 162. Three or four credit hours. K. JOHNSON
254s Marine Invertebrate Zoology The morphology, functional anatomy, and classification of the invertebrates. An optional weekend trip to the Maine coast. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: Biology 161, 162. Four credit hours. WILSON
257j Winter Ecology An introduction to the ecological and physiological adaptations of plants and animals to the winter environment in central Maine; an extensive field component. A fee of $200 will be assessed to cover several days' lodging at a remote lodge. Prerequisite: Biology 161, 162 and permission of the instructor. Three credit hours. WILSON
 Ecological Field Study Intensive study in a south temperate or tropical area. Students must cover own expenses; limited scholarship funds are available. Prerequisite: Biology 161, 162. Three credit hours.
271f Introduction to Ecology Introduction to ecological principles, structure and function of ecosystems, patterns of distribution, energy flow, nutrient cycling, population dynamics, and adaptations of organisms to their physical environment. Application of these principles to current environmental problems. Field trips to sites representative of local terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: Biology 161, 162. Four credit hours. COLE, FIRMAGE
274s Neurobiology Introduction to the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system from the cellular to the systems level. Topics include the basics of cellular neurophysiology and neuroanatomy, motor and sensory systems, neural networks and mechanisms of patterned neural activity, and mechanisms for learning and memory. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: Biology 161, 162. Four credit hours. TILDEN
275f Mammalian Physiology A study of mammalian homeostasis and mechanisms of disease. Topics include endocrinology, neurobiology, osmoregulation, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, metabolism, reproduction, and the physiology of exercise. Lecture and laboratory. Offered in alternate years. Prerequisite: Biology 161, 162. Four credit hours. TILDEN
276s Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy Comparative studies of basic vertebrate anatomical systems and their structural, functional, and evolutionary relationships among the major vertebrate groups. Laboratories emphasize comparisons of anatomical structure across different vertebrate species through dissection. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: Biology 161, 162. Four credit hours. BEVIER
279f Genetics The mechanisms of inheritance, with emphasis on experimental findings. The physical and chemical bases for the behavior of genes, and applications of genetic principles to society. Fourth credit hour for laboratory. Prerequisite: Biology 161, 162. Three or four credit hours. K. JOHNSON
298s Global Change: Life Science and Society A comprehensive introduction to the biological aspects of global environmental change and its social dimensions. Topics include the patterns, threats, and changes to terrestrial and aquatic biological diversity and the conservation and restoration of populations, communities, and ecosystems. Interdisciplinary management, policy, and economic solutions to these challenges will be discussed. Offered with Science and Technology Studies 215 as an integrated cluster; may be elected separately. Four credit hours. NYHUS
 Vertebrate Zoology A study of the vertebrates with emphasis on functional anatomy, natural history, and evolutionary relationships. The adaptive strategies of vertebrates to interactions with their environment. Species common to New England are emphasized. Offered in alternate years. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: Biology 271. Four credit hours.
313f Biology of Fungi, Algae, and Mosses Comparative studies of the morphology, development, physiology, and significance of fungi, algae, and mosses. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: Biology 161, 162. Four credit hours. FOWLES
315f Animal Cells, Tissues, and Organs Studies of the organization of cells into tissues and organs in animals. Emphasis on the relationship between cellular morphology and tissue and organ function. Laboratories emphasize the microanatomy of mammalian tissues and tissue culture techniques and experimentation. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: Biology 161, 162. Four credit hours. GREENWOOD
 Conservation Biology Concepts of conservation biology examined in detail. Topics include patterns of diversity and rarity, sensitive habitats, extinction, captive propagation, preserve design, and reclamation of degraded or destroyed ecosystems. Interdisciplinary solutions to the challenges of protecting, maintaining, and restoring biological diversity. Offered in alternate years. Prerequisite: Biology 177 or 271. Three credit hours.
 Ornithology An introduction to the biology of birds. Topics include evolution and diversity, feeding and flight adaptations, the physiology of migration, communication, mating systems and reproduction, population dynamics, and conservation of threatened species. Field trips to local habitats; occasional Saturday field trips. Lecture and laboratory. Offered in alternate years. Prerequisite: Biology 161, 162. Four credit hours. N.
352s Ecological Theory The theoretical aspects of population and community ecology, emphasizing population regulation, demography, trophic relationships, community structure and organization, and succession. Coevolutionary interactions between plants and animals. Relevance of ecological theory to the solution of environmental problems. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: Biology 271. Four credit hours. COLE, FIRMAGE
354f Marine Ecology A study of the interactions that determine the distribution and abundance of marine organisms. Emphasis will be on North Atlantic communities. One weekend field trip to the coast. Lecture. Prerequisite: Biology 254 or 271. Three credit hours. WILSON
 Physiological Ecology An examination of the physiological and behavioral adaptations of organisms to environmental conditions and consideration of how such adaptations affect the interactions of organisms. Examples drawn from terrestrial, marine, and freshwater plants and animals. An independent field project is a component of the laboratory, which constitutes the optional fourth credit hour. Prerequisite: Biology 271. Three or four credit hours.
358j Ecological Field Study in Anguilla Observation and detailed study of selected tropical fauna and flora of the British West Indies. Qualitative and quantitative field investigations will emphasize the ecological relationships in coral reefs, seagrass beds, intertidal communities, and xeric scrub forests. Students will also learn to identify fauna and flora indigenous to the area. Environmental challenges of living on a tropical island will also be investigated. Lectures, films, and discussions of assigned readings during the first week will be followed by a 17-day field trip to Anguilla in the Lesser Antilles. Students will be required to design and complete a short research project in addition to compiling a detailed field notebook. Estimated cost of $1950 is expected to include all transportation including round-trip air fare from Boston, lodging and two meals daily in a West Indian hotel, and local group expenses (van rentals, etc.) Costs are subject to change depending upon course enrollment. Limited scholarship funds are available. Students must sign up by October 13th; a $500.00 deposit is due in the business office by October 20th. Prerequisite: Biology 161, 162 and permission of the instructors. Three credit hours. COLE, FIRMAGE
367f, 368s Biochemistry of the Cell Listed as Biochemistry 367, 368 (q.v.). Four credit hours. ST. DUNHAM, MILLARD
372s Advanced Cell Biology Listed as Biochemistry 372 (q.v.). Prerequisite: Biology 161, 162, Chemistry 242. Four credit hours. GREENWOOD
373f Animal Behavior An examination of animal behavior from a biological perspective. Topics include the control, development, function, and evolution of behavior. Fourth credit hour for laboratory. Prerequisite: Biology 161, 162. Three or four credit hours. BEVIER
 Comparative Animal Physiology A comparative study and broad overview of physiological systems and adaptations among animals from morphological, biochemical, and mechanical perspectives. General physiological principles illustrated by examining variation in musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, and osmoregulatory systems. Laboratory emphasizes an experimental approach to the measurement of physiological processes. Fourth credit hour for laboratory. Prerequisite: Biology 161, 162, Chemistry 141, 142. Three or four credit hours.
378s Molecular Biology Listed as Biochemistry 378 (q.v.). Prerequisite: Biology 279, Chemistry 141, 142. Four credit hours. R. JOHNSON
 Electron Microscopy Principles and practice of transmission and scanning electron microscopy, including electron optics, imaging, and x-ray microanalysis. The routine operation of both the TEM and SEM are presented and practiced, as are the principles and techniques of sample preparation from living materials. The interpretation and evaluation of electron photomicrographs are emphasized. Students have an opportunity to develop further their techniques and expertise in the area of greatest interest to them. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: Biology 161, 162, Chemistry 141, 142, a major in one of the natural sciences, and permission of the instructor. Four credit hours.
394f Topics in Cell and Molecular Biochemistry Listed as Biochemistry 394 (q.v.). One credit hour. ST. DUNHAM, GREENWOOD
398j Introduction to GIS and Remote Sensing A comprehensive theoretical and practical introduction to the fundamental principles of geographic information systems and remote sensing. Topics include data sources and models, map scales and projections, spatial analysis, elementary satellite image interpretation and manipulation, and global positioning systems. Current issues and applications of GIS will be discussed. Students will develop and carry out independent projects using GIS. Appropriate for students in Biology, Environmental Studies, Geology, and Science and Technology Studies. Three credit hours. NYHUS
 Evolutionary Genetics Original research in evolutionary genetics. Students will generate DNA sequences and apply analytical tools to learn about the long-term history of plant populations. Reading and discussion from the primary literature will facilitate the development of analytical approaches. Prerequisite: Biology 212 or 279. Five credit hours.
451s Applied and Environmental Microbiology The ecology of microorganisms associated with plants and animals, as well as terrestrial and aquatic microorganisms and their general roles in the environment. Laboratories include both field- and laboratory-based components. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: Biology 238. Five credit hours. FEKETE
483f, 484js Honors Research in Biology Research conducted under the guidance of a faculty member and focused on an approved topic leading to the writing of an honors thesis and an oral presentation of the research results. Prerequisite: Senior standing as a biology major and permission of the department chair. One to four credit hours. FACULTY
490fs Senior Colloquium Attendance at selected departmental colloquia during the fall and spring semesters; written evaluations to be submitted. Required of all senior biology majors. Noncredit. FEKETE
491f, 492s Independent Study Prerequisite: Permission of a faculty sponsor. One to four credit hours. FACULTY
493f Problems in Environmental Science Causes of and solutions to selected environmental problems studied through lectures, discussions, and guest presentations. A group project is conducted to teach methods used by private firms and governmental agencies to investigate environmental problems. Enrollment limited. Prerequisite: Environmental science concentration. Five credit hours. COLE, FIRMAGE
 Topics in Biology Reading and discussion about contemporary topics in biology. Prerequisite: Biology major. One credit hour.
 Behavioral Ecology: Research andTheory An exploration of mechanism and adaptation and their integration in the study of animal behavior. The ways in which animals interact with their living and non-living environments. Includes extensive reading and critical evaluation of the primary literature in selected areas of behavior. Laboratories comprise both field- and laboratory-based components and deal with strategies and tools for both types of research. Prerequisite: Biology 271 or 334 or 373. Five credit hours.
Every effort is made to ensure that this information is correct. If you received conflicting information, have questions, or would like clarification, please contact the Registrar's Office at 207-872-3000.
Colby is a four-year, residential, liberal arts college in Waterville, Maine. Colby offers undergraduate courses during fall and spring semesters and grants bachelors of arts degrees.