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Biological Sciences

Chair: Mosovsky
Professors: Fox, Husic, Jones
Associate Professor: Lord, Mosovsky, Thévenin
Emeritus: Irish
Assistant Professors: McClelland, Proud, Woods
Lecturer: Bortz

Mission: 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 rehabilitation sciences. The program in biology at Moravian University emphasizes the importance of gaining appreciation for, and some mastery of, all aspects of modern biology as well as the interdisciplinary connections 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 work closely with a member of the biology faculty on an original research topic. In addition, students may participate in internship opportunities to see how they might put their education to use after graduation.

The Major in Biology

The major in biology consists of ten(10) total course units.

Five (5) Core Course Units:

BIOL 111
BIOL 210
BIOL 266 or 328
BIOL 370
BIOL 212 or BIOL 219 or BIOL 330 or BIOL 335 OR BIOL 360 

Five (5) Biology Elective Units:

The remaining five (5) biology electives are selected by the student in consultation with the major advisor; at least four (4) of these courses must be at the BIOL 200-level or higher. Students may also earn elective credits by taking Special Topics, Independent Study, Internship, and Honors in Biology. At least three (3) of the student’s biology elective courses must have an associated laboratory and/or scientific research component. Only one (1) external internship can count as a biology elective.

Math and Chemistry Co-requisites:

MATH 106 and 166 or MATH 170 or MATH 107
CHEM 113 and 114 and CHEM 211 and 212

Students considering graduate work in biology or medical sciences should take PHYS 109 and 110 or  PHYS 111 and 112.

BIOL 100, 102, 103, 104, 105, 107, 205, 206, and 209 do not count as courses in the major or minor.

The Minor in Biology

The minor in biology consists of five (5) total course units:

BIOL 111 and four (4) additional BIOL courses; three (3) of which must be at the 200-level or higher.

BIOL 100, 102, 103, 104, 105, 107, 205, 206, and 209 do not count toward the minor.

The Interdepartmental Major

The six courses that compose Set I of the interdepartmental major in biology include BIOL 111. 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

BIOL 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) 

BIOL 102. Biology of the Birds. Introduction to avian natural history and evolution. Topics include anatomy, migration, behavior, and distribution, as well as identification of common birds by sight and sound. 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. May Term. Mandatory camping trip second weekend of class. (F4) 

BIOL 103. Human Anatomy and Physiology I for Nursing Majors. 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 and sensory systems. Fall. Three 50-minute periods, one 3- hour laboratory. (F4)

BIOL 104. Human Anatomy and Physiology II for Nursing Majors.  Second course in the anatomy and physiology sequence. Emphasis on understanding structure and function of the human systems with clinical applications. Topics include endocrine, digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular, lymphatic, immune, excretory, and reproductive systems; early development; genetics. Spring. Three 50-minute periods, one 3-hour laboratory. [NOTE:  It is necessary for a student to earn a grade of at least C– in BIOL 103 in order to be allowed to enroll in BIOL 104; a student may withdraw from only one of the two courses, and may do so only once.] 

BIOL 105. Introduction to Marine Biology. This introductory course will cover a wide range of marine biology topics, covering habitats from the beach to the deep sea and organisms from snails to whales. Class topics will include biodiversity, adaptation to habitats, global change, fisheries, and invasive species, among other issues. Lab sessions will provide opportunities to examine the biology and ecology of marine plants and animals and to design and conduct experiments, with particular focus on the scientific method. There will be one mandatory weekend field trip to the coast to observe animals in their natural habitat. This course will not count as an elective for the Biology or Environmental Science majors. (F4)

BIOL 106. Human Anatomy and Physiology I for Health Science Majors. 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 and sensory systems. Fall. Three 50-minute periods, one 3- hour laboratory. (F4)

BIOL 107. Human Anatomy and Physiology II for Health Science Majors.  Second course in the anatomy and physiology sequence. Emphasis on understanding structure and function of the human systems with clinical applications. Topics include endocrine, digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular, lymphatic, immune, excretory, and reproductive systems; early development; genetics. Spring. Three 50-minute periods, one 3-hour laboratory. 

BIOL 108. Anatomy & Physiology of the Speech & Hearing Mechanism.  This is a course in the anatomical and physiological bases of human communication. This course designed to provide undergraduate students with an interest in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology with a fundamental, integrative, and thorough understanding of the basic scientific principles related to the structural organization (anatomy), function (physiology), and biomechanics of human systems (including integument, skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems) responsible for speech, hearing, swallowing and vocalization. Concepts and principles important to understanding the human body are thoroughly discussed in lecture, with reinforcement through collaborative laboratory activities and clinical case studies. The successful completion of this course is required as a pre-requisite for most graduate programs in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology. Prerequisites: None.

BIOL 110.2. First-year Bioscience Seminar. For first-semester students intending to major in biology, biochemistry, neuroscience or environmental science.  This course prepares students for the rigors and culture of their intended careers by strengthening the students’ academic and professional skills.  Students will interact with faculty and students in their intended major and develop valuable skills and tools to help them succeed in the biosciences here at Moravian University.  Course content will focus on engaging topics within the biosciences and will place an emphasis on learning and practicing the skills of data analysis and interpretation, group work and group discussion, defense of arguments, and critical thinking.  This course will also address the breadth of science careers available, the importance of research experiences, and essential study strategies. Fall. Two 50-minute classes/week.

BIOL 111. Foundations of Biology. This course will introduce students to the major concepts in a wide range of fields within biology and will teach them skills they will utilize in upper-level biology courses. It will cover topics in cell/molecular biology, genetics, organismal biology, and ecology, with a focus on the scientific process. It will teach essential experimental and lab skills, as well as basic data analysis and scientific writing, preparing students for research in the field of biology. This is the first required course in the introductory sequence for Biology, Biochemistry, and Neuroscience majors and is the course that should be taken by other majors that require introductory biology. Although not required, the department strongly recommends that Biology, Biochemistry, and Neuroscience majors take BIOL 110.2 in their first semester, prior to taking BIOL 111. Three 50-minute periods, one 3-hour laboratory.

BIOL 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) 

BIOL 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: BIOL 103 and BIOL 104. Fall. Three 50-minute periods. 

BIOL 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: BIOL 103 and BIOL 104 and CHEM 108. Spring. Three 50-minute periods, two 2-hour laboratories. Students with majors other than nursing require instructor permission to enroll.

BIOL 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) 

BIOL 210. Genetics. Introductory course with emphasis on eukaryotic organisms. Classical and contemporary aspects of genetics, including Mendelian inheritance, DNA and chromosome structure, gene regulation, dominance/recessivity, and molecular genetic techniques. Prerequisite: BIOL 111. Spring. Three 70-minute periods, one 3-hour laboratory. 

BIOL 212. 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. Three 50-minute periods, one 3-hour laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 111 or ENVR 112.

BIOL 219. 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. Three 50-minute periods, one 3-hour laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 111 or ENVR 112.

BIOL 220. Biostatistics. Biostatistics is the application of statistical analyses to topics in the biological, medical, health, agricultural and environmental sciences. This course will focus on the design of experiments, collection and analysis of data, and interpretation of the results for the life and environmental sciences. Specific topics include: experimental design and sampling principles, types of error, sample size and power, graphical techniques for data display, descriptive statistics, probability, estimation, hypothesis testing, and statistical inference. Problem sets and in-class examples will utilize real world data from laboratory, clinical and field studies. Prerequisites: BIOL 111 or ENVR 112 and MATH 166 or MATH 170 or MATH 107 or ECON 156.

BIOL 225. Invertebrate Biology. 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: BIOL 111. Three 50-minute periods, one 3-hour laboratory. 

BIOL 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: BIOL 219. Fall. Two 50-minute periods, two 3-hour laboratories. 

BIOL 232. Field Marine Ecology. Many major ecological concepts have roots in marine ecology and in  experiments conducted in the intertidal zone. This course will take students to some of  the most diverse coastal areas in North America and allow them to compare and  contrast these habitats with the more familiar coastlines of New Jersey. This travel  course will be based out of a marine lab along the ocean, exposing students to not only  unique habitats but also to a setting where they can conduct a range of laboratory  experiments with live marine animals, most of which we could never do here at  Moravian. This course will immerse students (figuratively!) in marine ecological research  and allows them to design, conduct, and analyze large-scale experiments. (F4)

BIOL 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:  BIOL 111 and CHEM 113 and 114. Fall. Three 50-minute periods, two 2-hour laboratories.

BIOL 245. 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 discussion meetings. Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and CHEM 113 and 114, or permission of instructor. May Term. (F4) 

BIOL 250. Animal Behavior. (also PSYC 250) Neurological, ecological, and genetic basis of behavior, with emphasis on evolutionary mechanisms that govern acquisition of behavioral patterns. Prerequisite: BIOL 100 or BIOL 111 or PSYC 105 or 120. Fall, alternate years. Two 70-minute periods, one 3-hour laboratory. 

BIOL 263. Neuroscience. Study of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and neuropathology; special emphasis on functional aspect of brain organization; introduction to theories and research regarding a variety of neurological conditions and 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: BIOL 111. Fall. Three 50-minute periods, one 3-hour laboratory. 

BIOL 266. Cell & Molecular Biology. Cell and molecular biology course focuses on the structure and function of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. It explores topics such as synthesis and function of macromolecules, membrane and organelle structure, bioenergetics, the secretory pathway, cytoskeleton, and cellular communication. Relevant human disorders are also used as examples of what happens when cells don't work as they should. Laboratory will focus both on experiments that help illustrate cellular phenomena, as well as on the introduction of techniques and procedures commonly utilized in modern cell and molecular biology research. Prerequisite: BIOL111 and CHEM 114.

BIOL 268. Costa Rica as a Model of Sustainability and Tropical Ecology. In 1948, the small Central American country of Costa Rica abolished its military and has long avoided the conflict and civil war that has plagued its neighbors. This has enabled the country to invest in conservation, national parks, health care, education, renewable clean energy, ecological research, and other practices leading to it becoming a model for sustainable development. The country routinely scores highly in the global Happiness Rankings – an indicator of the well-being of citizens. In this course, students not only explore the biodiversity and tropical ecology of the beautiful and varied landscapes, but also research examples of sustainable practices including agriculture, indigenous traditions, conservation, reduction of a nation’s carbon footprint, and ecotourism. A trip to Costa Rica over spring break is a required component of the course that allows students to explore first-hand some examples of remarkable ecological theory and evolutionary adaptations and how sustainable theory is put into practice through a combination of traditional knowledge and national policy.  Note: this course is also an InFocus Global Seminar course: InFocus Global Seminars provide students with an opportunity to engage in hands-on learning relevant to pressing global concerns connected to the InFocus challenge areas; in this case, all 4 themes are covered at some point in the course: Poverty and Inequality; Health and Healthcare; Sustainability; and War, Peacebuilding, and the Just Society. Students travel beyond the Moravian campus to learn multiple perspectives about how people have understood and sought to address these concerns. Prerequisites: Students should have completed at least one semester at Moravian before enrolling in this class; ideally, they would have at least sophomore standing.

BIOL 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: BIOL 212. Fall.

BIOL 327. Biochemistry I. (also CHEM 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: BIOL 111 and CHEM 212 or permission of instructor. Fall. Three 50-minute lectures, one 50-minute problem session, and one 3-hour laboratory. 

BIOL 328. Biochemistry II. (also CHEM 328). Builds upon the biochemical foundations covered in BIOL/CHEM 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: BIOL/CHEM 327 or permission of instructor. Spring. Three 70-minute lectures and one 3-hour laboratory. 

BIOL 330. Marine Ecology. This upper-level course will explore many of the underlying principles governing the way that the ocean works, from waves and tides to ecological processes. Why can some marine organisms only be found in the harshest environments? How do predators contribute to biodiversity? Students will learn about how similar ecological processes operate in marine habitats including rocky shores, coral reefs, mud flats, and the deep sea. Lab sessions will allow students to design and conduct independent experiments which will enhance understanding of the way that organisms interact with their environment. Two field trips to the New Jersey coast will extend beyond the normal lab time to allow students to observe animals in their natural environment. This course includes a required overnight trip to a marine lab; the trip will likely be on a weekend and to a location that may have its own health and safety protocols. Prerequisite: BIOL 111. Three 70-minute lectures and one 3-hour laboratory. 

BIOL 332. Advanced Field Marine Ecology. This upper-level travel course is intended for students who have  previously completed BIOL232 and hope to build on this experience by developing their  independent research skills. The travel component of the course will involve two weeks  at a marine lab in some of the most diverse coastal areas of the US, and students will  learn about the unique flora and fauna in these sites. Students enrolled in this course  will develop independent research proposals prior to the travel component of the  course and will work with the instructor to hone these proposals into a large research  experiment to be conducted during the travel part of the course. Prerequisite: BIOL232.

BIOL 335. Evolution. As a unifying theory of biology, evolutionary theory plays a key role in our understanding of how the natural world functions and changes over time. This course will explore the development of the theory of evolution, fundamental mechanisms of evolutionary change, current evolutionary concepts such as the neutral theory of molecular evolution, patterns of coevolution, major evolutionary trends, the process of speciation, and the origins of humankind. The laboratory will focus on reconstructing evolutionary histories using molecular and morphological data. Prerequisites: BIOL 111 or ENVR 112 and Junior/Senior Standing. 

BIOL 340. Immunology. This course will introduce students to the basic principles of immunology as they relate to health and disease. Covered topics include innate and adaptive immunity, cell signaling and communication of threats, B and T cell maturation, activation, and differentiation, effector functions of the immune system, as well as immunological disorders and diseases. Students will develop laboratory skills relating to hematology, antigen-antibody interactions, cell-culturing, microscopy, and others. Prerequisites: BIOL 210 and CHEM 113 & 114.

BIOL 350. Human Physiology. Functions of vertebrate organ systems, with emphasis on the human body. Topics include the cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous, muscular, endocrine, and excretory systems. Laboratory work emphasizes experimental techniques to analyze functional activities of animals and humans. Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and CHEM 113 and 114. Spring. Three 50-minute periods, one 3-hour laboratory. 

BIOL 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: BIOL 219 and CHEM 113. Three 50-minute periods, one 3- hour laboratory. 

BIOL 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: BIOL 111 or ENVR 112. Fall. Three 50-minute periods, one 3- hour laboratory.

BIOL 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: BIOL 210 and permission of instructor. Fall, alternate years. Two 3-hour periods.

BIOL 365. Advanced Genetics. Advanced genetics course emphasizing current knowledge and research in diverse aspects of genetics, primarily in eukaryotes. Topics include genome structure, transcriptional control, genetic regulatory pathways, and recombinant DNA technology. BIOL 210. Fall, alternate years. Three 50-minute periods, one 3-hour laboratory.

BIOL 370–374. 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: Junior or senior status or permission of instructor. Three 50-minute or two 70-minute periods. 

BIOL 375.2. WI: Senior Seminar in Biochemistry. (also CHEM 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: BIOL/CHEM 328 or permission of instructor. Spring. One 100-minute period. Writing-intensive. 

BIOL 190–199, 290–299, 390–399. Special Topics.
BIOL 286, 381–384. Independent Study. 
BIOL 288, 386–388. Internship. 
BIOL 400-401. Honors.