Bachelor of Arts, Major and Minor in Biology

Biology

Courses

See also Adult Basic Education (ABE) Upgrading Courses.

University/Career/Technology Courses

VIU offers a Bachelor of Science, Major and Minor in Biology, as well as a Bachelor of Arts Minor in Biology. The following courses are offered through the Faculty of Science and Technology.

Course offerings vary from year to year. Check Generate a Timetable for available course offerings.

BIOL 121  (4)  Introductory Zoology

An introduction to the biology of invertebrate and vertebrate animals from ecological and evolutionary perspectives. Emphasis is on the diverse behavioural, physiological and ecological adaptations of living animals. Labs emphasize taxonomic classification, evolutionary trends and functional morphology of the major animal phyla. (3:0:2)

Prerequisite: Min. "C+" in either Biology 11 or Biology 12, and two of the following: Principles of Mathematics 11 or Pre-calculus 11, Physics 11, or Chemistry 11. Chemistry 12 recommended.

BIOL 123  (4)  Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology

An introduction to sub-organismal biology that will compliment the organismal biology discussed in BIOL 121. Topics include the chemistry of life from atoms to macromolecules, cellular structures and organelles, membranes, mitosis and meiosis, respiration, photosynthesis, genetics, protein production and evolution. (3:0:2)

Prerequisite: Min. "C+" in either Biology 11 or Biology 12, and two of the following: Principles of Mathematics 11 or Pre-calculus 11, Physics 11, or Chemistry 11. Chemistry 12 recommended.

BIOL 156  (4)  Nursing: Anatomy and Physiology I

An introduction to human anatomy and physiology by exploring tissue and organ structure in relation to function. Topics include: chemical, cellular and tissue levels of body organization; microbiology; integumentary, musculoskeletal and nervous systems; and special senses. Credit will only be granted for one of BIOL 151 and BIOL 152, PHED 201 or BIOL 156. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: Min. "C+" in either Biology 11 or Biology 12, min. "C+" in either Principles of Mathematics 11, Pre-calculus 11, or Foundations of Mathematics 12, and min. "C+" in Chemistry 11. Biology 12 and Chemistry 12 recommended.

BIOL 157  (4)  Nursing: Anatomy and Physiology II

A continuation of BIOL 156. A further introduction to human body structure and function in relation to physiological principles and mechanisms. Topics include the endocrine system, cardiovascular system, lymphatic and immune systems, respiratory system, digestive system and metabolism, urinary system and fluid balance, reproductive system, heredity and development. Credit will only be granted for one of BIOL 153 and BIOL 154, PHED 220 or BIOL 157. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in BIOL 156 or min. "C-" in each of BIOL 151 and BIOL 152.

BIOL 200  (3)  Introduction to Cell Biology

Introduction to fundamental principles governing cell structure and function. Topics: cytological techniques, cell membrane, cell-cell interactions, extra-cellular matrix, cell organelles, cytoskeleton, cell movement, and signal transduction. (3:0:1.5)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in each of BIOL 201 and CHEM 231.

BIOL 201  (3)  Principles of Biochemistry I

An introduction to the principles of Biochemistry. Topics include properties of biomolecules, basic enzymology, metabolism, bioenergetics, nucleic acid and protein structure and synthesis, biochemical signalling, and an introduction to immunochemistry. (3:0:1.5)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in either CHEM 141 or CHEM 142; min. "C-" in CHEM 231 (may be taken concurrently). BIOL 123 is recommended.

BIOL 202  (3)  Ecology

A study of the physical environment and its effects on individuals, followed by a survey of populations, communities, ecosystems, biomes, and general principles of ecology. Labs will deal with both field and experimental aspects of ecology. (3:0:1.5)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in each of BIOL 121 and BIOL 123; min. "C-" in either CHEM 141 or CHEM 142.

BIOL 210  (3)  Microbiology I

An introduction to the many disciplines associated with microbiology. Topics include procaryotic cell structure and function, growth of micro-organisms, bacterial physiology and genetics, diversity of microbes in the environment, and microbial ecology. (3:0:2)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in each of BIOL 121 and BIOL 123; and min. "C-" in each of BIOL 201 and CHEM 231 (BIOL 201 and CHEM 231 may be taken concurrently).

BIOL 211  (3)  Microbiology II

A continuation of BIOL 210, including immunology and microbial pathogenesis, medical microbiology, and virology. (3:0:1.5)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in BIOL 210.

BIOL 212  (3)  Genetics

An analysis of the nature and function of genetic material; transmission genetics; molecular genetics and population genetics. (3:1:0)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in BIOL 201; min. "C-" in either CHEM 141 or CHEM 142.

BIOL 223  (3)  Botany

An overview of the characters and life cycles of fungi, algae, and plants. Topics include cell division, plant anatomy and cell types, mating systems, photosynthesis and basic plant physiology, systematics and evolution, and plant biogeography. BIOL 223 was formerly called BIOL 122; credit will not be granted for both courses. (3:0:1.5)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in each of BIOL 121 and BIOL 123; min. "C-" in either CHEM 141 or CHEM 142.

BIOL 305  (3)  Animal Physiology

Comparative approach to basic physiology of invertebrates and vertebrates. Topics: fundamental principles of body organization, homeostasis, nutrition, osmotic balance, respiration, circulation, muscular contraction, sensory systems, nervous systems and brains, hormone function, and reproduction. Includes examples of how physiological adaptations permit animals to thrive in diverse habitats. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in BIOL 201 and a min. "C-" in one of either BIOL 200 or FISH 123.

BIOL 310  (3)  Invertebrate Zoology

Advanced invertebrate zoology from evolutionary perspective, integrating phylogenetic trends with physiological and behavioural adaptations, and ecological and symbiotic interactions. Rich diversity of marine invertebrates stressed. Bamfield Marine Station field trip compulsory (nominal cost). Note: Not offered every year. Credit will only be granted for one of FISH 205 or BIOL 310. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: One of BIOL 202, FRST 234, or RMOT 201, with a min. "C-" grade.

BIOL 315  (3)  Parasitology

An examination of the diverse adaptations and life cycles of animal parasites with focus on those of medical, veterinary, and fisheries significance. Topics include epidemiology, mechanisms of pathology, and the complex physiological, biochemical, and immunological interactions between hosts and parasites. Note: not offered every year. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: One of BIOL 202, FRST 234, RMOT 201, with a min. "C-" grade; or FISH 204 and FISH 205 with a min. "C-" grade in each.

BIOL 320  (3)  Aquatic Ecosystems

An examination of biological and physicochemical processes influencing function and trophic structure of aquatic habitats, with emphasis on freshwater ecosystems including lakes, streams, and wetlands. Field trips and laboratories will focus on various techniques used to study aquatic habitats. Note: Some weekend field trips may be required. Credit will only be granted for one of FISH 321 or BIOL 320. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: One of BIOL 202, FRST 234, RMOT 201, with a min. "C-" grade; or FISH 204 and FISH 205 with a min. "C-" grade in each.

BIOL 322  (3)  Terrestrial Ecosystems

An analysis of the structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems. Topics include the world's terrestrial biomes and the impact of human activity on them. Labs will include field trips to some typical terrestrial ecosystems of the area with emphasis on sampling techniques and analysis of soil, flora, fauna and physical factors that regulate these systems. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: One of BIOL 202, FRST 234, RMOT 201, with a min. "C-" grade; or FISH 204 and FISH 205 with a min. "C-" grade in each.

BIOL 325  (3)  Ornithology

Ecology, evolution, behaviour and conservation of birds. Laboratories and field projects will focus on identification, systematics and life histories of species from British Columbia. This course involves fieldwork outside of class time. Note: Not offered every year. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: One of BIOL 202, FRST 234, RMOT 201, with a min. "C-" grade; or FISH 204 and FISH 205 with a min. "C-" grade in each.

BIOL 329  (3)  Vertebrates of B.C.

An examination of the evolution, classification, natural history, identification, management, and conservation of the terrestrial vertebrates of BC. Lectures provide the conceptual background. Laboratories emphasize identification of terrestrial vertebrates native to BC. Includes regular field trips to local areas, as well as a compulsory trip to the Bamfield Marine Station, with nominal cost. Note: Not offered every year. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: One of BIOL 202, FRST 234, RMOT 201, with a min. "C-" grade; or FISH 204 and FISH 205 with a min. "C-" grade in each.

BIOL 332  (3)  Microbial Ecology

An understanding of microbes and their importance in the global ecosystem, including the interrelationships between microbes and the higher organisms. Topics include the role of microbes in evolution, biogeochemical cycles, various terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and environmental pollution problems. Explores the methodologies used to study the activities of microbes in nature. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in BIOL 210. BIOL 212 is recommended.

BIOL 333  (3)  Laboratory Techniques in Molecular Biology

An intensive laboratory course dealing with the methodology used in recombinant DNA technology. The course includes DNA and vector purification, restriction endonuclease analysis of bacterial genome, cloning with a plasmid vector, and related screening procedures. Note: not offered every year. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in each of BIOL 210 and CHEM 231 and min. "C-" in either BIOL 211 or BIOL 212.

BIOL 334  (3)  Virology

An introduction to virus structure, biochemistry, replication and pathogenesis. Representatives from the different prokaryotic and animal virus families will be used to demonstrate the structural, biochemical, and molecular characteristics of the different virus groups. Includes discussion on the molecular mechanisms of replication and cellular/molecular viral pathogenesis. Note: Not offered every year. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in BIOL 210.

BIOL 336  (3)  Bacterial Genetics

An overview of the genetics of prokaryotes and their viruses. Topics include "traditional" bacterial genetics and contemporary aspects of prokaryotic molecular genetics, analysis of experimental observations, and critical reviews of relevant current literature in the field. Note: not offered every year. Credit will only be granted for one of BIOL 331 or BIOL 336. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in each of BIOL 210 and BIOL 212.

BIOL 337  (3)  Biochemistry and Physiology of Microbes

An advanced exploration of the structure and biochemical processes of microbes, with emphasis on prokaryotes. Concepts underlying the role of microbes in biotechnology, pathogenesis, and the environment are discussed. Topics include bioenergetics of growth, metabolism, biochemical communication, differentiation, and relevant research techniques. Note: not offered every year. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in each of BIOL 201 and BIOL 210.

BIOL 341  (3)  Molecular Cell Biology

The course presents aspects of modern molecular cell biology, with emphasis on systems in eukaryotes that enable cells to function in multicellular organisms. Topics include gene expression, nervous transmission, cell cycle control, signal transduction, cancer, etc. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in each of BIOL 201, BIOL 212, CHEM 231 and min. "C-" in either BIOL 200 or FISH 123.

BIOL 342  (3)  Principles of Biochemistry II

This course examines modern biochemical analysis of metabolic processes, including enzyme structure and function and synthesis of the major groups of macromolecules. Lab exercises include various macromolecule purification and detection techniques. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in each of BIOL 201, BIOL 212, CHEM 231 and min. "C-" in either BIOL 200 or FISH 123.

BIOL 345  (3)  Molecular Ecology

This course emphasizes the theoretical and analytical approaches of population genetics to address topics in ecology and evolution. Students will learn how to collect and analyze genetic data to address issues in behaviour, conservation and evolution of wildlife. This course is applicable to students with interest in molecular biology or ecology. Not offered every year. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in BIOL 202 and BIOL 212. Min. "C-" in FRST 234, RMOT 201, or in both FISH 204 and FISH 205 are acceptable in lieu of BIOL 202.

BIOL 350  (3)  Plant Biology

This course expands on the material introduced in BIOL 223 by delving deeper into the molecular genetics, cell biology, metabolism, development and physiology of plants. Though focused on plants, many of the topics discussed are fundamental biological processes that will be of interest to any student of biology. Note: Not offered every year. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in each of BIOL 212 and BIOL 223. BIOL 200 is recommended.

BIOL 351  (3)  Population and Community Ecology

An advanced examination of complex associations of plant and animal species and their interactions with abiotic factors in the physical environment. Focus is on theoretical and experimental approaches to understanding population dynamics and the structure and function of communities. Laboratories emphasize hypothesis-oriented experiments in the field and sampling techniques for populations and communities. A field trip to Bamfield Marine Station is compulsory, with a nominal cost. Note: not offered every year. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: One of BIOL 202, FRST 234, RMOT 201, with a min. "C-" grade; or FISH 204 and FISH 205 with a min. "C-" grade in each.

BIOL 357  (3)  Entomology

An examination of taxonomy, morphology, physiology, ecology, behaviour and life history of insects. Topics include the economic importance of insects as pollinators, as agricultural and forest pests, and as vectors of human diseases. Labs study insect classification and diversity through collecting, identifying and mounting specimens. Includes several field trips to local aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Students must obtain collecting gear and instructions from instructor during the summer prior to the course. Note: Not offered every year. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: One of BIOL 202, FRST 234, RMOT 201, with a min. "C-" grade; or FISH 204 and FISH 205 with a min. "C-" grade in each.

BIOL 358  (3)  Comparative Vertebrate Zoology

An overview of vertebrate evolution, focusing on comparative morphology, anatomy and ecology. Laboratories emphasize form and function by examining the evolutionary changes that this diverse group of animals has undergone. Note: Not offered every year. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: One of BIOL 202, FRST 234, RMOT 201, with a min. "C-" grade; or FISH 204 and FISH 205 with a min. "C-" grade in each.

BIOL 360  (3)  Intro to Animal Behaviour

A study of animal behaviour, emphasizing how scientists use evolutionary theory to study the behaviour of animals. An examination of the biological significance, the physiological mechanisms, and the ecological importance of behaviour. Weekly seminars will replace a lab section, and an independent research project will be required. Note: Not offered every year. (3:2:0)

Prerequisite: One of BIOL 202, FRST 234, RMOT 201, with a min. "C-" grade; or FISH 204 and FISH 205 with a min. "C-" grade in each.

BIOL 362  (3)  Biological Oceanography

This course serves as an introduction to the field of biological oceanography. It will explore the interactions between biological communities, chemistry and physics and how they influence the structure, function and productivity of marine ecosystems with a focus on pelagic ecosystems. Note: Not offered every year. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: Third-year standing in one of BIOL, CHEM, GEOL, FISH, GEOG, or RMOT programs.

BIOL 363  (3)  Coastal Resource Use

An interdisciplinary field course that explores the ecological, economical and sociological dimensions of coastal resource use and its range of stakeholders with a focus on Baynes Sound and the area surrounding the Deep Bay Marine Field Station. A nominal cost will apply. (17.5:0:17.5 for 2 weeks)

Prerequisite: Third-year standing in one of BIOL, FISH, or RMOT programs, or permission of instructor.

BIOL 365  (3)  Biotechnology

An introduction to methods and goals of modern biotechnology. Topics include animal and biomedical biotechnology, microbial biotechnology and bioremediation, and plant biotechnology including genetic modification of agriculturally important plants. The course will also examine some of the social and ethical issues associated with biotechnology. Note: Not offered every year. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" grade in each of BIOL 123 and BIOL 212.

BIOL 372  (3)  Plant Ecology (Effective Sep 2018)

An overview of the factors that affect plant growth, reproduction and diversity, including how plants interact with their environment and other species. Specific topics include competition, herbivory, pollination, succession, and landscape and global processes. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in BIOL 202 and BIOL 223. Min. "C-" in FRST 234, RMOT 201, or in both FISH 204 and FISH 205 are acceptable in lieu of BIOL 202.

BIOL 375  (3)  Ecological Methodology

This course emphasizes experimental design and research methods in field ecology. Students will learn how to collect and analyze field data, and place their results in an ecological context while applying the scientific method. This course involves fieldwork outside of class time. Note: Not offered every year. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in BIOL 202 and MATH 203. Min. "C-" in FRST 234, RMOT 201, or in both FISH 204 and FISH 205 are acceptable in lieu of BIOL 202.

BIOL 395  (6)  Tropical Biology

An opportunity for study in the tropical ecosystems of Belize, Central America. Topics include the study of tropical biodiversity, ecosystem structure and function, and nutrient cycling of rainforest and coral reef habitats. For further details, visit the website at web.viu.ca/belize. Note: Not offered every year. (3:3:0 —120 for 6 weeks)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in BIOL 202 or permission of instructor.

BIOL 402  (3)  Evolution

An examination of the history of evolutionary thought, the mechanisms of evolutionary change in populations, extinction, speciation, molecular evolution, and evolutionary interactions among species. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: Minimum of 15 upper-level Biology credits, or permission of instructor.

BIOL 403  (3)  Current Topics in Biology

A discussion of the fundamental ideas, concepts and current issues in science and the life sciences that affect our society. Students participate in regular in-class discussions of assigned reading, and are required to lead discussions of specific current topics in Biology. (1:2:0)

Prerequisite: Minimum of 15 upper-level Biology credits, or permission of instructor.

BIOL 415  (3)  Ecological Parasitology

An advanced study of the roles of parasites on the behaviour, genetics, ecology, and evolution of their hosts. Topics also include the biology of parasitic arthropods (via interactive CD-ROM) and immunoparasitology. A field trip to the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre is compulsory, with a nominal cost. Note: not offered every year. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in Biology 315.

BIOL 432  (3)  Applied Microbiology

An advanced exposure to the applications of microorganisms in addressing human problems and needs. Fundamentals of microbial physiology, genetics, and ecological interactions are developed as students explore topics in food and beverage production, forestry and agriculture, aquaculture, bioremediation and biodegradation of pollutants, and other industrial processes. Note: Not offered every year. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in BIOL 210.

BIOL 435  (3)  Immunology

A study of the general functions of the human immune system; the cellular, genetic and molecular mechanisms involved in immunology; the role of immunity in infectious and non-infectious diseases; immune deficiencies and auto-immune disorders. Note: Not offered every year. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in BIOL 200.

BIOL 436  (3)  Pathogenic Microbiology

An explanation of the general principles of microbial pathogenesis, the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved with specific bacteria, and the epidemiology of the various bacterial pathogens. Material is presented in lecture and lab sections, as well as via reading, writing and presentation exercises. Note: Not offered every year. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in BIOL 210.

BIOL 437  (3)  Applied Epidemiology

An introduction to the principles and practice of studying diseases in populations. Covers observational study methods, principles of disease causation, health determinants and disease dynamics, clinical epidemiology, and field epidemiology. Seminars involve case studies and critical review of the literature. Human and animal health issues are discussed. Note: not offered every year. (3:3:0)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in each of BIOL 202 and BIOL 210.

BIOL 443  (3)  Developmental Biology

A study of animal development and the mechanisms that control it. Introductory embryology of vertebrates and invertebrates will be coordinated with the analysis of developmental processes. Topics will include gametogenesis, fertilization, cleavage, embryogenesis, organogenesis, cellular differentiation, growth, metamorphosis, and regeneration. Note: not offered every year. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in each of BIOL 200, BIOL 201, and BIOL 212.

BIOL 445  (3)  Molecular Genetics

An in-depth examination of the molecular basis of gene expression and heredity. Emphasis will be on the use of modern molecular biological techniques to analyze the different levels of gene expression and the mechanisms of DNA replication. Topics will include transgenic organisms, gene therapy, genetic diseases, etc. Note: Not offered every year. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in each of BIOL 200 and BIOL 212.

BIOL 457  (3)  Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

This course explores how humans affect biodiversity and investigates the multidisciplinary approaches used to document changes in biological diversity and prevent the extinction of species and the loss of their habitat. Note: Not offered every year. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: One of BIOL 202, FRST 234, GEOG 211, RMOT 201, with a min. "C-" grade; or FISH 204 and FISH 205 with a min. "C-" grade in each.

BIOL 465  (3)  Endocrinology

An introduction to principles of hormone action. Focuses on human hormones, with examples from other species. Particular emphasis on control of blood glucose levels by the pancreas, the reproductive system and its hormones, and how hormones influence human behaviour. Note: not offered every year. (3:3:0)

Prerequisite: Min. "C-" in BIOL 200.

BIOL 480  (3)  Work Experience in Biology

An opportunity to learn about biology through relevant employment or volunteer experiences. Students must complete at least 15 weeks of full-time employment (or volunteer experience) in a Biology position approved by a faculty member in the Biology Department. Interim and final reports must be submitted and presented. (0:0:0 —525)

Prerequisite: Minimum average of "B" in 15 credits of upper-level Biology courses, and permission of the Chair of the Biology Department.

BIOL 490  (3)  Directed Studies in Biology

Departmental permission may be given for supervised individual study or directed readings. Complete arrangements must be made with an instructor in the department before registering. Consult the Chair if you plan to take this course. Content must be demonstrated to be independent of the BIOL 491 research topic. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: Completion of min. 12 upper-level Biology credits.

BIOL 491  (6)  Undergraduate Research Project

An opportunity to work on a research project under the direct supervision of faculty. Students will develop research proposals with their faculty supervisor, carry out the research and prepare a full scientific report. Presentation of the proposal and a report on the results are required at two seminars. Encompasses both Fall and Spring semesters for any given academic year. Note: A Faculty Advisor Endorsement form is required for registration. See department Chair for details. (0:0:3 for 30 weeks)

Prerequisite: Minimum of 18 upper-level Biology credits.

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