M Tu W Th F 9:00am-5:00pm
An advanced exploration of the practices and techniques of biological research focusing on the design, execution,
and presentation of experiments, data analysis, and information retrieval. This course may serve as the second of a
minimum of two terms of research required for all biology majors. Students are expected to complete 30-40 hours
per week on this project as they carry out the scientific aims crafted during BI 470. This research will culminate in (1)
a 15-20 page thesis written in the format of a scientific article and (2) an oral presentation at the Science and
Mathematics Senior Conference in the Spring semester.
Evo-Devo: Understanding the Beauty
behind Biological Form
Jason L. Heaton
M Tu W Th 9:00am-12:00pm
Have you ever wondered, “Why do humans possess four limbs and five digits on ends of those limbs? And, why we
do look in many ways very similar to some animals, but much less so, to others?” The new science of evolutionary
developmental biology, or evo-devo, is bringing us closer to understanding the answers to those questions. In this
course, we will combine evidence from evolutionary theory, genetics and developmental biology with an aim to
understand the origins of biological form. The course will center around three books,
The Making of the Fittest
Endless Forms Most Beautiful
Your Inner Fish
Grades will be determined by: (1) active class participation, (2)
performance on quizzes, (3) a 20 min group presentation, and (4) a final exam. The class will meet Monday through
Thursday, 9:00am-12:00pm; however, students should expect to spend at least 30 hours per week on reading,
assignments and exercises.
field trips/labs per week. All trips start at 7:30 am.
long field trips each week (end by 5:00pm),
short trips each week (end by 1:00 pm).
Scheduling of trips within the week is dependent on weather conditions. One overnight field
trip to Dauphin Island during the workweek (e.g., all day Thur. and Fri.).
Explore the forests, lakes, rivers, fields and coast of Alabama while tracking down and studying Alabama’s bird
life. Much of the course will be spent outdoors finding, identifying, and studying different species of birds. No
experience necessary – this course is designed for beginners! We will visit local birding hotspots, but also more
distant locations such as Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge, and Talladega
National Forest. An overnight trip to Dauphin Island is planned to study coastal birds. Some indoor lab time will be
spent learning about bird ecology, behavior, anatomy and physiology, and other bizarre attributes of birds. Field trips
will involve hiking in rough terrain and being outdoors in cold weather. Grades are based on attendance,
participation, field notebooks, and exams. Students are encouraged to provide their own binoculars, but binoculars
will be available for check-out.
Estimated Student Fees: $100