BIO Biology Courses
Evolutionary, ecological, and behavioural responses of organisms to their environment at the level of individuals, populations, communities, and ecosystems. A prerequisite for advanced work in biological sciences. Attendance at weekly lecture tutorials is voluntary, yet highly recommended.
Applications of mathematics to biological problems in physiology, biomechanics, genetics, evolution, growth, population dynamics, cell biology, ecology and behaviour. Mathematical topics include: power functions and regression; exponential and logistic functions; binomial theorem and probability; calculus, including derivatives, max/min, integration, areas, integration by parts, substitution; differential equations, including linear constant coefficient, systems; and chaos. This course is intended for students in the life sciences.
Continuation of STA220H1, jointly taught by Statistics and Biology faculty, emphasizing methods and case studies relevant to biologists including experimental design and ANOVA, regression models, categorical and non-parametric methods.
See “Division of the Environment”
An introduction to the structure and function of cells at the molecular level: key cellular macromolecules; transfer of genetic information; cell structure and function; cellular movement and division; modern investigative techniques. Consult web page for the most current information: http://www.cquest.utoronto.ca/botany/bio250y/
This is a problem based course which discusses classical, molecular, developmental, and population genetics and genomics with emphasis on model organisms for genetic analysis.
Offered in the summer at Churchill Northern Studies Centre, Churchill, Man. or Kluane Lake, Yukon, of approximately two weeks duration and comprising lectures, botanical and zoological field studies and other aspects of arctic ecosystems.
A field course to introduce students to the diversity of biological communities in the tropics focussing on ecological and evolutionary interactions. Plant and animal communities of tropical sites in the New World tropics are compared and contrasted with temperate communities. Students undertake small-scale research projects in the field. Lectures will be given on Friday afternoons prior to departure to the field.
A field course offered at a Southern Ontario field station for approximately 2 weeks in the summer. Students learn the natural history of the region and conduct a mini thesis project in the field. Projects will focus on terrestrial plant ecology, plant-insect interactions and other topics selected by the students.
Inter-university selections from the offerings of the Ontario Universities Program in Field Biology. Courses, of 1 or 2 weeks duration at field sites from May through August, are announced each January. Consult Professor J.D. Rising, Zoology Department.
Offered in early summer in Vietnam for approximately two weeks. Students will conduct independent research projects and will be introduced to the biodiversity and ecology of Indochina. Projects will be tailored to each student’s interests and background.
Population growth and regulation, life histories, conservation biology and extinction, interspecific interactions, and food webs. Laboratory includes experiments, literature review and analysis, and computer simulations. Possibility of a local field trip.
A comprehensive survey of community and ecosystem ecology emphasizing current developments and controversies. Field trips and computer exercises provide training in sampling, simulation, and data analysis.
The principles of organic evolution. Evolutionary theory; the development of the theory of natural selection; population variation and polymorphism; levels of selection; introductory population genetics; the origin of species and higher taxa.
General approaches to key areas of research including foraging, mating systems, natural and sexual selection, and life histories. Other topics may include character displacement, social behaviour, and co-evolution.
An advanced treatment of the physiological mechanisms controlling plant and animal distribution and ecological success. Topics of focus include photosynthesis and resource balance in natural environments, water and nutrient relations, and adaptations to abiotic stress.
Genome organization and evolution, gene expression and regulation, differentiation and development. Consult web pages for details: http://www.cquest.utoronto.ca/botany/bio349s/
An introduction to basic and medical virology. Attendance in tutorials is optional.
Introduction to the study and conservation of biodiversity at all levels - genes, species, and communities and ecosystems. Includes threats to biodiversity and approaches to maintaining biodiversity. Tutorials include exercises, problem sets, and small group discussions of lecture topics.
Introduction to techniques of mathematical modelling widely used in theoretical biology and theoretical branches of the social sciences. Topics include applied linear algebra, dynamic systems models, optimization techniques, simulation methods, and aspects of probability. Applications come from ecology, evolution, cell biology, physiology, conservation biology, and psychology.
An examination of organism, population and ecosystem responses to long-term environmental change occurring at the global scale, with emphasis on human caused perturbation to the carbon, nitrogen and hydrolic cycles and their ecological effects.
This course delves into major concepts in ecology and evolution from the perspective of plant-animal interactions. We explore the richness of interactions between plants and animals, including antagonistic interactions (e.g. herbivory, carnivorous plants) and mutualistic interactions (e.g. seed dispersal and ant-plant associations). Interactions involving two to many species and across trophic levels are considered.
Processes of evolution at the molecular level, and the analysis of molecular data. Gene structure, neutrality, nucleotide sequence evolution, sequence evolution, sequence alignment, phylogeny construction, gene families, transposition.
Exploration of the relationships between chromosome structure, function and behaviour. Topics include chromatin structure, genome organization, essential chromosomal elements, control of segregation and recombination, chromosome evolution, gene and chromosome imprinting. Tutorials emphasize student discussion of recent primary research papers.
The principles and practices of conservation biology from both a global and Canadian perspective, including: biodiversity; endangerment; habitat loss and fragmentation; exploitation; exotic species; conservation genetics; metapopulations; demography; captive breeding; species concepts; reserve design; human issues; and the role of IUCN and COSEWIC. In some years an overnight field trip, usually on the second weekend of classes, and extra activities are required of each student and an activity fee may be collected.
Basic ecological principles and applied issues of physical, chemical and biological (microbes, algae, plants, invertebrates, fish) interactions in lakes and streams. Field work, labs and a mandatory weekend field trip are used to learn standard sampling techniques and to integrate principles learned in class. An activity fee may be collected.
Theoretical aspects of ecology and evolution including population genetics, population dynamics, life history evolution, kin selection, foraging theory, and the evolution of interactions between species. Use is made of several different types of modelling approaches including dynamic models, optimization models and game theory.
This course examines aspects of quantitative ecology including approaches to ecological sampling, multivariate analysis of ecological communities and environmental conditions, null models and spatial ecology. (Offered in alternate years)
Computational analyses of DNA and protein data. Understanding biological databases, sequence alignment, sequence annotation, gene prediction, computational analysis of function, motif analysis, phylogenetic analysis, prediction of structure. Applied, theoretical and statistical (Bayesian anlaysis, Markov models, likelihood) issues will be addressed.
This course surveys the interdisciplinary field of Chemical Biology, focusing on the analysis of biological problems using chemical and combinatorial approaches. Topics covered include chemical genetics, combinatorial chemistry and combinatorial strategies in molecular biology (such as phage display and other selection schemes). Examines both the underlying biological and chemical concepts.
The study of behaviour, ecology, evolution and genetics. Current research programs, special publications, and laboratory exposure are the basis for discussing issues. Discussions are led by students. Each instructor is responsible for a separate module.
Student directed roundtable on current topics in ecology. The topics vary from year to year. The seminar activities include both oral and written analyses of current research articles, and may include group projects. Critical discussion of research methods is an important component of the course.
Topics include: history of ethology, behavioural ecology, experimental psychology. Emphasis on student seminars and student led discussions of assigned topics.
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