Undergraduate Special Topics Spring 2017

GENOMICS AND BIOTECH

ZOO4926 section DEPTX

Instructor: Dr. Brad Barbazuk

Credits: 04
Class meetings: Wednesday, periods 6-7 and Friday, periods 6-9; 352 CGRC
Text Recommended: TBA

Brief Description:
Big data and genomics are prominent in the medical and agricultural life-sciences.  Students will be introduced to modern next-generation sequence based molecular biology through a combination of lectures and hands-on wet-lab exercises. This course will introduce students to the theory behind basic molecular biology techniques (i.e. nucleic aid biochemistry and isolations, cloning, PCR,  DNA/RNA hybridization, traditional and NGS sequencing), basic analysis (basic UNIX and command line familiarity, annotation, sequence alignment, data file formats, variant detection, expression analysis), and supplement these with wet-labs where students will perform RNA and DNA isolations, sample QC, NGS library construction; and, dry-lab sessions where students will learn to perform basic assembly, alignment and expression detection analysis using a locally implemented instance of GALAXY. Wet-Lab activities (5-6 session/semester) will be conducted in a fully equipped and state-of-the-art molecular biology training lab housed in the ICBR genomics area. This course is open to any undergraduate who satisfies the following course prerequisites (or there equivalent): BSC2010 (biology), PCB3036 (genetics), and a chemistry lab course.  Familiarity with UNIX/LINUX command line and a scripting language would be helpful, but not necessary. – Syllabus

Introduction to Phage Isolation, Genome sequencing and Analysis

BSC2930 Section 1B70

Instructor: Dr. Brad Barbazuk

Credits: 03
Class meetings: Tuesday, periods 4 and Thursday, periods 4-5; Carr Hall rm 611
Text Recommended: Readings will be provided with the course

Brief Description:

Students will be introduced to the science of genomics through laboratory exercises that require sequencing and analyzing the complete genome of a novel bacterial virus. The course will include discussions of topics ranging from basic genetics, genomes and biotechnology.  Syllabus

 

PALEOBOTANY

BOT4935 section 15AG

Instructor: Dr. Steven Manchester

Credits: 03
Class meetings: Wednesday and Friday, period 2 and Friday 6-7 periods; 2196 MCCA
Text Recommended: TBA

Brief Description:

This course deals with the evolution of plants through geologic time, based upon the fossil record.  We begin with the earliest known life on earth and consider the history of major phylogenetic groups of plants through time with attention to changes in morphology and community structure. Topics include the earliest land plants, the first leaves, the first trees, and changes in reproductive biology leading from spores to seeds and pollen and the evolution of flowering plants. We will also emphasize the response of plants to continental rearrangements, extraterrestrial impact, and consider the contributions and response of plants to changes in climate.

BIOLOGY OF SEA TURTLES

ZOO4926 section 07EE

Instructor: Dr. Karen Bjorndal

Credits: 03
Class meetings: Tuesday, periods 4-5 and Thursday, period 4; Class Location: TBA
Text Recommended: No textbook is required.

Brief Description:

This course will cover the biology of sea turtles and their roles in marine ecosystems. We will focus on current major issues in sea turtle biology and challenges in their conservation and management.  See attached syllabus

INTRO ANIMAL BEHAVIOR

ZOO4926 section 0972

Instructor: Dr. Nicole Gerlach

Credits: 03
Class meetings: Tuesday, periods 9-10 periods and Thursday, period 9; Class: 112 NZH
Text Recommended: No textbook is required.

Brief Description:

A scientific investigation of both the mechanistic and the evolutionary causes of animal behavior, including communication, foraging and anti-predator behavior, spatial behavior, mating behavior, parental care, and social behaviors.

OUTBREAKS

ZOO4926 section 1267

Instructor: Dr. Derek Cummings

Credits: 03
Class meetings: Tuesday and Thursday, period 7; 111 Flint Hall
Text Recommended: TBA

Brief Description:
This course will investigate biological and quantitative aspects of emerging pathogens. We will investigate transmission dynamics of infectious diseases during multiple phases of outbreaks.  We will review biological, immunological, epidemiological, policy and logistical aspects of outbreaks of emerging pathogens in humans as well as other species. Students will gain familiarity with basic metrics used to quantify transmission dynamics, biological characteristics that contribute to the emergence of pathogens and policy actions taken in response to emerging pathogens. There are no prerequisites for the course.

PRIMATE EVOLUTION

ZOO4926 section DEPTX

Instructor: Dr. Jonathan Bloch

Credits: 03
Class meetings: Tuesday 8-9 periods and Thursday, period 9;
CLASS: 2318 TUR
Text Recommended: Primate Adaptation and Evolution, 3rd Ed., John G. Fleagle. Academic Press.

Brief Description:
Survey of primate evolution from the Paleocene through Miocene epochs. Emphasis on problems of taxonomy, phylogeny, biogeography, and functional morphology in the fossil record.

Florida Vertebrate Paleotology

ZOO4926 section DEPTX

Instructor: Dr. Jonathan Bloch

Credits: 03
Class meetings: TBA
Text Recommended: The Fossil Vertebrates of Florida, Richard C. Hulbert Jr.  1st Ed., University Press of Florida, 2001.

Brief Description:
This special topics course is designed to provide direct experience with vertebrate paleontology collections and fieldwork in Florida.

Strongly recommended: Brusca, R. C. et al. 2016. Invertebrates, 3rd Edition.

Thinking in Art and Science

ZOO4926 section 0917

Instructor: Dr. Bethany Taylor and Jamie Gillooly

Credits: 03
Class meetings: Monday studiolab, periods 5-7 at WARPhaus and Wednesday seminar, periods 6-7; 121 Flint Hall
Text Recommended: No Textbook Required.
(ZOO 4926 is restricted to juniors and seniors unless instructor permission is obtained)

Brief Description:

This is an interdisciplinary course that combines art and science. The seminar (1 credit hour) and studiolab (2 credit hours) will involve exploring how we can introduce concepts, processes and knowledge for the sciences and apply them to the creation of art; and how we can introduce concepts, processes and knowledge from the arts and apply them to scientific research. The seminar will focus on student-led discussions of topics and assigned readings, but also include presentations and discussions by visiting scholars that specialize in merging science and art. Each student will be asked to lead and present weekly discussions 1-2 times over the course of the semester. Students will also be expected to complete weekly readings and participate in a blog. The studiolab portion of the course will focus on the development of works that combine elements of both art and science by teams of students. Teams of art and science students will be expected to complete 2 projects for the course. In developing and completing these, students will be asked to present their ideas/work and take part in formal critiques. The course will culminate in a public exhibition/show of the works. Studiolab will also include exercises and activities to foster creativity and better understand each discipline by engaging with visiting scholars, and by visits to scientific laboratories and art studios. Finally, as part of the course, students will be asked to document their work/methodology/process by keeping studiolab books. The seminar and studiolab portions of the course will be fully integrated.

HERPETOLOGY

ZOO4926 section 1E76 & 1F64

Instructor: Dr. David C. Blackburn and Dr. Harvey B. Lillywhite

Credits: 04
Class meetings: Tuesday and Thursday, period 6 (12:50-1:40 pm), Friday, 3-4 periods (9:30-11:30 am) & Friday, 6-7 periods (12:50-2:45  pm); MUS 0371
Text Recommended: Pough, F. H., R.M Andrew, M. L. Crump, A. H. Savitzky, K.D. Wells, and M.C. Brandley, 2015.  Herpetology. 4th Edition. Sinauer Associates.

Brief Description:
This course will feature lectures and laboratory sections that provide a broad introduction to the diversity, evolution, and biology of amphibians and reptiles.  Topics will include evolutionary history, systematics, diversity, ecology, behavior, physiology, anatomy, and natural history. Laboratory sections will provide hands-on experience with amphibians and reptiles and make use of the scientific collections of the Florida Museum of Natural History. In addition to the lectures and laboratory activities, the course will involve several local field trips to see
living species. See attached syllabus