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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Fall 2006

T C BIO301 • Problems in Modern Biology

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
50745 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
BUR 136

Course Description

This course covers four dimensions of biology: genetics, evolution, behavior, and ecology. A background in the mechanics of inheritance is necessary to understand the process of evolution. Enough molecular genetics will be taught to appreciate the rapid advances now being made in biotechnology, particularly in relation to human health. The concept of evolution is the glue that holds together all of modern biology, and the story of the evolution of diversity on this planet is perhaps the most interesting dimension of all of biology today. In the study of behavior, we will start at the lower end of the phylogenetic scale and work our way upward, always developing principles that can be applied to humans. Students can expect to get a solid grounding in ecological principles in this course and a good understanding of the impact humans have on everything on, in, or above this planet.

About the Professor Dr. Frank Bronson is professor of Integrative Biology. His research focuses generally on the process of reproduction and in particular on the strategies mammals use to reproduce in different environments. Field studies in relation to the latter interest have taken him several times to Central and South America, the Caribbean islands, Australia, and Ukraine. He is also interested in the energetics of ovulation and in sexual and aggressive behavior. Dr. Bronson holds a Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University. His recreational interests are writing and fly-fishing.

Grading Policy

There will be three hour-exams, the first worth 30 points, the next two worth 40 points each, and a comprehensive final exam worth 70 points, for a total of 180 points. The hour exams will be a mixture of multiple choice and short answer questions. The final exam will be all multiple choice. Ranges for letter grades will be as follows: A = 90-100%; B = 80-89%; C = 70-79%; D = 60-69%; F = <60%. Adjustments may be made for tests that are more difficult than average. Nota Bene: Make-up exams will be given only under the most dire circumstances and only if arranged prior to a test (a phone call or an e-mail message will do in an emergency). Also, you can drop this course with a Q after the second hour exam but not after the third. If you take the third hour exam, you're in it for the duration.


Customized version of "Biology" by Alters and Alters plus an outside reading list of a dozen or so papers.


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