Introduction to Biology I Lecture and Lab (BIO103, BIO103L) Designed as a foundation for science-based disciplines, this course begins with a survey of basic chemistry as it applies to the structure and function of cells. An exploration of cellular physiology includes organelle function, metabolic processes, molecular processes, and genetics. The laboratory reinforces the concepts of the class and includes techniques in microscope use, instrumental analysis, protein biochemistry, and molecular biology. No prerequisites.
Introduction to Marine Biology (BIO204) Marine biology is the application of basic biological principles (e.g., cell biology, physiology, biomechanics, biodiversity, behavior, ecology, etc.) to marine organisms and their environments. This course will introduce marine ecosystems with emphasis on the physiological adaptations, body types and behavioral strategies of resident species. Patterns of diversity will be examined taxonomically and geographically, and biological interactions among different species, (including humans!), will be discussed. Noprerequisites.
Ecology of Marine Natural Products (BI0430) Advanced level lecture and lab course. Students read, present, and discuss a variety of peer-reviewed papers focused on how marine natural products drive species-species interactions in the marine ecosystems, especially in tropical coastal benthic habitats, including coral reefs, seagrass beds, and kelp forests. The laboratory reinforces the concepts of the class and includes techniques in molecular biology, microscope use, and instrumental analysis. Students learn marine microbiology techniques, including screening for bioactivity in microbes and finding genes that code for natural product biosynthesis. They also work with invertebrates and algae, run feeding assays, and conduct independent projects that they design. Juniors and Seniors only.
Marine Microbiology (BI0430) Advanced level lecture and lab course. Students read, present, and discuss a variety of peer-reviewed papers focused on current research in marine microbiology. This upper level molecular lecture/laboratory course introduces students to marine microbes, primarily prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea). The material is organized according to ecosystems/habitats, ecology, and function. Students learn about microbes that drive marine biogeochemical cycles and as primary producers and degraders of organic matter in the oceans. The course will focus on microbial physiology within the context of marine ecosystem function and biogeochemistry. The laboratory reinforces the concepts of the class and includes techniques in molecular biology, microscope use, and instrumental analysis. Students learn marine microbiology and molecular biology lab skills, including field collection, culturing and isolation, and microscopy imaging. Juniors and Seniors only.
Science: Discoveries in Context (CORE101) Following the focus of the RWU core curriculum, the context for this course are the three core questions: Who am I? What can I know? Based on what I know, how should I act? Unique to this particular core course is exploring answers to these questions through the lens of science. Scientific understanding is characterized by objective observation and analyses of patterns and phenomena in the observable universe, i.e., anything that can be seen by the human eye or technological tools and measured (quantified). Thus, scientific methods are all about collecting objective, reliable data to test hypotheses about phenomena and, then, developing theories that summarize and explain those data and phenomena. There are many other aspects of scientific inquiry, including the practical aspects of how scientists do what they do and the application of scientific knowledge that we will discuss throughout the semester. However, objective observations and data form the basis of scientifically-informed worldviews and decisions; thus, all good scientific analyses and arguments must be based on reliable observations and data. This course is taught by multiple instructors as part of the RWU Core Curriculum series. In Dr. Sharp's section, there is a focus on the microbiology of food production and preservation. No prerequisites.
Advanced Topics in Molecular Biology (Eckerd College BI422) This is an advanced level course intended for Biology majors. This course takes advantage of the new James Center for Molecular and Life Sciences facilities, offering research-rich coursework to our students. The course is taught in lab studio format, with an emphasis on hands-on participation in lab methods and analysis. In this course, students work with real samples, primarily from a faculty research program. These samples serve as an ideal platform from which to teach students advanced molecular techniques, spanning the entire “pipeline” from DNA extraction to polymerase chain reaction, cloning, next generation sequencing, bioinformatics/sequence analysis, and advanced probe-based microscopy. Students get hands-on expertise with PCR, high-throughput electrophoresis, and confocal microscopy. All of these techniques are taught in the context of inquiry-based learning, in which the students design hypotheses and experiments and carry out independent research projects throughout the semester. Students are evaluated on their participation in labwork, presentations, written assignments, and periodic exams. Prerequisite: BI212.
Biological Oceanography (Eckerd College MS102N) Introductory (freshman) course designed for Marine Science majors. Material covers the physical, chemical and geological processes that influence biological productivity as well as the distribution, abundance and adaptations of marine life in various environments of the world's oceans. In the laboratory component of this course, students participate in field trips to local marine ecosystems, including seagrass beds, shoals, and mangrove coastlines, and they learn basic experimental design, methods, and hypothesis testing. No prerequisites.
Comparative Animal Physiology (Eckerd College BI314) Advanced level course covering physiological mechanisms of animals and general principles revealed through application of comparative experimental methods. The material in lectures and lab cover a range of organisms, including humans, arthropods, molluscs, annelids, and even their symbiotic bacterial residents. Each student in this course conducts a creative project lab to hone their advanced research skills. Prerequisites: BI 202, CH 122, and Junior or Senior standing.
Marine Science Senior Seminar: Chemical Ecology of Benthic Environments (Eckerd College MS410) The Marine Science Seminar format consists of small groups of students who discuss a particular topic over the course of a semester. Each semester, seminar is taught by different faculty. In our seminar section, we explore the topic of Chemical Ecology of Benthic Environments. Students present, read, and discuss a variety of peer-review papers focused on how marine natural products drive species-species interactions in the marine ecosystems, especially in tropical coastal benthic habitats, including coral reefs and seagrass beds. Seniors only.
Integrating Biology (Eckerd College BI498) The senior capstone course for Biology majors. A comprehensive review and integration of topics in biology through faculty-led and student-led discussion on case studies. In this course, there is a strong focus on active and collaborative learning via student presentations and discussion groups. Students are evaluated on their participation, presentations, and periodic exams. Seniors only.
Marine Science Freshman Research Program (Eckerd College MS199) Five members of the Class of 2016 were selected to work in the Sharp Lab during the 2012-2013 academic year as part of the Marine Science Freshman Research Program, working up soft coral samples and sponge specimens from the Florida Keys. By the end of the year, they all had great hands-on expertise in methods including DNA extraction, clone library construction, PCR, and bacterial 16S sequence analysis. Their work led to the identification of bacteria that are potentially involved in diseases of important marine invertebrates in the Florida Keys! They presented their findings in a poster at the Eckerd College Research Symposium in April 2013. Students selected during freshman application period.