Biol. 502 Special Topics (1-4)
Special studies designed to supplement regular offerings in the program or to investigate an additional, specific area of marine biological research. Recent Special Topics courses have included Coral Reef Biology, Biology of Deep-Sea Organisms, and Marine Biodiversity.
Investigation of advanced specific areas of ecology beyond General Ecology (BIOL 341). Examples of offerings may include marine microbial ecology, benthic ecology, community ecology, and population ecology. NOTE: This course may sometimes include a lab, in which the number of credits will be four.
A study of the regulatory mechanisms found in marine organisms especially as these relate to interactions between the organism and the environment. Mechanisms will be discussed at the organismal, organ-system, tissue, and cellular levels. Lectures three hours per week; laboratory three hours per week. (fall)
The study of living organisms in the marine environment - population and community ecology, reproduction and life histories, productivity, evolution, and biogeography. A broad overview of these elements is followed by detailed consideration of major coastal and oceanic ecosystems around the world. Lectures three hours per week; laboratory three hours per week. (fall)
A study of the physics and chemistry of ocean and estuarine waters, circulation, waves, and tides. Lecture and laboratory work emphasizes the interrelationships of physical, chemical, geological, and biological processes in the sea. Lectures three hours per week; laboratory three hours per week. (spring)
A broad treatment of statistics concentrating on specific statistical techniques used in marine biological research. Topics covered include sampling procedures and analysis of distributions (binomial, poisson, and normal), hypothesis testing and estimation with emphasis on analysis of variance and experimental design (Latin-square, nested, randomized block, factorial), analysis of frequencies, regression, and correlation. Several nonparametric and multivariate methods which are pertinent to research in the marine biological sciences are discussed. Emphasis is on application of statistical techniques and not toward theory; therefore, a knowledge of mathematics through calculus is expected. Lectures three hours per week; laboratory three hours per week. (spring)
This course, directed at graduate and advanced undergraduate students, addresses the role of the immune system in maintaining the health of human and wildlife populations. Lectures and independent reading followed by classroom discussion build skills in critical analysis of current literature in immunotoxicology, clinical and comparative immunology.
An introduction to genetic tools—which ones are available, practical and useful for particular questions—and how these genetic analyses have been applied to a wide variety of ecological topics. Emphasis is placed on marine organisms and issues of dispersal, life histories, recruitment, habitat and mate choice, natural selection, the conservation of biodiversity, and speciation. Lecture three hours per week; laboratory three hours per week.
An introduction to the biology and ecology of reef-building corals and coral reefs. Topics to be covered include coral ecology (nutrition, reproduction, population structure, and distribution), taxonomy and systematics, biogeography and reef-building processes. The course will also cover natural and human induced disturbances on coral reefs and discuss exploitation and coral reef management options.
Seminars on contemporary topics in marine biology acquaint students with the variety of disciplines and techniques available to scientists working in the marine environment. Designed especially to stimulate new-to-the-program students to choose thesis topics. Two hours per week. (620-fall, 621-spring)
A graduate course examining key concepts and recent advances in genomics. Students gain an advanced understanding of genome organization, genome sequencing/characterization, transcriptomics, comparative genomics, and proteomics. Laboratory combines wet lab and bioinformatic approaches to perform genomic analysis. Lectures three hours per week, laboratory three hours per week.
This lecture, laboratory, and field course emphasizes both the diversity and common themes of the physiological, behavioral, and anatomical adaptations that characterize certain lineages of reptiles, birds, and mammals that exploit a wide array of marine habitats. Highlighting the faunas of South Carolina, we will evaluate marine tetrapods as models for advanced studies in evolution, physiology, behavior, ecology, and conservation. Prerequisites: Ecology (BIOL 341) or its equivalent and at least one additional advanced biology course such as Genetics or Vertebrate Zoology.
Plant Ecology will explore the population ecology of plants covering the genetic, spatial, age, and size structure of plant populations. The focus will be on understanding the origin of these different kinds of structures, understanding how these influence each other, and understanding why these change with time.Prerequisite: General Ecology (BIOL 341) or permission of the instructor.
A course exploring the origin, maintenance, and preservation of biodiversity at all levels: genetic, population, community, ecosystem, and biosphere. The focus will be on applying ecological, genetic, and evolutionary principles to problems of conservation. Optional field trips will make use of the rich biota of the Charleston area. Prerequisites: General Ecology (BIOL 341) and either Genetics (BIOL 305) or Evolution (BIOL 350) or permission of the instructor.
A study of the functional morphology, life history, systematics, evolution, and other selected aspects of the biology of marine invertebrates. Lectures three hours per week; laboratory three hours per week.
A study of the biology of fishes, emphasizing diversity and evolution, morphology, physiology, ecology, life histories, behavior, systematics, and biogeography. Laboratory work will focus on groups important in the local fauna. Lectures three hours per week; laboratory three hours per week.
Introduction to taxonomy, morphology, phylogeny, and ecology of marine plants. Major groups of planktonic and benthic algae and vascular plants from the coast of South Carolina are studied. Lectures three hours per week; laboratory three hours per week.
A general introduction to methods of harvesting aquatic resources and collection and evaluation of biological data to effectively manage these resources. Topics include age and growth analysis; mortality, recruitment, and yield; production and early life history; stock assessment techniques; and detailed study of a certain important fisheries. Lectures three hours per week.
An in-depth coverage of the principles of systematics with emphasis on reconstruction of relationships and evolutionary history of organisms. Topics include current theories of systematic and evolutionary biology, methods of phylogenetic systematics,and critical evaluation of phylogenetic hypotheses. Prerequisite: At least one upper division course in organismal biology.
An introduction to assessing the effects of toxic substances on aquatic organisms and ecosystems. Topics include general principles of toxicology, fate and transport models, quantitative structure-activity relationships, single-species and community-level toxicity measures, regulatory issues, and career opportunities. Examples are drawn from marine, freshwater and brackish-water systems. Lectures three hours per week.
An in-depth consideration of genome structure, evolutionary dynamics, and computational analysis driving multi-disciplinary “-omics” approaches to medicine, organismal biology, and environmental science. Students discuss landmark primary literature emphasizing a comparative phylogenetic framework for new advances in genomics and analyze genome-scale data in the computer lab to develop a research proposal. A background in cellular or molecular biology is recommended.
A seminar covering topics in marine biology, fisheries and aquaculture, marine biomedical science, and coastal ecology. Total semester hours in BIOL 650 is normally limited to 3. Does not satisfy elective unit requirement. (fall and spring)
An individual, directed study of issues or topics in an area of marine science. The topic and project outline must be approved by the thesis committee and the program director. Repeatable up to six semester hours toward graduation.
Individual thesis research in marine biology. No more than 4 semester hours of thesis credit may be counted toward fulfilling the minimum degree requirements.