Course Descriptions

BIOL 502 Special Topics in Marine Biology (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.

BIOL 503 Special Topics in Ecology (3-4)

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.

BIOL 504 Applied & Environmental Microbiology (4)

A lecture and laboratory study of the special applications of microbiology to domestic water and waste water and solidwastes, food and dairy products, and industrial processes. Includes the microbial distribution and its role in various marine and freshwaterm terrestrial, animal, and product environments. Lectures three hours per week; laboratory three hours per week. NOTE: Please refer to the appropriate academic catalog for additional course information concerning prerequisites, co-requisites and course restrictions.

BIOL 506 Conservation Biology (3)

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.

BIOL 513 Marine Conservation Genetics (3)

This course will introduce students to genetic tools and analyses and how they have been applied to habitat conservation, harvesting, captive breeding programs, invasive species, and forensics.

BIOL 513L Marine Conservation Genetics Laboratory (1)

This laboratory course provides hands-on training of open-source analytical software and published and unpublished datasets that focus on genetic tools and analyses and how they have been applied to habitat conservation, harvesting, captive breeding programs, invasive species, and forensics.

BIOL 523 Genomics (4)

This 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.

BIOL 527 Marine Tetrapod Biology (3)

This course explores the complex ecology, morphology, physiology, behavior and conservation of marine reptiles, birds and mammals of the South Carolina Lowcountry.

BIOL 532 Biology of Fishes (4)

A study of the biology of fishes, emphasizing diversity and evolution, morphology, physiology, ecology, life histories, behavior, systematics, and biogeography. Laboratory work focuses on groups important in the local fauna. Lectures three hours per week; laboratory three hours per week.

BIOL 535 Marine Botany (4)

Introduction to taxonomy, morphology, phylogeny, and ecology of marine plants. Major groups of seaweeds and planktonic algae from the coast of South Carolina will be emphasized. Lectures three hours per week; laboratory three hours per week. 

BIOL 537 Biology of Invertebrates (4)

Classification, morphology, physiology, behavior and life histories of invertebrates. Laboratory work will emphasize the study of living material from the local fauna. Lectures three hours per week; laboratory three hours per week.

BIOL 544 Plant Ecology (4)

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.

BIOL 545 Systematic Biology (3)

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.

BIOL 549 Biology of Coral Reefs (3)

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.

BIOL 600 Physiology and Cell Biology of Marine Organisms (4)

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)

BIOL 601 Ecology of Marine Organisms (4)

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)

BIOL 610 Physical Oceanography (4)

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)

BIOL 611 Biometry (4)

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)

BIOL 620, 621 Graduate Core Seminars (1 each)

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)

BIOL 641 Marine Parasitology (4)

The morphology, life cycles, ecology, physiology and pathogenic effects of animals parasitic in or on marine hosts are considered. The parasites to be studied include protozoa, helminths, arthropods and other miscellaneous groups typical of the marine environment. The principles and practice of parasite taxonomy and evaluation, along with morphologic and physiologic studies, are emphasized in the laboratory. Lectures three hours per week; laboratory three hours per week. 

BIOL 643 Fisheries Science (3)

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.

BIOL 644 Aquaculture (3)

Principles and techniques of aquaculture, with emphasis on warm-water species that spend all or part of their lives in salt water. Status and potential of aquaculture, including detailed discussions of established and candidate species. Design and management of aquaculture systems. Importance of water quality, feeding and nutrition, diseases and predators, genetics and breeding and economic considerations in aquaculture. Lectures three hours per week.

BIOL 646 Aquatic Toxicology (3)

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.

BIOL 649 Comparative Genomics (4)

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.

BIOL 650 Seminar in Marine Biology (1)

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)

BIOL 690 Independent Study (1-4)

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. To enroll in an Independent Study Course you need to complete the Individual Enrollment Form

BIOL 700 Thesis and BIOL 900 Continuous Research (1-4)

Individual thesis research in marine biology. No more than 4 semester hours of thesis credit may be counted toward fulfilling the minimum degree requirements. To enroll in Thesis credits you need to complete the Individual Enrollment Form. To enroll in Continuous Research you need to complete the Continuous Research Enrollment Form.

EVSS 549 Geographic Information Systems (4)

This course will cover spatial types and quality, data input operations, database management, data analysis, and software design concerns. We will also examine institutional and political concerns for using GIS. Computer-based GIS software (Unix, PC, and Mac) will be used throughout the course.

EVSS 569 Advanced GIS: Environmental and Hazards Models (4)

Advanced GIS: Environmental and Hazards Modeling is designed to enhance student’s knowledge of and skills in the science and applications of Geographic Information Systems. Topics include: Cloud GIS, model building, processing automation, LIDAR and image processing and FEMA’s HAZUS. Prerequisite(s): EVSS 549