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Biology (2002-2003)

Admission | Certificate | Courses | Program | Requirements

Department Chairperson: Richard V. Anderson
Graduate Committee Chairperson: Robert V. Gessner
Department Office: Waggoner Hall 372
Department Telephone: 309/298-1546 Fax: 309/298-2270
WWW Address: www.wiu.edu/users/mibiol
Location of Program Offering: Macomb, Quad Cities, Shedd Aquarium, Alice L. Kibbe Life Sciences Station

Graduate Faculty

  • Professors
    • Richard V. Anderson, Ph.D., Colorado State University
    • Thomas C. Dunstan, Ph.D., University of South Dakota
    • H. Herbert Edwards, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
    • Robert V. Gessner, Ph.D., University of Rhode Island
    • Lawrence A. Jahn, Ph.D., Montana State University
    • Kenneth C. Keudell, Ph.D., University of Missouri
    • P. James Nielsen, Ph.D., University of Nebraska
    • Michael A. Romano, Ph.D., Miami University–Ohio
    • Jeanette A. Thomas, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
  • Associate Professors
    • Althea K. Alton, Ph.D., Cornell University
    • Thomas H. Alton, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    • Laura M. Barden-Gabbei, Ph.D., University of Maryland–College Park
  • Assistant Professors
    • Matthew F. Bonnan, Ph.D., Northern Illinois University
    • Jeffrey E. Engel, Ph.D., University of Iowa
    • Scott M. Holt, Ph.D., Iowa State University
    • Sean E. Jenkins, Ph.D., University of Missouri–Columbia
    • Shawn A. Meagher, Ph.D., University of Michigan
    • Kenneth W. McCravy, Ph.D., University of Georgia
    • Susan T. Meiers, Ph.D., Louisiana State University
    • Eric Ribbens, Ph.D., University of Connecticut
  • Adjunct Faculty
    • Stephen Havera, Ph.D., University of Illinois
    • David Lonsdale, M.S., Purdue University
    • Richard Sparks, Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Program Description

The Department of Biological Sciences offers a graduate program leading to the Master of Science degree on the Macomb campus. Courses are also occasionally offered at the Quad Cities Graduate Study Center in Rock Island, Illinois. Additional field biology courses are taught during the summer session at the Alice L. Kibbe Life Sciences Station along the Mississippi River near Warsaw, IL. The department has an association with the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago where courses are offered and research is conducted.

The Master of Science in Biology degree prepares students for a broad spectrum of career opportunities in industry, with government agencies, for additional graduate work at other institutions, and for successful careers in education.

Admission Requirements

Applications for admission are accepted at anytime, but decisions concerning graduate assistantships are generally made by March 1 for the following academic year.

Students selecting the biological sciences as a graduate major must have received a bachelor's degree with work in biological sciences recognized as adequate by the Departmental Graduate Committee. Departmental approval may be contingent upon the student making up undergraduate deficiencies. All incoming students are expected to have three semesters of chemistry (including organic or biochemistry) and two semesters each of the following: general biology, physics or geology (any sequence) and mathematics. Also required are a semester each of genetics, ecology, physiology, cell biology and other courses relating to the student’s area of study and WIU undergraduate biology requirements as determined by the Department Graduate Committee. Undergraduate deficiencies can be taken P/F but must be completed before graduation.

The department has no foreign language requirement for the Master of Science degree.

Although the Graduate Record Examination is not required, students are encouraged to submit scores for both the General Test and the Subject Test in biology prior to admission.

Acceptance to do graduate work in the department is dependent upon the following: a minimum GPA of 2.70 (unless waived by action of the Departmental Graduate Committee), three letters of recommendation, and a written statement on student’s interests and career goals (form available from department).

The chairperson of the Graduate Committee serves as academic adviser until a faculty adviser is mutually agreed upon.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Biology can be earned by satisfying either the requirements of the Thesis Plan or the Non-Thesis Plan. The Thesis Plan is designed for students who are interested in research and/or wish to continue their education beyond the Master's Degree. The Non-Thesis Plan is recommended for students who want additional advanced training in the biological sciences, but do not have research-oriented career goals. Additional information concerning policies and procedures can be found in the Biology Graduate Handbook, available from the department.

Students must file a Degree Plan at the department level prior to the completion of 15 semester hours. No more than 50 percent of the graduate program may be earned at the 400G level.

All students must complete the requirements of either the Thesis or Non-Thesis Plans listed below.

  1. Thesis Plan
    1. Graduate Core: 9 s.h.
      1. BIOL 501 Biometrics (3 s.h.)
      2. BIOL 502 Biomolecules (3 s.h.) or BIOL 542 Molecular Biology of Genes (3 s.h.)
      3. BIOL 503 Biosystematics and Evolution ( 3 s.h.)
    2. Electives: 13 s.h.
      1. Any 400G- or 500-level BIOL, BOT, MICR, ZOOL or approved nondepartmental or transfer courses. The maximum number of semester hours allowed from the following is: BIOL 570 Seminar (2 s.h.), approved nondepartmental graduate courses (6 s.h.), and approved transfer courses (9 s.h.)
    3. Thesis Related Courses (required): 10 s.h.
      1. BIOL 576 Survey of Biological Literature (1 s.h.)
        BIOL 600 Thesis Research(maximum of six hours can count toward the degree plan, unlimited number of hours can be taken) (6 s.h.)
        BIOL 601 Thesis (3 s.h.)
      TOTAL PROGRAM 32 s.h.
    4. File thesis proposal and complete other general requirements listed above.
    5. Complete independent research and thesis.
    6. When enrollment is on campus (Macomb), attend all departmental seminars.
    7. Present seminar on thesis.
    8. Pass an oral examination on thesis, specialization in biology, and general areas of biology (cell/molecular, organismal, population/community).
  2. Non-Thesis Plan
    1. Graduate Core : 9 s.h.
      1. BIOL 501 Biometrics (3 s.h.)
      2. BIOL 502 Biomolecules (3 s.h.) or BIOL 542 Molecular Biology of Genes (3 s.h.)
      3. BIOL 503 Biosystematics and Evolution ( 3 s.h.)
    2. Electives: 24 s.h.
      1. Any 400G- or 500-level BIOL, BOT, MICR, ZOOL or approved nondepartmental or transfer courses. Must include a minimum of Three hours but not more than 15 hours of each of the following: BOT, MICR, and ZOOL. The maximum number of semester hours allowed from the following: BIOL 570 Seminar (2 s.h.), approved nondepartmental graduate courses (6 s.h.), and approved transfer courses (9 s.h.); BIOL 576, 600, 601 cannot be used.
    3. Advanced Project Related Course: 3 s.h.
      1. BIOL 577 Research Problems
        TOTAL PROGRAM 36 s.h.
    4. Pass comprehensive written exams administered by department. Students must achieve a score of 70 percent or greater on the departmental proficiency exams for BIOL 102 and BIOL 103 or score above the 50th percentile on the GRE Advanced Biology Exam. The departmental exams must be taken before completing nine semester hours and may be retaken twice at intervals of not less than one month.
    5. File non-thesis project proposal and complete course work.
    6. Present a seminar on an advanced biological project determined in consultation with the adviser.
    7. When enrollment is on campus (Macomb), attend all departmental seminars.
    8. Pass an oral examination on advanced biological project, specialization in biology, and general areas of biology (cell/molecular, organismal, population/community).

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Programs
The department offers a post-baccalaureate certificate in Zoo and Aquarium Studies. For program details, please go to www.wiu.edu/0203catalog/zooaqua.shtml.

Course Descriptions

Biology

419G Organic Evolution. (3) A detailed study of the mechanisms of evolution. Field trip may be required. Prerequisites: BIOL 102, 103, 330, and 340; Graduate standing in biology.

439G Methods of Teaching Biological Sciences. (3) Study of biology teaching methods from the standpoints of theory and practice, curriculum objectives, materials, and evaluation. Included are demonstrations, discussions, lectures, classroom participation, and observations. Corequisite: EIS 303 or 592 (graduate level). Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission of instructor.

440G Advanced Genetics. (3) Topics vary and may include molecular genetics, regulation of protein synthesis, mutagenesis, gametogenesis, and genetic control of differentiation and morphogenesis. Prerequisites: BIOL 102, 103, 330, 340 and one year of chemistry; graduate standing in biology.

453G Streams Ecology. (3) Structure and function in lotic ecosystems is emphasized in this course. Physical, chemical, and biotic factors used in stream classification will be examined. Prerequisites: BIOL 102 and 103; graduate standing and either an ecology course or permission of the instructor.

454G Mississippi River Ecology. (3) A study of the structure and function of abiotic and biotic components of a major river system. Emphasis will be placed on understanding how components interact and are influenced by activities related to human interdiction. Prerequisites: One year of biology and graduate standing or permission of the instructor.

455G Mississippi River Ecology Laboratory. (1) Techniques used to study the large floodplain river ecosystem of the Mississippi River will be demonstrated or used by students to collect samples from its plant and animal communities. Prerequisites: BIOL 454G or concurrent registration in BIOL 454G; graduate standing in biology.

501 Biometrics. (3) Basic methods of experimental design and evaluation of biological data. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in biology.

502 Biomolecules. (3) Survey of DNA structure, replication, recombination and mutagenesis; RNA and protein localization, synthesis and processing; recombinant DNA techniques and applications. Prerequisites: Graduate standing in biology. BIOL 330 and 340 recommended; closed to students who have taken BIOL 542.

503 Biosystematics and Evolution. (3) Mechanisms of evolution of emphasizing genetic aspects and principles of systematics. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in biology.

542 Molecular Biology of Genes. (3) Structure and function of nucleic acids and proteins, gene structure, expression and regulation; genetic exchange and rearrangements; DNA replication; molecular cloning and recombinant DNA technology. Prerequisites: BIOL 330, 340; CHEM 332, or graduate standing or permission of the instructor.

543 Molecular Biology of Cells and Viruses. (3) Molecular biology and molecular genetics of cell structure and function; recombinant DNA techniques and transgenic organisms as research tools in modern biology; viruses as models. Prerequisite: BIOL 542 or permission of the instructor; graduate standing in biology.

550 Professional Workshop. (1-3, repeatable to 12)

570 Seminar. (1, repeatable) Topics in biological sciences. Graded S/U. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in biology.

576 Survey of the Biological Literature. (1) Scope and applications of the biological literature related to writing a thesis. Directed by adviser, Graded S/U. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in biology.

577 Research Problems. (1–3, repeatable to 3) Investigation may be conducted in any of the specialties represented by the staff. Most specialties are represented in the course offerings. Prerequisite: Permission of the department chairperson; graduate standing in biology.

581 Electron Microscopy. (3) Develops skills for fixation, embedment, sectioning, staining, viewing, and photographing of biological tissues with scanning and transmission electron microscopes. Other techniques in electron microscopy are discussed. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in biology.

582 Ecological Techniques. (3) Techniques used to study and evaluate terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems will be demonstrated and/or used by students to collect samples and analyze data from ecosystems. Prerequisites: Graduate standing in biology; one year of biology or BIOL 102 and 103 and an ecology course or permission of the instructor.

600 Thesis Research. (1–12, repeatable to 48) Research relating to a thesis topic. Graded S/U. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in biology.

601 Thesis. (3) Preparation of a thesis under direction of an adviser. Graded S/U.

Botany

402G Field Mycology. (3) Identification, systematics, and ecology of macro-fungi. Prerequisites: BIOL 102 and 103; graduate standing in biology.

410G Plant Systematics. (3) The basic systems, principles and methods of plant systematics stressing the identification and classification of Illinois vascular plants. Prerequisites: BIOL 102 and 103; graduate standing in biology.

423G Phycology. (3) Morphology, taxonomy, physiology, genetics, and ecology of the algae, particularly freshwater forms. Prerequisites: BIOL 102 and 103; graduate standing in biology.

430G Plant Physiology. (3) Physiological processes of plants as an interaction of structure, chemistry, physical characteristics, and environment. Prerequisites: BIOL 102, 103, and one year of chemistry; graduate standing in biology.

451G Plant Ecology. (3) Relationships of plants to their environment, community ecology and the use of quantitative methods to determine distribution. Field trip estimate: $25. Prerequisites: BIOL 102, 103, and BOT 210 or 410; graduate standing in biology.

452G Freshwater Biology. (3) Common freshwater organisms and some of their relationships to one another, to their environment, and to humans. Prerequisites: BIOL 102 and 103; graduate standing in biology.

461G Plant Pathology. (3) Principles of phytopathology including causal agents, development, diagnosis, and control of plant diseases. Prerequisites: BIOL 102, 103, and MICR 200 or permission of the instructor; graduate standing in Biology.

462G Diseases of Trees and Shrubs. (3) Diagnosis, development, cycles, and control of major diseases in forestry and horticulture. Prerequisites: BIOL 102 and 103; graduate standing in biology.

512 Aquatic and Wetland Plants. (3) Taxonomy and ecology of the vascular plant flora of aquatic habitats. Prerequisites: BIOL 102 and 103; BOT 410 and 451; graduate standing in biology.

554 Limnology. (3) The study of inland waters and their biological, physical and chemical parameters. Outside field trips required. Trip estimate:$10. Prerequisite: At least 18 semester hours in biology, introductory chemistry and physics; graduate standing in biology.

575 Special Topics. (1–3) Topics are studied which are not assigned or covered in other courses in the department. The format of this course will vary depending the topic, instructor, and the needs of students. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor; graduate standing in biology.

Microbiology

400G Bacteriology. (3) Cultural, morphologic, and metabolic properties and methods of isolation of bacteria as related to home and community life, industry, medicine, and agriculture. Prerequisites: One year of chemistry, BIOL 102, 103, and MICR 200; graduate standing in biology.

401G Mycology. (3) An introduction to the biology of fungi emphasizing their morphology, ecology, physiology, and applied aspects; laboratory techniques used in isolation, culture, and identification. Prerequisites: BIOL 102 and 103, and MICR 200 or permission of the instructor; graduate standing in biology.

402G Field Mycology. (3) Identification, systematics and ecology of macro-fungi. Prerequisites: BIOL 102 and 103; graduate standing in biology.

404G Biology of Archaea. (3) Knowing an organism by its genome, Archaeal Cell Structure, Molecular Phylogenetics of Archaea, Life in extreme environments, Biogeography, Ecology, Central Metabolism, Sulfur Metabolism, Methanogenesis, Genetic Exchange, Gene Expression, Growth and Stress Physiology, Archaea in Biotechnology. Prerequisites: BIOL 330, BIOL 340, MICR 200. MICR 400 would be useful but no required.

405G Virology. (3) A study of the biological characteristics of animal, plant, and bacterial viruses and the viruses which cause disease. Prerequisites: BIOL 102, 103, MICR 200; graduate standing in biology.

423G Phycology. (3) Morphology, taxonomy, physiology, genetics, and ecology of the algae, particularly freshwater forms. Prerequisites: BIOL 102 and 103; graduate standing in biology.

434G Immunology. (3) A study of antigens and antibodies, the immune response and immunity, immunological testing, allergy and hypersensitivity, transplantation, and autoimmune disease. Laboratory includes selected immunological techniques. Prerequisites: One year of chemistry, BIOL 102, 103, MICR 200; graduate standing in biology.

451G Microbial Ecology. (3) Ecobiology of the major microbial groups and their role in processing carbonaceous and geochemical elements in aquatic and terrestrial environments. Prerequisites: BIOL 102, 103, MICR 200; graduate standing in biology.

460G Parasitology. (3) The study of animal parasites. Prerequisites: BIOL 102 and 103; graduate standing in biology.

461G Plant Pathology. (3) Principles of phytopathology including causal agents, development, diagnosis, and control of plant diseases. Prerequisites: BIOL 102, 103, MICR 200 or permission of the instructor; graduate standing in biology.

463G Pathogenic Bacteriology. (3) The study of bacteria, rickettsia, mycoplasma, and chlamydia which cause disease in humans. Prerequisites: BIOL 102, 103, MICR 200; graduate standing in biology.

464G Medical Mycology. (3) The study of fungi which cause disease in humans. Prerequisites: BIOL 102, 103, one advanced course in microbiology (preferably MICR 401 or 463) or permission of the instructor; graduate standing in biology.

465G Microbial Fermentation Laboratory. (3) Laboratory exercises in microbial fermentation processes, from shake-flasks to scale-up minifermentors, culture selection and maintenance, product analysis, and recovery. Prerequisites: MICR 400 or 401, or equivalent; graduate standing or permission of the instructor.

575 Special Topics. (1–3) Topics are studied which are not assigned or covered in other courses in the department. The format of this course will vary depending on the topic, instructor, and the needs of the students. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor; graduate standing in biology.

Zoology

409G Bird Identification. (1) The identification and classification of Illinois birds. Prerequisite: One year of college biology or permission of the instructor; graduate standing in biology.

410G Ornithology. (3) Identification, biology, ecology, and life histories of birds. Prerequisites: BIOL 102 and 103; graduate standing in biology.

411G Entomology. (3) Principles of entomology, including classification, general biology, and morphology. Prerequisites: BIOL 102 and 103; graduate standing in biology.

412G Mammalogy. (3) Identification, classification, distribution, and life histories of mammals. Prerequisites: BIOL 102 and 103; graduate standing in biology.

413G Herpetology. (3) Identification, classification, distribution, and biology of reptiles and amphibians. Prerequisites: BIOL 102 and 103; graduate standing in biology.

414G Ichthyology. (3) Identification, classification, distribution, and life histories of fishes. Field Trip estimate: $10. Prerequisites: BIOL 102 and 103; graduate standing in biology.

416G Marine Mammalogy. (3) Survey of marine mammals with emphasis on taxonomy, anatomy, physiology, behavior, ecology, and conservation. Laboratory includes observational study of marine mammals at the Shedd Aquarium. Prerequisites: BIOL 102, 103; graduate standing in biology or related field.

420G Biology of Aging. (3) Introduction to the nature and theories of aging. A study of the processes involved at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels of development and the changes that occur with time. Relationships between aging and immunity, neoplasia, genetics, evolution, etc. are explored. Emphasis on humans. Prerequisite: One course in biology or permission of the instructor; graduate standing in biology.

430G Animal Physiology. (3) Primarily mammalian physiology, concerning the functions of nervous, muscular, respiratory, digestive, excretory, reproductive, and endocrine systems. Prerequisites: BIOL 102, 103, and one year of chemistry; graduate standing in biology.

451G Animal Ecology. (3) Relationships of animals in their environment. Prerequisites: BIOL 102 and 103; graduate standing in biology.

452G Freshwater Biology. (3) Common freshwater organisms and some of their relationships to one another, to their environment, and to humans. Prerequisites: BIOL 102 and 103; graduate standing in biology.

460G Parasitology. (3) The study of animal parasites. Prerequisites: BIOL 102 and 103; graduate standing in biology.

553 Animal Behavior. (3) The activities and responses of animals which facilitate survival under natural conditions. Prerequisite: ZOOL 451 or permission of the instructor; graduate standing in biology.

554 Limnology. (3) The study of inland waters and their biological, physical and chemical parameters. Outside field trips required. Trip estimate: $10. Prerequisite: At least 18 hours of biology, introductory chemistry and physics; graduate standing in biology.

561 Fisheries Management. (3) Techniques of study, maintenance, and improvement of fisheries resources. Prerequisites: ZOOL 414 or permission of the instructor; graduate standing in biology.

562 Game Management. (3) Techniques of study, maintenance, and improvement of game resources. Prerequisite: ZOOL 451 or permission of the instructor; graduate standing in biology.

575 Special Topics. (1–3) Topics are studied which are not assigned or covered in other courses in the department. The format of this course will vary depending on the topic, instructor, and the needs of students. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor; graduate standing in biology.

578 Zoo/Aquarium Practicum. (3) Gain practical experience at organizations that hold captive animals, such as zoos, aquaria, oceanaria, or animal rehabilitation facilities. Experience includes legal issues, ethical issues, husbandry standards and methods, research methods, organizational structure and policy, and facilities management. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; acceptance in the post-baccalaureate certificate program in zoo and aquarium studies.

583 Bioacoustics. (3) Survey of animal adaptations for producing and receiving sound. The effects of human-generated noise on wildlife is described. Techniques for recording sounds, and measuring amplitude and frequency, and time characteristics of sounds are demonstrated. Students will make recordings of animals in the field. Analysis of animal sounds using computer programs is required. Prerequisite: Graduate standing, one year of college physics, or permission of the instructor.

584 Biological Studies in Zoos and Oceanaria. (3) This course discusses the types of studies suited to animals in a captive environment, current research trends, and new techniques being applied to animals in a zoo or oceanarium setting. Long-term monitoring of animals with known life histories provides unique research opportunities. Course covers topics on a variety of vertebrates and emphasizes research conducted at local zoos or oceanaria. Student research project required. Prerequisites: Graduate standing, with at least one year of college-level biology, senior biology major, or permission of the instructor.

585 Animal Training. (3) This course discusses concepts of training in a variety of animals. Techniques for observing behavior, operant conditioning, research, and husbandry/medical training are described. Laboratories include training demonstrations on animals at the Shedd Aquarium. Prerequisites: Graduate standing, with at least one year of college-level biology or psychology, senior biology major, or permission of the instructor.

Western Illinois University.

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