BY 101 Introductory Biology I (3 h)

Pre-requisites: None.

Co-requisites: BY 103.

Description: An introduction to the concepts of biology, including cellular structure and function, bioenergetics, patterns and mechanisms of inheritance, the processes of evolution, and ecology. Intended for biology majors and minors and pre-nursing students.

BY 332 Ecology (lecture + lab; 4 h)

Pre-requisites: BY 101, 102, 103, 104.

Co-requisites: MS 112 or higher.

Description: Prerequisite or Lecture, laboratory, and field study. The association and distribution of organisms in relation to the major environmental factors.

Overview: In this course, we explore the wonderful world of Ecology. Ecology is the study of the relationships between organisms and their environment, including interactions that determine the distribution and abundance of species. This course will introduce you to the processes influencing individuals to populations, communities, and ecosystems. Different timescales are addressed, from brief behavioral events, to historical processes operating over millions of years. During Lectures, you will learn the principles determining variation in (1) growth, physiology, and reproduction of individual organisms; (2) interactions between living organisms and the physical environment (ecosystems); (3) population fluctuations; (4) multispecies interactions; (5) community diversity and stability; and (6) global climate, biome structure and distribution, and Earth history, as arranged into six Modules. In the Laboratory, you will learn about abiotic and biotic factors influencing the geographical distributions of species (distributional ecology). Our lab course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) will be inserted within a broader project monitoring and predicting the responses of Alabama’s coastal dune ecosystems to climate change and sea-level rise. Student projects will use current methods to construct ecological niche models (ENMs) to better understand factors influencing the past, present, or future distributions of sandy dune plant species. We will discuss the theory and practice of ecological niche modeling, including the applications and management importance of ENMs in the face of various threats to species, as well as their broader relevance to ecology and evolution.

BY 460 Ichthyology (lecture + lab; 4 h)

Pre-requisites: BY 332.

Description: An overview of the evolution, ecology, behavior, physiology, and conservations of fishes. Preparation and presentation of an original library or lab/field research project required. Lecture, laboratory, and field study.

BY 577 Graduate Seminar in Systematics (2 h)

Pre-requisites: Approval of instructor.

Description: Presentation, discussion, and analysis of recently published research in systematic biology; independent library research required.

Overview: Systematics is the subfield of evolutionary biology concerned most broadly with the origins and classification of biodiversity (biological diversity). Systematic biologists (also ‘systematists’) focus on a number of challenging philosophical and practical issues, including the nature of species; discovering and practically delimiting species; describing species; inferring the relationships of genes, populations, species, and higher taxa; and understanding the evolution of different characteristics of taxa (traits, distributions, and interactions).

BY 577 Graduate Seminar in Systematics serves to introduce JSU graduate students to the presentation, discussion, and analysis of recently published research in systematic biology. Each week, students will take turns presenting primary research articles and review papers. Therefore, independent library research, reading, and preparation of student-led presentations and discussions is required. My personal goals for each of you in this class include for you to develop a deeper understanding of the why and how of phylogenetics; to become more adept at actively and creatively thinking and communicating about systematics; and for you to be inspired to apply methods of systematics to research questions that you are interested in.

Bagley Lab Courses

PhylogatR Training Course

[ Coming soon. ]