BIOL 205 (Winter)

Biology of Organisms



Instructors:
J. Sakata
N4/8
(514) 398-3636
jon.sakata@mcgill.ca
S. Woolley
N4/8
(514) 398-2324
sarah.woolley@mcgill.ca
A. Hargreaves TBA (514) 398-7401 anna.hargreaves@mcgill.ca
Workload:
3 credits (3-0-6)
Prerequisites:
BIOL 200, PHYS 101 or PHYS 131 or equivalent
Corequisite:
BIOL 201 or ANAT 212 / BIOC 212
Content:

This course is designed to provide a unified view of the form and function of living organisms. Rooted in comparative physiology and functional morphology, it relates the laws of physics and chemistry to the fundamental processes of living organisms. These processes include the acquisition, distribution, storage, and allocation of energy and materials, and the mechanisms involved in growth, development and reproduction. A final section introduces environmental physiology. The focus is on the integrated functioning of the whole organism and its component organ systems. Implications for population, community and ecosystem processes are discussed. Examples are drawn from a wide range of organisms, but the emphasis is on higher plants and vertebrate animals. The course assumes a background in basic biology, chemistry and physics.

1. INTRODUCTION

Introduction to the course
Introduction to organisms

2. ENERGY

Energy, light and life
Carbon assimilation
Whole plant and whole crop photosynthesis
Acquisition of food and digestion in animals
Aerobic and anaerobic energy production
Metabolism, size and activity
Metabolic rate and temperature
Heat exchange and temperature regulation

3. MATERIALS

Water uptake and transport in plants
Transpiration
Translocation of photosynthates in plants
Uptake and assimilation of nutrients in plants
Biological nitrogen fixation and assimilation
Gas exchange mechanisms in animals
Circulation and gas transport
Excretion

4. BIOMECHANICS

Size and structural support
Terrestrial locomotion
Fluid dynamics

5. GROWTH, DEVELOPMENT AND REPRODUCTION

Growth and development I - general considerations
Growth and development II - plants
Growth and development III - animals
Plant reproductive timing
Pollination and seed development
Hormones and animal reproduction
Innate immunity, memory, and learning
Aging, senescence and death

6. ENVIRONMENTAL EXTREMES

Sensing the environment – The nervous system
Sensing the environment – Sensory systems
Sensing the environment – Cellular signaling
Concepts of environmental stress
Water availability and dehydration stresses
Low and high temperature stress in plants and animals
Oxygen distribution and hypoxic stress

7. IMPLICATIONS & CONCLUSIONS

Biotechnology and social concerns
Conclusions
       
Readings:
Only the Course Pack is required.
Following books provide supplementary information for interested students:

1) Eckert Animal Physiology by D. Randall, W. Burggren and K. French. 2001. 5th edition. W. H. Freeman.
2) Principles of Animal Physiology by C. Moyes and P. Schulte. 2008. 2nd edition.Pearson Education Inc.
3) Introduction to Plant Physiology by W.G. Hopkins and N.P.A Huner. 4th edition, 2009,. John Wiley & Sons.
4) Life, The Science of Biology by Sadava, D. et al. (8th edition 2008 and 9th edition 2011). Sinauer Associates.
Method:
Three lectures per week, and optional conference sessions for review and clarification of course materiall.
Evaluation:

Two examinations consisting of short essays and problems: an evening mid-term and a final. There are 7 short pre-lecture quizzes on myCourses to encourage reading of the notes before the lectures and 4 post-lecture on-line tests. Participation in class through student-response system (clickers).


McGill University values academic integrity. Therefore all students must understand the meaning and consequences of cheating, plagiarism and other academic offences under the Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures (see http://www.mcgill.ca/integrity/ for more information).

 
Last update: March 21, 2017