Biology Honours Seminar (BIOL 4549, Fall 2022 & Winter 2023) 6 credit hours
The Biology Honours Seminar is offered exclusively to Honours students in Biology that are simultaneously enrolled in the Honours Research Thesis (BIOL 4500). The objective of this course is to provide instruction and exposure to critical thinking and scientific communication. Students will be given guidance on how to write their research thesis and how to present scientific research orally and in the form of a poster presentation. Students receive training in such topics as biological experimental design, data analysis, figure preparation, manuscript writing, and the peer review process. Students focus on developing communication skills by presenting seminars, a poster, and attending faculty research talks. Students also attend the annual Science Atlantic Conference held in March.
Prerequisite: Honours standing in Biology
Plant Biology (BIOL 2303, Winter 2023) 3 credit hours
This course is an introduction to plant biology and diversity, basic mechanisms of land plant physiology, behaviour, and ecology, with an emphasis on the structure, reproduction, and development of flowering plants (Angiosperms). Land plants are also studied from an evolutionary perspective, spanning from the first appearance of plants on land to the major groups present today. Students will explore the nature of plant diversity and biological structures through hands-on examination and preparation of plant material in the lab. Students will gain transferrable skills such as scientific communication (written & oral), critical reading and researching of a topic, microscopy, specimen staining and dissection, collecting data and interpreting results from an observational lab experiment.
Techniques in Plant Functional Ecology (BIOL 4899, Winter 2023) 3 credit hours
This course introduces students to core techniques in plant functional ecology through reading the literature and conducting hands-on work in the laboratory. In particular, students will learn how to: 1) prepare leaf materials for anatomical measurements and chemical analyses; 2) test different leaf extraction methods for chemical analyses; 3) measure leaf pH, electrical conductivity, and various ion concentrations; 4) measure leaf gas exchange of carbon dioxide and water vapour. Students will be trained on the use of specialized instrumentation, relevant statistical analyses, and scientific communication.
Prerequisite: BIOL 2303
Plant Ecology (BIOL 4410, Fall 2023) 3 credit hours
This course focuses on the theory and practice of plant ecology. We will focus on the factors that affect the distribution and abundance of plant species at different biological and spatial scales, including resource availability, species interactions, and environmental change. Hands-on field and laboratory activities emphasize patterns of plant distribution, abundance, and ecological processes. Students will learn numerical techniques to investigate relationships between plants and their environment. Topics also include plant adaptations, conservation issues, global change, and ecological restoration.