New Courses in Biology


The Department of Biological Sciences has introduced the following new courses. Please note that not all courses are offered each semester: please check the NJIT course schedule to see which courses are coming up. If you are interested in a course and would like to know when it will next be offered, please see your academic advisor.


BIOL 250:  Biology of Neotropical Habitats: Ecuador and Galápagos Islands

Prerequisite: Students must interview with the instructor and have his/her permission. This course is an introduction to tropical biology and evolution held in Ecuador's Highlands, Rain Forest, and in the Galápagos Islands. The course will concentrate on using a hands-on approach to study the flora and fauna of these unique habitats. The course also addresses the history, politics, and culture of Ecuador, with emphasis on how these issues influence the management and sustainability of Ecuadorian natural resources.  Effective: Winter 2013

BIOL 315:  Principles of Neurobiology

Prerequisite: R120:201 and R120:202 with a grade of C or better. This course will examine the basic principles that govern neuronal function, emphasizing cellular, developmental, and physiological aspects. The course begins with cellular properties of neurons and synaptic communication and will review the organization, function, development, and disorders of neural systems. Effective: Fall 2013

BIOL 344:  Physiological Mechanisms

Prerequisites: Biol 340. This course will utilize clinical (pathological) case studies to reinforce physiologic knowledge and provide students a strong basis for future studies in biomedical and health related fields. Effective From: Spring 2013

BIOL 338:  Ecology of the Dining Hall

Prerequisites: BIOL 205 with a C or better and BIOL 206, or permission of instructor. This course will use the examination of an on-campus ecosystem, the dining hall, as a framework for learning about a number of applied ecological concepts. We will investigate topics such as food webs, nutrient cycling, microbial ecology, and agroecology as they apply to the organisms and biological processes, present in our dining hall. Course work will involve extensive reading and discussion of scientific and popular literature, supplemented by regular class trips to the dining hall and related on-campus facilities. Effective From: Fall 2012

BIOL 341:  Introduction to Neurophysiology

Prerequisite: R120:201 and R120:202 with a grade of C or better. This course will examine the physiology of neurons such as excitability, impulse conduction, synaptic of neural signaling and neural plasticity. The objective is to provide students with a basic understanding of neural signaling and communication. Effective From: Fall 2012

BIOL 385:  Evolution of Animal Behavior Lab

Prerequisite: BIOL 205, BIOL 206, R120:201 and R120:202 with a grade of C or better. A lab course focusing on research in Animal Behavior. This course will cover foraging, predator avoidance, territoriality, and mate choice. Labs will be inquiry based with students designing experiments to test hypotheses concerning aspects of animal behavior. Effective From: Fall 2012

BIOL 400:  Biology of Science Fiction

Prerequisite: R120:340/BIOL 340 or R120:345 and R120:355 or R120:356 or R120:352 with a grade of C or better. Popular science fiction media will be utilized to initiate thinking critically and creatively about the biological sciences; from the molecular level to whole organism physiology. Students will explore the potential biology of fictitious organisms, and determine real-life analogues. These topics will be used as a vehicle to improve scientific writing and to apply biological knowledge in a new and unique way. Effective From: Fall 2012

BIOL 699:  Special Topics: From Ants to Twitterers, the Collective Intelligence of Swarms, Flocks and Crowds.
  Instructors: Simon Garnier and Eric Fortune

Description: Understanding collective intelligence is one of the main challenges of contemporary science. Social dynamics are essential for the organization of gregarious and social organisms, and they are an important part of many human activities including the selection of social and industrial norms, the growing use of crowd-sourcing and viral marketing in social networks, and the influence of media and entourage on the outcome of democratic processes.

This course will emphasize an integrative view of collective animal behaviors, with elements of ethology, behavioral ecology, sociology, socio-physics, and mathematical and computer modeling. It will also address topics in the evolution of sociality, the development of social and cultural conventions, and the applications of swarm intelligence.

The course objectives are (1) to provide you with an understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of organization in large-scale groups; (2) to understand how these mechanisms are incorporated into the behavior of different animal groups; (3) to highlight the importance of interdisciplinary research by studying and discussing scientific work spanning multiple disciplines. Effective From: Fall 2012