Biology Cartoon
Science B-64. Feeding the World: Feeding Yourself
OEB 10. Foundations of Biological Diversity
OEB 52. Biology of Plants
OEB 120. Physiology of Plants
OEB 122. Field Research in Ecology and Conservation
OEB 193. Advanced Research in Ecology and Conservation
Biology 212r. Advanced Topics in Plant Physiology
Biology 339. Whole-Plant Physiology

 

Brief summaries of courses. For updated information, please visit the OEB courses page

Science B-64 . Feeding the World; Feeding Yourself

Catalog Number: 2078

N. Michele Holbrook and Noreen Tuross

Half course (spring term). M., W., F., at 11, and a weekly section to be arranged.

Science B-64 asks: What is the capacity of our planet to feed the ever-increasing human population? How do we define a healthy human diet? The course considers food as a biological resource and an ecological process, addressing such themes as the biological basis for agricultural productivity, the history of human innovation in increasing crop production, and the relationship between diet and helath. Specific topics include plant and animal domestication, the efficience of energy conversion by plants and animals, the biochemistry of food and digestion, the opportunities (and risks) associated with genetic manipulation and food preparation, and the challenges resulting from climate change.

EXAM GROUP: 4

 

OEB 10. Foundations of Biological Diversity

Catalog Number: 7967

Brian D. Farrell and N. Michele Holbrook

Half course (fall term). M.,W.,F., at 12 and three hours of laboratory/discussion section weekly, including field trips to marine and forest environments

OEB 10 provides an integrated approach to the diversity of life, emphasizing how chemical, physical, genetic, ecological and geologic processes contribute to the origin and maintenance of biological diversity. Topics covered include the evolution of metabolic pathways, multicellularity and structural complexity; causes and consequesnces of differences in diversity over space and time; the role of species interactions (including symbioses) as an evolutionary force; and the evolution of humans and their impact on the environment.

EXAM GROUP: 5

Prerequisite: Knowledge of introductor molecular, cellular biology and genetics is recommended. This course, when taken for a letter grade, meets the Core area requirement for Science B.

 

OEB 52 (formerly OEB 124). Biology of Plants

Catalog Number: 1343

N. Michele Holbrook, Elena M. Kramer and Jacques Dumais

Half course (spring term). Tu., Th., 10-11:30, one afternoon laboratory per week, plus occasional field trips. Enrollment limited to 16.

OEB 52 provides an introduction to the structure, diversity and physiology of plants with an emphasis on evolutionary relationships and adaptations to life on land. Topics include growth, resource acquisition, interactions with other organisms (i.e. fungi, bacteria and insects), reproduction and survival in extreme environments. Laboratory sessions provide an overview of plant diversity and an introduction to basic physiological processes.

EXAM GROUP: 12, 13

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. This course, when taken for a letter grade, meets the Core area requirement for Science B.

 

OEB 120. Physiology of Plants

Catalog Number: 2554

N. Michele Holbrook

Half course (fall term). Hours to be arranged.

OEB 120 in an introduction to the physiology, biochemistry and development of plants. Topics include photosynthesis, energy balance, transport processes, growth, biomechanics and reproduction. Emphasis on the physiological basis for structural adaptations of plants in relation to environmental constraints and on mechanisms leading to development and physiological integration at the whole-plant level. Laboratory sessions provide an introduction to basic measurement techniques in plant physiology.

NOTE: Expected to be given in 2008-09

 

OEB 122 (was 122a). Field Research in Ecology and Conservation

Catalog Number: 9324

N. Michele Holbrook, David R. Foster and kathleen Donohue

Half course (spring term). M., 1-3.

OEB 122 introduces students to advanced concepts in ecology and conservation in preparation for research through focused discussion and field trips with individual and collaborating faculty and science teams. Students learn to read and critique scientific literature, prepare annotated bibliographies, and write independent research proposals. Topics include long-term ecological research at the Harvard Forest; field sampling methods; data management; and interdisciplinary studies in ecology and conservation. This course is appropriate for undergraduates interested in ecology, the environment and related fields.

EXAM GROUP: 6, 7

Prerequisite: OEB 10, OEB 55 (formerly BS 55) or equivalent.

 

OEB 193 (formerly OEB 122b). Advanced Research in Ecology and Conservation

Catalog Number: 7742

N. Michele Holbrook, David R. Foster and kathleen Donohue

Half course (spring term). M., 1-3.

OEB 193 consists of a unique peer learning/workshop format which provides formal training to students actively engaged in the research process. Students will develop publications, presentations, senior thesis, and/or interdisciplinary collaborations from current or recent field/lab research activities. Includes focused reading and discussion of student work and relevant literature, plus field trips to the Harvard Forest for hands-on training and workshops in scientific writing/presentations, mapping/graphics, and experimental design/analysis. Tailored to the individual research eneds of enrollees. Can supplement or substitute for 99r.

EXAM GROUP: 6, 7

Prerequisite: OEB 10, OEB 55 (formerly BS 55), OEB 122 or equivalent.


OEB 212r. Advanced Topics in Plant Physiology

Catalog Number: 2176

N. Michele Holbrook and Andrew H. Knoll

Half course (fall term). Hours to be arranged.

OEB 212r provides a critical discussion of current research in plant physiology including measurement techniques, modeling, and experimental approaches. In 2007, we will focus on how quantitative predictions drawn from the study of extant plants can be used to illuminate and constrain the functional biology of fossil lineages. We will critically examine quantitative models of fluid flow in stems and leaves, stressing the physiological consequences of anatomical features preservable in fossils, and then evaluate the utility of these and other approaches in the physiological reconstruction of selected Paleozoic fossils.

Prerequisite: OEB 120, OEB 107, or permission of instructor

 

Biology 339. Whole-Plant Physiology

Catalog Number: 5214

N. Michele Holbrook