Comparative Oral+ENT Biology - BIOL 193 / 293

Syllabus (2020 spring)

This course is a hands-on introduction to the mouth, ears, nose and throat of vertebrates. It provides a comparative view of the evolution, design and function of the mouth and associated cavities. The target audience is students interested in dentistry, otorhinolaryngology, audiology, speech pathology or organismal biology. Mastication, swallowing, speech and hearing are examined from various perspectives. Common clinical issues in humans, as well as species with extreme performances are also discussed. The course lacks formal lab sections, but classes include practical training in technical sculpture, casting, dissection, drilling, adhesives, wire work, anesthesia, and experiments on speech and hearing.


Credits: 4
No official labs, but 15 practical activities included in the classes.
Pre-requisites: BIOL 51 and 61. 

  • Undergraduates: BIOL 193A. It satisfies part of the bio major requirement of 6 bio electives. 
  • Graduates: BIOL 293A. It satisfies part of the bio M.S. requirement of 4 graduate courses. 

Wait list

The wait list will only be enabled when the course fills.
After it is full, you can contact the secretary of biology and ask to be placed in the wait list.

Human Anatomy - BIOL 71


This course is a comprehensive introduction to the structure of the human body. It provides a foundation that is key for students in the health sciences. It also serves students interested in non-human biology by using the best known vertebrate (man) to show how an organism is structured. The course focuses on macroscopic anatomy, but it also offers notions of cellular and molecular structure. Some aspects of evolutionary history and clinical application are also discussed.


The online version is at http://www.gridipapplab.net/anatomy_book and you can also download the pdf. Notice that this book is free and customized to our needs, presenting the materials in a sequence that matches our course and omitting sections that we do not need to cover.;

If you want a printed copy of the book, you can purchase it from Pacific's Bookstore ($52 new, but used and rental options are available) or from Amazon. It is not the customized version, so

although the anatomy contents are the same, they are arranged in a different order and the book also contains sections on physiology. Anatomy and Physiology, 2013. OpenStax College, Rice University. ISBN-10: 1938168135, ISBN-13: 9781938168130.

Lecture notebook (handouts)

The handouts for this course are compiled in a package called the Notebook (~250 pages). You can download it for free from the course's main page in canvas. If you prefer the convenience of a spiral-bound hard copy, you can purchase it at production cost from http://www.gridipapplab.net/anatomy_notebook.
IMPORTANT: A new edition is published every semester. Do not purchase the notebook until the new edition is out (an announcement will be sent to all students and posted in canvas).

Wait list and section changes

The link below is for the waiting list and for requesting changes in lab or lecture sections.
It becomes enabled soon after the course fills (both sections), but not before.

The list is currently closed.

Human Physiology - BIOL 81

This course is a comprehensive introduction to the function of the human body. You will learn how each part of the body works, from the molecular up to the organismal level, and also how it develops, how it repairs itself, what happens when it malfunctions and how can it be medicated. We will explore the body using slides, a textbook, videos, and laboratory practices, in which you will collect your own measurements to discover aspects of body function. Besides its factual content, this course will help you to develop your ability of integrating concepts across disciplines, your team work skills and your body awareness.

Vertebrate Biology - BIOL 72

Syllabus | Flier

4 credits lecture + lab, a valid elective for biology majors
CRN 83031, 93032. Pre-requisites BIOL 51 and 61 or consent of the instructor.
Graduate students can also take it with additional readings and separate exam questions.
It is listed as Chordate Biology, CRN 83033, 93034.

We will study fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals - in theory and in practice - through classes, labs, field trips and a student research project You will learn throughout the course how discoveries are made in vertebrate anatomy, physiology, ecology and behavior produce advances in medicine, technology and conservation. You will also become familiar with the most common local species.

For each of the five classes of vertebrates, we will examine the main taxonomic groups and their general organization with respect to each of the subjects mentioned above (anatomy, physiology, etc). We will also examine examples of species with extreme adaptations that reveal new principles and inspire applications.

Laboratory work will involve identifying species, dissecting preserved and fresh (previously frozen) tissues to examine structures of interest. Field trips will provide contact with wild animals and their habitat and allow the execution of short projects involving common field methods. The number and destination of the field trips is currently being determined.

Each student will also develop a supervised project along the course, dealing with any practically feasible aspect of vertebrate biology. Such projects can be developed on campus, in parks or in the labs that will maintain fishes and frogs in the department starting this summer.

The course will have an emphasis on tetrapods, as opposed to fishes, and on celular and organismal scale, as opposed to molecular.

Vertebrate Acoustic Communication - BIOL 193A

Syllabus | Flier

4 credits lecture + lab, a valid elective for biology majors
CRN 32847, 32848. Pre-requisites BIOL 51 and 61 or consent of the instructor.
It is also possible to earn graduate credits, which will require additional readings and separate exam questions. CRN 32849, 32913.

This course is all about communication and (good) vibrations: you will figure how hearing (the coolest of the senses) works. And how and why we (vertebrates) make sounds with our vocal folds. You will also examine how the brain processes audio, and why certain animals communicate using ultrasound or seismic vibrations! You will even learn the behavioral strategies that male frogs use to sound sexually appealing to female frogs!!! Interesting?

How about adding to it some hands-on experience? Wouldn′t it be fun to use the latest technologies to measure, for example, your vocal or hearing range? The vibration of the eardrums when they are hit by the sound, or record sounds emitted by the ears? We will also fool our brains with acoustic illusions, compare sounds quantitatively and measure signal evolution.

This course is designed to give you a multidisciplinary view of the main concepts and techniques involved in the study of vertebrate communication. It will train you to integrate across areas such as anatomy, physiology, behavior and evolution in order to interpret experimental results.

Scared of the math involved in acoustics? No worries, this course is designed by and for biologists. We will address the necessary concepts in physics at an intuitive level that will not bother you.