Advanced Honours Seminars

Honours Seminars courses are numbered from BIOL 501/3.0 to 536/3.0 and focus on a specialized topic of a faculty members' research. These courses provide one of the capstone experiences to Biology students with small class sizes and an emphasis on reading and/or experimental enquiry.

Regular meetings in small groups with faculty provide direction in developing approaches to particular topics. Evaluation is based primarily on oral presentations and written reports. 500-level offerings are announced in advance for students in their third year. It should be noted that not all seminar courses will be offered in a given year. Offerings may vary from year to year depending on availability of faculty and student interest. Normally, due to enrolment restrictions, students taking BIOL 537 will be permitted to take only one of these seminar courses (pending space)  and all other fourth-year students will be permitted to take a maximum of two. Preferred access will be given to students admitted to fourth year of a BScH program in Biology

BIOL 501/3.0 to 536/3.0 Offerings for 2022-23
Please note that every effort will be made to satisfy everyone a first or second choice, however, depending on demand of individual seminars this may not be possible.  Preference will be given to students who require for degree program.  Please make sure that you read the course descriptions carefully and that you have the pre/co-requisites for the seminar courses you pick.  Application and course descriptions can be found below.

2022-23 BIOL 5XX Seminar offerings, descriptions and application form

I've spent more time than many will believe [making microscopic observations], but I've done them with joy, and I've taken no notice those who have said why take so much trouble and what good is it?

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

It's a parts list... If I gave you the parts list for the Boeing 777 and it had 100,000 parts, I don't think you could screw it together and you certainly wouldn't understand why it flew

Eric Lander

What is true for E. coli is also true for the elephant

Jacques Monod

The world becomes full of organisms that have what it takes to become ancestors. That, in a sentence, is Darwinism

Richard Dawkins

Shall we conjecture that one and the same kind of living filaments is and has been the cause of all organic life?

Erasmus Darwin

Nature proceeds little by little from things lifeless to animal life in such a way that it's impossible to determine the line of demarcation


Cells let us walk, talk, think, make love, and realize the bath water is cold

Lorraine Lee Cudmore

In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history

Charles Darwin

It is my belief that the basic knowledge that we're providing to the world will have a profound impact on the human condition and the treatments for disease and our view of our place on the biological continuum

J. Craig Venter

Imagine a house coming together spontaneously from all the information contained in the bricks: that is how animal bodies are made

Neil Shubin

A grain in the balance will determine which individual shall live and which shall die - which variety or species shall increase in number, and which shall decrease, or finally become extinct

Charles Darwin

The stuff of life turned out to be not a quivering, glowing, wondrous gel but a contraption of tiny jigs, springs, hinges, rods, sheets, magnets, zippers, and trapdoors, assembled by a data tape whose information is copied, downloaded and scanned

Steven Pinker

We wish to discuss a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid. (D.N.A.). This structure has novel features which are of considerable biologic interest

Rosalind Franklin

We are biology. We are reminded of this at the beginning and the end, at birth and at death. In between we do what we can to forget

Mary Roach

The systems approach to biology will be the dominant theme in medicine

Leroy Hood

I've always been interested in animal behavior, and I keep reading about it because it's so surprising all the time - so many things are happening around us that we neglect to look at. Part of the passion I have for biology is based on this wonderment"

Isabella Rossellini

Because all of biology is connected, one can often make a breakthrough with an organism that exaggerates a particular phenomenon, and later explore the generality

Thomas Cech

Nothing in Biology makes sense except in the light of evolution

Theodosius Dobzhansky

Biology is now bigger than physics, as measured by the size of budgets, by the size of the workforce, or by the output of major discoveries; and biology is likely to remain the biggest part of science through the twenty-first century

- Freeman Dyson

Nothing can be more incorrect than the assumption one sometimes meets with, that physics has one method, chemistry another, and biology a third

- Thomas Huxley