UG Newsletter

Undergraduate Newsletter
Department of Biology
August 2018 Issue

Welcome to the August Issue!  Now that the busy July registration period is ending, we have a couple of heads-up and a few pointers for you to keep in mind as we move into September.

The August Registration Hiatus is Upon Us (from August 3 to 21)
The latter half of July was certainly busy for both students and staff – selecting and registering for courses, resolving issues, and seeking and giving academic advice.  We were happy to help as much as possible and hope that resolutions were found in all cases!  Now it’s time to take a break from course registration and enjoy the rest of the summer.  Starting August 3rd, course registration becomes dormant until August 21st.   The Biology Undergraduate Office will be closed between August 6 and 21 and we would like to ask you to consider sending e-mail questions afterwards.  On August 21st, open enrolment begins.   The enrolment system will be open again for students who need to make changes to their course registrations or enrolling in an additional 3.0 units course (providing there is space in the selected course).

And, oh yes, just a little, yet important, reminder >> tuition and SAL fees are due September 1st.  It is crucial to make sure fees are paid up so that you don’t risk losing your place in courses.  Don’t forget to check your accounts!    For your convenience, a complete list of deadlines can be found by clicking this link:

Calling All BTEC Students!  We Want to Hear from You!
We are in the process of figuring out ways to resolve, or at least minimize, the scheduling difficulties encountered when fulfilling course requirements for the relatively new BTEC plan.  In late September, we will be consulting with all BTEC students by email to learn more about specific challenges experienced during course selection.  Your feedback will be much appreciated as part of our ongoing effort in smoothing out the BTEC program for future years.

Wondering who to speak to regarding work associated with the lab component of core courses?
Please feel free to drop by and say hi to your Program Associate(s).  You will be working closely with her or him during the year.  Your Lab Program Associates for this year are:

For BIOL 102 and 103:  Barb Vanderbeld ( Rm: Biosci 2321B

For BIOL 201:  Dale Kristensen (  Rm: Biosci 5603

For BIOL 202 and 300:  Laura Nagel ( Rm: Biosci 2321A

For BIOL 205 and 206: Fern Gauthier ( Rm: Biosci 3321

Biology Degree Plans
Review your degree plan requirements and make sure you are selecting courses you need.  Degree plan requirements can be found at:

Effective starting 2018-19, the 2nd year CHEM requirement (see Requirement 2. Option – A) has changed from 6.0 to 3.0 units from CHEM at the 200 level or above.  As a consequence, the number of additional BIOL @300 level courses  required has increased by 3.0 units to make up for only needing 3.0 units in CHEM at 200 level or above; Subs list A; Subs list B (see Requirement 2.  Option List 2.B.i. or 2.B.ii.).

This change is applicable to all BIOL MAJ students.  If you started your degree before 2018-19 you may choose to follow this new plan or you may wish to instead follow the plan as listed for the year you were admitted to the degree plan.    To reiterate, this change only applies to the MAJ BIOL.

Effective starting 2018-19, these degree plans now require BIOL-300/3.0-Ecology.   Previously the requirement was 3.0 from BIOL 302; BIOL 303.  BIOL 302 and 303 have been changed to BIOL 300/3.0.  If you have previously taken either BIOL 302 or 303 to fill this requirement you do not need to take BIOL 300.

Biological Foundations List Requirement – IMPORTANT TO KEEP IN MIND THROUGHOUT YOUR PROGRAM!
It is very important to keep this GPA requirement in mind throughout your program, starting with first year.  To be admitted to 400 and 500 level Biology courses, you will need a minimum GPA of 2.0 in any previously taken courses from Biological Foundations list.

The Biological Foundations List is BIOL 102, 103, 201, 202, 205, 206, 300, 330, 334, 339, and 341 (BIOL 302, 303).  

Helpful Links
Information on Applying for a Course Prerequisite Waiver
Arts and Science Academic Deadlines
Arts and Science Calendar
Frequently Asked Questions

BIOLOGY Undergraduate Office
Mon to Friday 8:30 to noon and 1:00 to 3:00pm
Rm. 3109d, BIOSC Complex

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