2022-2023 Course Information


*NEW* BIO259H5F – Introduction to Biological Data
Fall 2022
Instructor: Prof. Alex Nguyen Ba

This course introduces students to the exploration and analysis of biological data through computation. Students will learn to import biological datasets, parse and manipulate the data, and develop an intuition for basic statistical thinking through practical exercises and lectures.
Prerequisites: BIO152H5 and BIO153H5
Exclusions: BIOB20H3
In the 2022-2023 year students can choose either course. Effective fall 2023 BIO259H5 will replace STA215 as the statistics requirement for all Biology Majors and Specialists.


BIO311H5F – Landscape Ecology
Fall 2022
Prof. Helene Wagner

Landscape ecology asks how spatial patterns originate and how they affect ecological processes like forest dynamics, nutrient cycling, species interactions, and the distribution and population dynamics of plants and animals. Lectures and computer labs introduce students to concepts and methods of landscape ecology and their application to current issues of land-use management and global change. The students will learn to apply GIS, spatial statistics, landscape metrics, and modelling to address problems in conservation, biodiversity, and ecosystem management.
Note: Students interested in this course may need to meet with the course instructor before being approved and permitted to enroll. Enrollment questions can be directed to Stephanie do Rego (stephanie.dorego@utoronto.ca)
Prerequisites: BIO205H5 and ( BIO259H5 or STA215H5) and permission of instructor * STA215H5 will no longer be accepted as an appropriate prerequisite course AFTER 2022-2023 Academic year. Beginning 2023-2024 Academic year all students will be required to complete BIO259H5 as the statistics prerequisite course.
Exclusions: GGR311H5
Recommended Preparation: BIO360H5


BIO324H5F - Plant Biochemistry
Fall 2022


This course examines plants as the biochemical motors and sustainers of life on earth. The major pathways of plant metabolism are surveyed to provide students with an integrated model of plant cells as autonomous biochemical networks. This course further emphasizes the specialized metabolism of economically significant plant species, the biosynthesis of pharmacologically and agriculturally important metabolites, and the role of biotechnology in engineering exotic plant metabolism in industrial settings.
Prerequisites: BIO203H5 and BIO206H5 and CHM120H5 or permission of instructor
Exclusions: CSB475H1
Recommended Preparation: BIO312H5 and CHM242H5 and CHM362H5
Enrollment questions can be directed to Stephanie do Rego (stephanie.dorego@utoronto.ca)


*NEW* BIO427H5S – Data Science in Biology
Winter 2023
Instructor: Prof. Alex Nguyen Ba

Biology has become a data-driven science with the arrival of complex datasets. Extracting information from these large-scale experiments requires approaches that unify statistics and computer science. The course will focus on strengthening mathematical intuition on core topics such as hypothesis testing and statistical models while connecting these to machine learning.
Prerequisites: BIO360H5
Exclusions: BIO429H5 or CSC311H1 or CSC311H5 or CSC413H1 or CSC413H5 or CSCC11H3 or STA314H1 or STA314H5
Recommended Preparation: BIO361H5


BIO434H5S - Social and Developmental Determinants of Human Health
Spring 2023


This course encourages students to explore the relationship between social conditions and health outcomes. Topics may vary across years. Topics include the importance of the early years, interactions between the environment and the genes, epigenetic influences on health, sensitive periods of development, the influence of nutrition on health, the interaction between social policy, medical care, social class and human health. The students direct the learning experience in groups as they engage in case-based and problem-based learning.
Note: Students interested in this course must contact the Biology Undergraduate Advisor to enroll.
Prerequisites: permission of instructor
Please email Diane Matias (d.matias@utoronto.ca) if you wish to be considered for BIO434H5 after enrolling in this course.


BIO477H5S - The Human Genome and Cancer Biology
Fall 2022 and Spring 2023


The first part of the course examines the structure and molecular biology of the human genome. Topics will include: the sequencing of the human genome; variation between genomes; and various aspects of functional genomics such as a brief overview of how gene expression is regulated and how genomics is being utilized in health and medicine. Techniques such as high throughput sequencing will be covered. The second part of the course examines the molecular and genetic basis of cancer including the role of oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes and cell cycle regulating proteins in the development of this disease. It also looks at cancer from a functional genomics perspective. Lectures and seminars involve presentations and discussion of recently published research articles.
Prerequisites: BIO370Y5 or BIO372H5) and permission of instructor
Exclusions: MGY470H1
Recommended Preparation: BIO314H5 and BIO315H5
Students interested in this course should enroll on ROSI/Acorn as usual. Preference in this course is given to 4th year students in the Molecular Biology Specialist and the Bioinformatics Specialist. Second preference is given to other students with the pre-requisites. Generally, students in the Biology Minor and Biology Science Major are not approved in this course. Enrollment questions can be directed to Stephanie do Rego (stephanie.dorego@utoronto.ca)


BIO481Y5Y - Biology Research Project
Full Year
Prof. Ted Erclik
Couse Administrative Support: Stephanie do Rego

Students in this course will conduct a research project under the supervision of a faculty member in the Department of Biology. The course is open to third- and fourth-year students. Students learn how to design, carry out, and evaluate the results of a research project. Students are required to write and present a research proposal, write a term paper, and present a seminar on the results of their research project. All students interested in a research project must approach potential faculty supervisors several months in advance of the beginning of term. Students must obtain permission from the faculty member whom they would like to serve as their project supervisor. Students must meet with the course coordinator periodically throughout the academic year.
Prerequisites: permission of instructor
Exclusions: BIO400Y5 or JCB487Y5
Interested students should enroll on Acorn as usual and they must provide Stephanie do Rego (stephanie.dorego@utoronto.ca) with the name of a research professor who has agreed to supervise their project by the end of the second week of classes in September. Students will remain INT until the supervisor has been confirmed.


Special Topics Courses


BIO484H5F: Special Topics in Biology II
Fall 2022
Title: Movement Ecology
Instructor: Prof. Cassidy D’Aloia

Individuals move for many reasons throughout their life cycle. They look for a good place to live, try to escape predation, search for food, or seek a mate. This course will cover the patterns and underlying causes of different types of movement, as well as the eco-evolutionary consequences from the individual level up to the whole ecosystem. Examples will come from both terrestrial and aquatic realms (e.g. seasonal wildebeest migrations & geomagnetic navigation in sea turtles). The class will be a mix of lectures and seminar-style discussions. Reading and discussing primary literature will be a key component of this course and each student will write an independent research paper.
Prerequisite: BIO205H5 and ( BIO259H5 or STA215H5 or BIO360H5) * STA215H5 will no longer be accepted as an appropriate prerequisite course AFTER the 2022-2023 Academic year. Beginning in the 2023-2024 Academic year all students will be required to complete BIO259H5 or BIO360H5 as the statistics prerequisite course.
Recommended: BIO342H5


BIO483H5F – Special Topics in Biology I
Fall 2022
Title: Molecular Mechanisms of Memory

Instructor: Dr. Brandon Walters

BIO483H5F, Molecular Mechanisms of Memory, will focus on cellular and molecular pathways that underpin memory formation. This class will cover synaptic plasticity, signaling cascades activated in synapses during learning, and the contributions of epigenetics and epitranscriptomics to memory formation. We will end the class with an in depth exploration of neurological diseases, optogenetics, advanced uses of CRISPR/Cas9 for brain research, and the new observations around implantable false memories.
Pre-requisites: This class requires 9.0 biology credits including: BIO304.