Biology 1017: The Biology of Food

Offered: Spring, 2024

This non-science-majors course (click on course title for a recent syllabus) presents major themes in biology by examining the nature of food and the ways in which humans modify, and have been modified by the organisms we eat.  The first part of the course concerns the chemistry, structure, and physiology of plants and animals, and provides a brief introduction to human nutrition. The second part presents fundamental concepts in genetics and evolution as illustrated by the origin and genetic modification of domesticated organisms. Finally, we will consider how food is produced, and the place of agriculture in the global economy. Lectures will be supplemented by demonstrations, laboratory exercises, field trips, and movies. Students will work in small groups on a library- or activity-based project, which they will present to the class.

Biology 1540: Genetic Analysis