Biology 111 - Organismal Biology
Section 2 - Fall

Instructor: Jim Dooley

Office: 428 Boyd Science Center
E-Mail: jdooley
Phone: 826-8227
Lecture: BSC 401, MWF 9:00-9:50 a.m.


Course Description:

My overarching goal for this course is convey a broad, conceptual understanding of organismal biology.  Please understand the scope, depth and challenge levels of the course are designed to prepare students for further study in the sciences and then careers in life science or related fields.  This is a General Education course but it is designed with the assumption that students have plans for professional careers in the life sciences or related fields (e.g., medicine).  Please consider this carefully if you are planning to major in areas outside the sciences. Also note that routine access to the text will be vital for academic success.  The good news is that we use this text for all the introduction courses for life science majors.  The bad news is that the text is very expensive.  Again consider that information in your decision to take this course.

Please note: Biol 107 is a co-requisite course for Biol 111.  Unless given permission by the chair of biology, you need to be enrolled in both courses.  Also, note that Biol 111& 107 count in satisfying the Scientific Understanding section of Muskingum University's General Education program.  As such, the course is designed to meet the Learning Goal for the Scientific Understanding area: students will be able to "describe scientific principles and apply methods of scientific inquiry."

In addition, students should enhance their appreciation and understanding in the following general areas:

(1) Pre- and post-Darwinian world views
(2) The nature and mechanics of evolutionary theory.
(3) Mechanisms that drive change in gene pools within populations and how variation is maintained within a population.
(4) Mechanisms of speciation
(5) Methods of classification and
recent reclassification of the animal kingdom based on new molecular DNA evidence.
(6) Evolutionary relatedness among the selected phyla and classes.

Clearly, evolution is an important theme in this course - and for good reason.  Evolution provides one of the most important and exciting theoretical frameworks in all of science and certainly provides the conceptual foundation upon which all of modern biology rests. Most folks have "kind of an idea" of what evolution is all about, but few people have a solid command of even its most basic principles. In addition, there is a lot of misunderstanding about what evolution says and what it doesn't say. Much of that misunderstanding springs from a more general problem many people have in understanding how science works.

A Word About Our Topic: Some people feel that accepting the ideas associated with evolution places them at odds with their religious or philosophical beliefs (on the other hand, many others see no inherent conflict). My goal here is not that you come out of this course believing in the theory of evolution, however I will expect you to understand the basic theoretical principles underpinning modern evolutionary biology as well as current ideas about the history of life that we will advance through lectures, reading, and discussion.
Course Learning Objectives:  Course Leaning Objectives extend directly from the Biology Department's Learning Goals.   In particular, the learning objectives for this course emphasize Biology Department Learning Goals 1, 3 & 4.   As a result of successfully completing this course, students will:

General Education Learning Objective:

    In addition to serving the biology major, Biol111 when taken along with Biol 107 can also partially satisfy the Scientific Understanding section of the General Education Program.  To that end, students taking Biol 111 & Biol 107 as a combination should be able to describe scientific principles and apply methods of scientific inquiry. 

Course Design and Structure

The course is designed to progress through a carefully selected array of topics.  Topics for class sessions and associated readings are presented in the classroom schedule that follows later in this syllabus.  I will lecture during many class sessions however some sessions will feature demonstrations or discussions of articles or discussion board assignments.   Several short quizzes are already planned, more may be added if it appears that class learning is not keeping an appropriate pace. 

There are a number of important resources discussed below but foremost among them is your text.  It is an excellent book and I expect that you will invest a great deal of time in your text reading.  Please note: we can't cover everything from the reading in class.  Therefore, expect that tests will have questions drawn directly from text reading and any other materials I've assigned - even if we haven't directly discussed the material in class!  

Class Policies:

In some cases coaches, other staff or faculty members have taken to sending out documents listing names of students who are not going to be attending classes because of a field trip, athletic event or other college sanctioned activity.  Please Note: I will not review each of these documents and then compare the names with each of my class rosters - sorry but that would require a huge amount of wasted time.   Therefore understand that if you are going to miss class, it is your responsibility to email me with an explanation prior to the class meeting. Please be sure to include reference to the class you are taking with me and make sure I receive this information 1 week before the event.   Failure to comply with this policy will mean you will be counted as absent for the class.

Grading: Course grades will be based on the following formula:
Test I
Test II
Test III
Test IV - Comprehensive Final
Mastering Biology 15%
Quizes & Short Assignments 5%
Class & Event Participation 10%

Course Resources:



Classroom Schedule




Introduction, Overview of Syllabus. Review Course Map for Biology Department.

Quiz on Syllabus
Pre-Course General Education Principles & Applications Assessment.
: The Darwinian Revolution Challenged Traditional Views - Ch. 22.1

Lecture: Descent With Modification & Natural Selection - Ch 22.2
1st Journal Assignment on Blackboard due at 5 pm





Lecture: Evidence of Evolution - Ch. 22.3 - Open Book Quiz on pages 462-470

Intro to Mastering Biology - Due 5 pm.
Lecture: Complete Evidence of Evolution & Review

5 pm- 2nd Journal Assignment Due

Discussion: Willingham Paper (6102") & SciShow Video, Mielke 2014 (6449')
Open Book Quiz on all of Chapter 22




Mastering Biology Homework for Chapter 22 Due 5 pm.
Lecture: The Smallest Unit of Evolution & Genetic Variation - Ch. 23.0 & 23.1  

Lecture: Hardy-Weinberg Theory - Ch. 23.2

: Hardy-Weinberg Theory - Ch. 23.2



Lecture: Natural Selection, Genetic Drift & Gene Flow - Ch. 23.3

Mastering Biology Homework for Chapter 23 Due at 5 pm.

Lecture Natural Selection Is the Primary Mechanism of Adaptive Evolution - Ch. 23.4 

Exam I (Chapter 22, Chapter 23)




Exam I Review and Writing

DVD - Organization & Diversity

Lecture: Overview of Allopatric & Sympatric Speciation - Ch. 24.1 & Ch. 24.2.



Lecture: Investigating the Tree of Life and Phylogenies Show Evolutionary Relationships Ch. 26.0 & 26.1

Lecture: Investigating the Tree of Life and Phylogenies Show Evolutionary Relationships Ch. 26.0 & 26.1

Lecture: Phylogenies are Inferred from Morphological and Molecular Data - Ch. 26.2


Fall Break

Lecture: Shared Characteristics are Used to Construct Phylogenetic Trees Ch. 26.3

Lecture: Shared Characteristics are Used to Construct Phylogenetic Trees Ch. 26.3
Mastering Biology Homework for Chapter 26 Due 5 pm.




Lecture: Plant Structure - Ch. 35.0 & 35.1

Lecture: Plant Structure - Ch. 35.1

Lecture: Plant Meristems & Primary Growth- Ch. 35.2 & 35.3



Lecture: Plant Meristems & Primary Growth- Ch. 35.2 & 35.3

Plant Secondary Growth - Ch. 35.4 -
Mastering Biology Homework for Chapter 35 Due 5 pm.

Exam II




Exam II Review and Writing


Animal Attributes - Ch. 32.0, 32.1




Lecture: The History of Animals - Ch. 32.2

Animal Body Plans - Ch. 32.3

DVD or SciSchow Clip - (JD Away)
Mastering Biology Homework for Chapter 32 Due at 5 pm



Lecture: Animal Body Plans & New Views of Animal Phylogeny - Ch. 32.3 & 32.4  -

: Introduction to Chapter 33 & Sponges are Basal Animals that Lack True Tissues - Ch. 33.0 & 33.1

Lecture: Cnidarians Are an Ancient Phylum of Eumetazoans - Ch. 33.2



Lecture: Lophotrochozoans, A Clade Idenitfied by Molecular Data, have the Widest Range of Body Forms - Ch. 33.3

No Class: Thanksgiving

No Class: Thanksgiving




Lecture: Ecdysozoans are the Most Species-Rich Animal Group - Ch.  33.4

Lecture: Ecdysozoans are the Most Species-Rich Animal Group - Ch.  33.4

Lecture: Echinoderms and Chordates are Dueterostomes - Ch.  33.5



TBA & Course Evaluations.
General Education Principles & Applications Assessment.
6 pm Review Session

Exam III

Exam Writing Day

 (Wed., 8:30 am) - Final Exam

Disabilities Statement

Any student who wishes to request an accommodation  is responsible to contact the Disability Education Office (DEO) to discuss his/her specific needs and the process to receive reasonable accommodation.  Please contact the DEO, located in The PLUS Center in Walter Hall #26 or call 740-826-6132 to arrange an appointment as soon as possible.  At the appointment, the procedure to coordinate accommodations will be discussed.  You can also find information about the process for accommodation on the web at

Muskingum University seeks to provide an environment that is free of bias, discrimination, and harassment.  If you have been the victim of sexual harassment/misconduct/assault we encourage you to report this.  If you report this to a faculty member, she or he must notify our university's Title IX coordinator, Janet Heeter-Bass, about the basic facts of the incident.  For more information about your options at Muskingum University, please go to:

Diversity Statement:

I consider this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect, and I welcome individuals of all ages, backgrounds, beliefs, ethnicities, genders, gender identities, gender expressions, national origins, religious affiliations, sexual orientations, ability and other visible and nonvisible differences.  All members of this class are expected to contribute to a respectful, welcoming and inclusive environment for every other member of the class.

Preferred Name / Pronoun Statement:

I will gladly honor your request to address you by an alternate name or gender pronoun.  Please advise me of this preference early in the semester so that I may make appropriate changes to my records.