Queen's University Biology

Departmental Student Council

Fourth Year


BIOL 422: Conservation Biology (Not offered 2017-2018)

The application of biological research to the conservation of biodiversity and natural resources, as well as the interaction of biology with philosophy, politics and economics in influencing conservation policy. No reviews available. 



Laboratory-based course emphasizing experimental approaches to understanding the principles of plant physiology covered in BIOL 341. No reviews available. 
A hands-on survey of selected experimental approaches to studying cell biology and molecular physiology. No reviews available.

This is a great course if you are interested in developmental genetics and the relevant techniques in the field. The course explores developmental mechanisms that allow an organism to develop from a single cell, and discusses it in the context of different organs, tissues, and animals. The course is structured in two halves: In the first six weeks, Dr. Chin-Sang presents course material and in the latter six weeks, students present a relevant and current journal article in a group. The midterm exam is based on the first six weeks, while the final tests concepts that came up during the student seminars. I would recommend this course because Dr. Chin-Sang explains concepts very clearly, and the student seminars are a great opportunity to practice presentation skills.


This was probably one of my favourite courses in the biology department! The topics in this course were interesting because of the unique perspective evolution provides on the medical field. The course provides a refresher for evolutionary thought, then is applied to various topics in human health such as antibiotic resistance, pathogen evolution/vaccines, disease emergence, and cancer. A consistent theme is to understand human evolutionary history, and how this has made us more susceptible to certain diseases and chronic conditions. Would definitely recommend this course if you are interested in studying health and disease, as well as public health. Course breakdown includes quizzes, tutorial assignments/participation, presentation, and a paper – no exams. Students from other departments that are interested in this course should be sure to take BIOL 205/206 as it is a prerequisite.

BIOL 442
 Evolutionary Medicine
"Great course. Topics were interesting and small class size was appreciated. Prof and TA are always willing to anwer quesitons and help out. Take good notes."
BIOL 537B: Research in Biology

This course allows students to take on an independent research project, gain relevant research and technical skills, and strengthen communication skills. Students are required to apply to the course and find a supervisor in the spring before they wish to enroll in the course. Some projects may include summer work before the course officially begins in the fall (generally ecology projects that require data collection during the summer). Students are required to write a research proposal for this intended project to outline hypotheses/methods/significance. Students will attend a BIOL 537 lecture in addition to lab work early in the year, which provides information about the BIOL 537 process such as tips for writing and preparing a poster. In this lecture slot, students will give a ~20 minute seminar about their research project and provide any preliminary results they may have. The first draft of the thesis is due in the beginning of March, with the poster presentations typically a week later. Final drafts are due before exams begin. Every student has a different experience in BIOL 537, which makes this a difficult course to review. If you are interested in a particular lab, it would be best to speak to students who have volunteered or did a BIOL 537 thesis in the same lab. Also, speak to professors about the possible projects they are offering to ensure it is something that you are interested in devoting a lot of time towards. If you are interested in graduate work, doing a BIOL 537 is a fantastic opportunity to see if research is something you enjoy. The previous experience of thesis research is not necessary for graduate work, but can definitely strengthen your application.