Spring 2018  -  Get temporary access to course materials (Amherst College and Five-college students only)


Listed in: Biology, as BIOL-270

Formerly listed as: BIOL-27

Moodle site: Course


Alexandra E. Purdy (Section 01)


Microbes inhabit the world's oceans, deserts, lakes, soils, and atmosphere, and play a vital role in the Earth's biogeochemical cycles.  As humans, we harbor a diverse microbial flora estimated to outnumber our own human cells.  During this course, we will explore this microbial world by investigating the structure, physiology, genetics, and evolution of microorganisms with a focus on bacteria, but including discussions of archaea, viruses, and microbial eukaryotes. The goal of the course is to gain an understanding of the unique properties of microbes that enable their persistence and diversification.  We will also pay special attention to microbial interactions with eukaryotic organisms, by studying both host and microbe contributions to virulence, mutualism, and symbiotic relationships. Three hours of lecture and one hour of discussion per week.

Requisite: BIOL 191. Recommended: BIOL 181. Limited to 15 students. Not open to first-year students. Spring semester. Professor Purdy.

If Overenrolled: Preference to senior biology majors, then junior majors, then senior non-biology majors or pre-med, then junior non-bio majors or pre-med, then sophomores.

Cost: 0 ?


2017-18: Offered in Spring 2018
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2017, Spring 2019