Human Biology (BIOL 1104)

An introduction to biological principles related to the structure and function of the human body. The course will explore fundamental terms and concepts using clinical examples, laboratory learning and references from the humanities, pop culture, social and environmental issues. The course can be taken as a free elective in the BSc program, but cannot be used as BIOL credit for the Biology major or minor. The course cannot be taken for credit after BIOL2203, BIOL3203 or PUBH 2104:0 but it can be used for credit as a free elective if taken beforehand.

Human Anatomy (BIOL 2203)

As you read this text, your eyes are converging and focusing on these printed words and your brain is processing the words to form thoughts. Our bodies are one of the most exquisite bioengineering structures composed of 206 bones interconnected to support a sophisticated blood pump, a food processing factory, urine-producing machines, and an intricate circulatory highway, all under the control of your brain supercomputer. In this course, we will take a journey deconstructing the human body into its building blocks, reassembling them using a systems approach, and integrating across systems. Knowledge of the structure of our bodies is an essential skill to succeed in health care professions such as Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy, Speech Pathology, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, and other allied health fields.

Human Physiology for Nursing (BIOL 2204)

This is an introductory physiology course designed for students applying or already admitted to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program (BScN). Students will acquire a basic understanding of the homeostatic regulation and mechanisms underlying the function of the cells, tissues, and major organ systems of the human body, and will apply this knowledge to a selected set of clinical scenarios and pathophysiological states. Course includes laboratory component where students will perform clinically-based hands-on activities to apply their physiological knowledge. This course is not recommended for BSc students planning to go into medicine, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dentistry, or pharmacy. By itself, this course cannot be used as a prerequisite course for 4th year physiology courses.

Human Physiology (BIOL 3203)

After mastering the concepts covered in Human Anatomy (BIOL 2203), this course will complement your understanding of how your body works. Among the topics covered in this course, we will learn how your body repairs itself after an injury, and how our immune defenses protect us from pathogens. As we discuss the various organ systems, you will also learn to appreciate the many sophisticated processes that coordinate function in our bodies and keep us alive, such as the role of a few cells in your kidneys that constantly monitor and regulate your blood pressure or the way electrical cells in your heart coordinate the contraction of your heart muscles that maintains systemic blood circulation. In the lab, you will perform hands-on group activities such as visual acuity and hearing tests, muscle fatigue and performance tests, and tests to evaluate the effect of exercise on cardiovascular and respiratory function.

Animal Physiology (BIOL 3231)

Did you ever wonder why some animals are capable of surviving in sub-zero temperatures, high altitudes, or desert environments? In this course, you will uncover the unique physiological adaptations that enable some organisms to survive and even thrive in conditions considered extreme or inhospitable for humans. As part of the lecture material and the lab exercises, you will learn how living organisms have evolved unique physiological mechanisms to cope with a multitude of environmental conditions and exploit a wide variety of habitats. For instance, we will explore how the gills of certain fish are completely restructured as they migrate from saltwater to freshwater, how certain animals display unique thermal adaptations such as regional endothermy, or how the peculiar star-nosed mole uses its 22 fleshy appendages to find prey. These and many other study cases will be explored to illustrate the diversity of physiological adaptations of animals. 

Advanced Human Physiology (BIOL 4203)

Did you ever wonder what your brain waves look like? Or how you can record the electrical activity of your muscles and heart? In this lecture-lab combo, you will have the opportunity to record the responses of your own bodies to electrical stimuli, exercise, and other simulated conditions. Using state-of-the-art PowerLab® physiological recording units and LabChart® software, you will also learn how to analyze and interpret electroencephalograms (EEGs), electromyograms (EMGs), electrocardiograms (ECGs), and respirometry data. This class will provide an excellent foundation for students interested in Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, and other health professions.

Biomechanics (BIOL 4251)

Put your engineer’s glasses on and let’s uncover the amazing mechanical properties of our bodies! Together, we will learn how these properties confer unique qualities to certain tissues that enable them to withstand stresses such as tension, compression, and shear. We will also apply structural engineering principles to the study of skeletal design and evaluate features such as the arches in your hands and feet, the cantilevers in the tails of cats and dogs, and the trusses in a ribcage. Finally, you will implement kinematic and kinetic approaches to the study of motion in humans and other selected vertebrates, and apply these concepts to the analyses of performance optimization, recruitment of specific musculoskeletal elements, and prevention of injury during exercise.   Knowledge of Biomechanics is extremely important for students wanting to pursue careers in Physiotherapy, Occupational therapy, and other health professions.

Science courses outside our department for which you can receive Biology credits:

 Microbiology (MICR 2101)

Topics include the morphology and physiology of microorganisms, their role in the disease process and methods of control of microorganisms.

 Drugs and Behaviour (BIOL 2225)

This course will review the basic principles and concepts of pharmacology, psychology and neurophysiology. Then the course concentrates on drug classes, recreational (e.g. alcohol and marijuana) and prescribed (e.g. benzodiazepines and antidepressants) and details the specific drugs within each class.

Neurobiology (BIOL 4201)

This course introduces basic anatomical and physiological principles of neuroscience extending from the basic biophysical properties of neurons and glia, to the physiological basis of sensory processing, motor behaviour and learning memory.