Tropical Field Biology Spring 2014 Applications Now Available

Accepting Applications for Tropical Field Biology (Bio 487H)

We are looking for a few good men and women to join us in the latest version of Tropical Field Biology. This 4 credit course meets twice a week during the spring semester and features a field trip to Belize over spring break. You will learn from 6 excellent instructors who have extensive field experience in the tropics, which means that this is among the highest teacher-to-student ratio courses that you are ever likely to find. The course provides a safe experience that will introduce you to one of the most diverse and beautiful places on the Earth, while giving you an introduction to the realities of field research. We had a fantastic time last year and this year promises to be even better. Enrollment is limited to 24 students so apply now!

Biology Undergraduate Research Apprenticeships (BURA) Now Available!

Biology Undergraduate Research Apprenticeships (BURA) Applications Available. Click Here to see projects and apply.

Applications due by midnight September 7, 2012.

"Biology Boot Camp" - Sign Up Now!

The Biology Intensive Orientation Session (BIOS), affectionately known as "Biology Boot Camp", is a rigorous academic program designed to enhance student success in life science majors. It occurs in the week just before Fall classes start (Saturday, August 27, 2011 through Tuesday morning, August 30, 2011) and is a residential experience that immerses students in college-level biology coursework. It includes lectures, discussions, lab tours, writing and test experiences. Students are also embedded in campus life and become familiar with dorm living, dining halls, the layout of campus. Most importantly students meet each other and have a chance to form friendships and study groups that can last for their entire college career and beyond. Apply today!

Biology Class of 2011 Graduation Luncheon

The 2011 graduation luncheon was attended by more than 400 people, and we didn't even run out of food! Congratulations to all graduating Biologists, and to this year's Biology Department Award Winners (download spreadsheet of award winners). Awardee and Family Group photos from our 2011 inaugural Biology Grad Luncheon are available at our Biology Alumni Links Page! Also, take a look at the Graduates Photobooth Slide Show made at the event.

Free T-Shirts! If you were unable to attend the luncheon this year, a limited supply of T-Shirts is still available in the Biology Undergraduate Advising Office. To get a free T-shirt, all we ask is that you upload a picture and comment about yourself as a Biology Graduate.

Clock of Evolution

See video

Dr. Peg Riley and Dr. Sheila Patek taught a class this semester called Quantitative Systems Biology. Their class was comprised of students in their freshman year who were part of a Biology Talent Advancement Program, more commonly known as BioTAP. To add a little fun to the work load, Peg assigned an extra credit assignment, which entailed rewriting the lyrics to a song, recording them, and accompanying them with a video. The winners were rewarded with free Massachusetts Academy of Sciences memberships and some points added to their final grade.

The winning team remixed the song Tik Tok by Kesha, replacing the original lyrics with ones about evolution and other aspects of biology. The winners included Cindy Hession, Ayesha Sundaram, Julie Sun, Bianca Jambahkar, Chris Wu, Abby Needleman, and Deborah Lee. “We finalized the lyrics and then found pictures. Ayesha, Julie and I were the lyrics writers and the rest of the group found pictures and made the video and put in the subtitles for the lyrics,” said Cindy. She continued, “We recorded two versions and put them together using Garage Band with a friend who is a [Computer Science] major. We wanted it to sound like the best product we could come up with.” The group noted that it took them a few weeks to come together and get everything done.

There were no guidelines as to what song they could pick, but Tik Tok was a winning choice for this group. “While we were trying to think of how to rhyme words, Julie thought of Tik Tok because it’s really catchy, and we ended up just banging it out right then and there,” said Ayesha. As for the lyrics, “The course was based on Finch evolution and Sticklebacks, so we used to models we learned about in class and the two essays we each wrote to come up with the lyrics,” Ayesha told us.

It’s not every day that you see a bunch of science majors making and singing a song, but Cindy let us in on the fact that she did choir and chorus in high school so figuring out the tune wasn’t too hard. Cindy added, “It was stuck in my head for a few days after we were done because it was so catchy to sing in my head.” When asked if she liked the assignment, Ayesha exclaimed, “It was so much fun!”

Congratulations to the winners!