Academic Programs

Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing

Biology

Overview

In order to meet the needs and interests of students within this diverse field, the biology curriculum at Bard is designed to be flexible. Students are encouraged to consult with their advisers to design a personal curriculum that covers requirements for advanced study and satisfies varied interests (biochemical, molecular, ecological) and approaches (laboratory-based, field-based, computational). Students are also encouraged to gain additional expertise in chemistry, physics, mathematics, or computer science to prepare for the interdisciplinary nature of modern biological research. Bard’s laboratory facilities, field station, and relationship with The Rockefeller University allow students to undertake sophisticated Senior Projects in a wide variety of areas. Funds for summer research are available on a competitive basis.

Requirements

In addition to the collegewide distribution requirements, First-Year Seminar, and Citizen Science, biology majors must complete a Senior Project of original scientific research; at least one semester of a 100-level course (from among courses numbered above 140); Biology 144, Biostatistics; Biology 201, Genetics and Evolution, and Biology 202, Ecology and Evolution; Chemistry 141-142, Basic Principles of Chemistry; and a minimum of three additional 4-credit elective courses in biology, two of which must be laboratory courses.

Recent Senior Projects in Biology

  • “Avian predation power affects the fitness of invasive and native plant species”
  • “Do soil microbes inhibit the growth of oral microbes? A natural antibiotic treatment for dental microbial overgrowth”
  • “Foxes, coyotes, and Lyme disease: seasonal variations in the ecology of predator communities in relation to tick-borne disease risk”
  • “Interactions between human beta-defensin 2 and common skin flora”

Facilities

In addition to the laboratories and “smart” classrooms in The Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation, biology equipment includes DNA and protein electrophoresis instruments, a digital gel imaging system, an array of standard PCR machines, a Real-Time PCR machine, two fluorescence microscopes, and a wide variety of ecology field equipment. Biology students may also use the facilities of the Bard College Field Station, which is located on the Hudson River and affords access to freshwater tidal marshes, swamps, and shallows; perennial and intermittent streams; and young and old deciduous and coniferous forests, among other habitats.

Courses

Elective courses in biology cover a variety of topics, including ecology, human physiology, botany, microbiology, cell biology, aquatic ecology, neurobiology, physiology, and cancer biology, among others. Upper College courses emphasize exposure to experimental techniques, examination of the primary literature, and written and oral presentation of scientific material.

Program Website:

http://biology.bard.edu

Faculty:

M. Elias Dueker
Andrea Henle
Brooke Jude
Felicia Keesing
Arseny Khakhalin
Bruce Robertson
Amy Savage
Michael Tibbetts
Alexandra (Sasha) Wright

Staff:

Megan Karcher
Mitchell LeSage
Maureen O'Callaghan-Scholl
Amy Savage