Apr 17, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biological Sciences



Philip J. Farabaugh
B.A., University of California, San Diego, 1972; Ph.D. Harvard University, 1978


Charles J. Bieberich
B.S., University of Tampa, 1982; Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1987

Thomas Cronin
SciB., Dickinson College, 1967; M.S., Duke University, 1969; Ph.D., Duke University, 1979

David M. Eisenmann
B.S., University of Pennsylvania, 1985; Ph.D., Harvard University, 1992

Jeffery W. Leips
B.S., Florida State University, 1983; Ph.D., 1997

Tamra Mendelson
B.S., University of Wisconsin, 1991; P.h.D., Duke University, 2001

Kevin Omland
B.A., Dartmouth College, 1985; Ph.D., The University at Albany, 1995     

Phyllis R. Robinson
B.A., Wellesley College, 1973; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1981

Suzanne O. Rosenberg
A.B., Barnard College, 1970; Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, 1975

Associate Professors

Rachel Brewster
S.F.B., University of Geneva (Switzerland), 1989; Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1996

Mauricio M. Bustos
B.A., Universidad Nacional de Cordoba (Argentina), 1982; Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 1986

Ivan Erill
B.S., Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 1996; M.Eng., 2000, Eng. D., 2002

Maricel Kann
B.S., Universidad de la República (Uruguay), 1991; M.S., 1994; Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2001

Bernard Lohr
A.B., Cornell University, 1984; M.S., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1989; Ph.D., Duke University, 1995

Weihong Lin
B.S., Zhongsham University (China), 1982; M.S., 1988; Ph.D., Colorado State University, 1998

Hua Lu
B.S., Nanjing University (China), 1990; M.S., 1993; Ph.D., Texas A&M University, 1999

Stephen M. Miller
B.S., Case Western Reserve University, 1984; Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1991

Harold J. Schreier
B.S., California Polytechnic State University, 1978; Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, 1983

Michelle Starz-Gaiano
B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1994; Ph.D., New York University, 2002

Assistant Professors

Jeffrey Gardner
B.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2002; Ph.D., 2008

Erin Green
B.A., Bryn Mawr College, 2000; Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 2007

Daniel Lobo
B.S. University of Seville, Spain 2005; M.S. University of Malaga, Spain 2007; Ph.D. University of Malaga, Spain 2010

Senior Lecturers

Steven Caruso
B.S., University of Maryland Baltimore County, 1994; Ph.D., 2002

Esther Fleischmann
B.A., New York University, 1974; Ph.D., University of Georgia 1988

Sarah Leupen
B.A., Oberlin College, 1993; Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1998

Cynthia Wagner
B.A., Concordia College, 1981; Ph.D., Washington University, 1998

Julia B. Wolf
B.S., Brenau College, 1979; M.S., University of Maryland Baltimore Country, 1983     


Elizabeth Feeser
B.S. Georgetown University, 2002; Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University, 2008

Jennifer Hughes
B.S. University College Cork, Ireland, 1998; Ph.D. University College Dublin, Ireland 2003

Javier Rivera Guzman
B.S. Inter American University of Puerto Rico, 2002; Ph.D. Indiana University School of Medicine, 2009

Tracy A. Smith
B.S. Washington College, 2000; Ph.D. University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 2014

Professor Emeritus

Daphne Blumberg
B.S., Iowa State University of Science and Technology, 1970; Ph.D., Tufts University School of Medicine, 1976

Brian Bradley
B.S., University of Edinburg, 1962; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1966

Robert Burchard
B.A., Brown University, 1960; M.Sc., 1962; Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1965

Nessly C. Craig
B.A., Reed College, 1963; Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1967

Frank Hanson
A.B., The University of Iowa, 1960; Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1965

Lasse Lindahl
M.S., University of Copenhagen (Denmark), 1969; Ph.D., 1973

Paul Lovett
B.S., Delaware Valley College, 1964; Ph.D., Temple University, 1968

Thomas F. Roth
B.S., Tufts University, 1954; M.A., Harvard University, 1959; Ph.D., 1964

Phillip S. Sokolove
B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1964; Ph.D., Harvard University, 1969

Richard E. Wolf, Jr.
B.A., University of Cincinnati, 1963; M.S., 1968; Ph.D., University of Cincinnati, 1970

Associate Professor Emeritus

Richard Gethmann
B.S., Washington State University, 1964; M.S., Oregon State University, 1966; Ph.D., The University of Chicago, 1970

John Kloetzel
B.A., University of Southern California, 1962; Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University, 1967

Michael C. O’Neill
B.S., University of Santa Clara, 1962; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1969

Austin Platt
B.A., Williams College, 1959; M.A., University of Massachusetts Amherst, 1963; Ph.D., 1965

Sr. Lecturer Emeritus

Bryan MacKay
B.A., University of Maryland Baltimore County, 1973; M.S., 1979

James W. Sandoz
B.A., University of Maryland Baltimore County, 1976; M.S., 1983


Courses in this program are listed under BIOL.

The Department of Biological Sciences at UMBC offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees that provide an innovative, comprehensive overview of current knowledge, thought and research in the fast-moving, exciting fields of 21st century biological science. Students pursuing the Biological Sciences B.A. and B.S. degrees take a required core of courses that is complemented by a series of laboratories and supplemented with a variety of electives in areas representing the scholarly interests of our diverse faculty. In addition to learning in the classroom, students also have the opportunity to engage in independent research in the lab, the field, the library or off-campus, working one-on-one with a faculty mentor. Students in both programs encounter talented and dedicated faculty and staff, an emphasis on the individual needs of students, up-to-date research facilities and the nurturing environment that are the hallmarks of UMBC’s Department of Biological Sciences.

The Department of Biological Sciences Web site is biology.umbc.edu. Students should always visit this site to check for the most current course information, major requirements, forms, seminars, research opportunities and other important announcements. In addition, students can follow events and announcements from the department at our UMBC group - my.umbc.edu/groups/biol.

Students’ career objectives help guide them in choosing their course of study in Biological Sciences. Our Bachelor of Arts curriculum is designed for students who want to pursue a career in a health-related profession (dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, or veterinary medicine) or those interested in training in an allied health field (dental hygiene, medical and research technology, nursing, pharmacy or physical therapy). The B.A. is also appropriate for students wanting to combine another area of study-such as education, environmental studies, law, art, or science writing -with a solid background in biology. Our Bachelor of Science curriculum is most appropriate for students planning to pursue graduate study in biological, biomedical or health-related sciences, or who wish to gain employment in a technical or laboratory research setting.

In addition to the Biological Sciences B.A. and B.S. major programs (BIOL), the Department offers a degree in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BINF), and participates in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major (BIOC), which are both described elsewhere in the catalog.

The Department also offers a Biological Sciences minor that provides a thorough understanding of the essential features of modern biological science, and which is appropriate to combine with an in depth major program in some other academic discipline. Students seeking to combine studies in other disciplines with a specialized focus on certain areas of biological science can pursue UMBC’s Interdisciplinary Studies Program as an alternative route.

Finally, the Department offers a number of courses designed for students pursuing a career in allied health fields (nursing, physical therapy, etc), and also offers courses of cultural value as part of a liberal education intended for non-science majors.

Academic Advising

First-time students with first-year standing and some upper-class students will be advised by the department’s full-time academic advisors. After this, students will be assigned to one of the full-time faculty for advising. Students must see their advisors during the pre-registration period before they can register for classes in each subsequent semester. Academic progress is monitored through graduation. Additional advising is available for pre-allied health students in the UMBC Office for Academic & Pre-Professional Advising, and for pre-professional students in the Pre-Medical and Pre-Dental Advising Office located in the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences (CNMS). These career-specific advising offices supplement, but do not replace the academic major advisors.

Honors Program

After satisfying certain requirements, students may become eligible for Departmental Honors in Research. This program, in addition to the regular B.S. or B.A. requirements, includes the following nine credits of coursework:

BIOL 499 - Undergraduate Laboratory/Field Research  (two semesters for a minimum total of 4 credits)

BIOL 497H - Honors Capstone course  (3 credits, one semester)

Biological sciences majors who have completed the following requirements will be eligible to apply for Departmental Honors in Research. The following courses, or acceptable equivalents thereof, will have been completed with a cumulative GPA of 3.25: BIOL 141 , BIOL 142 , BIOL 302 , BIOL 303 , BIOL 300L , BIOL 497H , CHEM 101 , CHEM 102 , CHEM 102L , CHEM 351 , MATH 151 /MATH 155 , STAT 350  (or MATH 152 ), PHYS 111  (or PHYS 121 ) and PHYS 112  (or PHYS 122 ). Additionally, the student must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the major and 3.25 overall.

Eligible students should apply to the Departmental Honors Committee. Forms are available on the Department web site.

M.S. in Applied Molecular Biology

Students interested in the one year master’s degree program in Applied Molecular Biology (AMB) will be considered for admission to the program on a competitive basis. Students can use up to two courses from their undergraduate degree and, in so doing, save money and reduce their graduate course work. Students should consult with the director of the Applied Molecular Biology Program for advisement as to which courses will be appropriate for both degrees. Application for admission should be submitted in the final semester of the senior year. For more information, see http://biology.umbc.edu/grad/graduate-programs/apmb/.

Research Opportunities

Talented undergraduates committed to performing quality independent research are encouraged to apply for a variety of biological research opportunities offered by UMBC’s outstanding faculty. Under the guidance of faculty mentors, student research assistants may work on their own projects or help their mentors with important research. These unique, intensive experiences allow students to sharpen their critical thinking skills, learn how to write and read scientific papers, and expand their scientific understanding of biological concepts. Undergraduate lab experience increasingly is becoming a prerequisite for science-based employment or acceptance to graduate, professional or medical school. Students should consult the Department web site or contact individual faculty members for information on possible independent research opportunities.

Biological Sciences Tutorial Center

Biological Sciences students are invited to use the facilities in the Biology Tutorial Center, located in room 011 of the Biological Sciences building. The tutorial center has fourteen computer workstations to access online information and two open tables for students to study in groups. Tutors are available for all Biology core courses, free of charge. A list of courses and available tutors can be found on the whiteboard in the center. For more information, see Dr. Hughes in BS011. Center hours are from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

Student Organizations: Biology Council of Majors (BioCOM)

All biological sciences, bioinformatics and computational biology, and biochemistry and molecular biology majors are welcome to join the Biology Council of Majors (BioCOM). This very active student organization strives to “promote the achievement of the professional ambitions of its members and to serve as a means of social contact among them.” Please visit the website for up to date information about meeting times, locations, and events: http://umbcbiocom.webs.com/. Other student-run clubs for those pursuing a variety of health-related professions also exist on campus.


    Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of ScienceNon-Degree