Biology Graduate courses (BIOL)
510. CONSERVATION ECOLOGY (3 credit hours)
This course reviews the evolutionary and ecological bases for the Earth’s biodiversity and its
importance to ecosystem function and human welfare. The causes, rates and patterns of loss of
biodiversity throughout the world and the concepts and techniques used in ecological conservation
and restoration are reviewed. Three class hours per week. Prerequisites: graduate status and permission of instructor.
521. ANIMAL PARASITISM (4 credit hours)
This course details the ecological concept of parasitism, utilizing the prominent parasitic species of
animals and man. The laboratory component of the course concerns the identification of species and
structures of the important parasites of animals and man. Lab and field projects dealing with natural
and host-parasite systems will also be undertaken. Six class hours per week. Prerequisites: graduate status and permission of instructor.
550. EVOLUTION (3 credit hours)
A course covering the concepts and theories of modern evolutionary biology, including the mechanisms
of genetic change in populations, speciation patterns, and geologic change through time. Three class
hours per week. Prerequisites: graduate status and permission of instructor.
561. MICROBIAL GENETICS (4 credit hours)
Genetic mechanisms of bacteria, including their viruses, plasmids and transposons. Integration of
genetic principles and genetic/molecular tools for understanding biological questions. Select topics
in eukaryotic microbial genetics will be included. Six class hours per week including laboratory.
Prerequisites: graduate status and permission of instructor.
565. THE BIOLOGY OF FISHES (4 credit hours)
This is an introductory course that examines the evolution, morphology, anatomy, physiology, and
ecology of fishes. The course will relate the above subject areas to aquaculture principles and practices.
Six class hours per week. Prerequisites: graduate status and permission of instructor.
573. EUKARYOTIC MOLECULAR GENETICS (4 credit hours)
A study of genome structure, organization and function of model organisms with special reference to Arabidopsis and other higher eukaryotes; theory and methodology of genetic and physical mapping, comparative genomics, sequencing, sequence analysis and annotation; emphasis on the function of complex genomes, genome-wide expression analysis, genetic and epigenetic mechanisms, gene silencing, transposons, genome duplication and evolution. Prerequisites: graduate status and permission of instructor.
575. PRINCIPLES OF AQUACULTURE (4 credit hours)
An in-depth step-by step study of the principles and practices underlying commercial aquaculture
production, aquatic productivity and the levels of aquaculture management. Practices in the United
States will be the primary focus with attention to the world in general. Six class hours per week.
Prerequisites: graduate status and permission of instructor.
599. SPECIAL TOPICS (1 - 4 credit hours)
An in depth study of special topics proposed by members of the biology faculty. Open to graduate
students. Prerequisite: graduate status and permission of instructor.
605. ADVANCED ECOLOGY (4 credit hours)
This course explores the topics at the forefront of basic and applied ecology through current and
seminal primary and review literature. Topics include plant adaptations to stress and environmental
heterogeneity, ecosystem nutrient and energy dynamics, processes that generate and regulate
biodiversity, the importance of biodiversity to ecosystem function, and the application of this
information towards management, conservation and reclamation. In laboratory, these concepts will be
explored using field and laboratory experiments. Six class hours per week. Prerequisites: graduate status and permission of instructor.
635. ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY (4 credit hours)
This course is designed as an introduction to the mechanisms and principles involved in life processes. A general and comparative approach is used to develop and understanding, in biophysical and
biochemical terms have how animals function in order to produce an integrated functioning of the
organ systems. While all levels of organization are considered, particular emphasis is placed on the
whole animal and its dynamic organ systems. The course also emphasizes physiological responses to
environmental stresses. Six class hours per week including laboratory. Prerequisites: graduate status and permission of instructor.
640. FIELD BOTANY (4 credit hours)
An integrated laboratory study of the taxonomy, ecology and geography of plants with emphasis on
the flora of West Virginia. Six class hours per week. Prerequisite: graduate status and permission of instructor.
644. PLANT PHYSIOLOGY (4 credit hours)
This course includes an analysis of the cell biology, biochemistry, metabolism, ecological physiology, and development of plants. Lecture topics include water relations, respiration, photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation, mineral nutrition, plant hormones, plant molecular biology, genetic engineering, and the role of environmental signals in plant development, and the environmental physiology of Mid-Atlantic, mixed mesophytic, deciduous forests. Lectures will be supplemented with reading in research journals. Laboratory exercises are designed to demonstrate basic research techniques as well as the principles covered in lecture. Six contact hours per week. Prerequisite: graduate status and permission of instructor.
660. ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY (4 credits)
Microbial functions, interactions, and diversity in natural and man-made environments. Applications
of microbial activities in bioremediation, biodegradation, agriculture, health and environmental
biotechnology. Six class hours per week including laboratory. Prerequisites: graduate status and permission of instructor.
666. CANCER BIOLOGY (3 credit hours)
This course will introduce the student to the biology of tumors. Emphasis will be placed on the cellular and molecular events that lead to tumor formation and progression to cancer. The course format will be a combination of traditional lecture and seminar. Three class hours per week. Prerequisites: Entry into the Biotechnology Graduate Program and permission of the instructor.
671. ADVANCED ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY (2 credit hours)
Discussion of current and classical research literature in environmental microbiology, including
microbial ecology and evolution, and the interface with plant, animal and medical microbiology. Two
class hours per week. Prerequisites: graduate status and permission of instructor.
Biotechnology Graduate Program (BT)
501. SEMINAR FOR TEACHING ASSISTANTS (1 credit hour)
This elective course that will introduce graduate students to the teaching profession. The course focuses on the structural organization of the academic institution, selected techniques in teaching, issues in the classroom, and current literature in higher education. There will be selected readings, exercises, and guest speakers. Class meets one hour per week. A maximum of one credit of the course may be applied toward the course requirements of the Biotechnology MS or MA degrees. Prerequisite: admission to graduate program or permission of instructor.
511. BIOTECHNOLOGY SEMINAR (1 credit hour)
This is a graduate-level seminar course involving a literature search, and written and oral presentations of biotechnology research. Includes evaluation of presentations by off-campus professionals, faculty and peers. Two class hours per week. Prerequisite: Admission to graduate program.
555. BIOSTATISTICS (3 credit hours)
An introduction to statistics emphasizing its application in biological investigation. Topics include central tendencies, dispersion, normality, confidence intervals, probability, parametric and non-parametric tests of hypothesis (including tests of independence and goodness of it, correlation, regression, t-test, ANOVA, ANCOVA, and planned and unplanned comparisons), the relationships between effect size, power, and sample size, and fundamentals of experimental design. Two lecture and two lab hours per week. Prerequisites: Math 101 or Math 121; admission to the program.
567. CURRENT CONCEPTS IN BIOTECHNOLOGY (3 credit hours)
Recent developments in animal, plant, environmental and microbial biotechnology, including the engineering of biological processes from molecular to ecosystem-level scales. Lecture/discussion format. Three class hours per week. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.
571. TECHNIQUES IN BIOTECHNOLOGY I (2 credit hours)
The first in a two semester laboratory series, this course includes a broad scope of protein, RNA and DNA protocols providing experience in the manipulation of macromolecules and transformation of microbes. Emphasis is on building the skills and intellectual framework necessary to work in the biotechnology field. Six class hours per week. Prerequisite: Admission to graduate program.
572. TECHNIQUES IN BIOTECHNOLOGY II (2 credit hours)
This is the second course in a two semester laboratory series. This course includes numerous organism-specific techniques of culture, propagation, maintenance and study. These exercises provide training in bioinformatics, plant and animal genetic engineering, bioreactors and fermentation, research microscopy and cytogenetics, aquaculture, immunology and molecular diagnostics. Six class hours per week. Prerequisites: BT571 or equivalent; Admission to the program.
590. GRADUATE RESEARCH (1 - 4 credit hours)
An independent research topic designed by the student with the assistance of a graduate faculty advisor that supervises the project. The topic should be acceptable to the advisor and the chair. Limited to specific problems in the biotechnology field. A maximum of 4 credits of BT 590 may be counted toward a Master's in Biotechnology. Variable contact hours. Prerequisites: admission to Biotechnology Graduate Program and permission of instructor.
591. GRADUATE INDEPENDENT STUDY OR RESEARCH (1 - 4 credit hours)
An independent research topic designed by the student with the assistance of a graduate faculty advisor that supervises the project. The topic should be acceptable to the advisor and the chair. Limited to specific problems in the biotechnology field. Available after fulfilling 4 credit hours of BT 590. Variable contact hours. Course is graded pass / fail only. Prerequisites: admission to Biotechnology Graduate Program and permission of instructor.
592. GRADUATE LIBRARY RESEARCH (2 credit hours)
Extensive library research techniques in a particular biological area. Staff assigns a topic and supervises the project. A maximum of 2 credits of BT 592 may be counted toward a Master's in Biotechnology. Prerequisites: admission to Biotechnology Graduate Program and permission of instructor.
598. INDUSTRY INTERNSHIP IN BIOTECHNOLOGY (1-3 credit hours)
Experience in the biotechnology industry through work at an industrial site or governmental agency. Arrangement determined by industry/government partner in conjunction with the student’s graduate committee. Prerequisites: Admission to graduate program; approval of graduate committee.
599. SPECIAL TOPICS IN BIOTECHNOLOGY (1-4 credit hours)
An in-depth study of special topics proposed by members of the Biotechnology graduate faculty. Open to graduate students. Prerequisite: graduate status.
695. MASTERS THESIS RESEARCH (1 - 9 credit hours)
An independent research project designed by the student with assistance from the Thesis advisor and acceptable to the Thesis committee. Variable contact hours. Course is graded pass / fail only. Prerequisite: admission to the Biotechnology Graduate Program and approval of the graduate committee.
Graduate Assistantships are awarded to students on an annual basis, without regard to financial status, race, sex, age, color, religion, disability, national origin or ethnic origin. Our assistantships (teaching or research) not only provide you with valuable training and experience, they also come with a tuition waiver and a stipend for two semesters (contact us for the current amount). Over 90% of our students are fully supported with assistantships.
Almost all WVSU Biotech graduate students are supported by either a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) or a Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA). In Spring 2016, we had nine GTA positions and eight GRA positions. Our GTAs teach half-time, which (for a team of two GTAs) means four sections of teaching labs (eight teaching hours, plus 12 hours of preparatory time) per week. Our GRAs are also half-time (20 hours per week), and the nature of each GRA varies with the particular lab in which the GRA works.
Graduate Assistantships include full tuition coverage and stipends of $12,000 per academic year. Currently, there are about $400 per year of fees that are not covered by WVSU; however, the Program often has ways to help with these fees.
The Biotech faculty expect that most graduate students will complete their degree in about two years. Although we do not guarantee support for both years, we make every effort to do so, provided you are making acceptable progress through the Program.
Graduate Assistantships are awarded to students without regard to financial status, race, sex, age, color, religion, disability, national origin or ethnic origin. In order to be eligible for assistantships, you must be enrolled in the Program full-time (9 credit hours).
You do not need to apply for a graduate assistantship, you must simply apply to the Program. We assume that you want to be considered for a graduate assistantship, unless you tell us otherwise.
Graduate Teaching Assistantship
(GTA) awardees are chosen by the Biotechnology Graduate Faculty, based on such factors as the number of assistantships available and the academic preparedness of the candidates. Once a graduate student has been awarded a GTA, the Faculty make every effort to continue supporting the student for four (4) contiguous semesters, not counting summers.
The teaching performance of GTAs is to be evaluated each semester by the faculty member with whom the GTA has taught. In addition, The Coordinator will observe teaching by new GTAs, as well as any other GTAs who bear further observation. Graduate Teaching Assistantships are awarded on a single-semester basis, but are renewable.
Graduate Research Assistantships
(GRA) are available through various funding sources. Some Biotechnology Graduate Faculty are able to employ GRAs through their individual grants monies. For details, contact the faculty member who sponsors the assistantship. Graduate Research Assistantships are awarded on a single-semester basis, but are renewable.
Graduate Research Assistantships are not usually awarded to new, first-semester graduate students.
Master of Science Graduate Theses
The Effect of Carbon Amendments on Squash and Radish Germination and Growth, in Herbicide Treated Soils. Jessica Hoffman.
Mark Chatfield, Advisor. December 2015.
Molecular and Morphological Evaluation of the Rubus
Species Diversity in West Virginia. Douglas Bright.
Barbara Liedl, Advisor. December 2015.
Genome-wide Association Study (GWAS) for Trichome Density and Trichome Length in Watermelon. Abiodun Bodunrin.
Umesh Reddy, Advisor. August 2015.
Diversity Analysis and Association Mapping of Fruit Colors in Capsicum annum. Brittany Davenport.
Umesh Reddy, Advisor. May 2015.
Molecular Prospecting for Species in a New Genus of the Rhinebothriidea. Andrew Haslach.
Timothy Ruhnke, Advisor. December 2014.
Thermophilic Anaerobic Co-Digestion of Poultry Litter and Crude Glycerol. Akintolami Adeleye.
David Huber, Advisor. December 2014.
Analysis of Genome Diversity in Watermelon and Association Mapping for Fruit Traits. Lavanua Abburi.
Umesh Reddy, Advisor. December 2013
Linkage Disequalibrium and Population Structure Analysis Among Capsicum Annum L. Cultivars for Use in Association Mapping. Venkata Lakshmi Abburi.
Padma Nimmakayala, Advisor. May 2013.
Molecular and Morphological Characterization of Four New Species of Anthocephalum Linton 1890. Allison Cox.
Timothy Ruhnke, Advisor. May 2013.
Understanding the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor: DNA Binding Sites, and Knockdown Studies in Human MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells & Gene Expression Profiling of Scwannomas, a Nerve Sheath Tumor. Jackie Fletcher.
Gerald Hankins, Advisor. May 2013.
Cytogenetic Characterization of Important Genes Using BAC-FISH and Building a Genetic Map of Citrullus lantus var. lantus. Abhishek Bhandari.
Umesh Reddy, Advisor. December 2012.
Microbial Ecology and Performance of Anaerobic Digesters Through Changes in Organic Loading Rates. Jesus Chavarria Palma.
David Huber, Advisor. December 2012.
Comparitive Study of Plant Biomass Degradation in the Insect Gut Microbiome. Niranjan Aryal.
David Huber, Advisor. July 2012.
Differential Expression of miRNA Across the Grafted Tissue Collected from Heterografts Involving Different Genera of Cucurbitaceae. Hugh Dalton.
Umesh Reddy, Advisor. July 2012.
Fibroblast Growth Factors as Steroid-Responsive Autocrine Signals in Meningiomas. Shelly Bright.
Gerald Hankins, Advisor. May 2012.
Resveratrol Attenuates Fluprostenol Indiced Hypertrophy of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells. Rahul Nagmal. Robert Harris, Advisor. May 2011.
Cytomolecular Characterization of rRNA Distribution and Copy Number Variation Among Various Citrullus Species Using Flourescent In Situ Hybridization. Nischit Aryal. Umesh Reddy, Advisor. May 2011.
Nuclear Localization Mediated Function of CHMP1A in the Regulation of Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Signaling. Sumanth Manohar. Dr. Maiyon Park, Advisor. Dr. Gerald R Hankins, Thesis Committee Chair. May 2011.
Evaluation of HEK 293 Cells as a Human in vitro Model for NSAIDs Nephrotoxicity. Sophia N. Brown. Gerald R. Hankins, Advisor. December 2010.
In Vitro Screening of Hibiscus Sabdariffa Extract for Anti-Tumor Properties and Effects on Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Migration and Proliferation. Christopher R. Racine. Gerald R. Hankins, Advisor. August 2010.
Understanding Microbial Community Structure and Performance During the Co-Digestion of Stillage Waste and Poultry Litter by a Thermophilic Anaerobic Digester. Deepak Sharma. David H. Huber, Advisor. May 2010.
The Role of Mitochondrial Function and Gene Expression in the Growth of Performance and Feed Efficiency of Juvenile Rainbow Trout. Charles F. Pomeroy. Jonathan C. Eya, Advisor. December 2009.
The Genus Anthobothrium (Van Beneden, 1850): Molecular Systematics and Description of Six New Species. Leah M. Wilson. Tim R. Ruhnke, Advisor. December 2009.
DNA Methylation in alteration of US Watermelon Heirloom Genetic Diversity and Regulation of Growth and Development in Arabidopsis Ecotypes. Renee Gist. Umesh K. Reddy, Advisor. July 2009.
Morophological and Molecular Identification of Three New Species of Paraorygmatobothrium Ruhnke 1994 from Carcharhiniform Sharks. Katherine E. Cappellari. Timothy R. Ruhnke, Advisor. June 2009.
Microarray Analysis of Gene Expression in Mechanically Stretched Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells. Phillip R. Jones. Robert T. Harris, Advisor. April 2009.
Identification of Glucose-Utilizing Anaerobic Bacteria in a Thermophilic Anaerobic Digester Using Stable Isotope Probing (SIP). Tandiwe Mpabanga. David H. Huber, Advisor. December 2008.
Effects of Progesterone and 17-beta-Estradiol on Proliferation and the Expression of DLC1, CAV1, and JUN in Meningioma Cells in Culture. Velvet L. Worstell. Gerald R. Hankins, Advisor. December 2008.
Mapping Quantitative Trait Loci in Tetraploid Watermelon. Mohammad A. Rahman. Umesh K. Reddy, Advisor. December 2008.
Dynamics of Genetic Diversity in Cotton as Revealed by the Methylation Profiles. Venkatagopinath Vaija. Umesh K. Reddy, Advisor. July 2008.
Biomining of P, K, Mg and the Metals Al and Cu from Thermophilic Anaerobically Digested Poultry Litter UsingAgrocybe aegeritaandPleurotus ostreatus. Jeremy Michael Sisson. J. Mark Chattfield, Advisor. April 2008.
Differential Actin Isoform Involvement in Cytoskeletal Remodeling in Smooth Muscle Cells. Stacie Lynne Franson. Robert T. Harris, Advisor. December 2007.
Systematics of Selected Phyllobothriid Species Utilizing the Entire Large Ribosomal Subunit. Joshua Greenwood. Tim R. Ruhnke, Advisor. November 2007.
Co-Localization of Fruit Yield Related Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) to Understand Domestication Footprints in Cultivated Capsicum Complexes. Srinivasa Rao Asturi. Umesh K. Reddy, Adivsor. November 2007.
A First Linkage Map of Sesamum (Sesamum indicum L.) using AFLP and SSR Markers. Jooha Jeong. Umesh Reddy, Advisor. April 2007.
Transient Phosphorylation Events Mediate Contractile Tension Maintenance During Inhibition of Ca2+-Dependent and Ca2+-Independent Contractile Pathways in Rat Aorta. Brenda M. Hill. April 2007.
Resveratrol Alters Stretch Induced Changes in Morphology and Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase Signalling in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells. Shaik R. Sharif. Robert T. Harris, Advisor. December 2006.
DNA Sequencing Variation in Geographic Diverse Samples ofParaorygmatobothrium(Tetraphyllidea: Phyllobothriidae) Collected from the Blacktip Shark,Carcharhinu Limbatus. Robin Le Turner. Tim R. Ruhnke, Advisor. December 2006.
The Fate of 17-beta-Estradiol in a Thermophilic Anaerobic Digester System. Steven Wade Monday. J. Mark Chatfield, Advisor. November 2005.