Investigative Biology

The Investigative Biology Requirement

All students in the Biology major must complete the Investigative Biology requirement, which is an upper-level research experience involving a specific subdiscipline of biology. To ensure you will complete this requirement, be sure to plan for your research early – at least two quarters in advance.

There are three ways to complete this requirement. See below for these options, and keep the following in mind:

  • You are allowed to take any combination of these options. Additional research credit can be applied towards the Biology Elective requirement of your degree.
  • A maximum of 10 research credits can be applied to Biology degree requirements. Research beyond 10 credits counts towards the 180-credit minimum to earn a degree, but fulfills no other requirements.

 

Option 1 – B BIO 495 (Investigative Biology)

This 5-credit course is the default option and automatically fulfills the Investigative Biology requirement. All other options require a petition to be considered.

The class size is small, at 12 students, and you will be working together in a group on a project related to the research area of the instructor. See the "B BIO 495 Instructors & Course Descriptions" section below for more information.

There are at least two B BIO 495 courses (sometimes three) offered in each autumn, winter, and spring quarter. There is usually one section offered in summer quarter as well. If you are planning to take this class in a given quarter, please view the time schedule as soon as it is available. You must contact the instructor to ask for permssion to join the class.

Graduating seniors are given priority consideration for registration, followed by seniors, juniors, and sophomores. The earlier you contact the instructor, the better your chance of joining the class!

 

Option 2 – B BIO 499 (Undergraduate Research) or Other Credited Research

You may complete 5 credits of B BIO 499 research to fulfill the requirement. You may also use other research credits (such as B CHEM 499) as long as the research is Biology-related.

  • Finding research at UW Bothell. To explore possible research opportunities on the UW Bothell campus, please visit our Biology Research page (under construction), Chemistry Research page, or Undergraduate Research Database. Once you have met with the instructor and formed an agreement to conduct research together, you can fill out a course registration request to sign up for the credit.
  • Finding research at other UW campuses. To explore possible research opportunities at other campuses, please visit the UW Seattle Undergraduate Research page. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the database link. Please ask the person offering the research for information on how to sign up for research credit.
  • Investigative Biology Petition. You must petition to have your Undergraduate Research count for the Investigative Biology requirement. Please use our online petition form to submit your research for consideration.
  • Presenting your research. You must present your research at UW Bothell to have it count for the Investigative Biology requirement. The School of STEM Research Symposium is held every quarter on the last day of finals week. If you plan to present at this event, please contact us at stemadv@uw.edu to be added to the list of presenters.

 

Option 3 – Non-Credit Internship, Volunteer, or Professional Research Experience

You may use 150 hours or more of a non-credit research experience to fulfill the requirement. If you find an opportunity, please contact us at stemadv@uw.edu to check if it will count for the requirement.

  • Investigative Biology Petition. You must petition to have your non-credit research count for the Investigative Biology requirement. Please use our online petition form to submit your research for consideration.
  • Presenting your research. You must present your research at UW Bothell to have it count for the Investigative Biology requirement. The School of STEM Research Symposium is held every quarter on the last day of finals week. If you plan to present at this event, please contact us at stemadv@uw.edu to be added to the list of presenters.

 

B BIO 495 Instructors & Course Descriptions

You must have instructor permission to join a B BIO 495 (Investigative Biology) course. Please contact the instructor via their email address (below) to ask for more information about the course and for permission to join. They will inform your advisor to register you for the class once permission is granted.

 

Cynthia Chang

Quarter usually offered: Autumn

Email Address: cynchang@uw.edu

Research completed in this course addresses fundamental questions in plant ecology and evolution, and generally entails doing a large-scale greenhouse experiment understanding the impacts of simulated global climate change on plant communities.

 

Doug Wacker

Quarter usually offered: Autumn

Email Address: dwacker@uw.edu

Research involves the study of how free-living vertebrates, typically birds, interact with each other and their environments. The specific topics covered vary from year to year, but I anticipate that future projects will extend my work to better understand 1) the contextual and behavioral relevance of crow vocal communication and/or 2) the effects of circulating androgens and stress steroids on social behavior in song sparrows.

 

Thelma Madzima

Quarter usually offered: Autumn

Email Address: madzima@uw.edu

Research aims to understand the mechanisms of epigenetic regulation associated with plant responses to abiotic stress (drought, cold, salt stress). Projects involve analysis of gene expression and DNA methylation of stress responsive genes in Zea mays.

 

Jeff Jensen

Quarter usually offered: Winter

Email Address: jsjensen@uw.edu

Population genetics and conservation of Lake Washington basin kokanee salmon. Class projects will assess genetic and morphological variation of kokanee salmon in the Sammamish river and Lake Washington, conduct field surveys, and sample and analyze environmental DNA.

 

Kristina Hillesland

Quarter usually offered: Winter

Email Address: hilleskl@uw.edu

Students will investigate the process and outcomes of coevolution using microorganisms that must propagate without the presence of oxygen. Projects involve maintaining and organizing sterile cultures of microorganisms, using anaerobic techniques, analyzing large datasets, and may include gas chromatography, genome sequence analysis, and PCR.

 

Marc Servertnick

Quarter usually offered: Spring

Email Address: mds56@uw.edu

Research concerns embryonic development and regeneration in the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis. Projects involve characterizing patterns of gene expression in developing embryos, analyzing genes expressed during regeneration, and other questions around embryonic development.

 

Jesse Zaneveld

Quarter usually offered: Spring

Email Address: zaneveld@uw.edu

Research investigates the fascinating symbiotic relationships between animals and microbes. Most projects so far have used the starlet sea anemone Nematostella vectensis as a model organism for studying symbiosis between reef-building corals and microbes. I also welcome bioinformatic project proposals involving bacterial evolution and ecology.