Student Training & Experience

Training students to use integrative approaches to study animal behavior is central to the goals of BoB at UH. We have in place several mechanisms to facilitate a rich, cross-disciplanary research experience for students in our program. First, new students can plug into a research rotation among BoB Member Labs of their choosing. During these short rotations, students can build their skill set by learning techniques or approaches useful in animal behavior research. We also have a number of small grants available to fund the initial steps of student projects or presentation at meetings. In addition, we offer student-selected, topic-driven speciality courses to encourage collaboration among labs on our campus and within the greater Houston area. If you think you might be interested in joining BoB at UH, we suggest that you examine the profiles of our member laboratories, read our philosophy on how to pick the right training environment for you, and then contact faculty members about how you might proceed with joining our group. Application materials can be gotten by contacting Dr. Gregg Roman, Department of Biology & Biochemistry, University of Houston, Houston TX, 77204-5001 USA. He can also be reached at behave@uh.edu.


Undergraduate Course Offerings

BIOL 3304: The Biology of Social Behavior. The biological prerequisites and consequences of the evolution of social behavior in animals. Cooperation, kinship, predator defense, foraging, and other problems of group living. BIOL 3305: Biodiversity. Causes, consequences, importance, and preservation of biological diversity. BIOL 4206: Ecology and Evolution Laboratory. Field and laboratory exercises illustrating concepts in evolution, ecology, and animal behavior. BIOL 4315: Neuroscience. Molecular, cellular, and behavioral principles of nervous system function, including aspects of development, learning and memory, and evolution. BIOL 4347: Animal Behavior. Ecology, evolution, and mechanisms animal behavior. Finding food and avoiding predators; orientation and navigation; mating systems; parental care; evolution of social behavior. BIOL 4368: Ecology. Relationship of organisms to the environment and to each other. PSYC 4354: Brain and Behavior. Relationship between the structure and function of the human central nervous system and the behavior of both normal and impaired individuals. PSYC 4397: Neural Basis of Clinical Disorders. Students will understand the neural basis of human behavior and various clinical disorders using a multidisciplinary approach. Cellular- and systems- level knowledge from such diverse disciplines, as neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neurochemistry and clinical neuroscience will be integrated in order to understand how specific motor, limbic, and cognitive functions and dysfunctions emerge within the brain.

Graduate Course Offerings

BIOL 6123: Seminar in Biological Clocks. Seminars presented by faculty and students on current literature in biological rhythms. BIOL 6203: Advanced Animal Behavior. Mechanisms and evolution of animal behavior. BIOL 6213: Biological Clocks. Molecular, cellular, and physiological aspects of biological timing mechanisms. BIOL 6214: Molecular Neuroscience. Biophysical and molecular mechanisms of neuronal signaling, with emphasis on ion channels and neurotransmitter receptors. BIOL 6215: Cellular Neuroscience. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of information processing in neurons, with emphasis on mechanisms thought to be involved in neuronal plasticities such as learning and memory. BIOL 6219: Genetic and Molecular Analysis of Behavior. Genetics and molecular biology of behavior in model organisms, including Drosophila, Aplysia, mice, and humans. Definition of behavior, relative contributions of genes and environment, experimental techniques, and underlying molecular genetic mechanisms. Includes biological rhythms, learning and memory, courtship, aggression, addiction, sexual preference, and depression. BIOL 6220: Advanced Electrophysiology. Mathematics and other aspects of electrophysiological research, including Fourier series, linear algebra, instrumentation electronics, and methods for analysis of electrophysiological data. BIOL 6222: Optical Methods in Cell Biology. Theoretical bases, technical considerations, applications, and limitations of optical approaches to the study cellular systems. Includes confocal and laser-scanning microscopy, ratiometric calcium imaging, and fluorescence-assisted cell sorting. BIOL 6424: Techniques of Animal Experimentation in Health and Disease. Ethics and techniques in the use of the common laboratory species in teaching and research. PSYCH 6343: Behavioral Psychopharmacology. Electrical activity of the brain and synaptic transmitter systems. Manipulation by endogenous and exogenous chemicals and drugs, and their operation in various brain pathologies. PSYCH 7342: Biological Basis of Behavior. The biological neurological and physiological aspects of behavior as they are relevant to psychology. PCOL 6350: Neurophysiology. An in-depth coverage of the principles of physiology of excitable cells and pathophysiology of the central and peripheral nervous systems including etiology of neurological diseases as possible target sites for therapeutic agents. PCOL 7362: Neuropharmacology. Physiology and pharmacology of synaptic mechanisms in the central and peripheral nervous system with emphasis on mechanisms of drug and neurotransmitter action.

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