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Tuesday, January 15

  1. page Comps edited Most students find comps to be a stressful and often terrifying process. Hopefully this guide can h…
    Most students find comps to be a stressful and often terrifying process. Hopefully this guide can help to demystify the process. First, remember that a big portion of passing comps occurs in the years before your comps that you spend interacting with the faculty on your committee. The earlier that you begin having serious discussions about science with your committee the easier comps will be.
    ...
    the test. The written component is new to the department, so few faculty will have ready-made questions for you. Be creative and suggest some discussion topics such as reviewing an area of your dissertation research or writing an essay on the perception of science in news culture. During the
    So how can you prepare for your comps?
    You certainly can and should study hard for your comps. But it is also important to get comfortable with explaining science off the cuff since this is what comps is all about. To practice this you can form a group with some of the grad students who are at the same point in the program and hold mock comps. Not only do you get to practice you can see others to judge your own performance.
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  2. page Diagnostic evaluation edited ... diagnostic test. As of Fall 2012, earning above a 70 on the diagnostic exam was sufficient f…
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    diagnostic test. As of Fall 2012, earning above a 70 on the diagnostic exam was sufficient for it to not be mentioned at all during my diagnostic evaluation.
    The purpose
    ...
    the decisions. As some advice, you should consider bouncing proposals off your committee members for making exceptions to your course catalog requirements ahead of time and individually. This will prepare both you and your committee to make the most of the meeting.
    Find a
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    can agree toto. Do this far ahead of time!
    Reserve a room with the biology office if you are in the LS building or with the grad school if you are in the ERB.
    Print off and fill out a diagnostic evaluation report.
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  3. page Courses edited BIOL5102 – PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT This class is required for graduation and recommended to be t…
    BIOL5102 – PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
    This class is required for graduation and recommended to be taken soon after the remainder of your coursework. To benefit most from this course, take it before your final one or two years at UTA.
    BIOL5302 – MICROBIAL GENETICS
    BIOL5304 – VIROLOGY
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    This is a new course taught by Dr. Melloto. In it you will be graded on your ability to progress in both your own writing and your reviewing of other's manuscripts. Dr. Melloto prefers that you have either an article or proposal that you can work on in class. You will end up doing 4-6 revisions of your paper and you will review about twice that many papers as well. The last couple of classes are set aside to give oral presentations of your research or hold mock proposal defenses.
    BIOL5308 – GENOME STRUCTURE AND DYNAMICS
    This classcourse is not currently available because Dr. Feschotte transferred from UTA. It may be offered in the future, perhaps by either Dr. Fujita, Dr. Castoe, or Dr. Demuth.
    This class was
    taught by
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    Feschotte, and iswas part lecture,
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    seminar. It iswas usually offered
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    and you cancould count on
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    genome science.
    BIOL5309 – IMMUNOBIOLOGY
    BIOL5311 – EVOLUTION
    Taught by Dr. Chippindale and open to undergraduate and graduate students. You need to take at least one evolution course to succeed in biology, though oddly the course is not explicitly required in either the graduate or undergraduate catalog. Most graduate committees will require an evolution course. If you took a strong Evolution course as an undergrad or master's student, this course will probably be too frivolous to justify taking it again.
    BIOL5312 – ADVANCED GENETICS
    This class is usually taught by Dr. Betran and it is known for its quick pace and demanding exams. If you thought that graduate school was going to be about challenging professors who expected a lot from you then this is a great course. If you work hard and write well you can get an A in this course. Dr. Betran's tests always have essay questions on them, don't just start writing. Come up with an outline: thesis statement along with supporting paragraphs. She especially likes it if you can throw in some references to the literature that you read in class. If you take your time and put together a well supported arguement you will be in good shape. You will only read a few papers so just memorize the author and year on a couple of them and you can throw them in for good measure. One think to remember about her tests is that they almost never have a question that isn't explicitly covered in her powerpoints.
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    BIOL5316 – ADVANCED EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY
    BIOL5319 – HUMAN GENETICS
    Taught by Dr. Fondon. A popular course for graduate and advanced undergraduate students. Expect a Socratic, deliberate, and sometimes frustrating learning experience.
    BIOL5320 – BIOGEOGRAPHY
    BIOL5325 – PLANT ECOLOGY
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    BIOL5333 – BIOLOGICAL MODELING
    BIOL5334 – MOBILE DNA MECHANISMS & REGULATION
    Used to be taught by Dr. Feschotte and Dr. Pritham. Since they have left UTA, this course may no longer be offered.
    BIOL5335 – ESSENTIALS OF GENOMICS
    Jointly taught for the first time in the Fall of 2012 by Dr. Castoe and Dr. Fujita. Expect to cover most basic concepts of up-to-date genomics research with occasional forays into some advanced topics. The textbook (Gibson and Muse) will assist you for the first few weeks, but recently published assigned readings will make up the majority of your work outside of class. No wet lab work and only very mild computational homework. Approachable for graduate and advanced undergraduate students. Useful for new students with interests in genomics, genetics, systematics, etc.
    BIOL5336 – MOLECULAR EVOLUTION
    This class is usually taught by Dr. Betran and it is a lot like her advanced genetics course. You will learn how to use a few programs like DNAsp, MEGA, and Clustal. If you are interested in phylogenetics this is a good first course to introduce you to some of the basics. Like her genetics test the tests in here are also very challenging but not impossible. She uses several examples in class to illustrate important concepts like the fates of duplicated genes, types of genes that exhibit different rates of evolution, or signatures of selection. Make sure that you understand these examples and the implications of each.
    BIOL5337 – BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY
    BIOL5339 – MOBILE DNA & GENOME EVOLUTION
    Another course that used to be taught by Dr. Feschotte and Dr. Pritham. Since they have left UTA, this course may no longer be offered.
    BIOL5340 – BIOINFORMATICS
    A crash course in scripting and tools for genomic analysis. Be prepared to spend several hours learning perl and unix ON YOUR OWN. The emphasis of the class will be on producing results from available data, not on helping you find every missing } . Read the chapters from the text before class, it can be very fast paced at times. Text: Introduction to Computational Genomics by Cristianini and Hahn 2007
    BIOL5341 – PRINCIPLES OF NEUROSCIENCE
    BIOL5343 – REPTILE BIOLOGY
    If offered again, this class may be offered by Dr. Smith, so keep that in mind. Campbell would like for Eric to take over the class in the future.
    This class is taught by Dr. Campbell. He's a very good lecturer, and exams are pretty straightforward -- combination of matching, short answer and long essay forms. The class also requires a ~20 minute presentation on the topic of your choice and a term paper over a topic in reptile biology. There is a lab component, which basically consists of looking at specimens in the collections -- as long as you can make basic identifications of specimens to family, you'll be fine. Make sure that you study all of the important figures in herpetology that he discusses; you will have to match the name of a herpetologist to what he or she did on at least one test. Campbell hits comparative anatomy (especially osteology) pretty hard, so if you are coming in as a systematist or ecologist, make sure that you study up on those aspects as well.
    BIOL5344 – AMPHIBIAN BIOLOGY
    Currently taught by Dr. Smith. Don't expect too much from this class. I took it to learn higher level Lissamphibian taxonomy and advanced anatomy. That happened, but only because of many hours of studying from textbooks outside of class. Dr. Smith will push students to present during many (over two-thirds) of the lectures, so his time spent lecturing is kept to a minimum. UTA's museum collection features prominently in the lab, so it wise to introduce yourself to the curator (Carl Franklin) to earn access to the building. Most of your learning will take place with other students outside of class. Tests are all over the place and generally very difficult. Similar to his CVA course, most students perform very poorly on his tests which require a near-perfect memorization of his rambling powerpoints and assigned textbooks to succeed. Lab practicals are similarly difficult, requiring you to recognize any amphibian family based on a specimen or any anatomical feature. Ecology and basic biology of amphibians are put to the wayside at the expense of covering so many individual species and higher level taxonomy by continent.
    BIOL5345 – ORNITHOLOGY
    BIOL5346 – MICROBIAL PHYSIOLOGY
    BIOL5350 – CONSERVATION BIOLOGY
    Currently offered by Dr. Chippindale.
    BIOL5351 – ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY
    BIOL5354 – LIMNOLOGY
    BIOL5357 – MARINE BIOLOGY
    BIOL5361 – ADVANCED BIOMETRY
    Currently offered by Dr. Passy. This course covers multivariable statistics, with extensive focus on permutations of correlation and regression analyses. Dr. Passy recommends using SysStat for nearly all lab procedures, so expect to be frustrated when it doesn't work or present you with options to improve your analysis (especially when creating figures). Generally, the course proceeds at a quick clip and students lacking a firm background in ecology and statistics will feel left behind. If you aren't comfortable with statistics, consider taking online coursework or another on-campus class before enrolling in this course. Most recently, the grade was derived exclusively for three exams, so you will need to keep up with exercises offered by Dr. Passy. Do not save all of the work until the week before the exam or you will crash and burn! The textbook (Gotelli and Ellison) is largely useless to advanced students, but could help those less comfortable with statistics. Some datasets (~one-third to half) used in examples are pulled directly from this text.
    BIOL5362 – EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN
    Currently offered by Dr. Demuth. Your committee may not require you to take this course if you have taken an equivalent experimental design course.
    BIOL5364 – POPULATION GENETICS
    This class is currently taught by Dr. Fondon. Dr. Fondon does not use or even reccomend any textbook and he gives no assigned readings. Instead he tries to get the students to derive the course concepts through conversation, examples, and questions. Because of this you have to come to class and be ready to participate. If you are quiet, he will call on you and make you contribute. Because of the way that he teaches this class can sometimes be a bit on the slow side. However the topics that are covered tend to be covered very well. Grading in this class is pretty relaxed with 3 problem sets completed outside of class.
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    This class is taught by Dr. Chippendale. At times this class will wander around but Paul has a lot of experience in phylogenetics and comes from a very respected background. If you are doing a project that involves phylogenetics you need to take this class. You will get a good dose of anecdotes about all of the people whose papers you have been reading. Dr. Chippendale can help you see some of the assumptions and weaknesses in your design so I think its a good course. The grading in the class is largely based on a project of your choice so if you play your cards right you can get some of your own research done at the same time.
    BIOL5420 – GENETICS METHODS LAB
    Formerly offered by Dr. Pritham. This 4-hour lab complements the advanced genetics course (BIOL5312), but does not have to be taken at the same time (or at all). Many universities would combine these two courses, and I think that would make sense given how little material was covered in this class (considering it is a 4-hour lab). Most students are undergraduates, and graduate students may find this course frivolous. In the past, our own C. Marquez acted as Dr. Pritham's GTA and added good energy and perspective to the course on a whole.
    BIOL5421 – METHODS IN MOLECULAR MICROBIOLOGY
    BIOL6291 – ADVANCED RESEARCH
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Monday, September 24

  1. page Comps edited ... Describe the concept of and an example of a keystone species. You have two variables and want…
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    Describe the concept of and an example of a keystone species.
    You have two variables and want to know if there is a relationship between them what would be a an appropriate statistical test to run?
    Who wrote silent springSilent Spring and what
    Illustrate the logistical and exponential growth equations.
    What is the difference between primary and secondary succession?
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    Describe the next breakthrough in your field of study that would be worthy of publishing in Science. What kinds of experiments would you include in this paper?
    Explain climate change to a layman, e.g. your next door, tax paying neighbor.
    What is science?
    Why is nitrogen important?
    What are the six macronutrients for plants?
    Go from glucose to ~38 ATP, include important steps and enzymes (i.e. energetic expenditures) involved in relevant pathways.

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Sunday, September 23

  1. page Comps edited ... What is meant by the term phylotypic stage what is the evidence for and against this idea. De…
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    What is meant by the term phylotypic stage what is the evidence for and against this idea.
    Describe the next breakthrough in your field of study that would be worthy of publishing in Science. What kinds of experiments would you include in this paper?
    Explain climate change to a layman, e.g. your next door, tax paying neighbor.
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    12:48 pm

Thursday, September 20

  1. page home edited UTA Biology Graduate Student Wiki ... not approved or produced by The Basics -Diagnostic t…

    UTA Biology Graduate Student Wiki
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    not approved or produced by
    The Basics
    -Diagnostic test
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    6:40 am
  2. user_add wtmann wtmann joined biograd
    6:17 am

Wednesday, September 19

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