1.4 – Major Principles of Organismal Biology

Students will be able to analyze critically and apply the major principles of organismal biology.

Comprehensive Human Anatomy and Physiology I, for me, was centered mostly around physical anatomy. I learned a lot about the structure and function of every system within the human body and even got to design and conduct a research project. The project resulted in a poster presentation on the effects of load carriage on the posture of college students. The project itself helped me in learning to apply concepts from class in a laboratory setting through experimental design, data collection, and data analysis. The class provided me with information about the human body that I was able to translate later on to information about the anatomy and physiology of other species through comparison of the similarities and differences.

In contrast to the first half of this course, Comprehensive Human Anatomy and Physiology II was centered around the physiology behind the material we learned prior. In this class I was able to take what I had learned about certain parts of the human body and what they did and elaborate on them to find out exactly how they performed. For example, I had previously learned about the liver and kidneys and what role they played in homeostasis, but in this class I was able to learn how exactly each organ did their respective jobs. I was also able to learn how to effectively communicate that information through a project where I talked about a common health myth. I chose to talk about detox diets and was able to demonstrate my knowledge of human anatomy and physiology by “busting” the myth that detox diets effectively remove waste from the body. The information I learned in both halves of this course easily translated to other subjects and has helped me in understanding much of the material in other classes like Vertebrate Morphology, Comparative Biomechanics, and Neurobiology of Motor Control.

Neurobiology of Motor Control is another class where I have been able to both learn and expand on my knowledge about organismal biology. For me, this class was essentially a culmination of all of my prior learning regarding organismal-focused classes like anatomy and physiology. This was a seminar class, so it focused mostly on communicating rather than learning new material. Through a number of (oral presentations) and student-led discussions I was able to practice my literature-based research and discussion skills. It helped me to become more confident in reading and evaluating scientific literature and communicating that information to my peers.