1.1 Identify and describe the major principles of biology

Throughout my biology classes at Longwood, the major principles that I took away were gene theory, cell theory, and evolution. From this, one of the hardest concepts for me to understand was the concept of genes. Cellular/molecular biology is something I find challenging and difficult to comprehend. Despite this, I have taken a number of cellular based classes that have been able to enhance my understanding.

I began this journey in BIOL 120, which was an introductory course containing a mixture of ecology/evolution and cell/molecular biology. While I quickly grasped the evolutionary/ecological concepts, I didn’t understand the concepts on the cellular and genetic level, which I was able to go on and learn about in depth in BIOL 250. I felt like I didn’t have as much background knowledge to truly grasp these concepts that were very abstract to me.

BIOL 250, which was very cell/genetics heavy. We created a poster that surrounded the gene GFP and how it functions. A year later, I took a genetics class and wrote my final lab report about gene expression and structure in drosophila. This deepened my knowledge about genes and showed me how much I developed since BIOL 250. I realized in these higher up level classes that I needed to learn this information in a different way than i was grasping the ecology/evolution side of it.

I have grown very confident in my knowledge about ecology, specifically in a literature review that I completed for my BIOL 341 class. Finding relevant research surrounding my ecological topic cemented my interest and knowledge about ecology. I’m grateful that the biology degree has allowed me to learn such a variety of topics and disciplines within biology. I feel like the difference in my knowledge between these different classes I took throughout the years shows tremendous growth in how my knowledge of biology developed.