1.1 Major Principles

Students will be able to identify and describe the major principles of biology.

One of the most important principles of biology is genetics and understanding the fundamental units of life. In Biology 120: Integrative Biology, I learned about the importance of biology as a major. What does it encompass and why is it so important for us to understand in great detail? The very first group project that I completed as a biology major was in this class. My group presented a powerpoint presentation on whether seeds grew faster in coffee enriched soil or MiracleGro. It is very evident to me now that there is much more to science than what we thought of it in freshman year biology courses.

In Biology 250: Intro to Genetics and Biology 234: Genetics courses, I was introduced to the molecular mechanisms that govern cellular growth, homeostasis, and response to external stimuli. I was expected to think critically on a broad range of biological topics focused on the cellular, molecular, and genetic basis of life. I learned how to use PCR as a method of DNA amplification and verified green fluorescent protein in the pGLO plasmid for pathogen transmission analysis. Through these courses, I developed a greater understanding of pathogen transmission and portrayed that through an end-of-semester poster presentation.

Additionally, ecology and evolution are equally important as genetics in understanding the major principles of biology. In Biology 251: Intro to Ecology and Evolution I learned about the remarkable interactions that different organisms have with one another, with their environments, and with human beings. The study of ecology entails studying, observing, inquiring, discussing, and researching aspects of local and global ecosystems. One of my favorite projects in this class was a human demography study that our class conducted in the Farmville area. I wrote a final paper on what I learned from this study. I also completed a study on bird prevalence on Longwood’s campus that provided me with an opportunity to learn more about species richness and how to use descriptive statistics to analyze large amounts of data.

In my Biology 488: Fourth-Year Biology Seminar course, I am currently revising and editing a final draft of my senior research paper. For this paper, I analyzed a variety of biology concepts in order to write a research proposal on “How increasingly inclusive ADHD medication studies could bridge the gap of knowledge and understanding of therapeutic strategies for treatment.” While I am still continuing to edit this paper, it is amazing to reflect on how much I have grown in my understanding of biological concepts throughout my four years here at Longwood.