Humans are bathing in a sea of microbes; microbes coat our environments, live within our bodies, and perform functions both beneficial and detrimental to human wellbeing. This course will explore the biology of microorganisms, broadly defined as bacteria, archaea, viruses, and single-celled eukaryotes. We will study microbes at multiple scales, including the individual cell, the growing population, and populations interacting with one another or their environments. Microbial physiology, genetics, diversity, and ecology will be covered in depth. Particular emphasis will be given to the role of microbes in ecological processes and microbes that cause infectious disease in humans.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of General Biology I: Cellular and Molecular Biology or permission of the instructor.