Ge/Bi 246: Molecular Geobiology Seminar

Ge/Bi/ESE 246. Molecular Geobiology Seminar. 6 units (2-0-4); second or third term. Recommended preparation: ESE/Bi 166. Critical reviews and discussion of classic papers and current research in microbiology and geomicrobiology. As the topics will vary from year to year, it may be taken multiple times. Instructor: Orphan.


Ge/ESE 170: Microbial Ecology

Ge/ESE 170: Microbial Ecology (2016)

Ge/ESE 170. Microbial Ecology. 9 units (3-2-4); second term. Prerequisites: Either ESE/Bi 166 or ESE/Bi 168. Structural, phylogenetic, and metabolic diversity of microorganisms in nature. The course explores microbial interactions, relationships between diversity and physiology in modern and ancient environments, and influence of microbial community structure on biogeochemical cycles. Introduction to ecological principles and molecular approaches used in microbial ecology and geobiological investigations. Offered in alternate years, not offered 2015–16.


Bi/Ge/ESE 105: Evolution

Bi/Ge/ESE 105: Evolution (2016)

Bi/Ge/ESE 105. Evolution. 12 units (3-4-5); second term. Prerequisites: Completion of Core Curriculum Courses. Maximum enrollment: 15, by application only. The theory of evolution is arguably biology’s greatest idea and serves as the overarching framework for thinking about the diversity and relationships between organisms. This course will present a broad picture of evolution starting with discussions of the insights of the great naturalists, the study of the genetic basis of variation, and an introduction to the key driving forces of evolution. Following these foundations, we will then focus on a number of case studies including the following: evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis, origin of eukaryotes, multicellularity, influence of symbiosis, the emergence of life from the water (i.e. fins to limbs), the return of life to the water (i.e. limbs to fins), diversity following major extinction events, the discovery of Archaea, insights into evolution that have emerged from sequence analysis, and finally human evolution and the impact of humans on evolution (including examples such as antibiotic resistance). A specific focus for considering these issues will be the island biogeography of the Galapagos. Instructors: Phillips, Orphan. Given in alternate years; offered 2015–16.

Agouron International Geobiology Course

The Agouron Internation Geobiology course comes to Caltech.
For more information, see