Summer 2021 - BISC 102 D200

General Biology (4)

Class Number: 5215

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu, Th 12:30 PM – 1:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 11, 2021
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    High school biology 12 (or equivalent) with a C grade or better, or BISC 100 with C- or better, or BISC 113 with C+ or better, or HSCI 100 with C+ or better.



Survey of the diversity of life, and its evolutionary history on earth. The student is introduced to the study of genetics, development, and evolution, giving an overview of how these processes interact to produce form and function. Also included are principles of behavior and ecological relationships of organisms to each other and their environment. Breadth-Science.


The central theme of this course is the diversity of life and its evolutionary history on Earth.

Lectures (asynchronous): Lectures will be pre-recorded and posted online to be viewed asynchronously.

Laboratory (asynchronous): All lab activities will be asynchronous through Canvas. Each week you will need to complete graded worksheets and activities, worth a total of 20% of your final grade.

Tutorials (synchronous): All tutorials will be synchronous during your registered time using Zoom. Tutorial attendance and participation is worth 5% of your grade.

Assignment: This is an individual assignment requiring you to find and use scholarly articles. It is worth 15% of your final grade.

Outline of General Topics: 


1        Introduction and Tree of Life  
2        Evolution & natural selection  
3        Animal behaviour and sexual selection 
4        Ecology introduction, Population ecology
5        Ecology of communities, paleoecology
6        Ecosystems & biodiversity
7        catch-up and MIDTERM
8        Mendel and genetics
9        Microevolutionary processes
10      Phylogeny & history of life
11      Species and Speciation
12      Green algae, plants & fungi
13      Animals and Hominin evolution



  • Tutorial Participation 5%
  • Lab Worksheets 20%
  • Assignment 15%
  • Midterm Exam 25%
  • Final Exam 35%


Mode of teaching:

  • Lecture: asynchronous (recorded)
  • Laboratory: asynchronous
  • Tutorial: synchronous
  • Midterm(s): synchronous; date: TBA
  • Final exam: synchronous; date: TBA


Technical Requirements:
A microphone and webcam are required for synchronous online instruction in the weekly tutorials and for online office hours. You will need access to a reliable computer and wi-fi. For most activities a tablet is acceptable, but for the SimUText access, you need a computer.



This is an online simulation resource, and access is required for two labs in this course. Visit to confirm that the SimUText application will work on your computer.

Additional Course Fee
A $15.50 course fee covers your access to the SimUText simulations.


Freeman et al. (2019) Biological Science, 3rd Canadian edition. Pearson. (E-text or Hard copy)

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.


Teaching at SFU in summer 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods, but we will continue to have in-person experiential activities for a selection of courses.  Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112).