Fall 2021 - BISC 102 D100

General Biology (4)

Class Number: 1539

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu, Th 12:30 PM – 1:20 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: (synchronous, recorded).

Laboratory (asynchronous):  Each week you will complete graded worksheets and activities, worth a total of 30% of your final grade.

Tutorials: In person Burnaby D101 – D114.  Remote synchronous D901 – D902. Attendance and participation is worth 5% of your grade.

Inquiry figure 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 (subject to change)

Introduction and Tree of Life  
Evolution & natural selection  
Animal behaviour and sexual selection 
Ecology introduction, Population ecology
Ecology of communities, paleoecology
Ecosystems & biodiversity
catch-up and MIDTERM
Mendel and genetics
Microevolutionary processes
Phylogeny & history of life
Species and Speciation
Green algae, plants & fungi
Animals and Hominin evolution


  • Tutorial Participation: 5%
  • Lab Worksheets: 30%
  • Inquiry Figure Assignment: 15%
  • Midterm Exam: 20%
  • Final Exam: 30%


Mode of teaching:

  • Lecture:   Synchronous, recorded
  • Laboratory: Asynchronous    
  • Tutorial: In person Burnaby D101 – D109.  Remote synchronous D901 – D906.
  • Midterm(s): Synchronous; date: TBA 
Final exam: Synchronous; date: TBA


Technical Requirements:

Students who are participating in remote tutorials will need a camera and microphone with their computer to interact with others. 

Effective immediately, the Department of Biological Sciences is adopting a mandatory mask policy for all areas under Biology’s control and in spaces elsewhere where Biology faculty teach, applying to everyone regardless of vaccination status.



This is an online simulation resource, and access is required for two labs in this course. Visit https://simutext.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/categories/200170134-Check-Your-Tech- 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.


Biological Science, by Freeman, Harrington and Sharp. Third Canadian Edition, Pearson (E-text or Hard copy)

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html 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. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware 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.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.