Courses in Plant Biology


    Courses of interest to Plant Biology graduate students and advanced undergraduates are offered through the School of Integrative Biology, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, Crop Sciences, Geography, the School of Molecular and Celular Biology, Computer Science and other campus units. Prospective graduate students should note that the "curriculum" is tailored individually and depends upon the undergraduate background and career interests of an entering student. The over 30 faculty and affiliates in the department offer a very broad range of expertise for teaching and student mentoring. Our association with the USDA Photosynthesis Research group and the Illinois Natural History Survey gives our department an especially broad range of expertise and provides diverse options for study.

    New courses appear every semester, especially in the more rapidly developing sub-fields of biology. New half- or full- semester courses often appear under a rubric carrying a number in the 490's (such as 496), before they become established in the curriculum. Check bulletin boards for flyers and online for complete listings:

    Below is a list of courses typically taken and/or recommended by Plant Biology graduate students in different research concentrations, giving the course name, rubric (and in parentheses, other programs' rubrics under which the same course is cross-listed), when it is offered, who teaches it and some comments provided by students. Click on course names to go to course websites, where available. CAVEAT EMPTOR: Schedules and offerings change every year, so don't assume a course exists and will be offered on schedule just because you see it listed below. Check the UIUC Courses site for the latest info and please email us if you find information below incorrect, or if you'd like to contribute your comments about a course.

 

Physiology and Development

Cancer Cell Biology MCB 400 every Fall Supriya Gangadharan Prasanth and Kevin Xiang "Used to be more generic cell biology -- more focused now"
Developmental Biology MCB 410 Spring Phil Newmark, Humphrey Yao et al.  
Plant Physiology IB 420 every Spring Ray Zielinski "good, in-depth coverage, but accessible, not hard"
Photosynthesis

IB 421 (BIOPH 432)

Fall of odd-numbered years Don Ort, Lisa Ainsworth, Carl Bernacchi “... overlaps considerably with Plants and Global Change, Colin Wraight's section includes high level biophysics”
Plant Development IB 424 Fall of odd-numbered years Tom Jacobs "...well organized, learned a lot, discussing journal papers major strength...interactive environment in class"
Physiology & Biochemistry Discussions IB496 Fall & Spring    
Environmental Plant Physiology

IB 542

(CPSC 538)

Spring Steve Long “following some brief instruction by Prof. Long, each student takes a subject area and lectures to the class”
Plant Anatomy IB496
(CRN 52237)

Spring 2010

Brenda Molano-Flores 8 week course: Jan 19 - Mar 12, 2010, M&W, 8-11:50 am in 326 NHB. 2 credit hours
Plant Anatomy BIO3614 (EIU) Spring of even numbered years Barbara Carlsward This is at Eastern Illinois University (Charleston, IL). Dr. Carlsward is willing to have our students in her class. Contact her for details.

Ecology and Climate Change
Watershed Hydrology NRES 401 Fall Greg McIsaac "good if looking at stream and lake hydrology, not good on groundwater, soil water or atmospheric properties"
Ecological Genetics IB 405 Fall   ***This course has been on indefinite hiatus since the departure of Kim Hughes :-(
Plants and Global Climate Change

IB 440 (CPSC 431, NRES 431)

Spring Steve Long, Lisa Ainsworth, Andy Leakey “one of the most useful class I've taken”. “ a great course to take in the beginning”
Evolutionary Ecology

IB 443

Fall Ken Paige “good information to fulfill evolution area of emphasis for PB students” “you write a paper and a Sigma Xi grant proposal - so some good practice here.”
Insect Ecology IB 444 Fall May Berenbaum “includes optional lab, good course for non-native speakers because the course packet consists of all the lectures written out”
Chemical Ecology IB 445 Fall May Berenbaum, Dave Seigler  
Field Ecology IB 447 Spring    
Conservation Biology IB 451 (ENVST 420, CPSC 436) Spring Ken Paige  
Ecosystem Ecology IB 452 Fall of odd years Feng Sheng Hu “...moderately difficult, overlap with Steve Long's Global Change Biology...
Community Ecology

IB 453

Fall of even years Jim Dalling moderately difficult, useful, good discussion sections...
Ecosystem Biogeochemistry IB 516 (NRES 516)     *** This course is on hiatus
Environmental Plant Physiology

IB 542

(CPSC 538)

Spring Steve Long “following some brief instruction by Prof. Long, each student takes a subject area and lectures to the class”
Courses related to Energy & Enviornment (courtesy of UIUC Renewable Energy Initiative)
Systematics and Evolution
Molecular Evolution IB 402 Fall Greg Whit  
Ecological Genetics IB 405 Fall   *** This course has been on indefinite hiatus since the departure of Kim Hughes :-(
Population Genetics IB 416 (ANSCI 446) Fall Roger Shanks  
Environmental and Evolutionary Physiology of Animals IB 426 Fall Chris Cheng-DeVries  
Computing in Molecular Biology MCB 432 Spring Gary Olsen  
Evolutionary Ecology

IB 443

Fall Ken Paige “good information to fulfill evolution area of emphasis for PB students” “you write a paper and a Sigma Xi grant proposal - so some good practice here.”
Principles of Systematics IB 467 Fall Sydney Cameron  
Evolutionary Survey of Plants IB 469 Fall Stephen Downie "My son is looking forward to teaching a new course at the University of Illinois. He says it's a course about land plants and I know it's going to be very good! I think somebody else will be teaching about the water plants." - Dr. Downie's Mother.
Discussions in Systematic Biology IB 514 Spring Chris Dietrich, Felipe Soto-Adames and Jim Whitfield  
Applied Bioinformatics CPSC 569 Spring Gustavo Caetano-Anolles  
Biochemistry and Genetics
Cancer Cell Biology MCB 400 Fall Supriya Gangadharan Prasanth and Kevin Xiang "Used to be more generic cell biology -- more focused now"
Genetics and Genomics MCB 405 Spring Dave Rivier  
Gene Expression MCB 406 Spring Dave Shapiro and Craig Mizzen  
Bioinformatics & Functional Genomics MCB 409 Fall    
Plant Secondary Metabolism IB 425 Fall, even years David Seigler  
Computing in Molecular Biology MCB 432 Spring Gary Olsen  
Physical Biochemistry II MCB 446 Spring Satish Nair and Tony Crofts  
Introductory Biochemistry MCB 450 Fall & Spring Richard Mintel  
Molecular Plant Biology IB 472 Fall (1st half), even years Ray Zielinski “we discussed articles, in-depth look at various molecular techniques” "...covered many molecular genetic techniques which can be applied in the lab ... may be more useful to a student who is already comfortable with genetics and genetic techniques."
Plant Genomics IB 473 (CPSC 467) Fall (2nd half), even years Ray Ming "...interesting course which covers varying aspects of genetics and genomics...useful to students who already have a strong genetics background."
Plant Proteomics IB 474 (CPSC 468) Fall (1st half), even years Steve Huber  
Plant Metabolomics IB 475 (CPSC 469) Fall (2nd half), even years    
Genomics for Plant Improvement IB477 (CPSC 466)** Fall (2nd half, 2009) Steve Moose ** pending revision
Discussions in Plant Physiology & Biochemistry IB496 Fall & Spring Steve Huber  
Advanced Molecular Genetics MCB 502 Fall Chris Schoenherr and Brian Freeman  
Methods/Applications in Biotech IB 503 Spring Steve Huber and Joan Huber "Broad introduction to interdisciplinary methods in and their application to biotechnology research. Draws heavily on the expertise of biotechnology core facilities on campus. Includes tours, data analysis and manipulation, discussion of current literature, and exploration of industry applications. Topics will focus on DNA sequencing, gene expression, bioinformatics, transformation, and cellular imaging. Prereaquisite: Courses in molecular genetics (e.g. MCB 250 or IB 204 or IB 472) and cell biology (e.g. MCB 252) or consent of instructor. MCB 450 or MCB 354 or equivalent background in biochemistry is recommended."
Bioinformatics and Systems Biology IB 505 (CPSC 567) Fall Gustavo Caetano-Anolles "... cover topics ranging from phylogenetics to networks ... a lot of material in half a semester and is work intensive, but I really learned a lot from the course and enjoyed it."

Applied Bioinformatics

IB 506 (CPSC 569, ANSC 542) Spring Gustavo Caetano-Anolles  
Statistical Genomics IB 507 (CPSC 545, ANSC 545) Spring Sondra Rodriquez-Zas "... covers microarray analysis, using SAS, and QTL mapping ... takes the students step by step through SAS code necessary to analyze microarray data.  The course was very helpful and I really enjoyed it."
Bioinformatics STAT 530 (MCB 571, ANSC 543, CHBE 571) Fall Ping Ma "... analysis of microarray data and sequencing ... work-intensive with little instruction on how to use programs to do the analysis.  This class had more of a statistical emphasis and would not be suggested for students who are not comfortable with R or SAS."
Biomolecular Physics MCB 550 Spring Klaus Schulten  
Molecular Marker Data Analyses CPSC 564 Summer I, alternate years John Dudley and Martin Bohn  
Pearl for Unix and Bioinformatics CPSC 565 Spring Matthew Hudson  
Plant Gene Regulation CPSC 566 Spring Lila Vodkin "... interesting class that covers hot gene regulation topics such as transposons, RNAi, and microarrays.  I really enjoyed the class and took a lot out of it. "
Recombinant DNA Technology Lab CPSC 568 Spring (2 wks in May) Steve Moose  
Courses in Biophysics and Computational Biology (courtesy of Center for Biophysics & Comp. Biology)
Core courses for MS in Bioinformatics (courtesy of Illinois Informatics Institute)
Statistics and Quantitative Methods
Earth Modeling Systems ATMOS 421 Spring George Gertner, Stephen Hurst, Bruce Hannon  “moderately difficult, good intro to basic modeling and the use of STELLA, however I would recommend either Geography 468: Biological Modeling or Geography 369: Spatial Ecosystem Modeling, which I would have taken were they not full at the time” but “I would have learned more about STELLA from just reading a book”
Computing in Molecular Biology MCB 432 Spring Gary Olsen  
Applied Statistical Methods I CPSC 440 Fall & Spring German Bollero “an easy but absolutely essential course unless you already know how to use SAS.  Should ideally be followed with CPSC 540 with Bullock (which is only offered in the Spring so those departing early for field season cannot take it) or at the very least, IB 493, Statistical Ecology, Brawn, Fall.  IB 493 is a moderately hard course which introduces many statistical methods used in ecological studies. Good course to introduce techniques, but does not use SAS, which is a big downfall.”
Biological Modeling GEOG 468 Fall Bruce Hannon “very basic introduction to STELLA”
Mathematical Modeling in Life Sciences IB 487 Spring Michael Murphy  
Spatial Ecosystem Modeling IB 492 (CPSC 449, GEOG 469, NRES 469) Spring of odd years Bruce Hannon  
Statistical Ecology IB 493 alternate Falls Jeff Brawn “decent introduction to many non parametric statistical methods, very basic. covers exact stats (resampling) and Bayesian techniques, as well as very interesting criticism of the mainstream Fischerian stats everybody uses.”
Statistical Modeling IB 509, NRES 509 Spring Mike Dietze  
Bioinformatics STAT 530 Fall Ping Ma "... analysis of microarray data and sequencing ... work-intensive with little instruction on how to use programs to do the analysis.  This class had more of a statistical emphasis and would not be suggested for students who are not comfortable with R or SAS."
Applied Statistical Methods II CPSC 540 Spring Don Bullock “provides a strong grounding in experimental design and the use of SAS, one of the most useful classes I've taken while at UIUC, recommend taking CPSC440 with German Bollero as a precursor to this class – CPSC 540 is very difficult - try not to take another time consuming class in the same semester”
Statistical Genomics ANSC 545 2nd half of Spring Sondra Rodriquez-Zas "... covers microarray analysis, using SAS, and QTL mapping ... takes the students step by step through SAS code necessary to analyze microarray data.  The course was very helpful and I really enjoyed it."
Courses in Biophysics and Computational Biology (courtesy of Center for Biophysics & Comp. Biology)