Office of the Registrar
School of Graduate Studies (2009/2010)
26.4 Biology
  • Associate Professor and Head of the Department
  • P. Marino

The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy is offered in Biology to full-time and part-time students in Biology and Marine Biology. Students interested in animal behaviour should also consult the section in the Calendar describing the Doctoral programs Cognitive and Behavioural Ecology.

26.4.1 Biology
  1. A student will be required to take Biology 7000 (Graduate Core Seminar).

  2. Admission to a Ph.D. program in Biology shall not normally take place until after the completion of the course requirements and the submission of the thesis for the M.Sc. Degree. However, on the recommendation of the Department, this requirement may be waived by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

  3. The program of a candidate shall be the responsibility of a Supervisory Committee composed of the Supervisor and at least two other appropriate members recommended to the Dean by the Head (or delegate) of the Department with the concurrence of the Supervisor.

  4. The Supervisory Committee shall interview the student normally within a month of first registration, to discuss the student's program and to explore any areas of weakness in the candidate's biological knowledge, especially where these relate to the intended areas of research. The Supervisory Committee will recommend a student's subdiscipline within Biology to the Department in writing after this meeting.

  5. It is the function of a Supervisory Committee to have regular meetings, at least annually, with its graduate student. A meeting report, signed by all members of the Supervisory Committee and student, must be given to the Department. A copy will be sent to the graduate student and to the Dean of Graduate Studies.

  6. The candidate will present a tentative outline of the proposed research to the Supervisory Committee, with a copy to the Department by the end of the second semester, and preferably prior to commencement of the research.

  7. The student will present a research seminar to the Department, normally by the end of the second semester following admission, to describe the research topic being investigated and the methodologies to be employed. This seminar provides an opportunity for the student to receive constructive input from the broad biological community.

  8. When the Supervisory Committee deems it necessary, a working knowledge of a language other than English may be required.

  9. Comprehensive Examination

    1. Timing of Examination

      1. Timing of the comprehensive examination shall follow General Regulation, 1. under Comprehensive Examination, Ph.D Comprehensive Examination governing the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy. A candidate registered in a full-time Ph.D. program in the Faculty of Science, Department of Biology shall normally take the comprehensive examination during the first year of the program, and no later than one year after completion of the prescribed courses.

      2. The procedure shall be initiated by the candidate's Supervisor who will notify the Department of Biology, in writing, of the candidate's readiness. Failure to meet the above requirement can result in the candidate being required to withdraw from the program.

    2. Examination Committee

      The Examination Committee shall be appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies on the recommendation of the Department of Biology according to Regulation Comprehensive Examinations, Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination, 2. of the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. No more than two members of the Examination Committee may be members of the candidate's Supervisory Committee. The committee shall meet and recommend to the Department in writing an examination seminar topic within the student's previously determined subdiscipline.

    3. Examination Procedure

      The Department shall provide the student the examination date and the seminar topic in writing not more than six nor less than four weeks prior to the examination. The student shall provide each member of the Examination Committee a written paper on the seminar topic one week prior to the examination. The Examination Committee shall evaluate the candidate's presentation and response to questions put to him/her during the Oral Examination both on the seminar and within the student's subdiscipline of Biology.

    4. Subsequent Action

      The Examination Committee will meet in camera to arrive at its conclusions. The Chair shall report the results of the Examination to the Head and the Dean of Graduate Studies for transmission to the candidate. The report will include one of the following decisions: a) the student passed with distinction, passed or failed. b) if failed and it is the first examination whether the student may be re-examined.

    5. Re-examination

      Comprehensive Re-examination if permitted will occur not sooner than one month and not more than six months after the first. The candidate and his or her Supervisory Committee shall be informed of the deficiencies found. The format for the second examination will be determined by the Examination Committee with the approval of the Biology Graduate Studies Committee. The candidate will be informed of the topic and format four to six weeks prior to the examination. The examination will follow the procedure outlined in 8.c and d above. A failure will require the student to withdraw from the program.

  10. Theses shall conform to Theses and Reports of the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies and the Departmental Guidelines.

26.4.2 Marine Biology
  1. A program of study leading to a Doctor of Philosophy with a specialization in Marine Biology is governed by the above regulations.

  2. To be considered for admission, applicants must have a background equivalent to that provided by the M.Sc. specialization in Marine Biology.

  3. A student will be required to take Biology 7000 (Graduate Core Seminar) and 6 credit hours in Biology courses from the following group 6710, 7531, 7535, 7540, 7541, 7551, 7560, and 7561.

  4. Normally students will be required to take 6 credit hours in Biology courses from the following group: 6710, 7531, 7535, 7540, 7541, 7551, 7560 and 7561.

  5. Depending on the student's area of research and background additional courses may be required.

26.4.3 Courses

A selection of the following graduate courses will be offered to meet the requirements of candidates, as far as the resources of the Department will allow:

  • 6000 Research Topics in Microbiology
  • 6100 Modern Problems in Botany
  • 6110 Advanced Phycology
  • 6120 Mycology
  • 6350 Behavioural Ontogeny (Cross-listed as Psychology 6350)
  • 6351 Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology (Cross-listed as Psychology 6351)
  • 6355 Field Course in Animal Behaviour (Cross-listed as Psychology 6355)
  • 6400 Parasitic Protozoology
  • 6410 Helminthology
  • 6420 Parasitic Arthropods
  • 6590 Molecular Biology I (Cross-listed as Biochemistry 6590 and Medicine 6590) Prerequisites: Biology 4241, Biochemistry 4100 (or equivalent)
  • 6591 Molecular Biology II (Cross-listed as Biochemistry 6591 and Medicine 6591) Prerequisites: Biology 4241, Biochemistry 4100 (or equivalent)
  • 6592 Bacterial Genetics (Cross-listed as Biochemistry 6592) Prerequisite: Biology 4241 or Biochemistry 4100 (or equivalent)
  • 6593 Selected Readings in Molecular Biology (Cross-listed as Biochemistry 6593) Prerequisites or Co-requisites: Biology 6590, 6591/Biochemistry 6590, 6591/Medicine 6590, 6591, (or equivalent)
  • 6700 Biology of the Molluscs
  • 6710 Marine Benthic Biology
  • 6900 Entomology
  • 6910 Applied Entomology
  • 7000 Graduate Core Seminar
  • 7101 Topics in Marine Biology
  • 7110 Cellular Physiology and Cytology
  • 7140 Physiology of Parasitism
  • 7201 Topics in Cellular and Molecular Biology and Physiology
  • 7210 Arctic and Subarctic Biology
  • 7220 Quantitative Methods in Biology
  • 7250 Topics in Wildlife Biology
  • 7270 Ecology of Newfoundland
  • 7300 Ornithology
  • 7301 Topics in Ecology and Conservation Biology
  • 7510 Ichthyology
  • 7520 Advances in Fish Biology
  • 7530 The Molecular Basis of Development
  • 7531 Biological Oceanography
  • 7535 Research Methods in Marine Science
  • 7540 Plankton Dynamics
  • 7541 Physiological Ecology of Phytoplankton
  • 7550 Fishery Biology
  • 7551 Fisheries Resource Management
  • 7560 Physiology of Marine Invertebrates
  • 7561 Physiology of Marine Vertebrates
  • 7570 Marine Benthic Biology
  • 7600 Effect of Organic and Inorganic Pollutants on Biological Systems
  • 7910 Community and Ecosystem Ecology
  • 7920-7940 Special Topics in Biology