Physiology is the study of the functions that organisms perform and how they use those functions to interact with the environment. To survive, grow, and reproduce, all organisms must acquire energy and avoid conditions that exceed their physiological limits. These interactions all involve motion—ions traveling across membranes, muscle fibers twitching, respiration, and locomotion, to name a few. In this course, we tackle physiological processes from both “bottom up” and “top down” approaches, with integration among these dimensions, to extract general physiological rules of life. Then, we link our discoveries to the broader context of ongoing global change, and consider whether and how organisms can physiologically respond to contemporary selective pressures. While the course focuses heavily on animal physiology, plants, fungi, and microbes are also featured.
Prerequisites: BIOL 101, 102, 103, 104, and CHEM 161, or permission of the instructor.
1 Yale College course credit(s)