Biology 475 - Current Topics in Applied Microbiology

 Fumane, Valpollicella, Italy

Biology 475

Current Topics in Applied Microbiology


Biology 475 is a limited enrollment course for 3rd and 4th year students interested in advanced topics in microbiology. It is a tutorial/seminar course where students give presentations on selected topics. There are a few lectures at the start of the course to provide a general overview of the chosen topics

During the first two weeks of the course, form groups of 2 or 3 people (4 people per group will need justification), and choose a seminar topic.  Enter your choice of topic (number), your names and ID numbers on the Seminar Choice page (check on the Chosen Seminar Topics to make sure it is still available). You will then see your choice appear on the Chosen Seminar Topics page

I will assign topics randomly to dates unless some groups volunteer to go early (in the first two week of student seminars). We can have no more than 3 (or 4 if absolutely necessary) seminars per Wednesday evening.


Course Summary

See a list of possible topics at: Seminar Topics


Course Details


Colin I. Mayfield
Title  Professor
Office Phone  519-888-4567 Ext 34640
Office Address  Biology Building 1, Room 377E
Office Hours  Wednesday 3 pm to 5 and 6 to 7pm
E-mail (add biol475 to Subject field)
Seminar Room Location Biology Building 2 - Room 350
Times  Wednesdays - 7 till 9:50 pm
Start Date  January 2013
Course Credits  0.5
Notes  Biology 475 is a limited enrollment course for 3rd and 4th year students interested in advanced topics in microbiology. It is a tutorial/seminar course where students give presentations on selected topics. There are a few lectures at the start of the course to provide a general overview of the chosen topics

Some of my favourite Quotes:

Carl Sagan

Other Quotations

Overview of Course and Course Structure:

Required Text

None - original primary and secondary literature will be used for the presentations and the associated paper.

Suggested Text

Website and seminar materials

Course Description

Current topics in microbiology will be presented to the class by students. For this year, they will include emerging and reemerging diseases, systems microbiology, public health issues and nanotechnology aspects of microbiology

Course Objectives

To provide students with experience at producing presentations and papers on new topics in microbiology based on a close study of the appropriate literature. To provide students with perspective, knowledge and information on developing important topics in microbiology in the areas of public health, nanotechnology and emerging diseases

Tentative Schedule

There will be 2 or 3 weeks of lectures on emerging diseases, public health issues in microbiology and nanotechnology applications in microbiology to give everyone an  overview of the areas while students are preparing the presentations and papers.

Course Requirements

1. To present one 30 min PowerPoint presentation on the chosen topic.  The PowerPoint presentation will be made available through posting to this site before the presentation is given in class. This will make up 40% of the total mark

2. To produce a more detailed paper/monograph on the chosen topic in a format suitable for publication and for posting on this course web site. This will make up 50% of the total mark

3. Student participation in course seminars/presentations and completing questionnaires. This will make up 10% of the total mark

Course Prerequisites

3rd or 4th year students only,  Prereq: Biology 241

Course Links

For Marks and Overview see - Biology 475
For Course Materials, References, Announcements, etc. see

Grading Policy

1. Overall Grading will be 40% on the seminar presentation (quality, content, organization, style and quality of presenting, quality and clarity of charts, graphs and slides) and 50% on the paper/monograph prepared on the same topic. Ten percent (10%) of the total course mark will be assessed for student participation in the seminar series and completion of the questionnaires.

2. The PowerPoint presentation will be assessed based on the quality, suitability and scope of the chosen materials (60%),the quality, organization and clarity of the seminar (20%), and the style and clarity of the PowerPoint presentation (10%). The presenter's answers to questions on the topic will be assessed (10%).

3. The required paper/monograph will be judged on quality of chosen materials (50%), depth and breadth of topic coverage (15%), originality (15%), organization (5% see details of paper organization required), writing and style of presentation (5%) and choice and presentation of reference sources
(10%). The paper will be due before the last day of the Pre-examination Study Days. This paper will be submitted in electronic format (Word document or HTML file) suitable for posting to this web site.

4. The presentations will be scheduled on a random basis during the course. Questions on the marking scheme will be answered at the start of the course. All students will also take part in an assessment of all presentations though a questionnaire to be completed after each presentation.

5. The paper should conform to normal Council of Science Editors (CSE) standards* detailed in the Scientific Style and Format 7th Edition (2006) for research publications except that it does not have to have the usual sections of Abstract, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion and References. Instead, since it is a summary of research results, it should have an Abstract, an Introduction giving an overview of what is included in the paper, and some organizational structure to present the materials. A short summary of major conclusions, problems, opportunities for future research, etc, could also be included. A complete Bibliographic section is required. If web-based material is used it should be properly referenced. Help will be available from the library if required.

* Note; The CSE standards (see a summary form the University of Guelph) were formerly known as the Council for Biological Editors (CBE) standards [Wikipedia entry].

Attendance Policy

An attendance and participation record will be maintained for each seminar session by signing and submitting the Questionnaire for each seminar . Some absences are permissible but should not exceed a reasonable number

Exam Policy

There is neither a final exam nor mid-term in this course

Academic Integrity

See the policy on Academic Integrity for students by the University of Waterloo at: See the Academic Integrity Tutorial at:

Disability Policy