Environmental Genetics

Science & Technology
Course Code
BIOL 2301
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course is a study of the influence of the environment on genetic systems and the implications of genetic manipulation for the environment. The course will highlight environmental issues arising from practice and research in agriculture (e.g. monoculture, hybridization, interspecies gene transfer, cloning, gene manipulation), medicine (e.g. carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, antibiotics, disease, immunity), and other human activities.
Course Content
  1. Environmental implications of genetic practices/research in food production
    • the green revolution
    • hybridization
    • monoculture
    • genetic engineering
    • genetic implications of pest control
    • genetic mechanisms of pest control
    • hazards of new species introductions
  2. Medical Genetics and the Environment
    • genetics of disease organisms
      • bacteria
      • viruses
      • other organisms
    • implications of antibiotic use
    • genetics of drug production
    • mutation and mutagenesis
    • carcinogenesis
  3. Genetics, Industry and the Environment
    • importance of  genetic diversity
    • genes as resources
    • forest practices
    • environmental/genetic implications of atomic energy/research
  4. Environmental implications of genetic engineering
  • eugenics
  • interspecies gene transfer
  • gene modification
  • evolutionary consideration
Methods Of Instruction

This course will include two hours per week of direct lectures and two hours of seminar in which instructor and students will discuss key topics, view slide or film presentations and work on projects.  Readings will be assigned to supplement the lectures.

Means of Assessment
Class Tests (2) 30%
Essay/Poster Project 20%
Comprehensive Examination - Midterm 25%
Comprehensive Examination - Final 25%
Total 100%



Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Describe the roles of chromosomes and genes in heredity.
  2. Describe the roles of genes and the environment in the determination of phenotype.
  3. Describe the general ways in which genetic manipulation has contributed to the development of agricultural products.
  4. Describe using examples, how genetic knowledge has been used to control agriculturally significant pests (e.g. insects) and infectious agents (e.g. viruses), and the impact of these practices on the environment.
  5. Describe the environmental implications of hybridization, monoculture, interspecies gene transfer, and other genetic manipulation.
  6. Describe the genetic and environmental implications of new species introductions to an area.
  7. Describe the human genome and identify common chromosome and gene disorders.
  8. Describe the sources of irradiation (e.g. UV x-rays) in the environment and describe their genetic significance.
  9. Describe sources of mutagenic, carcinogenic, and teratogenic chemicals in the environment and identify their known effects.
  10. Describe genetic research relating to the production and action of antibacterial and antiviral agents.
  11. Describe the epidemiological and environmental implications of the use of antibiotics and other disease limiting methodologies.
  12. Describe the evolutionary and environmental significance of genetic diversity and identify ways in which human activity threatens genetic diversity.
  13. Describe ways in which genetic diversity may be created and maintained.
  14. Describe the human and environmental implications of the control and distribution of genetic resources (e.g. gene/organism patents).
  15. Describe the origin, goals, successes, and the social and environmental implications of the human genome project.
  16. Research and write a scholarly paper on a topic of environmental genetic significance, and present a report on the research.

Textbook Materials
  • Holden, J., Peacock, J., & Williams, T. Genes, Crops and the Environment. Cambridge University Press. UK 1993 or Current Edition
  • Various selected journal articles.



BIOL 1110 and BIOL 1210 with a C- or better, or C- or better in BIOL 1310 or permission of instructor


No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

Institution Transfer Details Effective Dates
Langara College (LANG) LANG BIOL 2XXX (3) 2004/09/01 to -
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU BISC 1XX (3) 2004/09/01 to -
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU BIOL 3XXX (3) 2010/09/01 to -
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU BIOL 3XX (3) 2004/09/01 to 2010/08/31
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU BIOL 2XX (3) 2004/09/01 to -
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) No credit 2004/09/01 to -
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC BIOL 2XX (3) 2004/09/01 to -
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV BIO 1XX (3) 2004/09/01 to -
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC BIOL 2XX (1.5) 2004/09/01 to -
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU BIOL 2nd (3) 2004/09/01 to -

Course Offerings

Fall 2021

There aren't any scheduled upcoming offerings for this course.