Biology (BIOL) 207

Principles of Biology II (Revision 2)

BIOL 205 Course cover

Revision 2 is closed for registrations, see current revision

View previous version

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with eTextbook) or grouped study with a mandatory, five-day supervised lab component (usually offered in the summer months in Athabasca).

Check dates and locations of supervised lab prior to registering for the course. This course is charged a lab fee.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Science

Prerequisite: BIOL 204 or equivalent and professor approval.

Precluded courses: BIOL 205, LABB 207

Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology

Biology Studies home page

BIOL 207 is not available for challenge.

Check availability

Note: Students who are unable to attend an onsite lab or those who do NOT require an onsite laboratory component to meet transfer credit requirements may consider taking BIOL 205 instead (home labs only). Please note that BIOL 207 (not BIOL 205) is a required course for AU program students in science.

Note: For Athabasca University program students BIOL 207 is mandatory. It cannot be substituted with BIOL 205.


Biology 207 is the second of two introductory courses in general biology that will prepare students for most senior-level biology courses. Designed to help students learn more about the nature of life, the main topics of this course include the diversity of organisms, including fungi, plants, protists, animals, and bacteria. The course will emphasize evolution as the overriding biological principle. This course also includes a five-day, in-person lab component.


BIOL 207 covers the following chapters in the course textbook:

  • Chapter 17: Microevolution: Genetic Changes within Populations
  • Chapter 18: Species
  • Chapter 19: Evolution and Classification
  • Chapter 20: Darwin, Fossils and Developmental Biology
  • Chapter 21: Prokaryotes
  • Chapter 22: Viruses, Viroids, and Prions: Infectious Biological Particles
  • Chapter 23: Protists
  • Chapter 24: Fungi
  • Chapter 25: Plants
  • Chapter 26: Protostomes
  • Chapter 27: Deuterostomes: Vertebrates and Their Closest Relatives
  • Chapter 41: Plant and Animal Nutrition
  • Chapter 48: Conservation of Biodiversity

Simulation exercises of evolutionary processes will include dog domestication and sickle cell alleles in African malaria areas (using SimBio software).

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of BIOL 207, you should be able to

  • explain the basics of evolutionary theory
  • outline the mechanisms of evolution, including selection, genetic variation and genetic drift
  • describe and apply fundamental aspects of population genetics and micro- and macroevolution
  • outline the history of life, including chemical, biological and human evolution
  • describe structure and function of biological particles, including viruses and prions
  • outline aspects of prokaryote diversity, including bacteria and Archaea
  • provide an overview of eukaryote diversity, including the major phyla of the protist, fungi, animal and plant kingdoms
  • explain the importance of biodiversity conservation

Laboratory Outline

The intensive, five-day, 40-hour onsite lab covers topics from both BIOL 204 and BIOL 207 and includes the following lab activities: microscopy, mycology, microbiology, sterile techniques, enzyme lab, electrophoresis, spectrometry, molecular biology, restriction enzymes, animal diversity, fetal pig dissection, diversity of plants and protists, evolution, evaluation of previous experiments, and lab reports.

Students who have attended an equivalent lab at another institution may qualify for a lab exemption.


To receive credit for BIOL 207, you must achieve a course composite grade of at least D (50 percent); and a grade of at least 50 percent on the final examination. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 10%
Assignment 2 10%
Simulation Exercises 10%
Lab Evaluation 25%
Midterm Exam 15%
Final Exam 30%
Total 100%

The midterm and final examinations for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes electronic textbooks. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to the eText Initiative site.

Russell, P. J., et al. (2010). Biology: Exploring the diversity of life (1st Canadian ed.). Toronto, ON: Nelson Education.

Montpetit, C, Smit, J., & Keenleyside, W. (2010). Study guide for use with Biology: Exploring the diversity of life. Toronto, ON: Nelson Education.

Perry, J. W., Morton, D. & Perry, J. B. (2009). Laboratory manual for majors general biology. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

A print version of the eTexts may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbooks on your own if you wish.

Other Resources

All other learning resources will be available online.

Special Course Features

Onsite lab component in Athabasca. See Biology Lab Schedules.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 2, January 13, 2014.

View previous version