Course Description

Course Name

Marine Molecular Biology

Session: VSJW1120

Hours & Credits

60 Contact Hours

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.

Overview

CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS & SUSTAINABILITY STUDIES
Course name: Marine Molecular Biology
Course code: ENV 3020
Total Contact Hours: 60
Course description The use of biological-molecular tools has revolutionized research in marine sciences in recent decades. These approaches offer extraordinary potential to address ecological issues in the marine environment, ranging from species identification to understanding of connectivity among populations.
This course focuses on the use of molecular markers based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA to highlight the importance of conservation genetics and the implications on a global scale to manage marine species in danger of extinction. Activities and conferences will be carried out at the CPI Biomolecular Laboratory (BIOMOL). In addition, students will experience field activities to understand some controversial conservation issues related to the endangered trapezoidal marine species in Costa Rica, such as sea turtles and sharks, gathering Tissue samples and later performing hands-on activities in the laboratory such as DNA extractions, PCRs, electrophoresis, and introduction to bioinformatics analysis.
This is a theoretical-practical course and it seeks to clarify the following question:
How to apply molecular biology techniques in addressing problems regarding the conservation biology of endangered marine species in Costa Rica?
To answer this question the following knowledge will be studied: ● Natural history of marine species ● Marine conservation in Costa Rica ● Basic concepts of molecular biology ● Molecular markers in marine sciences ● Basic bioinformatics concepts in molecular biology
The course will promote the following skills:
● Capacity to recognize the main tools used in molecular biology. ● Capacity to propose solutions to conservation problems in marine species. ● Capacity to analyze the role of the use of molecular markers in marine sciences. ● Capacity to analyze and discuss results obtained from bioinformatics analyses.
Among the values and attitudes that will be promoted among the students are the following: ● Critical thinking ● Logical and communicative intelligence ● Interest in solving problems ● Interest in learning to learn ● Negotiating knowing how to inspire trust and empathy

Contents
Unit 1. Marine Molecular Biology
- What is Marine Molecular Biology?
- Past and present in Molecular Biology
- Studying Genetic diversity: importance and measurement
- Resolving taxonomic issues
- Forensic and management applications of genetic identification
- Population Genetics
- Genetics and management of wild population
Unit 2. Molecular Markers
- Mitochondrial DNA
- Nuclear DNA
- Interpreting the use of molecular markers on studies of marine species
Unit 3. Let’s Go to the Lab
- DNA Extraction
- Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
- Electrophoresis
- Preparing samples for Sequencing and Genotyping
Unit 4. Bioinformatics analyses
- Editing sequences
- Characterizing Genetic diversity: indexes
- Analyzing the population structure


Contents
Unit 1. Marine Molecular Biology
- What is Marine Molecular Biology?
- Past and present in Molecular Biology
- Studying Genetic diversity: importance and measurement
- Resolving taxonomic issues
- Forensic and management applications of genetic identification
- Population Genetics
- Genetics and management of wild population
Unit 2. Molecular Markers
- Mitochondrial DNA
- Nuclear DNA
- Interpreting the use of molecular markers on studies of marine species
Unit 3. Let’s Go to the Lab
- DNA Extraction
- Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
- Electrophoresis
- Preparing samples for Sequencing and Genotyping
Unit 4. Bioinformatics analyses
- Editing sequences
- Characterizing Genetic diversity: indexes
- Analyzing the population structure
Methodology This course promotes the interaction between the students and the teacher, in order to develop an active feedback between the two parties. The course will be composed of participatory activities through case studies where the objective is that the students can solve in an individual and group way a research question previously planned by the teacher. This in turn would allow students to learn and critical analysis in different working situations. Learning Strategies The following learning strategies will be carried out:
● Oral presentation: By means of digital presentations (power-point) each group of students will explain the content pertaining to a research topic assigned in advance by the teacher. The students must present at the end of this presentation the bibliographic sources in APA format, Sixth Edition, with a minimum of 10 references and their respective connection link.
● Thematic discussions: the end of this activity is for students to make small progress on their current research project (successes and misrepresentations) in front of the rest of the class and discuss possible suggestions for improving their models.
● Mental maps: It will take advantage of the development of mental maps (systems mapping) through which students will be able to investigate, extract, summarize and expose the most important information regarding their research topic.
● Laboratory practices: Laboratory practices will be established and implemented where the student conducts several processes throughout the course: DNA extraction, DNA quantification, PCR, process related to the electrophoresis chamber, sequencing, Analysis of Chromatograms and use of bioinformatic software. In order for the student to develop skills related to the correct proceeding in a molecular biology laboratory.
4
● Essay: Students, individually, may issue their own opinion by formally interpreting and evaluating a specific topic. The objective is that the student correlates his/her research and his/her own knowledge and can clearly argue a possible application in real life.
● Field trip report: The field trips will be assessed by means of a written report where audiovisual material (photographs and/or video) will be included, where each of the activities performed in the field work tours are described.
● Final research report and oral presentation: At this point students will conduct a thorough investigation into the topic assigned at the beginning of the course. They will have to carry out the analysis of their own results, consult literature and if possible consult experts on their research topic. At the end of the course students will present the information collected and analyzed in scientific article format to the professor. At the same time students should prepare a summary for the rest of their

*Course content subject to change