Invertebrate Zoology
(Biology 3200)

Spring 2024


Instructor:  Cynthia Church, Ph.D.

Office Hours:

Office: SCIENCE 2037                                                                     

Tue: 9:00-9:30; 1:00-2:00


Thur: 9:00-9:30

Course Website:



Course description: Invertebrate zoology is a comprehensive survey of invertebrate animals and animal-like protists with a hands-on experimental approach to laboratory.  Lectures will examine the diversity of invertebrates with emphasis on 1) evolutionary and ecological relationships within and among taxa, 2) natural history, morphology, development, physiology, and reproduction of major invertebrate phyla, and 3) adaptations that permit species to inhabit particular environments. Students will learn how animals are classified using both phylogenetics and the “traditional” approach. Laboratory will concentrate on living examples as a way of understanding the biology and behavior of the invertebrates. Field trips will bring together all of the information learned throughout the course about this diverse group of animals.


Prerequisites: Before taking this course, you must successully complete Introduction to Biology I and II (Bio 1080, Bio 1081, Bio 1090, Bio 1091).


Teaching Philosophy: I will strive to make this an interesting, rewarding class that you look forward to attending.  My intention is to challenge you, not to frustrate you.  There is a large amount of material that we need to cover in this class, so it is relatively fast-paced.  If you find yourself falling behind or the material seems too difficult, please see me early in the semester. 


Attendance: You are all mature enough to decide whether or not to attend class, so there will be no specific penalty for absences.   However, the participation portion of your grade will be adversely affected by excess absences.  You are responsible for all material covered in class and for obtaining notes and handouts from a fellow student for any lecture that you miss. Please don't email me asking what we covered in a class that you missed. If you miss a lab and would like to make it up, let me know so that we can arrange access to Bio 1088.

Course Requirements:  You can obtain course materials from the course website including the required reading assignments that are from sources other than your textbook.  I suggest that you check the course website regularly for reading assignments and other handouts, as I will only provide hardcopies of handouts that are unavailable online.  Reading the summaries before coming to class (click schedule or Course Outline links) will help you to concentrate on the material covered in lecture and will facilitate your understanding and appreciation of zoology. 


Materials needed for this course:

lecture texts:

Hickman, Keen, Larsen, and Eisenhour (2021) Animal Diversity 9th ed. McGraw-Hill. New York. (optional)
print ISBN13: 9781260240887; etext
ISBN: 9781260443189

Judson, O. (2002) Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation: The Definitive Guide to the Evolutionary Biology of Sex. Metropolitan Books. NY. (required)
Lab notebook (your choice of styles)


Grading:  Your overall class grade will reflect your performance in both lecture and lab.  There will be three lecture exams (see schedule for tentative dates) each worth 50 points.  I will drop your lowest midterm exam grade.  For that reason there will be no make-up exams. 

The final lecture exam is comprehensive.


Introduction    5 points
Definition Quizzes   30 points
Midterm Exams
100 points
Final Exam
100 points



Culture Project  
  50 points
Lab notebook   25 points
Lab practical   50 points
  20 points


380 points total
Extra Credit: From time to time people ask me about extra credit.  First of all, I feel strongly about the necessity of mastering the basic concepts that are covered in this course, and I think spending a lot of time on extra credit assignments would distract you from that goal.  Secondly, I go to great lengths to see that everyone in the class is treated equally and offering individual extra credit would violate that rule. Any extra credit opportunities will be offered to everyone in the class.

Grading Scale:





97-100%:  A+

93-96%:    A

90-92%:    A-

87-89%: B+

83-86%: B

80-82%: B-

77-79%: C+

73-76%: C

70-72%: C-

60-69%: D

Less than 60: F

Note: The University Policies pages are posted in Canvas