Bhattacharya Lab - Teaching

Taught Spring Semesters:

Algal Genomics for Environmental and Algal Biofuel Research
Course Number: 16:215:599:03
ORGANIZER: 102 Foran Hall
PREREQUISITES: By permission of the organizer. Basic training in biology, including background in fundamental genetics and bioinformatics, is strongly recommended.
COURSE OBJECTIVES AND OVERVIEW: This course will offer graduate students and post-docs the opportunity to learn about the diversity of photosynthetic microbial (algal) forms on our planet, their phylogenetic interrelationships, and the rapidly emerging genomic and functional genomic tools that are available for their manipulation and study. Having the ability to identify appropriate algal resources and having knowledge about their evolutionary history and genomic biology are cornerstones for developing these organisms as alternative sources of oil and starch for renewable and sustainable biofuel production. Students in this semester-long theory course will be expected to enter with basic training in biology (particularly fundamental genetics) and bioinformatics. Treatment of modern genomic tools and their applications will be a central focus of the teaching material. To address the breadth of the material being taught, the curriculum will be composed of individual modules that are taught by experts in the field. The overall goal will be a highly coordinated effort that has as its central goal to provide a common body of knowledge and associated vocabulary for individuals from diverse backgrounds such as engineering, environmental policy, and chemistry to understand the biology of algae and their important role of algae as future sources of biofuels.

Read and download syllabus here.

Taught Fall Semesters:

The Evolution of Eukaryotes - Syllabus
Course number: 11:704:401
INSTRUCTORS: Lena Struwe (, Debashish Bhattacharya (
Taught: Monday and Wednesday: 12:35 1:55pm.
PREREQUISITES: Two semesters of general biology (01:119:101/102) or equivalent, AND Fundamentals of Evolution 11:704:251 or equivalent. Contact instructors for special permission if you do not have these prerequisites.
The last decade has seen remarkable advances in our understanding of eukaryote origins and the tree of life. Phylogenetic, molecular genetic, and in particular, genomic work have allowed researchers to erect sophisticated hypotheses about the branching order of eukaryotes, the role of gene transfer in shaping genomes, and the endosymbiotic origin of the mitochondrion and the plastid. These research areas impinge directly on the ecology and evolution of organisms, both uni- and multicellular and their phylogenetic interrelationships. In the course, each of these broad areas will be looked at in detail through lectures, paper-readings, and discussions.
Read and download syllabus here.