Biology 2 - Final Poster Project Assignment

Your final project for the course will be a poster and a 10 minute presentation about your poster in lab during week 9. The project is an opportunity to explore a topic in biology that interests you. Remember to have fun with it!

You should hand in a proposal for your presentation in lecture on Friday April 26th. Include a paragraph describing your topic and the main points you plan to cover on your poster and a list of at least 3 preliminary references.

Your poster (due in lab on week 9) must:

  • Be interesting.
  • Be 36"X36" or larger *
  • Include graphics (photos &/or diagrams) as well as text.
  • Be readable from about 4 feet away
  • Thoroughly relate the central concepts of your topic clearly and simply to someone who looks at it for 5 or 10 minutes. Include major scientific controversies, breakthroughs, or mysteries
  • Address a lay audience of your peers, not a convention of neurosurgeons
  • Be directly relevant to the course, focusing on form and function, organ systems, &/or comparative anatomy and physiology
  • In addition include a title, your name, and a list of at least four bibliographic references in MLA format.
  • You are not required to do the layout on a graphics program, but you may talk to Sean Murphy about using the graphics lab to lay out and print your poster. Either way, it should be neat.

The poster and presentation count for 10% of your final grade in the course. You will be graded on the following:

  • Academic rigor: Do you explain your subject thoroughly? Is your material superficial or in depth? Did you include any scientific controversies or recent scientific breakthroughs? Did you examine any available primary literature? Is your material appropriate for a college level course or just a high school bio course?
  • Organization and presentation: Can someone examine your poster for 5 or 10 minutes and glean the key points? Is your poster neat and readable or clutters and confusing? Did you pare down the material to easily understood parts or did you try to cram all the information onto the small space? Is it fascinating and easy to look at or is it boring and overwhelming?
  • Applicability to course concepts: Does your poster address a topic that might be included in Bio 2 or would your topic be more appropriate for another class? Have you included too much irrelevant detail at the expense of the relevant information?

Some advice:

  • Start early so you have time to refine your text and carefully assemble your poster.
  • Have someone at the Writing Center read your text before you commit it to a large format printer or glue onto poster board; they may help you catch typos, trim extraneous material, help you redirect to address the assignment, etc..
  • Choose your topic carefully. Do a preliminary literature search to see if there is any information out there available.
  • Ask for help from Sean, Tora, and/or a librarian to conduct literature searches if you aren't locating what you need.


Some suggested topics in no particular order:

  1. Diseases or injuries that effect organ function
  2. Physiological effects of sports steroids
  3. Comparative anatomy and physiology of systems between taxa
  4. Convergent or divergent evolution of organ systems (i.e. evolution of flight or vision among unrelated taxa; adaptive radiation of a group of species)
  5. The physiological effects of anorexia nervosa or bulimia
  6. The mechanics and physiology of foraging behavior in a particular taxonomic group
  7. The physiology of appetite suppressants
  8. Taxis (moving toward or away from an environmental cue like light, chemicals, temperature, magnetism) either comparing taxa or across sensory cues
  9. Praxis: Orientation in a 3D environment (How does an organism know up from down? How do migrating organisms find their way? Aquatic vs. terrestrial)
  10. Electrical sense in aquatic organisms
  11. Effects of particular poisons on organ systems
  12. Liver functions / failure
  13. Comparative function and morphology of wood types (with it's implications for human uses of wood)
  14. Sensory dysfunction: myopia, blindness, deafness, lack of pain receptors, etc.
  15. Why do some organisms adopt sexual reproduction over asexual reproduction?
  16. Plant endocrine function
  17. Comparative morphology and/or physiology of flight