BIOL 318 Response

Biology 318 – Plants and Society
A brief paper (50 points) is required consisting of approximately 2,500 words on any
topic of your choosing related to one or more of the lectures. This paper is expected to be
a literature review with proper citations with a minimum of 10 references cited and
themes well integrated. Subheadings would help in this regard. The topic should be
contained in terms of length but in more depth than that presented in lecture (that is, build
upon it) and should demonstrate a proficient understanding of the aspect of plant biology
and the interaction with humans.
Examples of potential topics include the following but you can choose your own
provided that you discuss it with me so we can agree on the extent of the topic and its
analysis of plant biology:
1. History of a crop plant variety that was greatly modified by traditional breeding
methods and how these changes made this a more nutritious product
2. A current-day genetically modified crop variety and its advantages and
disadvantages to society and the regular crop agriculture
3. Industrialized crop production and its potential increase in yield versus
environmental and other negative impacts
4. A stimulating beverage plant and how its production and outcome have changed
through the years
5. A medicinal drug that had its origins from tropical plants collected in rainforests
and present-day methods of production and successes in treatment
6. Wood products and concepts of use of tree species compared to other sources like
7. A pyschoactive plant product, its possible biological role and how was this
product discovered and now used
8. A poisonous or allergy-causing plant and the biological research on it and the
medicinal implications
9. An algal or fungal species that greatly impacts human society and environment
and how it does that
10. Human interactions with a plant community and its integration with the
An example of style will be posted on the cougar courses web site.