Redesigned Animal Biotechnology Course Partners with ‘Scarlet Macaw Protection Program’ To Offer Undergraduate Students Hands On Experience

Animal Biotechnology (ANSC 3509) is a course for undergraduates seeking a broad understanding of animal biotechnology in a single semester. Lecture topics include: genes and genomes, recombinant DNA technology, proteins as products, DNA fingerprinting and forensic analysis, bioremediation, aquatic biotechnology, medical biotechnology, and bioethics as it pertains to biotechnology.

This course will focus on several themes in Animal Biotechnology. The topics in the course have been chosen to build a strong foundation for understanding and appreciating innovations in several areas of biotechnology. Whether you have career goals in animal science, veterinary medicine, graduate school or would just like to improve your scientific literacy in animal biotechnology to more fully participate in public debate about issues that confront society, the concepts covered in this course are a good place to begin.

The laboratory component of the course will focus on teaching molecular techniques necessary to gather DNA profiling data on scarlet macaws in southwest Belize for the Scarlet Macaw Protection Program. The lab will use DNA isolated from blood and feathers gathered at scarlet macaw nesting sites and housing facilities in the area. Sequence analysis of DNA will be used to determine parentage and to study population dynamics.

The Scarlet Macaw Protection Program is a conservation initiative between the Wildlife Institute (WI), the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic (BWRC) and Friends for Conservation & Development (FCD). The purpose of the Scarlet Macaw Protection Program is to support a specific scarlet macaw population in the Chiquibul Forest, which is under heavy poaching threat. The conservation strategy is to remove chicks from nest sites that are under heaviest threat of poaching, and for which security provision is most prohibitive. Chicks are reared with the aim to be reintroduced into the wild.

The Scarlet Macaw Project was featured in the latest spring issue of Audubon Magazine! Read more here:

Below are course details. If you have further questions, feel free to reach out to our faculty that will be leading the course, Dr. Melissa Palmer ( or Dr. Christopher Faulk (

ANSC 3509: Animal Biotechnology with Laboratory
4 Credit Course
Course Number: 36079
No Prerequisites!
Fulfills the Following LE Requirements:
• Technology and Society Theme
• Biological Sciences Core
Lecture: MWF: 12:50 – 1:40 pm
Laboratory: Tuesdays 10:40 am and 3 pm