FSU Biology - Biology In London

Department of Biological Science

at Florida State University

Biology In London Program, Summer 2022

Notice! Information Session for the new Biology in London Program, Thursday October 21, 11 AM - 12 PM

October 22 Update: If you were not able to make the session, sorry we missed you, but the 45-minute recording of the session is available for your viewing, and the Powerpoint presentation. (see links at bottom of this page).

Combined In-person and Virtual Session!
You are invited to join in an Informational Session on Thursday, October 21, from 11 AM to 12 PM. Join the instructors Dr. Marie Charrel-Dennis, Dr. Scott Steppan, and International Programs Coordinator Becca Piers for a meeting to answer all your questions. There will be a 15-minute Powerpoint presentation overview of the program starting by 11:10 followed by an open session for questions until the end. The meeting will also be recorded for those who cannot attend.

Program Description

The Department of Biological Science is initiating an exciting new study abroad program in London as part of the FSU International Programs (IP) London Study Center. FSU is a leader in international study, and now there is an opportunity for biology majors to take classes there as part of their major. Studying abroad has many special benefits for students, from increasing cultural awareness, to unique learning opportunities, and personal and professional development.

The Biology in London Program will offer classes that are designed to take advantage of the London environment, from historical locations relevant to the development of the fields covered in the classes to world-renowned institutions and museums, several of which can provide behind the scenes access. Each summer students will take two upper-division elective classes that contribute to satisfying the electives graduation requirement. By utilizing London and its resources directly in the class (via field trips to museums, collections, and historical sites), students engage in a much more immersive and enriching experience. Class sizes are small; this summer we expect 13-20 students. In addition to the excursions for the class, students in the program will participate in the numerous social activities with the Broad Curriculum students. These include a trip to the theater, weekly day trips to locations in and near London, Friday night pizza dinners, and a weekend (3-day) trip to another region of the UK, such as Bath, York, or Liverpool.

Biology in London is focused on biology majors, but non-majors are welcome to enroll. The pre-requisite is passing BSC 2010 and BSC 2011 by the end of Fall 2021. The classes will be taught in two sequential four-week sessions: 6/5/22 - 7/03/22 and 7/5/22 - 8/2/22.

FSU International Programs has full details on the Program here.

More information about the Program, the classes, and especially the London experience can be found on this Powerpoint presentation or on this short video here.

Course Descriptions for Summer 2022:

Infectious Diseases in Society Throughout the Ages: Advances in modern Biology and Medicine over the last 200 years have been nothing short of astonishing: germ theory, antibiotics development, characterization of nucleic acids and their use in modern molecular medicine. However, recent events, such as COVID-19, SARS or Ebola outbreaks, have reminded us that the world is still at risk for epidemic and pandemics. London has been a site of many epidemics through time and these events have shaped the city structure, the British society and the public health response. These outbreaks have also led to numerous scientific discoveries by British scientists. The environmental and historical parameters that have enhanced the morbidity and mortality of these epidemics as well as the public policies, scientific discoveries and societal changes that have taken place as a result of these past events will be focus points of this class. Studying the past is a key to understand the future. The overarching goal of the class is to discuss the relative influence of infectious diseases in society and how it leads to cultural and societal changes. Topics related to medicine, culture, ethics, public policy, and human health will be covered. Excursions to specific locations where seminal events occurred and to museums offering targeted guided walking tours and collections will be correlated to discussions, presentations and a collaborative project.

Instructor: Dr. Marie Charrel-Denis

Dr. Charrel-Dennis is a teaching faculty in the Biological Science Department. She studied innate immunity and the development of immune response in newborns in response to bacterial infection. Her interests revolve around three main topics: medicine, microbiology and the interaction between the human body and the myriad of microbes our body encounter throughout our lifetime. Dr. Charrel-Dennis completed her PhD at University College London and looks forward to using London as a classroom for learning about how infectious disease epidemics shape society.

Biogeography: Biogeography is the study of the distribution of plants and animals, the reasons for those distributions, and how their patterns can provide insight into both the biology of those organisms and the history of the Earth. Topics range from meteorology to speciation, diversity gradients, island biogeography, and historical (evolutionary) biogeography. The class will capitalize on the unique setting of London where many of the early developments in biogeography took place. Students will conduct assignments at — and participate in excursions to —the Natural History Museum, Kew Botanical Gardens, and other collections, involving both public exhibits and behind the scenes visits to their vast collections.

Instructor: Dr. Scott Steppan

Dr. Scott Steppan is an evolutionary biologist who studies the phylogenetic history, biogeography, and morphology of very diverse groups of animals, especially rodents, but also bivalves, fish, and others; whatever looks interesting. In addition to a PhD in evolutionary biology from the University of Chicago, he also has a MA in geography, and even dabbled in social and behavioral geography at San Diego State University and UC Berkeley. He has previously taught a specialized course in London on natural history, evolution, and natural history museums and loves the London experience and especially working with the great staff at the FSU London Study Center.


  • Fee: $12,185
  • Fees include all registration costs, housing, instruction, excursions and social activities, London transport pass, scheduled group pick-up at airport, full time academic and administrative support, health insurance.
  • Fees do not include round-trip international airfare, passport, entry visa, food (outside social activities as noted), books and supplies, personal travel/activity/ spending money, university-assessed fees (e.g., per credit hour technology fee).

Important Dates and Further Information:

  • IP Study Abroad Fair was October 20 from 11:00 to 3:00 on Landis Green
  • Information Session for the new Biology in London Program was Thursday October 21, 11 AM - 12 PM, in KIN 2057 and Zoom, but if you missed it, you can view the recording HERE!
  • Registration is open NOW! (no fees yet)
  • Application fee: $100 (separate from program cost)
  • Commitment Fee: $1500 (included in program cost)
  • Scholarship Application Deadline: January 5, 2022
  • Commitment Fee Deadline: January 19, 2022
  • Final Payment Deadline: February 15, 2022

Powerpoint presentation from the Oct. 21 Information Session: Biology in London Program promo 2022.pptx

Biological Science advising office: advisor@bio.fsu.edu and https://www.bio.fsu.edu/undergrad/advising.php

Program Coordinator: Dr. Scott Steppan (steppan@bio.fsu.edu)