Courses

Principles of Biological Diversity (BIOB 170)

  • offered in both fall and spring semesters, team-taught with Drs. Steven Kalinowski and Jia Hu
  • login to the course website at Desire to Lean (D2L)
  • The goal of this course is to expose students to major themes in the study of life, principles of evolution, dominant groups of organisms and their diversity/function, and fundamental principles of ecology. Material in this course is meant to complement that of BIOB 160 (Principles of Living Systems).

Plant Ecology (BIOE 455)

  • offered in spring semesters
  • login to the course website at Desire to Lean (D2L)
  • This course will introduce major concepts and areas of research in plant ecology. We will focus on factors that affect the distribution, abundance, and ecological relationships of plant species, spanning basic physiology, populations, communities, and ecosystem services. Emphasis will also be placed on current envrionmental issues, such as climate change, invasive species, and conservation in the face of land use change.

Community Ecology (BIOE 542)

  • offered in odd-yeared spring semesters
  • Studies of community ecology attempt to understand the origins, maintenance, and consequences of biological diversity in local communities. In this course we will examine spatial and temporal patterns in communities and the processes that create them (e.g., interactions among species and between species and their environments). This course is conceptual in nature and designed to introduce you to the broad ideas in community ecology in hopes that they may stimulate your interest in the topic, be useful in graduate projects, and encourage creativity. Another goal of the course is to promote critical thinking through review and discussion.

Ecological Networks (BIOE 594)

  • offered in spring 2013
  • Ecological networks are often used to describe and compare the interactions in and structures of ecological systems. But how do we measure interactions and structure, why is structure important, and how is structure related to function? We will explore these questions from basic and applied perspectives, and across a wide variety of interaction types from terrestrial and aquatic systems. Readings will be pulled mainly from recent journal articles and book chapters.

Disturbance Ecology (BIOE 594)

  • offered in spring 2014
  • We often think of disturbances as interfering with the ‘natural balance’ of systems, yet disturbances can be common, regular characteristics of many ecosystems. We will explore definitions of disturbance and critically evaluate the language used to describe disturbances. We will investigate the spatial and temporal scales at which disturbances operate and the ecological patterns and processes that disturbances influence in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine systems.