Basic Course Information


This class is intended to provide the following:

  1. In-depth understanding of the major areas of population ecology, including demography, single-species population dynamics, density-dependent regulation of populations.
  2. In depth understanding of interactions between pairs of species, including competition, predation (and disease if time allows).
  3. An introduction to other areas of ecology, such as community ecology (diversity and stability, island biogeography, succession), ecosystem ecology (carbon cycles) behavioral ecology (territoriality, optimal foraging), and evolutionary ecology (life history trade-offs).
  4. The first three goals are content-oriented. In addition, the class has three process-oriented goals:
    • to develop the ability to interpret data sets
    • to develop the ability to understand and explain an ecological process verbally, graphically, and algebraically
    • to develop the ability to relate these three methods of description to one another.

Class Hours & Location

2:10 - 3:00 MWF 304 Lewis Hall


Dr. Scott Creel, 311-A Lewis Hall (end of the short hallway on the SE corner), Phone: 994-7033  Email:

Office Hours

MW 10:30 -12:00  or by appointment. If these hours are not convenient, please talk to me after class to arrange another time and we will figure something out.  I almost  always have time for questions right after class.  You're also welcome to email questions (but if you email me just before a test, I might not read it in time).


Elements of Ecology, 9th edition by Smith & Smith  is required. The text  is available as an e-book , loose-leaf  and used bound copies at the MSU bookstore. Any other reading will will be posted via links to pdf files on this web page.  Several copies of the textbook are on reserve in the library.

Posted Grades

I will post the grades on D2L.  All of the regular course content will be on this website, and only grades will be on D2L. See the top of the course outline (on the left of this webpage) for details on grades.


Biology - BIOB 170 or BIOB 258 (Organismal Biology)

Math - M 121 or M 161 or M 171 (Introductory Calculus)

Strongly suggested - STAT 216 (Introduction to Statistics) or BIOB 318 (Biometry)