Students will explore the changing natural world through modeling and simulation in a discovery-based classroom environment. Throughout every unit, evolution, ecology, and the environment are woven together using current research from the primary literature. Evolution is explored in many relevant contexts, including artificial and natural selection of GMO's, and antibiotic resistance. Students learn behavioral ecology using quantitative approaches to game theory and optimal foraging. An understanding of population ecology and evolution is gained as students manipulate models to understand competition and predator-prey dynamics based on real case studies of both microbesand endangered species. Climate change is discussed through the use of mathematical models and current and historical data. Laboratory activities emphasize experimental design, statistical techniques, and quantitative analysis in laboratory and field settings, with an emphasis on oral and written professional communication.
"Tropical Ecology and Forest Restoration" (Bio427) during spring semester. Spring 2022
We will be learning about tropical ecology and the issues surrounding reforestation in a developing country, through peer-reviewed article discussions during class time and a field trip to Panama over spring break. Lecture topics covered will include tropical forest dynamics, reforestation, climate change impacts, ecosystem services, and human land use. Independent research projects will be developed during the first 8 weeks of the semester and carried out in the dry tropical forests of Panama.
Forest Ecology (Bio402/Bio502): EVERY fall semester
Students will learn about forests in Southern Appalachia. We will examine how physical geography affects the distribution of forest communities will be explored. We will also discuss issues of forest management and restoration. We learn how to identify trees, age trees, calculate forest carbon, and set-up plots within different forest fragments in the valley.
Students will gain skills in reading and critiquing scientific papers, collecting, organizing, and analyzing forest data, team work in the field, and group work in the classroom.
Bio660: Advanced Graduate Topics in Ecology. Restoration Ecology. Odd years in the spring.