664 - Conservation Genetics (4 cr). Conservation
genetics is the application of genetics to preserve species
as dynamic entities capable of coping with environmental change.
It includes genetic management of small populations, resolution
of taxonomic uncertainties, defining management units within
species, and the use of molecular genetic analyses to forensics
and the understanding of the biology of species. Topics
include: methods of measuring genetic diversity in
populations, identification of the units of biodiversity to
which conservation efforts are directed, genetics of population
framentation, genetic management of wild and captive populations,
reintroduction of organisms back into the wild, and the role
of forensics in enforcement and development of species recovery
plans. Intended Audience: students with little
or no genetics background planning to work as conservation
professionals, wildlife biologists, zoo staff involved in
captive breeding programs, managers of National Parks, foresters,
NR 625 - Physiological Ecology (4 cr). The course examines the physiological mechanisms and adaptive responses of organisms that facilitate their survival in changing natural environments. Following an introduction to homeostasis and general physiological principles, topics focus on adaptations to marine and freshwater environments, to estuarine challenges, and on the specific requirements of terrestrial and aerial environments. Additional topics center on adaptations to extreme habiats and to parasitic life styles. Furthermore, the phsyological bases of migrations, sleep, and mating/life history startegies are also explored. Examples are drawn from invertebrates, vertebrates, and plants.
NR 439 - Environmental Biology (4 cr). Environmental biology focuses on the origins, functions, and interactions of populations, communities, species and ecosystems in relation to dynamic environmental processes. The main course objective is to provide a basic understanding of ecosystem function and the ecological, evolutionary, and genetic principles necessary to understand biological diversity and its distribution.
444E - Eye of Newt and Toe of Frog: The World of Poisonous
Animals (4 cr). This freshman inquiry course examines
a variety of animal poisons and venoms in different contexts.
Historical, cultural, physiological, pharmacological, and
evolutionary viewpoints are explored. Readings, guest lectures,
and peer blog entries are used to refine critical thinking
skills and form the basis of in-class discussions.
I also offer graduate seminars in conservation biology, population genetics, phylogenetics, and systematics.