PhD, Florida State University, 1997; BS, Florida State University, 1983
A combined introduction to evolutionary and ecological science. Basic topics include the historical development of evolutionary theory, the origin and diversity of life, population genetics, phylogenetics, animal behavior, population growth and regulation, competition, predator-prey interactions and food webs; energy flow and nutrient cycling within ecosystems. Prerequisite: BIOL 100.
This is a combined lecture, paper discussion and hands-on computing course comprising four major sections that study the applications of evolutionary theory to the exploration and analysis of phenotypic and biological sequence data. We begin by building a sound conceptual basis for the theory of evolution, including an introduction to population genetics. Real biological sequence data is then introduced and used to illustrate and extend this theory. From here, the focus shifts to some major branches of current evolutionary research, introducing recent published work for each topic. During the last part of the course, students give presentations on a research topic in evolution of their choice. A term paper on this topic is required from each student at the end of the semester. Prerequisite: BIOL 301.
This seminar course is designed for graduate students working in the sciences and addresses key concerns and challenges faced by mentors at all levels in scientific disciplines. The topics covered in this seminar include intellectual issues (scientific teaching, comprehension and learning how to ask questions), technical issues (experimental design, precision, accuracy), personal growth issues (developing confidence, time management, creativity, and independence) and interpersonal issues (dealing with students of diverse experiences and backgrounds, motivation, honesty between mentor and student, scientific integrity, discrimination, hiring). The course uses a discussion format using case studies and reading materials relevant to each topic to provide tangible starting points for discussion. The grade is based on participation in discussion, completion of written assignments and presentations in class. Consent of intructor required.
This seminar emphasizes critical examination of the literature in one or more current research areas in ecology and evolutionary biology. Possible topics include: mechanisms of adaptation at different levels of organization; life-history evolution; ecological and quantitative genetics. Consent of instructor required. May be repeated for credit.