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ANT 206B/EEB 306/AFS 206BHuman Evolution(EC)An investigation of the evidence and background of human evolution. Emphasis will be placed on the examination of the fossil and other evidence for human evolution and its functional and behavioral implications. (See below to determine whether this course or ANT 206A is more appropriate for your interests and needs.)
EEB 311AAnimal Behavior(STN)One of the fascinating challenges in biology is to understand the origins and organization of animal behavior. Ethology is the branch of biology concerned with the mechanisms and evolution of behavior, especially innate predispositions and programming, and their interaction with learning. The course begins by examining the discovery of early ethologists of behavioral units or "programs", and relates these to our understanding of the nervous system. We look at how complex behaviors such as navigation, learning, and planning are organized. We study the social behavior of several species and end with an ethological analysis of our own species.
EEB 314Comparative PhysiologyThis course explores the mechanisms of animal function in the contexts of evolution, ecology and behavior. We will cover the physiological bases of osmoregulation, circulation, gas exchange, digestion, energetics, motility, and neural and hormonal control of these and other processes in a variety of vertebrate and invertebrate animals, thereby revealing general principles of animal physiology as well as specific physiological adaptations to differing environments.
EEB 324Theoretical Ecology(QR)Current and classical theoretical issues in ecology and evolutionary biology. Emphasis will be on theories and concepts and on mathematical approaches. Topics will include population and community ecology, immunology and epidemiology, population genetics and evolutionary theory.
EEB 328/GHP 328Ecology and Epidemiology of Parasites and Infectious Diseases(STL)An introduction to the biology of viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, worms, arthropods, and parasitic plants. The major emphasis will be on the parasites of animals and plants, with further study of the epidemiology of infectious diseases in human populations. Studies of AIDS, anthrax, and worms, and their role in human history will be complemented by ecological and evolutionary studies of fig wasps, measles, myxomatosis, and communities of parasitic helminths. The course combines lectures with daily field laboratories to explore the dynamics and abundance of parasite in a variety of host species in the Panama Canal zone.
EEB 332/LAS 350Pre-Columbian Peoples of Tropical America and Their Environments(SA)The pre-European history of Amerind cultures and their associated environments in the New World tropics will be studied. Topics to be covered include the peopling of tropical America; development of hunting/gathering and agricultural economies; neotropical climate and vegetation history; and the material culture and social organization of native Americans. Field and laboratory experiences will incorporate methods and problems in field archaeology, paleoenthnobotany and paleoecology, and archaeozoology.
EEB 338/LAS 351Tropical Biology(STL)"Tropical Biology" is an intensive, three-week field course given at four sites in Panama, examining the origins, maintenance and major interactions among terrestrial plants and animals. The course provides the opportunity to appreciate (1) floral and faunal turnover among four rainforest sites (beta-diversity); and (2) floral and faunal turnover along vertical gradients, from ground to upper canopy, at two rainforest sites (vertical stratification). Students carry out individual projects at the sites. Fieldwork is supported by six orientation walks that introduce participants to common orders and families of plants and arthropods.
EEB 346Biology of Coral Reefs(STL)This field and lecture course provides an in-depth introduction to the biology of tropical coral reefs, with an emphasis on reef fish ecology and behavior. Each day begins with a lecture, followed by six to eight hours on the water, and ends with data analysis, reading and a discussion of recent papers. Students learn to identify fishes, corals and invertebrates, and learn a variety of field methods including underwater censusing, mapping, videotaping and the recording of inter-individual interactions. Each year group projects will vary depending on previous findings and the interests of the faculty.
EEB 380Ecology and Conservation of African Landscapes(STL)Only six percent of Africa's land area (containing a fraction of its biodiversity) is protected, and these areas are rarely large enough to sustain wildlife populations. Mostly, wildlife must share land with people also facing survival challenges. This course will explore how wildlife and people interact in Kenya, where new approaches to conservation are being developed. Lectures will cover the ecology of tropical grasslands and first principles underlying conservation and management of these landscapes. Field trips and projects will examine the dynamics between human actions and biodiversity conservation.
EEB 386Vector BiologyMalaria, trachoma, leishmaniasis and other vector¬borne diseases take a huge toll on social and economic spheres in developing countries. Huge numbers of work days and lives are lost due to diseases that continue to challenge the technologies and adaptations of humans. Basic research is an essential part of building a range of further scientific questions as well as laying the groundwork for making applied changes based on sound knowledge. Understanding the biology of vectors and the links with climate, demographic and environmental change will enable the development of more effective tools toward disease control and prevention.
EEB 403/NEU 403Genes and Neurons Underlying Behavioral EvolutionHow do genes and neural circuits encode behavior? How have genes and circuits evolved to generate the incredible diversity of behaviors we see across the animal kingdom? This course will explore these questions with emphasis on recent advances in the primary literature. Each class will focus on a specific behavior with a lecture introducing what is known about its genetic and neural basis followed by a discussion of a paper that builds on that knowledge to examine how the behavior evolves. A major goal of the class will be to learn how to critique contemporary research, generate new hypotheses, and design experiments to test those hypotheses.
EEB 406Biology of African Animals and EcosystemsStudents will be immersed in an intensive field experience in Kenya gaining sophisticated training in fieldwork and biological research on African animals and ecosystems. In addition to this training, participants will observe and study organisms ranging from acacia ants to giraffes, go-away-birds to zebras. The course is designed to give students a broad, hands-on understanding of ecology, evolution, and conservation. Lectures include core topics in ecology and evolution. Students will gain experience with experimental design, data collection, and analysis. Limited to students in the Tropical Biology and Sustainability Program in Kenya.
EEB 410Sustainable Development in Practice(SA)This course studies the theory and practical application of sustainable development in East Africa. Students learn about the administrative and sociopolitical structures of Kenya, history of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the agriculture, education, infrastructure, water, and health issues in urban and rural areas. Discussion with communities, field work, practical problem solving, GIS tools, e-tools, modeling, and understanding local constraints form the foundation for this course.
EEB 509Statistics for EcologistsThis course is designed to allow ecologists to be able to effectively analyze and visualize their own datasets. Topics include data distributions, linear and generalized linear models, mixed effects models, model selection, spatial and temporal autocorrelation and multivariate statistics. All sessions use R and RStudio. There is a strong emphasis on the step-by-step implementation of statistical models using best practices, and visualization of both data and model outputs. Prior knowledge of statistics and R is not required, but familiarity with very basic statistical terms (mean, variance) is essential.
EEB 521Tropical EcologyThis intensive three week field course takes place during January in a suitable tropical locality. Readings, discussions, and individual projects. The content and location are varied to suit the needs of the participants. Students provide their own travel funds.
EEB 522Colloquium on the Biology of PopulationsDiscussion of the central problems of population biology and approaches that have proved fruitful. Topics ranging throughout ecology, evolution, biogeography, and population genetics are usually related to presentations by visiting speakers and students. (This is a core course.)
EEB 524Topics in Evolution: Extreme EvolutionIn this journal-club style course, we explore various extreme adaptations and bizarre phenotypes. We read primary research that explores topics from contagious cancers, androgenesis, parent-of-origin imprinted genes, the feminizing Y, meiotic drive, to sex changing systems. These phenotypes may be due to molecular mutations or a consequence of environmental variables. This course discusses the foundations of these unusual traits and how they contribute towards evolutionary change and adaptation.
GEO 417/CEE 417/EEB 419Environmental MicrobiologyThe study of microbial biogeochemistry and microbial ecology. Beginning with the physical/chemical characteristics and constraints of microbial metabolism, we will investigate the role of bacteria in elemental cycles, in soil, sediment and marine and freshwater communities, in bioremediation and chemical transformations.
ISC 326/EEB 326/MOL 326/GHP 326Human Genomics: The Past, Present and Future of the Human GenomeThe completion of the human genome and the continuing effort to sequence tens of thousands of human genomes is yielding unprecedented insights into human biology and the evolutionary history of our species. We will review the key advances enabling researchers to decipher the structure and function of the human genome as well as the genetic basis of variation among individuals and populations. Topics include the evolutionary origins and current structure of human populations, methods for detecting genomic features, cancer genomics and mapping the genes and variants underlying population-specific adaptations and disease susceptibility.
MOL 214/EEB 214Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology(STL)Important concepts and elements of molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, and cell biology, are examined in an experimental context. This course fulfills the requirement for students majoring in the biological sciences and satisfies the biology requirement for entrance into medical school.