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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 group and 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 'charismatic megafauna'. Mostly, wildlife must share land with people also facing survival challenges. This course will explore how wildlife and people interact in the Ewaso Ecosystem in central Kenya where new approaches to conservation are being developed. Lectures will cover the ecology of tropical grasslands and first principles underlying the forces shaping biodiversity patterns. Field trips and projects will examine the dynamics between human actions and biodiversity patterns.
EEB 384Terrestrial PaleoecologyTerrestrial paleoecology is the study of vegetation and animals in ancient ecosystems. The paleoecology of eastern Africa is significant because it can shed light on the potential role that climate played in human evolution. This course aims to teach students the principles of paleoecology primarily through fieldwork, lab work, and research projects. In the first half of the course, students will be introduced to basic methods in the modern Mpala ecosystem. In the second, they will explore the rich record of human evolution in the Turkana Basin. Students will study bones, teeth, plants, or soils to reconstruct modern and ancient ecosystems.
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 404Natural History of Mammals(STL)Introduction to concepts, methods, and material of comparative natural history, with African mammals as focal organisms. Perspectives include morphology, identification, evolution, ecology, behavior and conservation. Observations and experiments on a variety of species in different habitats and at a range of scales will provide insights into the adaptive value and underlying mechanistic function of mammalian adaptations. This course will be taught in Kenya, alternately at the Mpala Research Centre (Rubenstein) or Amboseli National Park (Altmann).
EEB 506Responsible Conduct in Research (Half-Term)This course will cover the essential topics of what constitutes responsible conduct in research.
EEB 521Tropical EcologyIntensive three week field course during December/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.)
ENV 302/CEE 302/EEB 302Practical Models for Environmental Systems(QR)Humans are increasingly affecting environmental systems throughout the world. This is especially true for activities associated with energy production, water use, and food production. To understand the environmental impacts, quantitative modeling tools are needed. This course introduces quantitative modeling approaches for environmental systems, including global models for carbon cycling; local and regional models for water, soil, and vegetation interactions; and models for transport of pollutants in both water and air. Students will develop simple models for all of these systems, and apply the models to a set of practical problems.
ENV 303/EEB 303Agriculture, Human Diets and the Environment(STN)Food fuels us and our diets connect us with nature at many scales. Yet most of us poorly understand how food is produced and how production processes impact our diets, health, livelihoods and the environment. By the course's end, students will better understand the ethical, environmental, economic, social and medical implications of their food choices. Food production methods ranging from hunting, fishing and gathering to small and large scale crop and animal farming will be examined through lenses of ethics, ecology, evolutionary biology, geography, political economy, social dynamics, physiology, climate change and sustainability.
GHP 351/WWS 381/EEB 351Epidemiology: An Ecological and Evolutionary PerspectiveThis required course for GHP students focuses on the distribution and determinants of disease. Diverse methodological approaches for measuring health status, disease occurrence, and the association between risk factors and health outcomes will be presented via classic and contemporary studies of chronic and infectious illness. The core underlying ecological and evolutionary drivers of human health will be introduced. Emphasis on: causal inference, study design and sampling, bias and confounding, the generalizability of research, health policy and research ethics.
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.