ANT 206B/EEB 306Human 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.
EEB 301/GSS 301Evolution and the Behavior of the Sexes(STN)This course, designed to capitalize on diverse student backgrounds, will use principles of evolutionary biology and behavioral ecology to examine mating strategies and their effect on social systems. We will draw examples from vertebrates, with an emphasis on group-living mammals, particularly primates and elephants. Topics will include mate selection, ontogeny of sex differences, sexual diversity, social bonds and cooperation, and intersexual conflict.
EEB 308Conservation Biology(STN)An in-depth exposure to topics in conservation biology emphasizing the application of scientific concepts to our understanding of the problems that threaten endangered species and ecosystems. Topics include island biogeography, population genetics and viability, landscape ecology, reserve design, and endangered species recovery. To a lesser degree, this course will address some of the political, economic, and cultural aspects of conservation.
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 320/MOL 330Molecular EvolutionHow and where did life evolve? This advanced seminar will discuss the evolution of the molecules that sustain life (DNA, RNA and proteins) at both the micro and macro evolutionary levels. We will explore the role of these molecules in the origin and continued evolution of life. Topics include the origin of eukaryotes and organelles, comparative genomics, population genetics, the microbiome, and human evolution. One three-hour seminar. Note that students new to either evolution or genetics will find 309 more appropriate.
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 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 art, symbolism, 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 382Tropical AgricultureKenya has some of the most diverse set of crops and farming systems in Africa allowing students to compare productivity, diversity, and ecological processes. Students will spend their time exploring the varied agro-ecosystems, crops, livestock, climates, and soils under which agriculture is practiced in Kenya. The course includes key readings and discussions, intensive field sampling, GIS applications, and modeling. In addition, students will be exposed to the various ecological processes and ecosystem services provided by or interfered with by agriculture. Limited to students in the Tropical Biology and Sustainability Program in Kenya.
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 at the Mpala Research Center and nearby field sites.
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 506Responsible Conduct in Research (Half-Term)This course will cover the essential topics of what constitutes responsible conduct in research.
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: Molecular EvolutionThis seminar discusses the origin and evolution of life from a molecular perspective. Topics include the origin of eukaryotes, the last common ancestor, and organelles, comparative genomics, population genetics, the microbiome, and human evolution. One three-hour seminar.
EEB 527Topics in Evolution (Half-Term)This seminar explores the genetic and functional basis of pigmentation, exploring primary literature to understand the molecular pathways and phenotype impacts upon genetic and regulatory perturbations. Further, it expands to explore how this phenotype functions in an ecological framework (e.g. natural and sexual selection) alongside of biomedical implications of these same pigmentation genes (e.g. immunity). Students read and present papers central to pigmentation genetics and ecology. Class meets once a week to present and discuss the selected readings.
ENV 302/CEE 302/EEB 302Advanced Analysis of Environmental Systems(QR)Humans are increasingly affecting environmental systems throughout the world. This course uses quantitative analysis to examine three of today's most pressing issues: energy, water, and food. Each issue is examined from perspectives of natural and engineered ecosystems that depend on complex interactions among physical, chemical, and biological processes. The course is an introduction for students in the natural sciences and engineering pursuing an advanced program in environmental studies. We emphasize quantitative analyses with applications to a wide range of systems, and the design of engineered solutions to major environmental problems.
GHP 400/WWS 382/MOL 499/EEB 400Seminar in Global Health and Health PolicyThis seminar will examine three major topics in global health. Potential topics include: the importance of patents in healthcare; AIDS in America; synthetic biology and biosafety; vaccine safety; the business of biology; the state of US healthcare; healthcare in emerging economies; and drug discovery and development.
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. During the last two weeks of the semester, topics-based sections will be taught by different faculty members in the following areas: Neuroscience, proteomics, and human disease. This course fulfills the requirement for students majoring in the biological sciences and satisfies the biology requirement for entrance into medical school.