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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. (See below to determine whether this course or ANT 206A is more appropriate for your interests and needs.)
CEE 307/EEB 305Water, Energy, and Ecosystems(STL)This three-week course, offered as part of a four-course study abroad semester, takes place at Princeton University's Mpala Research Centre in central Kenya. The course will provide an introduction to the principles of hydrological sciences through the development and application of instrumentation for characterizing surface/subsurface hydrological dynamics in field settings. Lectures and field activities will address the theory of operation, design, and implementation of methods used to quantify hydrological patterns and processes.
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, the microbiome, and human evolution. One three-hour seminar. Note that students new to either evolution or genetics should take 309 instead.
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 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 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 403/NEU 403Neurogenetics and Evolution of BehaviorHow 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 an 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 ask how the behavior evolves. A major goal of the class will be to learn how to critique contemporary research and generate new testable hypotheses based on previous results.
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 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 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: PolyphenismPolyphenism is the production of multiple phenotypes from what appears to be a single genotype. We discuss the role of the environment in shaping phenotypes and then include these processes in a new evolutionary synthesis. From the original model that new species were the result of developmental macro-mutations to produce hopeful monsters, to Waddington's proposal that much of the phenotype is shaped by the environment, not the genotype. We discuss contemporary primary literature to examine how a New "EcoDevoEvol" Synthesis is taking shape, one that incorporates environmental, developmental, and evolutionary pressures.
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.
ISC 326/EEB 326/MOL 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.