Animal Behavior (BIOL 429)


Goals of this course: To introduce upper level undergraduates and beginning graduate students to the mechanisms, functions and origins of animal behavior.


Major topics to be covered are: 1) the scientific study of animal behavior, 2) the development of behavior (including environmental, physiological and genetic impacts), 3) how animals interact with their environment (finding food, choosing where to live, avoiding predators, dealing with competitors), 4) mating behavior (choosing and obtaining mates, mating systems and parental care), 5) social and human behavior. There will be a strong evolutionary focus, aiming to understand how natural selection shapes animal behavior.


This is primarily a lecture course, but will incorporate mini-symposia given by students on the course materials, and an exercise on squirrel watching which will involve the submission of a report. There will be three closed-book exams.



Spring Semester

Populations and Communities (BIOL 220W)


A study of the structures and functions of organismic interactions from simple populations to complex ecosystems.


BIOL 22OW is an introductory course in ecology. It introduces students to the fundamental ecological principles, concepts, patterns, and processes regarding populations, communities, and ecosystems. This course provides students with a foundation of ecological science, as well demonstrating linkages between ecology, population genetics, and evolution.


The course objectives are  to provide students with a fundamental understanding of: l) genetic processes within populations of living things, 2) evolutionary processes involved in speciation, 3) dynamic interactions of organisms within and among populations, especially pertaining to energy cycles, various biogeochemical cycles, predator-prey interactions, and the like, and 4) distribution patterns of living organisms and the need to conserve the resources of the earth.



Spring Semester









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