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Some E3B courses are generally taught annually, whereas others are generally taught every other year (Fall or Spring). The following list is organized accordingly in 3 sections: Every Fall, Every Spring, and Alternating Years. Summer term courses are the very last. Note that:

  1. there can be exceptions to these general patterns,
  2. there may be new courses not yet on this list or that may be offered on a one-off basis, and
  3. courses taught by adjunct faculty (green font) may be somewhat less “stable.”

Therefore, this list is offered only as a general guide. The Directory of Classes is always the most reliable source of information for course offerings in the next semester.

Every Fall
Every Spring
Alternating Years
Cross Listed Courses
Summer Only

Every Fall

UN1010 Human Origins and Evolution [3] Shapiro
Corequisite: EEEB UN1011 (Discussion Section/Lab)
This is an introductory course in human evolution. Building on a foundation of evolutionary theory, students explore primate behavioral morphology and then trace the last 65 million years of primate evolution from the earliest Paleocene forms to the fossil remains of early humans and human relatives.

UN2001 Environmental Biology I [3] Naeem/Bendesky
Introductory biology course for majors in environmental biology, emphasizing the ecological and evolutionary context of modern biology.

UN3005 Intro Statistics Ecology & Evolutionary Biology [3] Foerster
Corequisite: EEEB UN3015 (Lab)
Intended for those WITHOUT prior knowledge of statistics. Some background in ecology/ evolutionary biology required. This is an introduction to the theoretical principles and practical application of statistical methods in ecology and evolutionary biology. The course will cover the conceptual basis for a range of statistical techniques through a series of lectures using examples from the primary literature. The application of these techniques will be taught through the use of statistical software in computer-based laboratory sessions.

UN3991 EB Thesis Development UN3991 [3] Palmer/Strangas/Welt
Guided, independent, in depth research experience culminating in the senior essay. Weekly meetings are held to review work in progress, to share results through oral and written reports, and to consider career options for further work in this field.

UN3993 EBHS Senior Thesis Seminar [3] Shapiro
Prerequisites: the instructor’s permission and senior standing as a major or concentrator in The Evolutionary Biology of the Human Species (EBHS).
Year-long seminar in which senior EBHS majors develop a research project and write a senior thesis. Weekly meetings focus on discussion of research and writing strategies, review work in progress, peer critique, and sharing results through oral and written reports.

UN3997 Independent Study [1-3] Faculty

GR5005 Intro Statistics Ecology & Evolutionary Biology [3] Foerster
Corequisite: EEEB GR5015 (Lab)
Intended for those WITHOUT prior knowledge of statistics. Some background in ecology/ evolutionary biology required. This is an introduction to the theoretical principles and practical application of statistical methods in ecology and evolutionary biology. The course will cover the conceptual basis for a range of statistical techniques through a series of lectures using examples from the primary literature. The application of these techniques will be taught through the use of statistical software in a computer-based laboratory session.

GR5850 MA Thesis Development Seminar 1 [3] Brodie
Incoming M.A. students aiming for the thesis-based program are guided through the process of defining a research question, finding an advisor, and preparing a research prospectus. By the end of the semester the students will have a written research prospectus to submit to potential advisors for revision. Subject to a positive review of the research prospectus, students are allowed to continue with the thesis-based program and will start working with their advisor. The course will also provide an opportunity to develop basic skills that will facilitate the reminder of the student’s stay at E3B and will help in their future careers.

GR6110 Fundamentals of Evolution [3] Eaton
Prerequisites: degree in biological sciences.
Lectures cover principal topics in evolutionary biology including genetics, genome organization, population and quantitative genetics, the history of evolutionary theory, systematics, speciation and species concepts, co-evolution, and biogeography.

GR6300 E3B Research Seminar [1]
Prerequisites: degree in biological sciences. Lectures by visiting scientists, faculty, and students; specific biological research projects; with emphasis on evolution, ecology, and conservation biology.
Notes: grading is pass/fail

GR6850 PhD Thesis Development Seminar [6] Uriarte
Prerequisites: instructor’s permission.
This course will help guide E3B Ph.D. students towards candidacy by teaching them the skills necessary to be effective and independent scientists. Students will conduct an extensive literature review, write a preliminary dissertation proposal, and present their research ideas to the group on multiple occasions. Students will learn how to give and receive constructive written and oral feedback on their work.

GR9501,03 Directed Research [1-9 ] (Faculty)

GR9509 Directed Reading [1-6 ] (Faculty)

Every Spring

UN1005 1st Year Seminar in EEEB [1] (Faculty)
This course provides a brief introduction to ecology, evolution and environmental biology with an emphasis on key concepts, current research, and opportunities for undergraduates. The course is taught jointly by the faculty in the department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology (E3B), with each session covering a different aspect of research and/or teaching in the department. Students are expected to complete weekly readings and participate in discussion both in class and online.
Notes: grading is pass/fail.

UN1011 Behavioral Biology of Living Primates [3] Cords
Corequisite: EEEB UN1111 (Discussion Section)
Study of non-human primate behavior from the perspective of phylogeny, adaptation, physiology and anatomy, and life history. Focuses on the four main problems primates face: finding appropriate food, avoiding being eaten themselves, reproducing in the face of competition, and dealing with social partners.

UN2002 Environmental Biology II [4] Palmer
Second semester of introductory biology sequence for majors in environmental biology and environmental science, emphasizing the ecological and evolutionary aspects of biology. Also intended for those interested in an introduction to the principles of ecology and evolutionary biology. EB1I may be taken prior to EBI.
Notes: Students must also take a corresponding three hour lab.

UN3011 Behavioral Biology of Living Primates [3] Cords
Prerequisites: Introductory biology course in organismal biology and instructor permission. Corequisite EEEB UN3111
Study of non-human primate behavior from the perspective of phylogeny, adaptation, physiology and anatomy, and life history. Focuses on the four main problems primates face: finding appropriate food, avoiding being eaten themselves, reproducing in the face of competition, and dealing with social partners.
Note: Class and section meet concurrently with 1011/1111, but assignments and grading differ. Intended for upper division students in the natural sciences.

UN3087 Conservation Biology(BA) [3] Partridge
Corequisite: EEEB UN3187 (Discussion Section/Lab)
Prerequisites: Recommended preparation one college-level course in ecology or evolution.
This course will introduce you to the applied science of maintaining the earth’s biological diversity. The course will focus on the biological principles relevant to the conservation of biodiversity at the genetic, population, community, and landscape levels. We will emphasize problem solving and the translation of theory to practice through quantitative exercises, discussion of primary literature, and exploration of real-world case studies.

UN3992 EB Thesis Development 2 [3] Palmer/Strangas
Guided, independent, in depth research experience culminating in the senior thesis. Weekly meetings are held to review work in progress, to share results through oral and written reports, and to consider career options for further work in this field.

UN3994 EBHS Senior Thesis Seminar [3] Shapiro
Prerequisites: instructor’s permission and senior standing as a major in The Evolutionary Biology of the Human Species (EBHS).
Year-long seminar in which senior EBHS majors develop a research project and write a senior thesis. Weekly meetings focus on discussion of research and writing strategies, review work in progress, peer critique, and sharing results through oral and written reports.

UN3998 Independent Study [1-3] [Faculty]

UN3998.002 Group Independent Study in Postcranial Osteology [1-3] Shapiro
Hands-on analysis of the human postcranial skeleton. Involves weekly meetings as well as independent student analysis of skeletal remains.
Notes: Instructor permission required.
GU4105 Intermediate Statistics for Ecology and Evolution [3] Foerster
Prerequisites: A prior course or equivalent knowledge of fundamental concepts in statistics as well as familiarity with R programming are required pre-requisites for this course.
This course builds on an introductory course in statistics and dives deeper into linear regression models, including generalized linear models, mixed/hierarchical models, model diagnostics, and model selection. It focuses on the practical applications of these methods rather than the mathematical complexities.

GR5851 MA Thesis Development Seminar 2 [3] Brodie
Following Thesis Development I, this course is designed to assist with the completion of the development of your capstone project and continued professional development. The course will primarily focus on the written thesis (research or practical), science communication, and cover topics in research professionalism and ethics. The course will also provide an opportunity to develop materials and necessary skills that will aid in their future careers.

GR6112 Fundamentals of Ecology [3] Diuk-Wasser/Menge
Required course for first year Ph.D. students and second year M.A. students. Covers foundational topics and developments in many branches of ecology, including population, community, and ecosystem ecology.

GR6300 E3B Research Seminar [1]
Prerequisites: degree in biological sciences.
Lectures by visiting scientists, faculty, and students; specific biological research projects; with emphasis on evolution, ecology, and conservation biology.
Notes: grading is pass/fail.

GR6905 Graduate Seminar in Conservation Biology [3] Brodie
Prerequisites: college courses in biology, ecology, and evolution.
This graduate seminar reviews major threats to biological diversity and contemporary techniques for investigating and addressing those threats. Students will gain a foundational knowledge of the history, theory, and principles of conservation biology. Students will also apply newly acquired skills through the use of case studies.

GR9502 Directed Research [1-9 ] [Faculty]

GR9509 Directed Reading [1-6 ] [Faculty]

Alternating Years

UN3001 Saga of Life [4] Naeem (usually Spring)
We will explore the origin and eventual death of life on Earth focusing on our species. The course will travel through all of known time tackling questions such as what is life, what is science, what is biology, what is a species, what is an ecosystem, are we alone in the universe, and what has been our role in shaping the Biosphere within which we and ten million other species currently live? We will consider how our history and cultures have been shaped by our ever changing understanding and relationship to life on Earth, or biodiversity. We will end by considering the possible fates of our world, from the more immediate environmental concerns of climate change, mass extinction, emerging disease, dwindling food, water, and fuel supplies, to the modern ideas surrounding sustainable development and solutions to the environmental challenges that face our species.

UN3204 Dynamics of Human Evolution [4] Shapiro (usually Spring)
Prerequisites: EEEB UN1010 or ANTH UN1007 .
Seminar focusing on recent advances in the study of human evolution. Topics include changing views of human evolution with respect to behavior, morphology, and phylogeny including the evolution of bipedalism, the development of stone tools, burial, and art.
Notes: Taught in rotation with The Neandertals, i.e. every 4 years.

UN3208 Explorations Primate Anatomy [3] Shapiro (usually Spring)
Prerequisites: EEEB UN1010 or EEEB UN1011/UN3011 or instructor approval.
Introductory laboratory course in primate skeletal anatomy. From tarsiers to talapoins, guenons to gibbons, through hands-on expertise students explore the amazing range and diversity of the living members of this order.

UN3215 Forensic Osteology [3] Shapiro (usually Spring)
An exploration of the hidden clues in your skeleton. Students learn the techniques of aging, sexing, assessing ancestry, and the effects of disease, trauma and culture on human skeletal remains.
Notes: Cannot be taken concurrently/following human skeletal biology/group independent study in postcranial osteology.

UN3220 Evolution of Human Growth & Evolution [3] Manser (usually Spring)
Prerequisites: EEEB UN1010 or ANTH UN1007 or instructor permission.
This course explores central issues in human growth and development from birth through senescence. Emphasis will be placed on the factors responsible for the variation in current human growth patterns as well as the evolutionary divergence of a uniquely human pattern from our closest living and fossil relatives.

UN3240 Primate Conservation [3] Morales-Jimenez (usually Fall)
Prerequisites: EEEB UN1010 or EEEB UN1011/UN3011
This course examines the central issues relating to conservation of wild primates and explores strategies and solutions for preserving these endangered populations. Through the analysis of the ecological and social traits linked to vulnerability and the direct and indirect threats from human activities, students will gain a practical understanding of how to develop successful, sustainable, and practical conservation strategies.

UN3910 The Neandertals [4] Shapiro (usually Spring)
Prerequisites: EEEB UN1010 or ANTH UN1007
One hundred and fifty years after discovery Neandertals remain one of the most enigmatic hominin taxa. What do we understand today about their biology, subsistence, culture, cognitive abilities and eventual fate? Are they simply extinct relatives or do their genes continue in many of us today? In this seminar students critically examine the primary research as we attempt to find answers to some of these questions.
Notes: Taught in rotation with Dynamics of Human Evolution, i.e. every 4 years.

UN3919 Trading Nature [4] Blair (usually Fall)
This seminar explores the scientific and theoretical conceptualization of nature as a market commodity, through the lens of conservation biology. Students will engage in critical analysis of the ‘traditional’ forms in which biodiversity has been appropriated as inputs into markets such as fisheries, resource extraction, bushmeat and medicine, as well as new market environmentalism.

UN3940 Current Controversies in Primate Behavior [4] Cords (usually Fall)
Prerequisite: EEEB UN1011/UN3011 or the equivalent.
Critical in-depth evaluation of selected issues in primate socioecology, including adaptation, sociality, sexual competition, communication, kinship, dominance, cognition, and politics. Emphasizes readings from original literature.

UN3970 Biological Basis of Human Variation. [4] Manser (usually Spring)
This seminar explores the biological evidence for modern human genetic diversity at multiple levels (sex, geography, etc.). Student are immersed in the primary literature of the field as they examine patterns of both the past and the present.

GU4015 Animal Communication: A Primate Perspective [3] Morales-Jimenez (usually Spring)
Prerequisites: EEEBUN1010 or EEEBUN1011/UN3011 or instructor permission.
Animals employ a staggering diversity of sounds, gestures, and chemicals to communicate. This course examines the four primary signal systems–vocal, visual, chemical, and tactile–used by primates and the various ecological, social, and physiological factors that relate to their evolution. Using current research, historical perspectives, and hands-on lab exercises, students will explore the central issues of animal communication as they relate to primates.

GU4050 Programming and Data Science Skills [3] Eaton (usually Spring)
Programming and Data Science for Biology (PDSB) introduces students to fundamental computational skills and concepts for working with biological data and developing software tools. The course is focused on bash and Python programming, and learning to use software development tools, such as code editors, linters, git, and GitHub. Exercises and assignments introduce common methods and data in biology, such as libraries for data manipulation, plotting, and statistical analysis, applied to tabular, geospatial, or genomic data. The latter half of class is organized around individual projects in which students develop and distribute a software tool. Computer programs are ubiquitous in biology, but few biologists receive formal training in writing software. This course teaches the fundamental skills to get started in computational biology.

GU4055 Principles & Applications in Modern DNA Sequencing [3] Bendesky/Eaton (usually Spring)
Prerequisites: An introductory biology course or instructor permission
Genome sequencing is now a fundamental tool in biological and biomedical research that is revolutionizing many related fields and industries. Learning to use and interpret genomic information, however, remains challenging, as it requires synthesizing knowledge from a range of disciplines, including genetics, molecular biology, and bioinformatics. This course aims to bridge this gap by teaching general knowledge and skills relating to modern genomic technologies. To achieve this, we implement an active learning approach to emphasize genomics as a data science, and use this organizing principle to structure the course around computational exercises, lab-based activities using state-of-the-art sequencing instruments, case studies, and field work. Together, these approaches will introduce students to the principles of genomics by allowing them to generate, analyze, and interpret data through an engaging learning experience.

GU4065 Tropical Biology (Winter Break Course in Kenya) [3] Rubenstein [Taught over Winter Break]
Study ecology, evolution, and conservation biology in one of the world’s most biologically spectacular settings, the wildlife-rich savannas of Kenya. Although we will meet have a few meetings during the fall semester, the majority of the coursework will be completed during a 16 day field trip to Kenya during winter break. Students will spend their time immersed in an intensive field experience gaining sophisticated training in fieldwork and biological research. Note that there is a lab fee to cover all in-country expenses, and students are also responsible for the cost of airfare to and from Kenya.

GU4086 Ethnobotany [3] Balick/McAlvay (usually Spring)
This course introduces students to the science of ethnobotany, the study of the relationship between plants, people and culture. It will address this field from a multidisciplinary perspective, including Botany, Anthropology, Natural Products Research, Public Health, Agronomy, and Genetics. Lectures will include topics such as plants in healing, as foods, toxins, in spiritual beliefs, as natural products, cultural keystone species, as well as ethical issues faced by fieldworkers.

GU4100 Forest Ecology [4] Griffin/Palmer (usually Fall)
Forest Ecology is an upper-division undergraduate and graduate course with classroom sessions and labs, including ten field trips. Active learning in the field is central to the course – we will be collecting data and analyzing forested landscapes on each field trip. Each week through mid-November we will visit a new forest type (urban, old growth, montane, swamps, maritime, etc.), collect data to quantitatively describe the forest, and interpret the ecological processes shaping its form and function through a series of lab reports and presentations. Classroom sessions are largely flipped, with material presented online in advance and time in the session used for active discussion of key concepts and related literature.

GU4111 Ecosystem Ecology and Global Change [3] Menge (usually Fall)
This course provides an introduction to ecosystem ecology. Topics include primary production, carbon storage, nutrient cycling, and ecosystem feedbacks to climate change. By the end of the course, students will be well versed in the basics of ecosystem ecology and have exposure to some current areas of research. Topics covered will include some aspects that are well established and others that are hotly debated among scientists. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to think independently and act like research scientists.

GU4112 Ichthyology [3] Melo (usually Spring)
Introduction to principles of ichthyology with special reference to evolutionary relationships,
adaptive morphology, biogeography, and ecology of fishes. Basic principles of anatomy, species identification and phylogeny are developed in the laboratory.

GU4126 Conservation Genetics [3] Welt (usually Spring)
Prerequisites: A basic knowledge of genetics and mathematics.
In this course, we will use evolutionary genetic principles and population genetic models to describe the extent and distribution of genetic variation in populations and species, and determine ways to conserve it.

GU4127 Disease Ecology [3] Diuk-Wasser (usually Spring)
Prerequisites: instructor permission.
This course uses an ecological perspective to study the factors influencing the emergence, maintenance and transmission of human and wildlife pathogens. Particular emphasis is on pathogens transmitted to humans by arthropods (vector-borne) or animal reservoirs (zoonotic), such as malaria, dengue, West Nile virus and Lyme disease. Students learn how human risk for these diseases can be described and predicted by understanding the ecology of pathogen, vector and natural reservoirs and humans. The course utilizes a combination of lectures, discussion of primary literature, practical exercises and guest speakers.

GU4129 Zoo Conservation [3] Silver (usually Fall)
This course is designed to introduce students to the current and future role of zoos and ex-situ animal conservation programs in wildlife conservation. The history, the function and the goals of modern zoological collections will be presented, and the ethics and standards of zoos and aquariums will be discussed. Students will learn the conservation ambitions and achievements of zoological parks in the context of conservation biology.

GU4134 Behavioral Ecology [3] Rubenstein (usually Spring)
An examination of evolutionary and behavioral ecological theory. The course will focus on natural selection, kin selection, and sexual selection, as well as related topics including cooperation, conflict, cooperative breeding, signaling, brood parasitism, reproductive skew, mating systems, and alternative mating strategies, among others. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the theoretical bases of these theories, as well as empirical tests of these concepts. The course is writing intensive, and written assignments will encourage critical assessment of theory, experimental design, and data analysis.

GU4135 Urban Ecology and Design [3] Palmer (usually Spring)
Urban Ecology and Design is designed to bring students from a science background (primarily advanced undergraduates and graduate students from E3B and other science departments) together with students from a design background (primarily from GSAPP, registered separately through a GSAPP course) in order to explore the ecological potential of the designed urban environment. Students work in interdisciplinary groups to evaluate the relationships between urban design and ecological performance through a series of case studies, field explorations and studio visits. The course offers a deeper understanding of the relationships that drive urban ecosystems, a critical evaluation of commonly used urban design techniques, and insights into how to better design functional ecosystems within the urban context.

GU4140 Ornithology Arengo/Seewagen (usually Fall)
Pre-requisite: Basic biology and an understanding of evolution. An ecology course would be helpful but not required.
This basic ornithology class lays the foundation for more in-depth study as it presents an overview of avian evolution, ecology, and current conservation issues.

GU4150 Theoretical Ecology [3] Menge (usually Spring)
Prerequisites: Calculus, Introductory Biology.
This course will provide an introduction to theoretical ecology. Topics will include population, community, ecosystem, disease, and evolutionary ecology. Lectures will cover classic and current concepts and mathematical approaches. The numerical analysis laboratory will cover computational tools for numerical and graphical analysis of the models we cover in lecture, using MATLAB. By the end of the course, students will be well versed in the basics of theoretical ecology and will be able to read theoretical ecology literature, analyze and simulate mathematical models, and construct and analyze their own simple models.

GU4160 Landscape Ecology [5] Uriarte (usually Fall)
Landscape ecology examines the development, causes and attributes of spatial patterns of landscapes and their implications for ecological processes. By its nature, landscape ecology draws from many areas within and outside of ecology. The course will consider ecological processes at the individual, population, community, and ecosystem level. The ecology of landscapes is also critical to the development of management and restoration schemes that take into account biodiversity conservation, provision of ecosystem services, and human land use needs. The course will cover the conceptual underpinnings of landscape ecology and will introduce students to some of the tools used to analyze the structure and dynamics of landscapes. Students will also examine consequences of landscape patterns and dynamics for organisms and for the management and sustainability of landscapes. These skills prepare students to ask questions from a landscape perspective.

GU4192 Introduction to Landscape Analysis [3] DeFries (usually Spring)
Prerequisites: SDEV UN3390 or EESC GU4050 or instructor permission.
This class provides basic theory in landscape analysis and training in methods for analyzing landscapes, focusing on interpretation of satellite images. The class covers approaches and definitions in landscape analysis, data sources, land cover classification, change detection, accuracy assessment, projections of future land cover change, and techniques to interpret results of these analyses. Students will obtain hands-on experience working with data from a landscape related to his/her research or a landscape chosen by the instructors.

GU4195 Marine Conservation [3] Burgman (usually Spring)
Marine ecosystems are among the most threatened on the globe, and thus there is a pressing need to develop and implement effective conservation and management measures. Moreover, because marine environments differ in their physics, chemistry and biology, conservation in the marine realm is fundamentally different than in terrestrial habitats. This course provides an overview of marine ecology necessary in understanding the most pressing environmental problems affecting the marine sphere. Understanding the importance of marine ecosystems within a broader conservation biology context is essential for any ecologist or conservation biologist as many ecological processes are at least partially influenced by marine systems.

GU4200 Introduction to Mammalogy [3] Silver (usually Fall)
Prerequisites: Introductory course in biology or evolution or instructor permission
This taxon-based course provides students with a basic understanding of the diversity and natural history of the mammals. Broad coverage of mammalian biology includes: morphological adaptations, evolutionary history and biogeography.

GU4201 Ecology, Behavior and Conservation of Mammals [3] Silver (usually Spring)
Prerequisites: A course in either organismal biology, evolution, ecology or instructor permission
This course examines the wide-ranging aspects of features of mammalian natural history, behavior and ecology, and considers the implications of these features on the conservation status of particular mammal taxa for the future. We will also explore particular conservation challenges for mammals such as bats, grazing mammals, and large carnivores in increasingly human-dominated landscapes. This course will be a combination of lecture and student led discussions related to the conservation issues facing mammals today.

GU4210 Herpetology [4] Palmer (usually Spring)
This is an upper-division undergraduate and graduate course on the evolution, diversity, ecophysiology, ecology, and conservation of amphibians and reptiles. The laboratory and field experiences will provide students the opportunity to acquire a detailed knowledge of the diagnostic characteristics, taxonomy, distributions, and some aspects of ecology and natural history of a broad representation of amphibians and reptiles from around the world.

GU4340 Human Adaptation [3] Manser (usually Spring)
Prerequisites: EEEB UN1010 or ANTH UN1007 or instructor permission.
This course explores human adaptation from a biological, ecological and evolutionary perspective. From our earliest hominin ancestors in Africa to our own species’ subsequent dispersal throughout the world, our lineage has encountered innumerable environmental pressures. Using morphological, physiological and behavioral/cultural evidence, we will examine the responses to these pressures that helped shape our unique lineage and allowed it to adapt to a diverse array of environments.

GU4350 Primate Sexuality [3] Morales-Jimenez (usually Fall)
Prerequisites: EEEB UN1010 or EEEB UN1011/UN3011 or instructor permission.
In this course we take an integrative and comparative approach to understanding the sexual lives of primates. Focusing on mating and reproductive behavior with an explicitly evolutionary perspective, we will identify the fundamental principles of how and why selection has favored particular behaviors and morphologies in different primate species.

GU4370 Parenting Like a Primate: the Evolution of Parental Care [3] Morales-Jimenez (usually Spring)
Humans, like other animals, have evolved strategies of parental care, which include traits and trade-offs that enhance development and survival of offspring at the expense of parents. This course addresses questions such as: Why do we care for offspring? What physiological and genetic mechanisms underlie parental behavior? What drives variation in parental care strategies? We will analyze the diverse array of social and mating systems along with parental care strategies, focusing on primates including humans.

GU4550 Plant Ecophysiology [3] Griffin (usually Fall)
Prerequisites: General biology or instructor permission.
Plant organismal responses to external environmental conditions and the physiological mechanisms of plants that enable these responses. An evolutionary approach is taken to analyze the potential fitness of plants and plant survival based on adaptation to external environmental factors.
Notes: One weekend field trip will be required.

GU4605 Human-Wildlife Conflict [3] Silver (usually Spring)
This course explores the history, nature and underlying causes of human/wildlife conflict from the human perspective. We will emphasize areas of human and wildlife conflict that endanger the existence of wildlife species in significant portions of their range, and consider emerging strategies that may reduce human-wildlife conflict.

GU4650 Biodiversity and Ecosystem Processes [3] Naeem (usually Spring)
In most ecosystems, organisms exhibit complex patterns of distribution and abundance over a wide array of spatial and temporal scales. This course focuses on understanding the role such biocomplexity plays in governing environmental processes. In particular, it focuses on how changes in biodiversity, either through species loss due to enhanced extinction rates, or through the addition or modification of species through the introduction of exotic, domestic, or genetically-engineered species, changes ecosystem or biogeochemical processes, and the consequences of those changes for humans.

GU4666 Insect Diversity [4] Brodie (usually Spring)
Insect Diversity provides a general introduction to the study of this ubiquitous and extremely diverse group of animals. This advanced course covers the spectacular diversity of insects, their evolutionary history, anatomy and biology, ecology, and behavior. The goals include both learning about insects, as well as communicating knowledge and findings about insects accurately and effectively with others, both orally and in writing. Lab is split into two parts: insect biology and identification of common families of insects of the northeastern United States.

GU4670 Introduction to GIS [3] Glass (usually Fall)
Geographic information systems (GIS) are powerful tools for analyzing fundamental geographic questions. GIS involves generating, linking, manipulating, and analyzing different sorts of spatial data; creating outputs commonly visualized as two- and sometimes three- dimensional maps. This course will cover major topics in GIS with applications for the broad field of biology and natural sciences, using QGIS and R. The goal of this course is to teach students a level of GIS proficiency such that they will be self-sufficient in their further learning and use of GIS.

GU4700 Race: The Tangled History of a Biological Concept [4] Shapiro (usually Spring)
From Aristotle to the 2030 US Census, this course examines the history of race as a biological concept. It explores the complex relationship between the scientific study of biological differences–real, imagined, or invented–and the historical and cultural factors involved in the development and expression of “racial ideas.”

GU4910 Field Botany and Plant Systematics [4] Palmer (usually Fall)
Prerequisites: introductory biology sequence, including organismal biology.
A survey of vascular plants with emphasis on features of greatest utility in identifying plants in the field to the family level. This will be coupled with a survey of the major plant communities of northeastern North America and the characteristic species found in each. The course will consist of one lecture and one laboratory per week with several lab sessions extended to accommodate field trips to local and regional natural areas.

GR6500 Computational Phylogenetics [3] Eaton (usually Spring)
Prerequisites: prior experience coding in Python.
Computational phylogenetics introduces students to basic and advanced concepts in modeling and analyzing genetic ancestry. The course is centered around reading and discussing primary research articles that introduce major advances in the field, paired with interactive computational exercises that focus on learning to implement methods and algorithms from these papers. It is intended for graduate level students with a research interest in phylogenetics, population genetics, and phylogenetic comparative methods.

GR5010 Statistical Modeling [6 ] Uriarte (usually Fall)
One of the most important skills in conducting scientific research is the ability to design experiments (manipulative or observational) that are executable and yield meaningful results. Models are thinking tools that promote clarity of thought, aid in the design of experiments, and facilitate interpretation of results. Modeling is an art that is learned only through practice. This course teaches students to use models to enhance their own research through a combination of lectures, evaluations of scientific literature, and application of techniques to real data.

GR6030 Terrestrial Systems Modeling [3] Hansen (usually Fall)
This course surveys the foundations, state of the science, and frontiers in terrestrial systems modeling. Students will learn about how systems modeling is applied to uncover insights in forest ecology, climate science, animal movement, social-ecological systems, and biogeochemistry.

GR6135 Global Health at the Human-Wildlife Interface [3] Diuk-Wasser/Popescu (usually Spring)
Worldwide, increasing and significant public health challenges result from complex and inextricable interactions between humans, animals, and the environment, necessitating a systems approach, One Health, to address the challenges. This graduate course conducts critical in-depth evaluation of selected issues in emergence of zoonotic diseases using readings from the primary literature. Particular focus will be placed on understanding the role of human-wildlife interactions in the emergence of infectious diseases in the context of anthropogenic changes such as climate change, land use change and biodiversity loss. Deeper understanding of the underlying processes in zoonotic emergence will allow critical evaluation of predictive and forecasting studies for Covid-19 and other emergent zoonoses.

GR6150 Advances in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology [1-3] (irregular)
This seminar is designed for PhD students from any department in any school at Columbia University. We will read contemporary literature and examine case studies on designing, conducting, and communicating research projects that contribute to solutions to climate change and related problems of the Anthropocene. PhD students will have the opportunity to share their research and reflect on how it might contribute to solutions.

GR6220 Science Education Theory to Practice [3] Kozlowski (usually Fall)
This course explores the multidimensional nature of teaching and learning science education. It does so through a deep dive into pedagogical theory and practice, the nature of science, and the social-cultural aspects of education. The class is intended for students who may enter fields requiring elements of public education and who want to learn how to teach others.

GR6230 Population Ecology [3] Popescu (usually Fall)
Population Ecology is a quantitative field that through theoretical and empirical tools attempts to describe intrinsic and extrinsic processes that determine how populations change over time. Intrinsic factors include population structure, rate of change, and life histories; extrinsic factors include environmental variation, interspecific interactions, and anthropogenic perturbations that affect population change. A comprehensive understanding of populations and how they respond to changing environments forms the basics of conservation biology and wildlife management. This class will explore how concepts of population ecology can be used to inform the conservation and management of natural populations and ecosystems. We will emphasize practical approaches to problem-solving in ecology, conservation, and wildlife management using simulation models and inferential statistics. Topics will include Population Viability Analysis (PVA), metapopulations, species interactions, threats to wild populations, wildlife management and more. Laboratory exercises will provide hands-on experience with wildlife population models and their practical applications in wildlife ecology and management.

GR6250 Field Methods in Wildlife Monitoring [3] Wong (usually Fall)
This course provides a strong theoretical and practical background in the use of wildlife monitoring techniques to address ecological and conservation orientated questions. The course will conduct an overview of monitoring plan design and the conceptual background needed to understand and critique monitoring plans, and have the basic skills to develop and implement a monitoring program as part of an interdisciplinary team. During this course, we will examine a variety of research and monitoring techniques used by wildlife professionals. We will evaluate the theories, strengths, and weaknesses behind the use of these wildlife techniques and apply them in the field.

GR6445 Research Methods in Animal Behavior [3] Cords (usually Fall)
In this class, you will learn how to carry out a research project on animal behavior, from formulating research hypotheses, choosing a study design, collecting and analyzing observational data, to presenting those data formally in both written and oral form. The course also covers more philosophical issues, such as the scientific method, the contrasts between field and lab studies of behavior, and ethical issues that arise in real life when conducting research. Students undertake individual observational projects on local animal species or in a zoo.

GR6450 Ethology and the Evolution of Behavior [3] Bendesky (usually Spring)
How do studies of behavior in nature and the lab complement each other? For example, how does our knowledge of animal behavior in the wild shape the design, execution, and interpretation of studies of behavior in the laboratory? And what, in turn, do lab studies tell us about how animals experience their world and behave? What are the sources and mechanisms of diversity of behavior and how does behavior evolve at genetic, molecular, and neuronal levels? Readings will cover the work of classical ethologists, as well as modern literature. These readings will be presented and discussed in a seminar format.

Cross Listed Courses

DEES GU4560 Tree line Ecology in a Changing Climate [3] Griffin (usually Spring)
Prerequisites: Introductory Biology. Earth Science and one course in ecology recommended.
This course is focused on the ecology treeline in light of global climate change and will provide students with a foundational understanding of fundamental ecological concepts as they pertain to this important ecological boundary between ecosystems and biomes. In addition, students will learn to (1) find, read, and discuss the primary scientific literature, and (2) communicate their findings via written, oral, and audio-visual formats. Topics include ecophysiology, population ecology, community ecology, biogeochemistry and ecosystem ecology.

Summer Only

S1001 Biodiversity [3]
An introduction to the enormous diversity of life on Earth. From bacteria to mammals, this course will survey species diversity, with an emphasis on ecological interactions and conservation. The course will also use basics of genetics and evolutionary biology to explore how diversity is generated and maintained. No previous knowledge of science is assumed.

S1115 The Life Aquatic [3]
Water covers the majority of the earth’s surface but what of the life in these waters? Rivers, wetlands, lakes, estuaries and oceans provide habitat for an extraordinary diversity of animals. This course explores the amazing array of aquatic animals that occupy both freshwater and marine ecosystems as well as the natural and human activities that impact their survival. No previous knowledge of science is assumed.

S3015 Animal Behavior Through Fieldwork [3]
Using evolutionary principles as the unifying theme, we will survey the study of animal behavior including the history, basic principles and research methods. Fieldwork is a significant component of this course and through observations at the World Wildlife Conservation Park (Bronx Zoo) and in the urban environment of New York, students will gain familiarity with the scientific method, behavioral observation and research design. No previous knowledge of science is assumed.


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