BIO44Y Core Plant Biology, Ecology, and Evoutionary Biology Laboratory


Intended primarily for biology majors, the goal of this undergraduate course is to learn how to do ecological research. The emphasis of the course is not on breadth of knowledge or techniques, but on learning the scientific process by doing it. The students formulate hypotheses, decide what data to use and how to analyze them, and communicate results orally and in writing. As a case study, we focus on interactions between a species of flowering plants (sticky monkeyflower, Mimulus aurantiacus), the hummingbirds and insects that pollinate the plants, and the yeasts that live in the floral nectar of the plants, at the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. The students use field, laboratory (including molecular) and statistical methods to test hypotheses. This class was featured in April 2013 by AAAS.





BIO202 Ecological Statistics


Co-taught with Rachel Vannette (fall 2012) or Lisa Mandle (winter 2014), this graduate-level course is an introduction to statistical methods for ecological data analysis, involving lectures, discussions, and independent research projects using the students' own data or simulated or publicly available data. Students learn to design statistically sound data collection to answer a given research question, choose among modern statistical tools and analyze data using the programming language R, present results effectively using R for peer-reviewed papers, and advise colleagues about statistical analysis.


BIO227 Foundations of Community Ecology


This seminar is for graduate and advanced undergraduate students. We discuss classic papers in community ecology (Forbes, Clements, Gleason, Grinnell, Lindeman, Preston, Elton, Hutchinson, May, MacArthur, Odum, Connell, Paine, Tilman, etc.) and contemporary papers on related topics, to develop historical perspectives to understand current issues and identify future directions.


BIO326 Foundations of Biogeography


Co-taught with Liz Hadly, this seminar is for graduate and advanced undergraduate students. We discuss classic papers covering the global distribution and abundance of organisms through time. Topics include: phylogenetics, phylogeography, plate tectonics, island biogeography, climatic change, dispersal, vicariance, ecology of invasions, extinction, gradients, diversity, conservation and a history of the field.


I also participate in the Earth Systems in Hawaii Program and guest-lecture in CEE274S Hopkins Microbiology Course, BIO101 Ecology, and E-IPER330 Research Approaches for Environmental Problem Solving.