Teaching

FYSE-108: First-year Seminar, Evolution & Intellectual Revolution.  The centerpiece of this course is Darwin and his book On the Origin of Species.  This course explores Darwin’s intellectual development, the scientific context in which his work appeared, and social and theological responses to his theory.

BIOL-420: Seminar in Evolution, Sex & Sexual Reproduction (seminar for BIOL majors).  The origin and maintenance of sexual reproduction stands as one of the great mysteries of evolutionary biology.  This seminar explores the nature of sex and sexual reproduction across organisms, considers hypotheses for its origin and maintenance, and studies its diverse consequences in populations.

BIOL-320/321: Evolutionary Biology (Lecture & Laboratory).  Evolution is a powerful and central theme that unifies the life sciences.  In this course, emphasis is placed on microevolutionary mechanisms of change, and their connection to large-scale macroevolutionary patterns and diversity.  The laboratory (BIOL-321) investigates evolutionary processes using computer simulations, artificial selection experiments, and a semester-long research project integrating mating phenotypes with patterns of molecular sequence evolution for genes contributing to mating recognition. 

BIOL-106: Why Sex? (non-majors).  Perhaps no subject in biology is as troublesome (or as fraught with contradictions) as sex.  Sex is an exceedingly powerful ecological and evolutionary force, responsible for generating a tremendous diversity of morphologies and behaviors.  In this course, we draw upon examples from microbes to mosses to mammals and ask: Why did sex evolve and what are its consequences?

BIOL-420: Seminar in Evolution, Plant Sexual Diversity (seminar for BIOL majors).  The diversity of reproductive strategies and sexual systems among angiosperm species is extraordinary and likely unmatched by any other group of organisms. This course provides a comprehensive study of plant sexual diversity through short lectures and discussion of the primary literature.  Readings emphasize integrative studies that use developmental, ecological, population genetic, and phylogenetic approaches to uncover the mechanisms underlying this rich morphological and functional diversity. 

BIOL-181: Adaptation & the Organism (Lecture & Laboratory).  This is one (of two) courses in the introductory sequence in biology.  An introduction to the evolution, ecology, & behavior of organisms and how these relate to the diversity of life.  Laboratory exercises complement lectures and involve field experiments on natural selection and laboratory studies of vertebrates, invertebrates and plants. 

ENST-495: Environmental Studies Senior Seminar (capstone course for ENST majors).  The Senior Seminar brings together ENST majors with different course backgrounds and facilitates original independent student research on an environmental topic.

BIOL-498/499D: Senior Departmental Honors.  Honors students take three courses of thesis research, usually, but not always, with the double course load in the spring. The work consists of seminar programs, individual research projects, and preparation of a thesis on the research project.

Special Topics: 290/290H or 490/490H.  I am happy to talk with you about your ideas for Special Topics readings or research credits (in either Environmental Studies or Biology), or sponsor students to undertake a research project in my laboratory.  Full or half (H) course credit options are available.