Spring 2024: Plant Ecology (BIOL 4460/6460), T-Th 12:30-1:45p

Topics include the role of plants in global climate change, plant-animal interactions, relationships of plants and fungi, photosynthesis and water relations, the organization and diversity of plant communities, the role of plants in ecosystems, and ecological succession. Prerequisites: BIOL 1040/1060 OR BIOL 1110.

Past courses (Syracuse)

Ecosystem Ecology Lab (BIO 400-008,009)

Synopsis: The course involves plant, soil, and ecosystem properties associated with global warming, the spread of invasive species, deforestation, and environmental pollution. Lab activities focus on monitoring trees and shrubs in the campus Climate Change Garden, including measurements of photosynthesis and leaf behavior, root growth, and associated animal and microbial relations. Students will also develop models of forest growth by collecting data in natural forest stands in nearby Green Lakes State Park. Students will develop an understanding of the scientific method by conducting group projects that involve data analysis and class presentations.

Quantitative Methods for Life Scientists (BIO 400-600/008)

Lecture notes

Synopsis: Quantitative Methods for Life Scientists is a graduate-level course in statistics and data analysis for those conducting research in field- or laboratory-based life sciences. Through a series of case studies involving the primary biological literature, students will discuss key statistical concepts (e.g., random sampling, modeling uncertainty, statistical independence, model inference, multilevel data) and their relation to common methods, including generalized regression, analysis of variance, contingency tables, mixed models, post hoc tests, and more advanced methods (e.g., maximum likelihood, Bayesian approaches, multivariate models), depending on student interests. Students will be encouraged to work in groups on weekly assignments and case studies will reflect student research areas. There are no prerequisites but students should be experienced with spreadsheet manipulation and have familiarity with or a desire to learn R. Undergraduate enrollment by permission of the instructor.

Ecology and Evolution (BIO 345)

Synopsis: A broad survey course designed as an introduction to the topics of ecology and evolutionary biology. The lectures will cover evolution, phylogenetics, animal behavior, population ecology, community ecology and ecosystems. Ecology and Evolution is part of one sequence within the required core curriculum of the Biology Department.

Conservation Biology (BIO 415/615)

Synopsis: This course focuses on the biological attributes of populations and communities relevant to their conservation.  Secondarily, this course covers a selection of statistical issues that are increasingly integrated into the ecologist's toolkit.  This is not a course in inferential statistics, and you are not required to have a strong mathematical background. However, by the end of the course you'll appreciate the integral role that data, models, and analysis play in modern conservation.  More specifically, the objectives of this course are to: (1) Understand the conceptual underpinnings of conservation biology (population biology, community ecology, biogeography, landscape ecology); (2) Understand the science behind the need for conservation (habitat loss, pollution, invasive species, climate change); (3) Be able to identify when management decisions are based on sound science — good data, appropriate models, quantified uncertainty—and when they're not; and (4) Become a sophisticated reader of the scientific literature.