Some Courses That I Teach Regularly:
Behavioral Ecology and Behavioral Evolution :
These courses focus on discovering how and why animals behave the way they do. Students examine the internal mechanisms of behavior: genetics, hormones, senses, and the brain early in the course. Then, later, the evolutionary reasons for specific animal behaviors is examined via models, species comparisons, and empirical studies. Major topics include: predation, mating, foraging, fighting, and cooperation. Behavioral Ecology is a non-majors course which satisfies a science credit, whereas Behavioral Evolution is a majors course with a laboratory in which students discuss primary papers and participate in hands-on exercises inside and out.
This lecture and lab course is designed to acquaint students with the most species-rich group on the planet: the six-legged land arthropods. In lecture we cover: identification, behavior, ecology, and human interactions of the major groups of insects. In the laboratory, students do a field collection project and independent studies on: bee foraging, whirligig grouping, and the influence of land use on insect diversity. The course is taught alternate years.
Invertebrate Biology is an upper-level course which surveys the major invertebrate groups. Major attention is paid to evolutionary relationships, ecological interactions, and the form and function of animal adaptations. Some of the animals considered include: lobsters, squids, clams, jellyfish, insects, parasites, starfish, and worms. The lab includes dissections, behavioral studies, and an optional trip to Cape Cod. The course is taught alternate years.
Aquatic Ecology (Limnology)
Limnology is an interdisciplinary course which covers the physics of fresh water bodies such as lakes and rivers and the communities of plants and animals that develop within them. We start by discovering the relationships between the nutrients and geology of these basins. Then we examine the phytoplankton and other water plants. Aquatic invertebrates and fish are also explored as well as the human influences such as eutrophication. In the laboratory, students take several field trips to the Adirondacks and do an in-depth study of a local pond or river. The course is taught alternate years.