Advanced Organismal Biology ©
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
This class is required for all new EEB graduate students, but students from other departments are welcome.
This class covers 3 major topics: Behavior and Natural Selection, Physiological (mostly animal) Ecology and Community Ecology. Three different faculty each spend 3 weeks covering aspects of these areas with lectures and discussions of papers. All students read each of the papers (usually two a week, sometimes one a session), but one or two students are in charge of "presenting" each one, framing questions for discussion and being prepared to answer some questions that might arise (often by reading a few related papers). We will give you more guidance for the discussion during class.
1. To give all new graduate students general background in of the concepts important to research in our department and many of the seminar speakers that you will encouter at UCSC. We will not cover any topic in great depth, but aim to give a broad over-view of some of the exciting, major ideas. All of you probably came to EEB with strengths in at least one of these fields, but perhaps with only minor (and sometimes no) exposure to the other areas. Topics in which you are already strong should serve as a review, and we expect you to help other students who are less familiar with that topic; in particular, you should shine in asking questions during lectures and in contributing more to the class discussions about specific papers than will the other students, and they will benefit from your strengths. You are all in this cohort together for the next few years, so get used to exchanging ideas and information.
2. To start to 'wean' you from the typical undergraduate experience of feeding you facts and ideas, and instead to get you to think more deeply and independently about ideas and their consequences. You should work hard on this during lectures, both in areas that are already familiar to you, but especially during the discussions.
3. To offer a sampling of the wide range of levels, questions and temporal/spatial scales of study that are represented by our department and that you will encounter in other classes and seminars. This quarter you will have lectures and readings on behavioral ecology and evolution (Lyon), physiological ecology (Costa) and community ecology (Fox). These different (but sometimes overlapping) fields require different ways to frame and answer questions; these topics/fields can be followed-up more deeply by taking advanced courses that we all offer.
Tuesday and Thursday: 14:00-15:45
COH lecture room (118)