Animal Behaviour (55-323): Winter 2016

Course description:  The overall goal of the course is to introduce students to the diversity of  animal behaviours. In doing so, the course provides a rigorous scientific framework of key concepts, theories, and models in which to understand behaviour from mechanistic, ecological, and evolutionary  perspectives. Specifically, the course focuses on “proximate questions” of behaviour (i.e., the mechanistic causes of behaviour), reviewing genetic, hormonal, neural, and environmental influences on the development and expression of behaviour, as well as “ultimate questions” of behaviour (i.e., how behaviours are shaped and constrained by ecology and evolutionary history). In each circumstance, behavioural analyses will be integrated into an explicitly evolutionary framework, as we will be discussing behaviours that contribute to individual-level fitness, and exploring a variety of topics including  the genetic, physiological, neural and developmental bases of behaviour, foraging, habitat selection, predator-prey interaction, communication, reproduction and mating systems, parental care, and social behaviour.


Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research Graduate Seminar (09-68-550): Fall 2015-Winter 2016

Co-taught with Alice Grgicak-Mannion

Course description: This year-long course will focus on teaching graduate students how to implement the “scientific method” and how to apply an integrative multidisciplinary approach to their own thesis project by learning how to rationalize, innovate and critique work by other experts who are involved in ecosystem-based management decisions that affect aquatic and terrestrial systems. This course will be team-taught by core GLIER faculty who will be responsible for organizing seminar modules and lectures in specific areas of expertise. Modules include external speakers and encompass lectures and discussions defining what the “multidisciplinary approach” is and how to implement it to larger environmental questions. Students are expected to participate in discussions, prepare and deliver critiques of seminars, and present seminars themselves. This course will also address topics such as: science communication (writing and speaking), career paths, grant opportunities, scientific philosophies, etc.