ISCI 350 — Darwinian Medicine    Links to Darwinian Medicine News

Taught in term II (Jan-Apr).  In this course we review how the Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection can help us understand and treat human disease.  We  explore evolutionary explanations to questions such as: Why do parasites harm us?  Why has natural selection not eliminated genetic diseases? Why do we age?  Why do we suffer from allergies or develop cancer?  Through lectures, readings, student presentations, and class discussions, students  become exposed to basic evolutionary principles that can be applied not only to medicine, but also to agriculture and other life sciences.

Biol 310 — Introduction to Animal Behaviour    Links to Animal Behaviour News

Taught in term II (Jan-Apr).  In this course students are exposed to the concepts, tools, and methods for the study of animal behaviour.  We consider the ecological and evolutionary forces that shape animal behaviour and the conditions that may lead individuals to live solitarily or in groups.  We learn some of the basic techniques used to code and measure behaviour through a combination of lab and field exercises.  We also explore how the scientific method is used to test hypotheses concerning the adaptive significance of behaviour.  Students have the opportunity to conduct a mini research project and design a research proposal in the form of a poster to be presented to the class.  The course is highly interactive, requiring student participation during both lecture and lab periods.

Biol 409 — Methods of Field Ecology

In this course, taught in the summer as part of a multi-year rotation with other faculty, students get hands on experience on basic techniques for population and community ecology and on the design and execution of field studies.  Students have the opportunity to experience what it is like to be a field ecologist while visiting an exotic location (when taught by Leticia: tropical rain- and cloud-forest sites in Ecuador).  Last taught in Aug 2013, at Jatun Sacha and Yanayacu, Ecuador (some photos of this last course offering here).