EEB 481 - Population Dynamics and Ecology
Section: 001
Term: FA 2007
Subject: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB)
Department: LSA Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Requirements & Distribution:
Advisory Prerequisites:
A course in ecology. Calculus is strongly recommended.
This course counts toward the 60 credits of math/science required for a Bachelor of Science degree.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

An examination of the principles governing the phenomena of single and interacting populations, from basic tenets to cutting-edge research questions. Specific topics include linear and nonlinear population dynamics, life history traits and their evolution, density dependence and population regulation, species’ persistence in fragmented landscapes, as well as the basic models and concepts of interactions between two species (competition, mutualism, predator-prey and host-disease), and community-level topics such as the origins of diversity, patterns of diversity and relative abundance, and the structure and stability of food webs, and invasive species.

We consider both fundamental and applied questions, and discuss both theoretical and empirical methods, emphasizing the mathematical modeling tools needed for a deep conceptual understanding. Population and community-level perspectives are integrated throughout by drawing parallels between the approaches used at these different levels of organization, and by considering how to scale from the phenomena of one or a few species up to the structure and dynamics of whole communities. At this scale transition theoretical models and empirical studies must lose detail to retain tractability, and as a result many exciting, central questions remain open for a creative new approach.

A background in ecology or permission of the instructors is required. Each week there will be two lectures of one-and-a-half hours each and one two-hour discussion section. Discussion sections will cover original readings from the literature and techniques for modeling populations in computer labs.

NOTE: This new course developed as an extension and a combination of the two previously separate EEB courses on Population and Community Ecology (respectively EEB 481 and EEB 497). To a large extent, this standard separation is arbitrary because the boundary between these fields is somewhat artificial and based on the notion of a “few” vs. “many” species. This new course emphasizes the connections between these fields and in so doing, provides a conceptual basis for graduate students and advanced undergraduates interested in both ecology and evolution.

EEB 481 - Population Dynamics and Ecology
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 8:30AM - 10:00AM
002 (DIS)
W 10:00AM - 12:00PM
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