- Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, Energy and Resources, December 2004
- University of Michigan
2005 Kraus Natural Science Building
830 North University
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1048
- Phone: (734) 936-2898
- Fax: (734) 763-0544
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
BIOLOGY/ENVIRONMENT 281 General Ecology
An undergraduate course providing a broad introduction to ecology. Required for EEB and Program in the Environment majors and meets the Group II course requirement for biology and general biology majors.
EEB 408: Modeling for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Course motivation and overall goals: The ability to translate between qualitative hypotheses and their more exact expression in the form of mathematical equations, and to analyze these equations to determine behavior under those hypotheses, are becoming essential skills for all biologists. Biology students do not always have the time to take the multitude of math courses needed to gain modeling skills, and there is value to learning at least basic modeling skills directly in the context motivating the biology student. The key goals of this course are to teach students how to:
1) understand and develop basic mathematical models of ecological and evolutionary phenomena, and
2) analyze those mathematical models using a combination of “pencil and paper” and computational approaches.
The course will assume only a background in calculus and at least one advanced class in ecology and evolutionary biology or related fields.
More specifically, the course will teach students to read, derive, and analyze simple continuous and discrete time models of biological systems (especially ordinary differential equations and simple recursion relations). Time permitting, additional topics may include stochastic models and assumptions behind some more complex model formulations. As examples we will use classical ecology and evolutionary biology models, with the examples chosen driven to some degree by student's interests. The course will also teach students some basic skills in Mathematica for analyzing and simulating the models discussed in the class. The course will involve lab and homework assignments, exams, and a project in which the student develops and analyzes a model in there area of interest.
Textbook: "A Biologist's Guide to Mathematical Modeling in Ecology and Evolution" by Sarah P. Otto and Troy Day.
Audience: Advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students studying ecology and evolutionary biology or related fields.