Lectures and labs offered each semester. The aim of the course is to introduce fundamental evolutionary principles during the start of the semester and then use these principles to examine the biodiversity and systematics of key components of the eukaryotic Tree of Life.
Offered each fall semester. The aim of the course is to provide new graduate students with opportunities to improve their skills at scientific communication and critical thinking. The course focuses on the development of a formal research proposal that covers the intended aims of their graduate work, the development of a ‘News and Views’ article, and participation in an informal ’Journal Club’.
Offered during each fall semester. One focus is on the design, implementation, and analyses of short-term ecological field experiments. The course is unconventional in format, requiring participation in a 7-day field trip based at a camp in Cypress Hills Provincial Park. This setting provides easy access to superb examples of fescue grassland and boreal forest ecosystems. The field trip component combines class-based experiments, individual-based research projects, natural history observations, and formal lectures. Read more about Field Biology (Biol 3630)
Lectures and labs offered during the spring semester in even-numbered years. The first half of the course provides an introduction to parasite immunobiology and parasite biodiversity. This section focuses on life-cycle variation, comparative functional morphology, and the general biology of selected taxa. The second section places the phenomenon of parasitism into an ecological and evolutionary context, with emphasis on concepts such as parasite-mediated natural selection, parasite biogeography, effects on host individuals, populations and ecosystems, and ecological epidemiology. Read more about Parasitism (Biol 4800)
Lectures and labs offered during the spring semester in odd-numbered years. The focus is on the biodiversity, systematics, evolution, and comparative functional biology of selected Invertebrate phyla, and also the animal-like protists. The second focus is on integrative aspects of Invertebrate Biology and includes concepts such as colonialism and modularity, life-history variation, developmental systems, predator avoidance strategies, parasitism, and symbioses.
Textbook: Pechenik, JA. 2010. Biology of the Invertebrates, 6th Ed. McGraw-Hill, Boston.