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Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior (EEB) Courses

EEB 501 SENSORY ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION (3-0-3)(F/S). Examination of how information transmission, via various sensory systems, mediates animal behavior and shapes biological processes, such as predator/prey interactions and species’ distributions. Discussion of the impacts of anthropogenic sensory pollution on ecological function.

EEB 601 PRINCIPLES AND PROCESSES IN ECOLOGY, EVOLUTION AND BEHAVIOR (3-3-4)(F). Discusses principal ecological processes and interactions, both biotic and abiotic, that organisms rely on and perform to acquire the necessary energy, water, carbon, and nutrients for growth, metabolism, and reproduction. Mechanisms driving evolutionary responses at the species and population levels are discussed in the context of how evolutionary processes influence ecosystem level responses to a variety of factors, including changing climate, anthropogenic use patterns, species invasions, and nutrient cycles.

EEB 603 REPRODUCIBLE SCIENCE (3-0-3)(F). Examines the reproducibility crisis in the scientific community. Focuses on evidence and causes supporting this crisis and highlights factors that can boost reproducibility in the sciences. Provides a framework for gathering, storing, sharing, preparing and analyzing data and communicating results to the scientific community. Introduction to open source research software may include R, RStudio, RMarkdown (incl. knitr) and GitHub.

EEB 604 SCIENCE AND COMMUNICATION II (3-0-3)(S). Continues the focus, skills development and practice begun in EEB 604. PREREQ: EEB 603.

EEB 605 CURRENT RESEARCH IN EEB (2-0-2)(F/S). Invited and contributed presentations on current topics in ecology, evolution, and behavior. Examines presentation style and effective techniques. Examination of literature on current topics, contributing to speaker scheduling and hosting. May be repeated for credit.

EEB 606 SCIENCE AND SOCIETY IN THE GREAT BASIN (3-0-3)(F/S). Case studies by local biologists from academia, government agencies, and private organizations using science to solve ecological problems in the Great Basin. Examines how different stakeholders study, manage, and conserve the wildlife, plants, soils and climate that shape the Great Basin. Includes applied communication of science to the public through outreach that promotes management of healthy landscapes and wildlife in local ecosystems.

EEB 607 QUANTITATIVE METHODS FOR POPULATION AND HABITAT ANALYSIS (2-2-3)(F/S). Theory and methods of how to use empirical data to make valid inferences about populations and habitats. Uses software and literature applied to various types of analyses of population and habitat data and models, including traditional, Bayesian, and hierarchical models that explain survival, occupancy, and abundance. Focus on reliable estimation of population parameters, measures of precision for estimates, and use of covariates to explain population patterns.

EEB 608 SPATIAL ECOLOGY (3-0-3)(F/S). Focuses on both techniques (geospatial mapping and modeling) and problems (landscape connectivity, animal movement strategies associated with spatial ecology). Examination of mechanisms that can cause spatial pattern formation in species distributions and of metapopulation dynamics and dispersal strategies. Selection and use of appropriate software for spatial analyses. Includes both theoretical sessions and computer exercises.

EEB 609 ADVANCED COMMUNITY ECOLOGY (3-0-3)(F/S). Fundamentals of community ecology and current theories and quantitative tools for determining community assembly rules, describing diversity patterns, and linking community structure to community functions.

EEB 610 MICROBIAL ECOLOGY (3-0-3)(F/S). Focuses on the relationships among and biogeochemical role of microorganisms in natural communities. Topics structured to demonstrate the linkages between microbial ecology, diversity, and evolution. Strengths, limitations, and caveats of modern microbial methods for assessing ecological interactions. Role of microbial metabolism in controlling elemental cycling on local to global scales.

EEB 611 CHEMICAL ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION (3-0-3)(F/S). Surveys topics related to the chemical ecology and co-evolutionary interactions between plant and herbivores. Material focuses on quantifying doses of chemical defenses in plants and responses of herbivores to those defenses from an evolutionary, physiological, pharmacological and ecological perspective. Design, conduct, analyze and present an experiment testing an hypothesis related to chemical ecology and evolution.

EEB 612 PLANT ECOPHYSIOLOGY (3-0-3)(F/S). Responses of plants in terrestrial ecosystems to, and interaction with, environmental conditions. Physiological responses of plants and their ecosystems to environmental factors and stressful conditions. Interaction of plants with environment to capture, use and cycle resources such as carbon, water and nutrients. Emphasis on plant responses and plant-soil-atmosphere interactions from a global environmental change perspective such as increased carbon dioxide concentration and temperature and altered precipitation patterns.

EEB 613 LANDSCAPE AND CONSERVATION GENOMICS (3-0-3)(F/S). Application of evolutionary analysis to real-world biological problems. Use of large data sets and diverse computational approaches in analyzing population structure, signatures of natural selection, and demographic and disease-related processes. Emphasizes human-driven global changes that accentuate or disrupt natural evolutionary processes and linkages at the individual, population, community, and species levels. Includes a focus on the consequences of landscape-level patterns to the spatial genetic structure of populations.

EEB 614 PHYLOGENETICS AND ADVANCED EVOLUTION (3-0-3)(F/S). Explores the basics of phylogenetics, applications, and current software used to generate histories of organisms. Interpretation of macro-evolutionary processes using phylogenetic history. Topics include multiple sequence alignment, genomic data analysis, generation of phylogenetic trees via parsimony, likelihood and Bayesian methods as well as networks. Examines phylogenetic trees for ancestral character state reconstruction, molecular dating, biogeography, climate shifts, and species trees.

EEB 615 BIODIVERSITY AND ECOSYSTEM FUNCTION (3-0-3)(F/S). Quantifies patterns of biodiversity and discusses the ecological implications of biodiversity loss at the level of the community, ecosystem and landscape. Community ecology focus on biotic interactions such as competition, trophic interactions, bottom-up and top-down control and stability of food webs. Biodiversity impacts on interactions between organisms and the abiotic environment. Landscape level focus on effects of changes in biodiversity on structure and dynamics of natural and cultural landscapes.

EEB 616 THE CARBON DILEMMA (3-0-3)(F/S). Explores tradeoffs between different ecosystem functions and services provided by carbon. Several (interlinked) scientific questions important for resolving or managing carbon are discussed and novel research questions are identified.

EEB 617 ECOSYSTEM ECOLOGY (3-0-3)(F/S). Influence of biological, ecological and physical processes on energy and elemental cycling (C, N, P). Consideration of roles of microorganisms, plants and animals and whole ecosystems. Factors regulating the ecosystem function, including soils, climate, disturbance, and human activities, are considered from the molecular to the global scale.

EEB 618 EARTH’S BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLES AND CLIMATE CHANGE (3-0-3)(F/S). Examines the underlying natural science of global change. Presents and evaluates major processes affecting C, N, and P cycles at ecosystem levels with biogeochemical ecosystem models. At the global scale level, the C, N, and P cycles are examined across the Earth’s compartments. Emphasizes how these cycles are linked and how regulation among cycles takes place. Functioning of natural cycles and the anthropogenic effects on these cycles are assessed.

EEB 619 MODELING SOCIAL BEHAVIOR (3-0-3)(F/S). A survey of modeling approaches used to analyze social behavior from an evolutionary/ecological perspective. Focus on analytical, agent-based, and statistical modeling.

EEB 620 POPULATION GENETICS (3-0-3)(F/S). Theoretical population genetics and its relationship to natural and experimental populations. Single locus and multilocus systems, history of a gene in a population, diffusion approximations, suitability of models to natural and experimental populations. Theories of selection, neutrality, drift, recombination, mutation, and isolation and statistical tests and experimental methods for detecting these forces.

EEB 621 ADVANCED ECOLOGICAL DATA ANALYSIS (3-0-3)(F/S). Utilizes existing datasets. Provides ‘hands-on’ training in data analysis with goal of publishable article. Focuses on data issues, selection of appropriate models and problems of interpretation. Topics vary by participants, but may include mixed models, non-linear modeling, scripting, and manipulating data.

EEB 622 STATISTICAL APPROACHES IN ECOLOGY (3-0-3)(F/S). Examines statistical models for ecological data. Includes probability distributions, generalized linear models. PREREQ: Graduate standing, and BIOL 601 or PERM/INST.

Refer to the University-wide Graduate Courses section in this catalog for additional course offerings.

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