Graduate Special Topics Spring 2017



BOT 6935 section 1492

Instructor: Dr. Francis E. Putz

Credits: VAR
Class meetings: Thursday, period 4; 221 Carr Hall
Text Recommended: There is no textbook.

Brief Description:
Since this group started meeting weekly ifn 2008, the focus has broadened from an initial emphasis on REDD+ (reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation while enhancing carbon stocks through improved management) to include consideration of other types of conservation interventions. This semester the group will continue to follow REDD+ and in general the Paris outcomes, but will also pay attention to socio-economic and policy environmental landscapes that could foster mitigation and adaptation to the inevitable changes in global climates as well as to other efforts at conservation. See attached syllabus


ZOO 6927 section 1492

Instructor: Dr. Hannah Owens,

Credits: 01
Class meetings: Wednesday, period 6; 316 Chemistry Hall
Text Recommended: Peterson, AT et al., 2011. Ecological Niches and Geographic Distributions. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. 314 pp.

Brief Description:
This course introduces students to the theory and practice of correlative ecological modeling approaches. Niche modeling comprises a suite of macroecological tools with applications in biogeography, conservation planning and rare species discovery, and forecasting range shifts of invasive macrospecies and pathogens, among others. Class periods will be a mix of lectures, hands-on tutorials, and discussions. We will cover fundamental niche theory, data acquisition and cleaning, presence-only and presence-absence modeling algorithms, model projection and validation, modeling distributional changes through time, and a series of discussions on the empirical applications of niche modeling and the future of the discipline. Participants will be expected to develop and present final projects incorporating the methods covered in class.  See attached syllabus


BOT 6935  section 1E55

Instructor: Dr. A. Harmon, Dr. K. Koch, Dr. D. McCarty, & Dr. R. Balasubramani
Credits: 04
Class meetings: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday, period 4; CGRC 236
Text Recommended: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology of Plants; Buchanan, Gruissem, and Jones; 2015; Wiley & Sons, 2nd Edition and Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, Nelson and Cox; Freeman.

Brief Description:
Successful completion of this course will provide students with fundamental knowledge of biochemistry and specific knowledge of compounds and biochemical pathways that occur in plants.BOT 6935 section 09CC and ZOO6927, section 09DG


BOT 6935 section 09CC and ZOO6927 section 09DG

Instructor: Dr. Christine Davis

Credits: 01
Class meetings: Wednesday, periods 10-11; 113 Flint Hall
Text Recommended:Teaching At Its Best; Linda B. Nilson;2010. John Wiley & Sons; 3rd Ed.

Brief Description:
This course is designed for graduate students are interested in a teaching career. It is intended to have a workshop atmosphere, where students learn from each other and complete activities in a collaborative environment. The course has three inter-related components: Teaching well, evaluating career paths and preparing an application packet that highlights teaching, and designing a novel course. We will explore these components with a research-based perspective and with the advice and experience of educators from multiple types of teaching institutions (university, community college, K-12, and outreach).


ZOO6927 section DEPTX and BOT6935 section DEPTX

Instructor: Dr. Rebecca Kimball

Credits: 02
Class meetings: Tuesday, periods 3-4; Classroom Location: TBA
Text Recommended: There is no textbook

Brief Description:
This course covers writing research grants for several different formats. Topics will focus on how to write a short versus a longer grant, working on the significance of your project, dealing with budgets, other types of requirements that are often found, broader impacts, and related topics.  Students will write three grants during the semester: a short (500 word, Sigma Xi-style) grant, a mid-size grant (2-4 pages based on the students choosing), and an NSF DDGI style grant. In addition, students will do peer review of other grants, giving an exposure to multiple different proposals and ways of presenting material to aid in the learning process.  See attached syllabus


ZOO 6927 section 2H44

Instructor: Dr. Jonathan Bloch

Credits: 03
Class meetings: Tuesday 8-9 periods and Thursday, period 9;
Text Recommended: Primate Adaptation and Evolution, 3rd Ed., John G. Fleagle. Academic Press.

Brief Description:
Survey of primate evolution from the Paleocene through Miocene epochs. Emphasis on problems of taxonomy, phylogeny, biogeography, and functional morphology in the fossil record.

Florida Vertebrate Paleotology

ZOO 6927 section DEPTX

Instructor: Dr. Jonathan Bloch

Credits: 03
Class meetings: TBA
Text Recommended: The Fossil Vertebrates of Florida, Richard C. Hulbert Jr.  1st Ed., University Press of Florida, 2001.

Brief Description:
This special topics course is designed to provide direct experience with vertebrate paleontology collections and fieldwork in Florida.”


ZOO 6927 section 1E89 & 1F72

Instructor: Dr. David C. Blackburn and Dr. Harvey B. Lillywhite

Credits: 04
Class meetings: Tuesday and Thursday, period 6 (12:50-1:40 pm), Friday, 3-4 periods (9:30-11:30 am) & Friday, 6-7 periods (12:50-2:45  pm); MUS 0371
Text Recommended: Pough, F. H., R.M Andrew, M. L. Crump, A. H. Savitzky, K.D. Wells, and M.C. Brandley, 2015.  Herpetology. 4th Edition. Sinauer Associates.

Brief Description:
This course will feature lectures and laboratory sections that provide a broad introduction to the diversity, evolution, and biology of amphibians and reptiles.  Topics will include evolutionary history, systematics, diversity, ecology, behavior, physiology, anatomy, and natural history. Laboratory sections will provide hands-on experience with amphibians and reptiles and make use of the scientific collections of the Florida Museum of Natural History. In addition to the lectures and laboratory activities, the course will involve several local field trips to see
living species. See attached syllabus