Graduate Special Topics Spring 2019

principles of systematic biology

ZOO6927, class# 21112 & BOT6726C, class# 11646

Instructor: Dr. Emily Sessa Credits: 04

Class meetings:   Mon. Wed. &  Fri., per. 3  &  Fri., per. 4-5 (Discussion/lab)

Text Recommended: Tree Thinking, An Introduction to Phylogenetic Biology Baum & Smith. W.H. Freeman, 2012.. Additional readings from the primary literature will be posted as PDFs on Canvas.

Brief Description:
Theory of biological classification and taxonomic practice. Laboratory experience in taxonomic
procedures and techniques, including computer methods.  Syllabus attached

sea level rise & coastal ecology: science policy & practice (Coastal conservation)

BOT6935, class# 22385

Instructor: Dr. Francis Putz  Credits: 03

Class meetings:   TBA

Brief Description:
Tprovide students a firm grounding in the science, law & policy, and economics associated with sea-level rise and climate change in the Nature Coast region through an interdisciplinary and experiential collaborative approach. This course will combine classroom lectures and disciplinary integration with an intensive field experience. Sessions will focus on ecological, coastal and marine issues through field-based immersion, practitioner lectures, and reflective discussions in an interdisciplinary context. Student teams will verbalize and defend their findings and recommendations in a open forum designed to highlight their learning.  Syllabus attached


ZOO6927, class#  21109

Instructor: Dr. David C. Blackburn & Dr. Harvey B. Lillywhite, Credits: 04

Class meetings:   Lectures: Monday, Wed.  & Fri, period 2 (8:30-10:25 am)
Labs: Tues. periods 6-7 (12:50-2:45 pm) & Wed. periods 6-7(12:50-2:45 pm)

Text Recommended: Pough, F.H., R.M. Andrews, M.L. Crump, A.H. Savitzky, K.D. Wells, and M.C. Brandley. 2015. Herpetology. 4th Edition. Sinauer Associates.

Brief Description:

Herpetology:  This course features lectures and laboratory sections that provide a broad introduction to the diversity, evolution, and biology of amphibians and reptiles. Topics include evolutionary history, systematics, diversity, ecology, behavior, physiology, anatomy, and natural history.  Laboratory sections 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 involves several local field trips to see living species.  Syllabus attached.

biodiversity ecology

ZOO6927, class# 22337

Instructor: Dr. Mathew Leibold  Credits: 03

Class meetings:   Wednesday, periods 4-6 in Carr 221

Brief Description:
This is a course designed for graduate students interested in the ecology of biodiversity. This includes the ecological factors that affect patterns of biodiversity as well as the consequences of biodiversity variation on other ecological features. The first part of the class will be primarily lecture oriented and meant to cover the basic principles and ideas related to biodiversity ecology. The second third will focus on emerging approaches and draw on recent literature. The final third will consist of presentations by students on selected topics or problems. This course should be appropriate for students interested in both applied questions in biodiversity ecology such as management and conservation as well as students interested in basic research on related topics.  Syllabus attached

Cenozoic Vertebrate Paleontology, or: Principles of Collections-Based Paleobiology

ZOO6927, section# 21107

Instructor: Professor Jonathan Bloch, Credits: 02

Class meetings:   Lectures: Tuesday, period 7-8 (1:55-3:50 pm)

Text Recommended:
Required Pre-Course Reading before the start of the first class. If students have attended the
previous semester’s preparatory reading group, then they will have read all articles.

Brief Description: This course will provide a comprehensive, practical introduction to the process of describing the
osteology of vertebrates and inferring biological features such as locomotion, diet, function, and phylogenetic relationships between taxa. By the end of this course you should know how to approach your own studies of undescribed fossils in museum collections and present your
findings in a formally written manuscript for peer review. Note: this semester we will not have time to get into scoring a specimen into a character/taxon matrix and running a phylogenetic analysis. This is a potential component or topic for future courses if students are interested.

You will learn these principles through practice by writing a description of a Pliocene porcupine (Erethizontidae) from Florida. Syllabus attached.