Undergraduate Special Topics Summer 2017

ISLAND BIOLOGY

ZOO4926 section 01F0

Instructor: Dr. Coleman Sheehy
Credits: 03
Class meetings: See attached syllabus
Text: There is no textbook. Course readings will be provided by the instructor.
Brief Description:
Islands have long been regarded as important “natural laboratories” that have contributed to the advance of many scientific disciplines, including evolution, ecology, biogeography, phylogeography, and conservation biology. Although islands comprise only 5% of the world’s land surface, they support 30% of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, which include rare and recently-extinct species. This course will provide students with an introduction to island biology and self-directed field research. We will explore various aspects of island biology, often within the context of the nutrient enrichment occurring on Seahorse Key from the nesting bird colony and its potential influence on insular biodiversity. Students will conduct guided independent mini research projects and present the results to peers at the end of the course. We will explore many pristine habitats on Seahorse Key and on several other nearby islands within the refuge.  Download flyer here.