FISH/BIOL 340: Introduction to Genetics and Molecular Ecology
(Fall Quarter annually, 5 credits; the course is now on Canvas, but here is the class website from autumn 2012)
In the past few decades, molecular genetics has become one of the fastest growing fields in the life sciences. The application of molecular methods has spread to virtually all fields of modern biology, including ecology, conservation, breeding and natural resource management, leading to the establishment of a new discipline, Molecular Ecology. With the expansion of the application of molecular tools, it has become crucial that all biologists have a basic understanding of genetics and molecular biology, and the application of molecular tools to the detection of kin, the identification of populations, the reconstruction of phylogenetic relationships, and more recently, to the understanding of local adaptation and evolution. Rather than providing an overview of classical genetics, the aim of the course is to provide an understanding of the genetic principles underpinning these applications, thus allowing an assessment of the potential and limitations of molecular approaches to specific questions in ecology, evolution and resource management.
FISH 311: Biology of Fishes
(Winter annually, 3 credit lectures or 5 credits lectures + lab)
This course is an introduction to the diversity of fishes, the largest group of vertebrate animals, with emphasis on evolutionary origins and adaptations to specific environments. The course has until now been taught by Ted Pietsch – here is his course website. A new site will be developed.
FISH 521: Proposal Writing for Graduate Student
(After Winter 2015, I am no longer teaching this class. However, it will be continued by other faculty)
Writing grant proposals is one of the basic tools of a successful scientist. In most academic positions, a large part of scientific success is measured by the ability to attract funds. Furthermore, scientific projects are usually expensive in terms of salary, field work and laboratory analyses, and so you have to find the money to carry out the research. On the positive side, writing proposals can be one of the most exciting and satisfying aspects of your job, especially when you are successful. Another vital component of being a scientist is the ability to review colleagues’ work critically, but constructively. Once you become established, you will receive many manuscripts and grant proposals to review each year. While such reviews are usually anonymous (that is, the authors do not know your identity), editors and panelists know who you are and you will quickly establish a reputation as a reviewer. It is important that you criticize the work according to rigorous scientific standards, but you should keep in mind that your review may have significant effects on other people’s career and job prospects.
FISH 510: Topics in Genetics
This is a 2-credit graduate seminar that usually happens in spring. The topic is different every time. Suggestions are welcome – e-mail me. Past topics included:
SP 2014: The Endangered Species Act at 40: Mid-life Crisis or Going from Strength to Strength (co-taught with Robin Waples, NOAA)
SP 2013: Studies in Local Adaptation: Why, What, How and Where?
SP 2012: Human Induced Evolution: Genetic Mechanisms, Phenotypic Effects and New Insights from Genomics
SP 2011: Exploring the Chaff Zone: Are Small Genetic Changes Biologically Meaningful?
SP 2010: Spatial Population Connectivity and Marine Management (co-taught with Heather Galindo)
13th – 27th March 2015: Introduction to Genetics and Molecular Ecology. Dept of Zoology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa. Six lectures, two labs, 36 students
25th – 31th July 2010: Application of genetic data to fishery management: stock structure in Pacific cod. Summer School in Conservation Genetics of Marine Organisms. Palazzo Grassi, Chioggia, Italy. Graduate student course. One lecture, participation in discussions, student advice on research.
16th – 30th April 2009: The Molecular Ecology of Dogfish Sharks: What Molecular Markers Can Tell Us About Shark Biology and Evolution. Part of Marine Population Connectivity, Advanced Undergraduate Course, University of Bologna, Ravenna, Italy. Gave five 2 hour lectures and three 3 hour computer laboratories.