An integrated approach to the diversity of life, emphasizing how chemical, physical, genetic, ecological and geologic processes contribute to the origin and maintenance of biological diversity. Topics to be covered include the evolution of metabolic pathways, multicellularity and structural complexity; causes and consequences of differences in diversity over space and time; the role of species interactions (including symbioses) as an evolutionary force; and the evolution of humans and their impact on the environment.
Students study the biota of the Dominican Republic on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola as a microcosm of the evolution of biodiversity on Earth. This course explores the interplay of ecological niches and evolutionary diversification in the organisms and habitats of a tropical island that is large enough to harbor many remarkable kinds of animals and plants and yet small enough to be understood. Lectures consist of morning presentations on the classification and biology of the major groups of vertebrates and invertebrates of Hispaniola for comparing the ecology and diversity of different… Read more about BIOS S-158: Study Abroad in the Dominican Republic: Biodiversity of the Dominican Republic
We do not sing alone. On land, four kinds of animals produce songs or calls: birds, frogs, mammals, and insects. Some of these (and fish) also do so underwater. The principal sounds such animal species make are signaling behaviors directly related to mating success. They are of individuals, usually males, marking territories, and wooing mates. However, in any one location, species may also compete with one another for occupation of acoustic space (that is, for bandwidth) and otherwise optimize their sound signals to features of their environment. We will explore these topics and others as… Read more about FR22t: Why We Animals Sing