Oceans and Health

Focus on the concept of “One Health” that the health of the environment and the people who live in it are linked. The basis (from a biological perspective) of threats facing the marine environment and interactions between environmental and human health and their role in global health disparities. For example, in discussing fisheries and aquaculture, the course will cover environmental impacts of these extractive industries and their importance in human and societal well-being.

Marine Climate Change

Exploration of climate change science focusing on marine ecosystems and inhabitants - specifically ocean acidification, warming and sea level rise. Factors causing climate change, and how those vary spatially, focusing on sensitive polar ecosystems and marine mammal populations. Critical examination of climate change modeling using EdGCM (research-grade Global Climate Model), focusing on how scientists use models, observations/theory to predict climate, and assumptions/uncertainty implicit in modeling.

Computing on the Genome

This course will provide an introduction to key concepts in the genome sciences, using tools and concepts from computational biology and bioinformatics. Topics to be covered include genome structure, function, variation, and evolution. Students will learn computational and statistical methods for describing and quantifying various aspects of genome biology and will apply these tools to real world data. Prerequisite: Familiarity with molecular biology concepts such as DNA replication, transcription, and translation. No prior programming experience is required.

Cell Shape(s) and Dynamics

Cell shape and shape change are fundamental features of biological development and homeostasis. We investigate the intimate relationship between cellular structure and function at molecular, sub-cellular, cellular and tissue length scales. We study a range of cell types, from the very simple (e.g., red blood cells) to those that are structurally complex (e.g., epithelia, muscle and nerve). We integrate information from studies in vivo, in vitro, in cell free systems and on purified proteins.

Human Evolutionary Genetics

An evolutionary perspective on human genetics and genomics, with an emphasis on current models and inference methods using medically important examples. The mechanisms of evolution shaping human genetic variation, as well as inference of evolutionary processes from genetic data. Topics include: population differences in disease risk; adaptation to local environments and pathogens; identifying regions of the genome underlying traits; models of neutral variation, migration, and genetic ancestry. Computational and quantitative skills will be emphasized throughout.

Host-Pathogen Interactions

Pathogens have evolved a broad set of strategies for growing and dividing in a host. We will explore the complex and dynamic host-pathogen interactions from the perspective of a variety of pathogenic organisms. This seminar style course will include lectures, discussions, readings, and presentations of primary literature by students. Prerequisites: Biology 201L or 203L

Evolutionary Genomics

The unification of genomic data, bioinformatic analysis, and evolutionary theory has transformed our understanding of human history, our place within the Tree of Life, and the impact that our species is having on those with whom we share the planet. This course will draw from the primary literature to familiarize students with the multifaceted power of genomics, with a slant towards examining human history and disease from an evolutionary perspective.

Readings in Plant Ecophysiology

Ecophysiology studies the adaptation of organism’s physiology to its environment and provides a mechanistic framework for understanding how species respond to changing environments and how species interact with each other. As such, it plays a central role in understanding how organisms might respond to global change. This course will explore current topics in plant ecology by reading and discussing recent papers from the scientific literature. Previous coursework in either ecology or physiology or approval of the instructor is required.

Functional Ecology of Plants

This course is designed for graduate and undergraduate students with interest in plant functional ecology. We explore how (woody) plants function and respond to changing climate. We focus on plant functional traits (e.g., leaf properties, wood density, maximum height) and the main tradeoffs controlling plant form and function in various environments. Instructor: Palmroth, Domec