Parasite Ecology

FISH 406 – Parasites are ubiquitous: no ecosystem exists without them, and among all of Earth’s species, parasites outnumber non-parasites. But because they are usually small and hidden within their hosts, parasites can be easy to overlook. This laboratory course introduces students to these rarely studied creatures, which span the entire tree of life, occupy all of Earth’s habitats, and influence many ecological processes. Lab sessions allow students to come face-to-face with living parasites – including some that infect people.

Fisheries Ecology

FISH 312 – Ecologists study the abundance and distribution of species. In FISH 312, students learn the basic principles of ecology, with a focus on the ecological processes that produce observable patterns in diversity and abundance. We proceed from lower levels of biological organization to higher levels: from physiology and behavior to populations, communities, and ecosystems. Although the objective of the course is to teach students fundamental ecological principles that apply across all ecosystems, we focus on the themes most relevant to marine and aquatic ecosystems, especially fisheries. Field trips and labs illustrate principles learned in lecture using local ecosystems.

Historical Ecology

FISH 511 – Long-term data are vital for developing realistic management baselines; unfortunately, these data are exceedingly rare. Scientists and managers who are interested in understanding an ecosystem in its historical context have had to get creative in order to derive reliable data on past ecosystems states. In this graduate-level discussion course, we survey the variety of creative approaches that historical ecologists take to obtain data about the past. We discuss the use of ship’s logs, fisheries landings records, naturalist’s accounts, living persons’ memories, family photographs, museum specimens, maps, seafood menus, and more. Our approach is to read and discuss the fundamental papers for each method, with the goal of equipping students to use established historical ecology methods and derive new methods for their ecosystem of interest. I developed this course independently and am its primary instructor.