Bio342 Animal Behavior: From Genetics to Ecology and Back 

Full course one semester: This course presents an integrated approach to the study of behavior - the phenotype through which an organism interacts with, and also modifies, its environment.

We will study how behavioral phenotypes are shaped by the social and physical environment and analyze how they are implemented through development by neural physiology, gene networks and individual genes. Conversely, we will study how the behavior modifies the environment and thus impacts the physiology and genetics of organisms as well as the evolution of species. Examples will be drawn from both laboratory and field studies using comparative molecular and behavioral approaches to identify patterns and recurring themes, which will be discussed in the context of existing theories about animal behavior

2014 Syllabus
2018 Syllabus (reading material on Moodle)

Bio431: Comparative Functional Genomics

Genomic Approaches Beyond the Model Organisms: An exploration of current research that pairs genomic techniques and bioinformatics approaches with ecologically and evolutionarily interesting questions using organisms that are not the traditional models in biomedical science. Following an introduction to techniques, student guided topics may include,  phenotypic plasticity, alternate reproductive strategies, animal behavior, the evolution of development, response to environmental change etc. (specific topics change year to year)


Bio431: Integrative Neuroethology

Neuroethology is an integrative approach to understanding the neural basis of behavior. While the discipline has historically been dominated by physiological approaches, neuroethologists today increasingly rely on genomic and bioinformatics tools to address their questions. We will explore modern research that integrates physiological and genomic approaches to understanding how evolution has shaped behaviors and the neural circuits that generate them.

(Team Taught with Erik Zornik)
Find out how integrative your own Neuroethology is with this student built survey 




Bio1101/102: Topics In Biology

Full course for one semester, taught by several staff members. The course furnishes an understanding of biological principles and the properties of life. Among topics considered are structure and function of plants and animals, relations of organisms to each other and to their environment, energy relations of organisms, integrative and coordinating mechanisms of organisms, cell biology principles, genetics, molecular biology, reproduction, development and growth, and the evidence for organic evolution. The laboratory deals with the descriptive and experimental aspects of the topics covered in the lectures. Biology 101 and 102 comprise a full year of introductory biology, and may be taken in either order. Lecture-laboratory.communicating with crayfish
Animals & Behavior Labs Include:
Asking Questions with Animal Observations
Learning to Be Winners and Losers (Agonistic interactions in Crawdads)
Drosophila Behavior: Larval Foraging and Adult Mating with Rover/Sitter strains
Electricfish: Environmental Sensitivity and Phylogenetic Diversity.