Molecular Ecology

Molecular Ecology  

ENVIRON/BIO 627  – (3 graduate units; 1 undergrad unit)

Next time taught:  Spring 2017

Instructor: Jen Wernegreen (j.wernegreen [at] duke.edu).  Please contact me (Jen) with any questions, including requests for a syllabus.

This course explores key questions in molecular ecology, a field that employs molecular tools to investigate ecological processes within natural populations and communities.  While genetic techniques are central to this discipline, the course will not be a methods class per se.  Rather, we will emphasize fundamental principles and predictions from ecological and evolutionary theory, as well as historical approaches and precedents.  We will explore current case studies from a range of organisms (e.g., bacteria, plants, animals, fungi), and across diverse environments (e.g., terrestrial, aquatic, and marine).  In addition to examining basic ecological questions, we’ll also explore recent controversies in areas of applied importance (e.g., GMO’s, adaptation to a changing climate, antibiotic resistance, conservation genetics).   The format will include interactive presentations, student-led discussions of the primary literature, team-based work, and computer analysis of real datasets. Designed for first- and second-year Ph.D. students, MEM students, and upper-level undergraduates.