EEB 476 - Theoretical Ecology & Applications (Fall odd years) [Syllabus]

Mathematical models are a synthetic and robust way to uncover patterns and establish the processes through which species abundance varies over these time and spatial scales. For most species, the probability that individual survive, reproduce or the rate at which it grows bigger inherently depends upon how big or old that individual is. In this course we examine recent advances in modeling the dynamics of size-structured populations to answer ecological and conservation questions. We use R to learn how to develop matrix and integral population models, sensitivity of transient and stochastic (iid, Markovian) dynamics, age-from-stage models.

What previous students who took this class said?

This course was extremely helpful for me, providing me with an extensive understanding of the cutting edge techniques being used in population demography.

I enjoyed the transformation this course had on me, going in without knowing much at all to coming out with a completely new skill set.

This course had an immense amount of material associated, but Orou did a great job of breaking it down and communicating it effectively.

EEB 484 - Conservation Biology (Fall, even years) [Syllabus]

Conservation biology has emerged as a discipline in response to unprecedented environmental crisis and species extinction driven by human activities. This course provides an introduction to concepts and principles of conservation biology and to conservation in practice across the world. Course topics include (i) basic concepts of conservation biology, (ii) ecological and evolutionary principles that underlie species diversity and risk of extinction, (iii) examples of species and ecosystem conservation approaches, such as protected areas, restoration and species recovery projects. This course meets synchronously twice/week online via Zoom. The course method involves a combination of reading of primary literature and discussions to identify conservation history, principles, techniques but also the theoretical basis of conservation biology to allow students to learn how to develop testable hypotheses in this field. The course also includes student presentations and discussions on local conservation issues and solutions, invited speakers, hands-on exercises and packback use for further developing questions around course materials.

BIOL 260 - Ecology (Spring, even years) [Syllabus]

Ecology is the study of the interactions between organisms and with their environment. This course will give you an introduction to this discipline and expose you to the major questions asked and hypotheses tested in the main subdisciplines of ecology and the implications for nature conservancy and the balance coexistence between human and his environment. This includes an overview of population ecology, evolutionary ecology, community ecology, ecosystem ecology, landscape ecology, and conservation ecology. We will focus on key concepts but also understand the mechanisms underpinning ecological patterns in nature and how ecologists test these mechanisms. We will learn how to ask ecological research questions, develop testable hypotheses, interpret data to uncover ecological patterns and processes.

What previous students who took this class said?

I loved the class, thought this was the only course this semester that I really got my money’s worth. Fantastic professor and an asset to the faculty.

Dr. Gaoue was an excellent in-class instructor, and made learning very interesting and fun. Multiple studies were used in each lecture to explain real-world findings related to topics that were being discussed. This was very helpful and helped to put difficult concepts into perspective.

I enjoyed Dr. Gaoue’s teaching style. He asked lots of questions and provoked class discussions even though the room was very large. I normally don’t see this in large scale classes.

EEB 485 - Theories in Ethnobiology (Mini-Summer) [Syllabus] [Flyer]

What are the theories, and hypotheses tested in ethnobotany? What type of data are collected to test these hypotheses? How do you analyze these data to understand how human has shaped his environment and how environmental feedback constrained the nature and extent of human activities? In this advanced undergraduate course we review 14 theories and major hypotheses tested in ethnobotany, identify the types of data commonly collected and how they had been analyzed. We discuss alternative ways of analyzing these data to gain further insights. Students develop and test hypotheses, and discuss how their results contribute to the literature.

What previous students who took this class said?

This course was very interesting, and I might go so far as to say enlightening. The concept of approaching ethnobotany from theory/hypothesis questions makes a lot of sense. I believe that this is the breath of fresh air needed by this program, and that this approach will keep ethnobotany not just alive, it will also vastly improve its credibility.

It was highly transformative in that I learned to critically assess ethnobotanical studies and theoretical frameworks. This course is invaluable and I will recommend it to others whom are interested in advancing their understanding of current theories in ethnobotany. I loved the discussion setting.