EBIO 3630: Parasitology

Parasitology is an exciting subject. The diversity of parasites is astounding and they have the most intricate and complex life histories of any organisms on the planet.

Flatworms from Haeckel’s Art Forms in Nature (Photo credit: Wikimedia)

The goal of the course is to expose students to the broad diversity of parasites while framing them in concepts of ecology and evolution. Numerous human and non-human animal host examples will be covered.

The laboratory portion of the course is designed to give students a “hands on” experience with parasites. Many labs will involve a dissection or a live demonstration in addition to observing preserved specimens. Microscopy skills will improve over the semester as we begin with the macroparasitic worms and progress to the microscopic intracellular organisms.

Look at the course catalog for more information: 



EBIO 3040: Conservation Biology

Taking a break at the Smithsonian National Zoo Cheetah Conservation Station (Photo credit: L. Arellano) 

Conservation biology is ultimately about sustainable interactions between humans and the environment. It involves the study and application of scientific principles to the protection and management of Earth’s biological diversity and ecosystem services.

Conservation biology is an integrative discipline in that it combines such disparate fields as genetics, ecology, anthropology, sociology, economics, and ethics. This course will primarily emphasize the biological and ecological principles that underlie the genesis, maintenance and loss of biological diversity and ecosystem services. However, these will be viewed and discussed in the context of human values, economics, and policies.

This course is designed to be highly participatory, with students being actively involved in the selection of topics to be covered and in discussions of the current issues and controversies in the field. Some examples of questions currently addressed by researchers in conservation biology include: What is the impact of roads on species diversity in wilderness areas? How does deforestation affect emergence of malaria in tropical forests? Which regions on Earth are the high priority areas for conservation? How does salmon farming affect native salmon? How are nature reserves influenced by adjacent human activities?

Look at the course catalog for more information:


Host-Microbe Interactions (EBIO 6000 graduate level)

This course is geared for graduate students to learn about host-associated microbes. What are they? In what ways are host-associated microbes connected to host health and the functioning of host systems? What are the methods we can use to study these microbes? If graduate students are interested to include microbes in their research, this is a great place to start.