Teaching

Glendon College, York University, Toronto, Canada

Introduction aux sciences biologiques (BIOL1000, 6.00 crédits): Ce cours est conçu pour les étudiants en biologie et sert d’introduction à la diversité du monde vivant. Pour bien comprendre les multiples relations entre les organismes vivants, la génétique, la biologie cellulaire, la biologie évolutive et l’écologie sont présentés dans des cours magistraux et de laboratoires.

General Ecology (BIOL2300, 3.00 credits): This course is an introduction to the scientific study of relationships between organisms and their physical and biological environments. General principles will be used to interpret patterns in the distribution, abundance, and characteristics of organisms in space and time. Prerequisites: SC/BIOL 1000 3.00 and SC/BIOL 1001 3.00 (or SC/BIOL 1010 6.00) or permission of the Department. Course credit exclusion: GL/NATS 2300 3.00.

Ethology (BIOL3XXX, 3.0 credits, forthcoming, 2017-2018): This course introduces students to the study of animal behavior using an ethological approach, through a focus on observational and experimental animal research. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: 1) describe key historical developments in the study of animal behaviour, 2) explain the mechanisms (e.g., genetics, development, internal & external causes) and evolution (e.g., phylogeny, adaptations, comparative analyses) of behaviour, and 3) relate behavioural concepts to their ecological basis. Through the combined use of lectures, readings, videos, and scientific critiques of current primary literature, students will understand how and why a particular behaviour is expressed in a given context.

Primate Behavioural Ecology & Conservation (BIOL3XXX, 3.0 credits, forthcoming):  This course introduces students to the behavior and ecology of nonhuman primates, a taxon of great scientific and public interest because of their close phylogenetic relationship to humans. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: 1) describe the diversity of the order Primates, 2) describe how this diversity has been shaped by biology (i.e., evolutionary history), 3) understand how the expression of behaviour is influenced by interactions between an individual’s internal (e.g., genetics, hormones) and external (e.g., socioecological) environments, and 4) understand the importance of anthropogenic threats to primates and the challenges associated with mitigating these threats.

Evolution and Ecology of Humans (BIOL2305, 3.00 credits, Fall 2016): This course contrasts the ecological conditions attendant upon early human evolution with the complex environmental situations now faced by modern technological societies. Essential themes are Darwinism, the effect of earlier cultures upon the environment and selected modern examples in human ecology. Prerequisites: SC/BIOL 1000 3.00 and SC/BIOL 1001 3.00 (or SC/BIOL 1010 6.00) or permission of the Department. Course credit exclusion: GL/NATS 1800 3.00.

Principes de biologie (NATS1540, 6.00 crédits; 2015-2016): Ce cours se veut une introduction à la diversité du monde vivant. Il est conçu pour les étudiants en arts libéraux. Pour bien comprendre les multiples relations entre les organismes vivants, la génétique, la biologie cellulaire, la biologie évolutive et l’écologie seront utilisées.

Past Appointments

McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

  • Independent Studies in Biology (Fall 2013 – Fall 2014; 5 undergraduates supervised to date)
  • Independent Studies in Anthropology (Fall 2014; 2 students supervised to date)
  • Honours Project in Environmental Biology (Fall 2014; 1 student supervised to date)
  • Primate Studies & Conservation (Winter 2014, Winter 2015; taught in Kibale National Park and elsewhere in Uganda as part of the Canadian Field Studies in Africa program)
  • Primate Behaviour & Ecology (Fall 2013, Fall 2014)

Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

  • Primate Behaviour & Ecology (Fall 2010)
  • Anthropology of Sex & Reproduction (Fall 2011, co-instructor during Fall 2012)

Course descriptions

Independent Studies in Anthropology: Supervised reading and preparation of a 3 credit honours thesis under the direction of a member of staff. The details of the project and specific outcomes are determined in consultation with the professor.

Independent Studies in Biology: The purpose of the Independent Research projects is to give students an opportunity to experience biological research. The exact nature of the project is determined by consultations between the student and the professor. When the project is finished, the student must prepare a written report on their work and submit it to the research supervisor to be marked. The final mark for the course is a compound of the marks both for the report and for the actual lab work.

Honours Project in Environmental Biology: This course immerses the student in an advanced and substantial scholarly project in environmental biology. The purpose is to help the student develop exceptional academic and professional expertise, at a level that exceeds the high standards of regular non-Honours degree students. The project may center on research directed towards a manuscript or on some other scholarly endeavor of suitable scope.

Primate Studies and Conservation: This course is an advanced course critically evaluating theories in primate behaviour, ecology, and conservation that emphasizes direct observations, research design, and developing field methods. The course is part of the Canadian Field Studies in Africa program and is taught in Kibale National Park and elsewhere in Uganda. This field course takes advantage of being at a location documented to have the highest biomass of primates ever recorded with 13 primate species including endangered red colobus monkeys and chimpanzees to facilitate students obtaining the skills needed to conduct rigorous research on primate behaviour, ecology, and conservation.

Primate Behaviour and Ecology: This course examines the behaviour, ecology, and evolution of non-human primates, including prosimians, monkeys, and apes. Key theories related to primate dietary strategies, sociality, sexuality, and cognition are examined.  Primate diversity from sites around the world will be used to highlight theoretical issues, including socioecological models of primate social organization. We will also discuss conservation issues, including the bushmeat trade, habitat destruction, disease threats, and climate change.

Anthropology of Sex and Reproduction: This course focuses on human sexual behavior and reproduction from an evolutionary perspective, but also examines cultural variation in the experience of biological phenomena (i.e., mate choice, conception, birth). Through readings, lectures, films and class discussions we will examine issues such as new reproductive technologies, the biology and culture of pregnancy and childbirth, mate choice, menopause, etc…

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