BIOL 49500BMR Biodiversity & Museum Research
Session Offered:Fall Credit 3
Increasing human alteration of the global environment has greatly impacted the biodiversity of our planet. Natural history collections, which form the basis of our knowledge of Earth’s biodiversity, are invaluable resources for addressing the conserviation of biodiversity and understanding how it is responding to global change. Public displays at natural history museums represent only a tiny fraction of the preserved organisms and immense information these collections comprise. These collections have been used to address diverse questions about the effects of climate change and pollution, conservation, public health, toxicology, invasive species, wildlife forensics, and food security. In this course, students will explore the uses of both physical and digitized biodiversity collections and apply ecological and evolutionary theory to experimental design and execution. Semester-long projects will incorporate digitized natural history collections and other data, integrating student conceptual knowledge with application to original research questions, including those pertaining to shifts in the timing of biological events and variation in phenotypes. The course will also provide an introduction to basic data science skills and coding in R.
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