ESPM 40 Insects and Human Society 3 Units – Fall term
An introduction to the diversity and natural history of insects in natural and human environments. The course examines the wonder of insects, their interactions with the living world, and their contributions to and impacts on human society.
ESPM 42 Natural History of Insects 2 Units – Spring term
An outline of the main facts and principles of biology as illustrated by insects, with special emphasis on their relations to plants and animals, including humans.
ESPM 44 Biological Control 2 Units – Fall term
Regulation of populations of organisms, especially insects, through interactions with parasites, predators, pathogens, competitors. Discussion of examples from agricultural, forest, urban, and recreational environments.
Models of population growth, chaos, life tables, and Leslie matrix theory. Harvesting and exploitation theory. Methods for analyzing population interactions, predation, competition. Fisheries, forest stands, and insect pest management. Genetic aspects of population management. Mathematical theory based on simple difference and ordinary differential equations. Use of simulation packages on microcomputers (previous experience with computers not required).
(1) survey of museum resources, including strategies for accession, conservation, collecting and acquiring material, administration, and policies; (2) strategies for making collections digitally available (digitization, databasing, georeferencing, mapping); (3) tools and approaches for examining historical specimens (genomics, isotopes, ecology, morphology, etc); and (4) data integration and inference. The final third of the course will involve individual projects within a given museum.
ESPM 113 Insect Ecology 3 Units – Spring term
Ecology of insects: interactions with the physical environment; structure and functioning of insect populations and communities; behavioral ecology of predator-prey interactions; plant-insect interactions; social insects; pollination biology; applied insect ecology.
ESPM 115B Biology of Aquatic Insects 2 Units – Fall term
Identification and ecology of aquatic insects, including their role as indicators of environmental quality.
ESPM 132 Spider Biology 4 Units – Spring term
Covers topics ranging from mythological ideas about spiders and their importance in traditional cultures and folklore, to diversity patterns, ecology, behavior, and general biology of spiders. In the laboratory section, students learn to identify local spiders and to prepare a collection.
Study of the influence of fire, insects, and diseases on species diversity, succession, and the survival of North American forests including the evolution of these interactions due to modern human policies of preservation and management and exploitation.
ESPM 140 General Entomology 4 Units – Spring term
Biology of insects, including classification of orders and common families, morphology, physiology, behavior, and ecology.
ESPM 142 Insect Behavior 3 Units – Fall term
Insects display an incredibly rich array of behaviors, including extravagant displays, rituals, deception, sociality, and slavery. In some cases, these behaviors are innate, but in other cases individual insects can actively learn and modify their future behaviors based on real-life experiences. This course will focus on the development, structure, and function of insect behaviors, using examples from classic and recent publications. We will examine the evolution of insect behavior, how these behaviors play a role in the ecology of the organisms that express them, and explore various modes of communication that allow insects to judge their environment and respond appropriately.
ESPM 144 Insect Physiology 3 Units – Spring term
A survey of the unique physiological mechanisms of insects, including the analysis of physiological systems at the cellular-molecular level. The roles of the nervous and endocrine systems in coordinating physiological processes are emphasized.
ESPM 146L Medical and Veterinary Entomology Laboratory 1 Unit – not currently offered
Laboratory identification of the major arthropod vectors of disease agents to humans and other animals, and study of the structural adaptations associated with free-living and parasitic stages and with blood feeding.
ESPM 147 Field Entomology 1 Unit – Spring & Fall terms
This course introduces methods and techniques for collection and preparation of specimens and associated biological data, field observation, and recording and interpretation of arthropod behavior, relationships to habitats, and plant-arthropod interactions.
ESPM 156 Animal Communication 3 Units – Spring term
Communication is central to the lives of most, if not all animals. How and why animals communicate is thus central to understanding the ecology, behavior, neurobiology, and evolution of animal systems. This course will focus on understanding the basic principles driving the communication system of a species, drawing together topics ranging from the physical properties of the environment, physiology of sensory systems, animal behavior and ecology, using examples from classic and recent publications.
INTEGBI 32 Bioinspired Design 3 Units – Spring term
Bioinspired design views the process of how we learn from Nature as an innovation strategy translating principles of function, performance and aesthetics from biology to human technology. The creative design process is driven by interdisciplinary exchange among engineering, biology, art, architecture and business. Diverse teams of students will collaborate on, create, and present original bioinspired design projects. Lectures discuss biomimicry, challenges of extracting principles from Nature, scaling, robustness, and entrepreneurship through case studies highlighting robots that run, fly, and swim, materials like gecko-inspired adhesives, artificial muscles, medical prosthetic devices, and translation to start-ups.
Introductory survey of the biology of invertebrates, stressing comparative functional morphology, phylogeny, natural history, and aspects of physiology and development. Laboratory study of invertebrate diversity and functional morphology, and field study of the natural history of local marine invertebrates.