Fall 2015 Seminars

Ecology (ECL) 290 - UC Davis Student participatory seminars:

ECL 290- CRN 49959, 1 unit, Promoting Public Education Through Scientific Videos, Eric Sanford, @ Bodega Marine Laboratory, date/time TBA
Students in this seminar will each produce a short (3-5 minute) video to contribute to new public education displays at BML.  Focal topics for videos could include your dissertation research or an overview of research in your laboratory group.  During weekly meetings, we will discuss effective scientific communication and how to produce engaging and accessible videos for a general audience.  We will cover basic filmmaking and editing using iMovie software.  Students will present draft scripts and videos to the group for feedback during the development process.  No prior video experience required. 

ECL 290- CRN 73900, 1 unit, Writing Science for Ecologists, Andrea Schreier, Meyer 2154, Wednesdays 12-1pm

In Fall Quarter, I’ll be offering an ECL 290 focused on helping students improve their written communication skills so they can produce clear and interesting papers and proposals. Throughout the quarter we will be working our way through the book “Writing Science: How to write papers that get cited and proposals that get funded,” by Joshua Schimel, a microbial ecologist at UC Santa Barbara.  Schimel approaches academic writing as scientific story-telling and his book provides instruction on how to craft a paper that will hold an audience’s interest as well as clearly communicate data.  In this course, students will apply Schimel’s writing principles to either a short research summary produced for the course or another writing piece such as a proposal or paper that the students happen to be working on (e.g. GGE Fellowship). Students will be paired at the beginning of the course and asked to provide feedback on the writing piece of their partner, promoting deadline accountability as well as providing editing experience. In addition to the writing exercises, we will also analyze examples from the ecological peer reviewed literature for style, structure, and effectiveness at communicating ideas.  Each class period, a student will make a 25 minute presentation reviewing the main points of the book chapters read for that week and analyzing of a research paper of their choice. Following the presentation we will discuss the ideas presented and allow students to share and discuss particular challenges that they are facing in their writing projects.

ECL 290- CRN 49926, 2 units, Concepts in Spatial Ecology, Robert Hijmans, Tuesdays 3-5pm, Location TBA
This seminar course will focus on ideas and concepts at the forefront of the field of Spatial Ecology. Rather than being primarily quantitative in nature, the idea is to focus on the conceptual importance and challenges of investigating ecological phenomena across space, as well as different geographical tools available for us to do so. We will meet 1-2 times per week to chat about papers or book chapters, and each person will have the chance to present some aspect of the material we read. The field is broad and relevant to many of us, so the readings will be divided into several subtopics, including exploration of spatial hypotheses related to wildlife movement, behavioral interactions and population structure. We will cover ideas for both individual species as well as community dynamics. 

San Diego State University seminars:

Biology 600- The Ecology of Fear- Jeremy Long, Location TBD, Friday 2-4:40pm

Although the currency of classic ecology has been the documentation of distribution and abundance, the broad importance of fear across many systems indicates that ecologists also need to focus on evaluating how predators affect rates of critical processes (herbivory, mating, etc.), since these community regulating processes can change dramatically without a similar change in the distribution or abundance of key species. Recent research suggests that the nonlethal role of predators has not been lost on SDSU graduate students – that’s a good thing. Yet, one of our major challenges is trying to predict the role of fear on natural populations and communities. Our seminar addresses this challenge by trying to understand 1) the spatial scale at which fear is relevant and 2) temporal variation in fear and the consequences of this variation.

Students should expect to immerse themselves in the literature, write a synthetic paper, and present a talk.

Ecology and Evolution Seminar Series Spring 2015



 Spring 2015

ECL 296 (CRN 70383) / PBG 292 (84754)

Thursdays, 4:10-5:30PM; 1003 Giedt Hall

April 2                  “Sexual selection and adaptive divergence with gene flow”
                              Reinhard Bürger, University of Vienna

                              Host: Sebastian Schreiber sschreiber@ucdavis.edu

April 9                  “Hidden consequences of living in my wormy world: insights of natural populations”
                              Vanessa Ezenwa, University of Georgia
                               Host: Meg Crowfoot mccrofoot@ucdavis.edu

April 16                “The evolution of cooperation and cooperative breeding”
                               Storer Lecturer: Tim Clutton-Brock, University of Cambridge
                               Host: Monique Borgerhoff Mulder mborgerhoffmulder@ucdavis.edu

April 23                  Co-sponsored by Biostatistics “From stage-structured population models to computational statistics
                               Perry de Valpine, University of California, Berkeley
                               Host: Sebastian Schreiber sschreiber@ucdavis.edu

April 30                  “Metrics for Conservation and Human Well-being: Monitoring the impacts of an international NGO ”
                                Madeleine Bottrill, Conservation International
                                Host: Mark Schwartz mwschwartz@ucdavis.edu

May 7                   “Wallace, Darwin, Hendrix, zebras and fairy tales”
                                Tim Caro, University of California, Davis

May 14                 “The role of sexual selection in speciation: an integrative perspective”
                                Rebecca Safran, University of Colorado, Boulder
                                Host: Gail Patricelli

May 21                 “From gliding ants to Andean hummingbirds: the evolution of animal flight evolution”
                                Robert Dudley, University of California, Berkeley
                                Host: Peter Wainwright pcwainwright@ucdavis.edu

May 28                 The causes and consequences of natural selection for speciation”
                                Robin Hopkins, Harvard University
                                Host: Gideon Bradburd gbradburd@ucdavis.edu

June 4                        Merton Love Award Speaker TBA



*Sponsored by: College of Biological Sciences, Department of Evolution and Ecology, Center for Population Biology, Graduate Group in Ecology, Department of Environmental Science & Policy, Department of Plant Sciences, Department of Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, Center for Theoretical Ecology, Kearney foundation of Soil Sciences, Biological Invasions & IGERT REACH and John Muir Institute for the Environment.


Other Departmental Seminars