Courses by Todd Livdahl
Quantitative Methods in Biology
An introduction to mathematical and statistical methods that are most useful to biologists, this course provides skills that are useful in organizing and summarizing data, graphic methods of data presentation, and testing hypotheses based on experimental results. Key mathematical methods for describing biological phenomena are included, along with basic techniques for identifying differences among groups and relationships among variables. This course may be used by biology majors to fulfill part of their mathematics requirement; alternatively, it may be counted among the required ten biology courses for the major.
Ecology of Atlantic Shores
Co-taught with Pr. Deborah Robertson, this course emphasizes methods for analyzing features of marine populations, adaptations to physical conditions, and interactions among marine intertidal organisms. The course takes field trips to rocky shoreline habitat in New England, and a week-long trip to Bermuda. Ecology (216) or Marine Biology (109) are highly recommended. A laboratory fee to cover the costs of transportation and lodging in Bermuda is required. For our most recent trip, this cost was $1500. Course web site »
The primary emphasis is on efforts to explain and predict the distribution and abundance of organisms, how ecological communities are composed, and why they vary in time and space. Prerequisites: one or more courses from organismal biology group and one college-level math course. Offered every year.
Ecology of Infectious Disease
Explores the relationship between infectious disease agents and their hosts, and how that interaction can effect changes in the abundance of host and pathogen populations. Factors that promote and maintain epidemics, the evolution of virulence and transmission, and strategies for controlling epidemics are considered using theoretical approaches and case studies of diseases affecting humans and other hosts.
Examines the properties that exist only at the population level, including schedules for birth and death, population growth patterns, spatial variation in abundance, genetic variation, and the factors that modify these features over time.
Ecology of Disease Vectors
This course considers the factors that affect the success or failure of organisms that transmit diseases from host to host, as well as the factors that make them effective disease vectors. Emphasis is on invasions of mosquitoes in North America and Bermuda, and includes a week long field trip to Bermuda. Lab fee for travel expenses is required. The cost for 2009 is $1500.