Guidelines for group presentations

ECOL 4000/6000 Population and Community Ecology

Guidance for Group Presentations

Assignment: Each group is expected to give a 10-minute presentation on their biodiversity project, and be prepared to answer audience questions for 3-5 minutes. Presentations should be accompanied by no more than 10 PowerPoint, PDF or Google slides. Files should be sent to/shared with instructors in advance of the presentation.

When preparing your presentation, keep in mind

  1. You will need to introduce your theory, ideas or questions to the class in a way that is intuitive
  2. You will need to explain your methods clearly, so that the audience can ask critical questions
  3. You will need to present your results in a way that directly addresses the theory, ideas or questions laid out in step 1
  4. Conclude with research findings and future directions

Presentations will be evaluated according to the following criteria

  • Participation by all group members
  • Logical progression of ideas
  • Evaluation of evidence and contextualization of findings
  • Effective use of visualization
  • Responsiveness to questions
  • Adherence to these guidelines

Extra credit opportunity

The following optional assignment may be completed for extra credit up to 5% of the total course grade.

  1. Read a book from the following list
    • The Phytochemical Landscape by Mark Hunter
    • Critical Transitions in Nature and Society by Marten Scheffer
    • Evolutionary Ecology of Birds by Peter Bennett and Ian Owens
    • The Theory of Ecological Communities by Mark Vellend
    • The Unified Neutral Theory of Biodiversity and Biogeography by Stephen Hubbell
    • Metapopulation Ecology by Ilkka Hanski
    • Parasitoid Population Biology by Michael Hochberg and Tony Ives
    • Principles of Social Evolution by Andrew Bourke
  2. Write a book review of 500-1000 words describing (a) the main thesis of the book, (b) the main argument and evidence presented, and (c) your evaluation of the thesis and the argument
  3. Submit your review as a pdf attachment by email to Dr. Drake by Thursday, December 8.

Reading for Tuesday, November 11

In place of a textbook chapter, the reading for Tuesday, November 11 will be the following paper, which is based on doctoral dissertation research performed by Marcus Zokan in the Odum School of Ecology. This paper investigates some hypotheses for the maintenance of zooplankton diversity in the Carolina Bays using “mesocosm” experiments. It uses methods we’ve been studying in class to quantify diversity and investigates a theory not feasible to study using the survey data we’ve been analyzing. The paper is posted here and also on the class schedule.

Zokan, M. & J.M. Drake. 2015. The effect of hydroperiod and predation on the diversity of temporary pond zooplankton communities. Ecology & Evolution 5:3066-3074.