Detailed Syllabus


Lecture Topic

Activities, discussion leader, and required readings


August 15

Introduction to course; Population growth and regulation  (PPT)

General syllabus

Reading the literature (pdf)

Review general ecology text on population growth and density-dependence or read Ch1&2 of Gotelli

August 17

Pop growth, continued

Homework 1 (due Monday, 5pm)

Same as above

August 22

Demographic and environmental stochasticity and demographic heterogeneity (PPT);


go over HW 1

same as above

A useful resource:

Global Population Dynamics Database (GPDD)

August 24

Stage-structured dynamics (PPT)

HW 2 (PDF): Due by 5pm Monday

Class discussion: (led by Craig)

Owens and Bennett (2000); Independent Contrasts (PPT)

August 29

Applications: Stage-structure Part II (PPT)

go over HW 2

Gotelli: Ch 4; and

Mittelbach: Ch12 (just pages 251-260)

August 31

Metapopulations  (PPT)

Class discussion -- Emily (lead) and Lydia (co-lead)

Vonesh and de la Cruz (2002)


See previous class

A useful resource:

Matrix Database (COM(P)ADRE)

September 05

Metapopulations (cont.)

go over HW 3

see above

September 07

Habitat quality, Cryptic density-dependence, Ideal Free Distribution  (PPT)

Class discussion -- Nikki (lead) and Jeff

Peres et al. 2003 (PDF)

There is no HW this week

Shima and Osenberg 2003 (PDF)

September 12

UGA close to due Hurricane Irma


all readings pushed to next class time

September 14

Foraging theory  (PPT)

Class discussion -- Deven (lead) and Joy

Hanski and Singer 2001 (PDF)


Stephens and Krebs 1986 - Ch 2 (PDF)
Charnov 1976 (PDF)
Mittelbach 2012 - Ch 6 (PDF)
Ancillary readings:

Mittelbach 1981 (PDF)
Osenberg and Mittelbach 1989 (PDF)


Evolution (PPT)

Go over HW4

None; but you should review basics from other resources.

September 21

Competition / Lotka-Volterra  (PPT)

Class discussion -- Katie (lead) and Horace

Johnston & Post 2009 (PDF)


Gotelli - Ch 5 (PDF) and/or Mittelbach - Ch 7 (PDF)

September 26

Resource-based competition  (PPT)

Go over HW 5

Tilman 1982 - Ch 3 & 4 (PDF); and/or Mittelbach 2012 - Ch 7 (PDF)

Ancillary Reading: 

Tilman 1977 (PDF)

September 28

Exam 1



October 03

Grading and Debrief on Exam 1



October 05

Competition Experiments (PPT) -- not given due to time constraints


Class discussion -- Lydia (lead) and Julie

Miller 1994 (PDF)


Mittelbach - Ch 8 (PDF)

October 10

Predator-prey dynamics (PPT)

Go over HW6

Mittelbach 2012 - Ch 5 (PDF)

Ancillary reading: 

Gotelli - Ch 6 (PDF)

October 12

Predator-prey (data, additional factors) (PPT)

Class discussion -- Mike (lead) and Samantha

Arditi & Saiah 1992 (PDF) -- please also skim Arditi et al. 1991


Same as above

October 17

Coexistence mechanisms  (PPT)

go over HW7

Mittelbach 2012 (Ch 14: pages 289-304) (PDF)

Ancillary reading:

McPeek 2012 (PDF)

Tilman 1982 - Ch 5 (PDF)

Chesson 2000 (PDF)

Chesson 2008 (PDF)

October 19

Coexistence (continued)

Class discussion -- Jeff (lead) and Katie


Tilman 1994 (PDF)


See above

October 24

Disease ecology (PPT)

go over HW8

Required: Drake chapter (PDF)

October 26

Indirect effects and higher order interactions (PPT)

Class discussion -- Joy (lead) and Emily

Davis et al. 2010 (PDF)


Mittelbach (pp 142-144 in Ch7; Ch 10; 11: PDF)

Ancillary reading:

Wootton 1994 (PDF)

October 31

HSS, Oksanen, trophic cascades (PPT)

go over HW

Mittelbach - Ch 11 (PDF)

Ancillary reading:

Hairston et al 1960 (PDF)

Oksanen et al. 1981 (PDF)

Osenberg and Mittelbach 1996 (PDF)

November 02

Alternative stable states, tipping points, and phase shifts (PPT)

Class discussion -- Samantha (lead) and Deven

Johnson and Hoverman 2012 (PDF)


Mittelbach - Ch 14 (PDF)

Ancillary reading:

Scheffer and Carpenter 2003 (PDF)

November 07

Biodiversity and ecosystem function  (PPT)

go over HW10

Mittelbach - Ch 2 & 3 (PDF)

November 09

Craig will be out of town for a seminar trip to MSU & KBS (work on HW 11& 12)


November 14

Communities in space  (PPT)

Class discussion -- Julie (lead) and Mike/Horace

Frund et al 2013 (PDF)

Mittelbach - Ch 13 (PDF)

November 16

Review for Exam2: discussion of student-defined problems (HW12)

Presentations of the "most interesting papers"  (HW11; PPT)


Thanksgiving holiday

November 28

Exam 2



November 30

go over Exam 2; class feedback



The webpage below here is still being updated....

November 16

Metabolic Theory of Ecology

Presentations of the "most interesting papers"  (HW11; PPT)

Brown et al. 2004 - MacArthur Address (PDF)


Brown et al. 2004 - Special Feature (responses to above paper) (PDF)