Detailed Syllabus


Lecture Topic

Activities, discussion leader, and required readings


August 14

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 16

Pop growth, continued

Homework 1 (Ricker analysis; due Monday, 5pm)

Same as above

August 21

Demographic and environmental stochasticity and demographic heterogeneity (PPT);


go over HW1

same as above

A useful resource:

Global Population Dynamics Database (GPDD)

August 23

Stage-structured dynamics (PPT)

HW2 (Proj matrix)

Class discussion: (led by Craig)

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

August 28

Applications: Stage-structure Part II (PPT)

go over HW2

Gotelli: Ch 4; and

Mittelbach: Ch12 (just pages 251-260)

August 30

Metapopulations  (PPT)

Class discussion -- Julie, Cali, Dan

Vonesh and de la Cruz (2002)

HW3 (metapop)

See previous class

A useful resource:

Matrix Database (COM(P)ADRE)

September 04

Metapopulations (cont.)

go over HW3

see above

September 06

Foraging theory  (PPT)

Class discussion -- Denzell, Cece, Megan H.

Peres et al. 2003 (PDF)

HW4 (source-sink & OFT)


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)

September 11

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

go over HW4

Shima and Osenberg 2003 (PDF)

September 13

Evolution (PPT)

Class discussion -- Carolyn, Anna, Maria

Hanski and Singer 2001 (PDF)

HW5 (pop gen)

None; but you should review basics from other resources.


Competition / Lotka-Volterra  (PPT)

go over HW5

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

September 20

Resource-based competition  (PPT)

Class discussion -- Darren, Nikki, Isabella

Johnston & Post 2009 (PDF)


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

Ancillary Reading: 

Tilman 1977 (PDF)

September 25

Competition Experiments (PPT) 


go over HW6

Mittelbach - Ch 8 (PDF)

September 27


Review for Exam 1

Class discussion -- Dan, Akanksha, Jeremy

Miller 1994 (PDF)


October 02

NA - Osenberg at LTER meeting

Exam 1


October 04


Grading and Debrief on Exam 1


October 09

Predator-prey dynamics (PPT)


Mittelbach 2012 - Ch 5 (PDF)

Ancillary reading: 

Gotelli - Ch 6 (PDF)

October 11

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

Class discussion -- Megan H, Megan T, Nikki

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

HW7 (pred-prey & phase planes)

Same as above

October 16

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 18

Coexistence (continued)

Class discussion -- Maria, Julie, Cece

Tilman 1994 (PDF)

HW8 (pred-prey time-scale)

See above

October 23

Disease ecology (PPT)

go over HW8

Required: Drake chapter (PDF)

October 25

Indirect effects and higher order interactions (PPT)

Class discussion -- Isabella, Denzell, Cali

Davis et al. 2010 (PDF)


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

Ancillary reading:

Wootton 1994 (PDF)

October 30

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 01

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

Class discussion -- Jeremy, Carolyn, Akanksha

Johnson and Hoverman 2012 (PDF)

HW10 (1pred-2prey dynamics)

Mittelbach - Ch 14 (PDF)

Ancillary reading:

Scheffer and Carpenter 2003 (PDF)

November 06

Biodiversity and ecosystem function  (PPT)

go over HW10

Mittelbach - Ch 2 & 3 (PDF)

November 08

Communities in space  (PPT)

HW11 (cool papers) & HW12 (exam questions)

Mittelbach - Ch 13 (PDF)

November 13

Metabolic Theory of Ecology

Class discussion -- Megan T., Darren, Anna

Frund et al 2013 (PDF)

Brown et al. 2004 - MacArthur Address (PDF)


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

November 15


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

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


Thanksgiving holiday

November 27


Exam 2


November 29


go over Exam 2; course feedback


December 04

8310 does not meet

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