Courses


fistFS60I. The Adventures of Theodore Roosevelt.
At heart, Theodore Roosevelt was an adventurer. At regular intervals throughout his life he went to the field as a naturalist, hunter, rancher, soldier, conservationist, and president. He chased grizzly bears and outlaws in the American West. He tracked lion and elephant in Africa. As a Harvard student, he followed birds in the Adirondacks to provide data for his first publication. Using Roosevelt’s original diaries, journals, and notebooks that are housed in Houghton Library, this seminar encourages students to explore Roosevelt’s adventures through original documents, and to understand how narratives about his life have been created from them.

ant-photo119OEB155r.  Biology of Insects. An introduction to the major groups of insects. The life history, morphology, physiology, and ecology of the main taxa are examined through a combination of lecture, lab, and field exercises. Topics include the phylogeny of terrestrial arthropods with a review of the extant orders, an analysis of abiotic and biotic factors regulating populations, including water balance, temperature, migration, parasitism, mutualism, sociality, insect/plant interactions, medical entomology, and the use of insects in biological control.

ant-photo143FS21q. Biological Impostors: Camouflage and Mimicry in NaturePlants and animals imitate one another and their surroundings to escape notice and avoid predators.  There are countless examples of these phenomena in the biological world, and natural selection has shaped mimetic forms such as the eggs of cuckoo birds, the lures of anglerfish and the flowers of bee-mimicking orchids.  This seminar will explore the evolution of mimicry using case studies that reveal the range of visual, behavioral, acoustical, and chemical means by which this deception is accomplished.  We will seek an understanding of both how mimetic relationships are structured and why they have evolved in certain species and not others.   Through reading and discussing papers from the scientific literature, we will consider mimicry theory from its development in the early days of Bates and Müller to its application in modern ecological and genetic studies on the evolution of mimetic forms.  In addition to discussions and readings, we will make frequent visits to the Museum of Comparative Zoology to examine specimens relevant to our case studies. 

 

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