Teaching

I routinely teach the following courses:

ANTHRBIO 362 / EEB 362 / ENVIRON 362: Primate Evolutionary Ecology

This course examines the ecology of primates within an evolutionary framework. We consider how environmental factors and ecological processes have shaped the anatomy, physiology, and behavior of individuals, the distributions and demographic characteristics of primate populations, and the interspecific interactions that occur within the ecological communities in which primates live. Topics in primate and rainforest conservation biology, such as indirect interactions between organisms, population viability analysis, and nature reserve design and management, will also be discussed. Lectures will cover theoretical concepts in individual, population, and community ecology, illustrate these with primate and other vertebrate examples, and critique empirical studies of primate ecology. Labs will emphasize developing an appreciation for ecological research and inquiry through field exercises involving data collection, analysis, and write-up; computer activities involving simple simulations and the exploration and analysis of existing datasets; critical assessment of primary ecological literature; and discussion of both theoretical and applied topics in primate conservation. (next offering likely Winter 2023)

ANTHRBIO 461 / ENVIRON 461: Primate Conservation Biology

This seminar is intended to foster critical consideration of a range of issues within primate conservation biology. Weekly discussions will be based on a number of broad topics. We will begin by considering alternative conceptual approaches commonly employed in conservation biology, surveying the role of models in conservation, assessing the present-day conservation status of primate populations and habitats, and discussing the major threats facing wild primate populations. Next, we will consider the relationship between the discipline of conservation biology and the practice of conservation on the ground. We will progress to a discussion of conservation priority setting, strategies and tactics, local human communities as both potential allies and threats to conservation of wild primate populations, and whether or not primates deserve protection and conservation more than other taxa. Over the course of the semester seminar participants will identify topics of particular interest that will be pursued in depth and developed through peer review and discussion, culminating in a term paper and formal presentation. (next offering likely Fall 2022)

ANTHRBIO 463 / PSYCH 463 / ENVIRON 473: Statistical modeling and data visualization in R

This course is a boot camp in statistical modeling and data visualization using the R computer language. Topics include basic R programming, data exploration, statistical modeling, formal model comparison, parameter estimation and interpretation, and the visual display of quantitative information. Students will learn how to use the R statistical environment to process, analyze, and visualize data. We will provide R code to execute all example analyses used in class; assignments will entail modifying and extending this code to solve similar problems. Statistical topics will focus primarily on various types of general linear models, generalized linear models (GLMs), and generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs) and formal model comparison using information criteria. We will also discuss data imputation, resampling, and basic simulations. Classes on data visualization will help students to learn principled, effective ways to visually depict data using R. This is not an introductory statistics course. Participants are expected to begin the course with a solid understanding of basic statistical methods (e.g., linear regression). No formal modeling experience, programming ability, or knowledge of advanced mathematics are required. Some prior experience with R is advisable, but not required. This course fulfills the university’s Quantitative Reasoning Requirement (QR1). (next offering likely Fall 2022)

ANTHRBIO 570: Biological Anthropology: An Overview

This graduate course is an introduction to biological anthropology. Topics include evolutionary theory and comparative, anatomical, behavioral, and genetic approaches to studying human origins. These evolutionary perspectives are essential to a comprehensive understanding of modern humans. We divide the semester into three sections: historical foundations (week 1), microevolution (weeks 2–6), and macroevolution (weeks 7-14). (Co-taught with John Kingston, next offering (by me) likely Winter 2023)