20908 Integrative Project in Field Studies

Credits: 3 advanced seminar credits in Life Sciences

Prerequisites: 72 credits in Natural and Life Sciences, including General Biology I, General Biology II, Biochemistry I, Cell Structure and Function (single-semester format or year-long format), Ecology, Plants and Vegetation, Vertebrates, and at least one lab course in Life Sciences. Students must also fulfill all English requirements and take bibliographic instruction in the Library. Additional requirements from among the electives in the Life Sciences Field Studies program may be determined, depending on the nature of the project. For further details and approval for enrollment, contact the course coordinator.

The course is accompanied by a reader edited by Simona Ginsburg and Ido Izhaki.

It presents ten topics that focus on integrative aspects of biology, dealing with the organism as a whole, on the relationships among organisms and on the interactions between organisms and their environments.

Topics: Biodiversity and the stability of ecosystems; Epigenetic inheritance systems in Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes; Traits and adaptation; The effects of global warming on plants and animals; Life on edge: Extremophiles; Secondary metabolites and their roles in mutualism and antagonism; The ecological and nutritional implications of herbivory versus carnivory; Adaptive significance of leaf colors; Migration: Why, when, where and wherefore?; Ecological recovery of Mediterranean ecosystems following perturbations.

Students choose one topic to investigate (based on reading an article on each of the topics), submit an assignment after having read papers and book chapters on it, and finally write and present a seminar paper on a specific issue.