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Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology
Jonathan F. Wendel, Chair of Department
Within the Biological Sciences, studies of ecology, evolution, and organismal biology are essential in understanding the complex relationships of life on Planet Earth. Ecology focuses on the interactions among organisms as well as the interactions between organisms and their physical environments. Evolutionary theory addresses the origins and interrelationships of species. Organismal biology studies both the diversity of biological organisms and the structure and function of individual organisms.
The EEOB Department offers several undergraduate majors with other departments. Students interested in the areas of ecology, evolution, and organismal biology should major in Biology, Environmental Science, or Genetics. The Biology Major is administered and offered jointly by the EEOB and GDCB departments. The faculty of EEOB, together with those in GDCB and BBMB, administer and offer the Genetics Major. Faculty in EEOB, in cooperation with faculty from other departments on campus, administer and offer the Environmental Science Major. Each of these majors is available through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences or through the College of Agriculture. Faculty in the EEOB Department also teach undergraduate courses at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory (see the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory listing).
The Biology Major, the Environmental Science Major, and the Genetics Major prepare students for a wide range of careers in biological sciences. Some of these careers include conservation of natural resources and biodiversity, human and veterinary medicine, and life science education. These majors are also excellent preparation for graduate study in systematics, ecology, biological diversity, physiology, and related fields. Faculty members in EEOB contribute to the undergraduate courses listed below. The titles and descriptions of these courses are in the Biology section of the catalog.
Biol 101, 110, 111, 155, 173, 211, 211L, 212, 212L, 255, 255L, 256, 256L, 258, 265, 304, 307, 308, 312, 313, 313L, 315, 335, 351, 352, 353, 354, 355, 356, 364, 365, 366, 371, 381, 393, 394, 434, 436, 439, 454, 456, 462, 465, 472, 474, 483, 486, 486L, 487, 488, 490, 494, 495, and 498.
The department offers graduate work leading to both Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. EEOB graduate students major in one of several interdepartmental majors including Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Science, Genetics, Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies, Neuroscience, and Toxicology. The EEOB faculty members are active in the interdepartmental graduate majors and teach a wide range of graduate courses. Faculty research programs cover a wide range of specializations including physiology and physiological ecology; microbiology; animal behavior; evolutionary genetics of plants and animals; plant and animal systematics; neurobiology; developmental biology; aquatic and wetland ecology; functional, population, community, landscape, and ecosystem ecology; and conservation biology. For further information on faculty research interests check the EEOB web site (www.eeob.iastate.edu). Some EEOB faculty teach graduate courses at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory. Field station courses are also available through the Gulf Coast Marine Laboratory and the Organization for Tropical Studies (see the Biology listing).
Prospective graduate students need a sound background in the physical and biological sciences, as well as in mathematics and English. Interested students should check the Graduate Program link from the EEOB web site for specific admission procedures and updates. The department and majors require submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) aptitude test scores. Subject area GRE scores are recommended. Foreign students whose native language is other than English must also submit TOEFL scores with their application.
Students who are enrolled in the interdepartmental graduate majors with EEOB affiliation are required to participate in departmental seminars, to participate in research activities, and to show adequate progress and professional development while pursuing their degree. For both the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, it is expected that research conducted by the student will culminate in the writing and presentation of a thesis or dissertation. Requirements and guidelines for study are provided by the Graduate College, the EEOB faculty, and the individual student's major professor and Program of Study Committee. General information about graduate study requirements can be found at the web site for the Graduate College and requirements for the interdepartmental majors can be found by following the links from the EEOB web site above. Although not a formal requirement, the EEOB facultry recommends that students pursuing the Ph.D. include teaching experience in their graduate training.
Courses primarily for graduate students, open to qualified undergraduate students
EEOB 501I. Freshwater Algae. (Same as Ia LL 501I.) See Iowa Lakeside Laboratory.
EEOB 507. Advanced Animal Behavior. (3-0) Cr. 3. S. Prereq: Biol 354; permission of instructor. Analysis of current research in animal behavior. Topics covered may include behavioral ecology, mechanisms of behavior, evolution of behavior, applications of animal behavior to conservation biology, and applications of animal behavior to wild animals in captivity.
EEOB 514. Evolutionary Ecology. (3-0) Cr. 3. F. Prereq: 588; Biol 315; graduate standing. Relationships between organisms and the environmental influences on their evolution. Focus is on evolutionary mechanisms and adaptive strategies.
EEOB 531. Conservation Biology. (Same as A Ecl 531.) (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered 2007. Prereq: Biol 312; Biol 313 or graduate standing. Examination of conservation issues from a population and a community perspective. Population-level analysis will focus on the role of genetics, demography, and environment in determining population viability. Community perspectives will focus on topics such as habitat fragmentation, reserve design, biodiversity assessment, and restoration ecology.
EEOB 531I. Conservation Biology. (Same as Ia LL 531I.) See Iowa Lakeside Laboratory.
EEOB 534. General and Comparative Endocrinology. (Dual-listed with Biol 434.) (3-0) Cr. 3 or (3-3) Cr. 4. S. Prereq: Biol 314. Graduate study in conjuction with Biol 434. Chemical integration of vertebrate organisms. The structure, development, and evolution of the endocrine glands and the function and structure of their hormones. Laboratory techniques for studying hormonal phenomena. Laboratory experiments require animal surgery and involvement outside of scheduled class time.
EEOB 535. Restoration Ecology. (Same as EnSci 535, NREM 535.) (2-3) Cr. 3. F. Prereq: Biol 366 or 474 or graduate standing. Theory and practice of restoring animal and plant diversity, structure and function of disturbed ecosystems. Restored freshwater wetlands, forests, prairies and reintroduced species populations will be used in case studies.
EEOB 535I. Restoration Ecology. (Same as Ia LL 535I.) See Iowa Lakeside Laboratory.
EEOB 537. Environmental Stress Physiology. (Same as Hort 537.) See Horticulture.
EEOB 539. Environmental Physiology. (Dual-listed with Biol 439.) (3-0) Cr. 3 or (3-3) Cr. 4. Alt. S., offered 2007. Prereq: Biol 335 or A Ecl 311, physics recommended. Graduate study in conjunction with Biol 439. Physiological adaptations to the environment with emphasis on vertebrates.
EEOB 542. Introduction to Molecular Biology Techniques. (Same as GDCB 542.) See Genetics, Development and Cell Biology.
EEOB 552. Pteridology. (1-3) Cr. 2. Prereq: 10 credits in biological sciences. Morphology, taxonomy, and ecology of the lower vascular plants, with emphasis on ferns.
EEOB 560. Resource Ecology. (2-3) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered 2007. Prereq: 212, 212L, 312; Stat 101 or 104 or graduate standing. Ecological and economical management of sustainable biological resources. Unifying current management concepts and models in wildlife, fisheries, water quality, forestry, recreation, and agriculture. Research problems.
EEOB 561. Plant Diversity and Evolution. (2-6) Cr. 4. Prereq: 10 credits in biological sciences. Current concepts of plant phylogeny from the origin of land plants through the origin of angiosperms, with emphasis on morphology, reproduction and evolutionary trends in bryophytes, pteridophytes, and gymnosperms.
EEOB 562. Evolutionary Genetics. (Dual-listed with Biol 462, Gen 462.) (3-0) Cr. 3. S. Prereq: Biol 315. Graduate study in conjunction with 462. The genetic basis of evolutionary processes in higher organisms. The role of genetic variation in adaptation, natural selection, adaptive processes, and the influence of random processes on evolutionary change.
EEOB 563. Molecular Phylogenetics. (2-3) Cr. 3. F. Prereq: Biol 313 and 315. An overview of the theory underlying phylogenetic analysis and the application of phylogenetic methods to molecular datasets. The course emphasizes a hands-on approach to molecular phylogenetics and combines lecture presentations with computer exercises and discussion of original scientific literature.
EEOB 564. Wetland Ecology. (Same as EnSci 564.) (3-0) Cr. 3. S. Prereq: 15 credits in biological sciences. Ecology, classification, creation and restoration, and management of wetlands. Emphasis on North American temperate wetlands.
EEOB 564I. Wetland Ecology. (Same as Ia LL 564I.) See Iowa Lakeside Laboratory.
EEOB 565. Morphometric Analysis. (Dual-listed with Biol 465.) (3-2) Cr. 4. Alt. S., offered 2006. Prereq: Stat 401. A comprehensive overview of the theory and methods for the analysis of biological shape with emphasis on data acquisition, standardization, statistical analysis, and visualization of results. Methods for both landmark and outline data will be discussed.
EEOB 566. Molecular Evolution. (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered 2006. Prereq: Permission of instructor. Seminar/discussion course covering the fundamentals of molecular evolution. Emphasis is placed on original scientific literature and current topics, including rates and patterns of genetic divergence; nucleotide and allelic diversity; molecular clocks; gene duplications; genome structure; organellar genomes; polyploidy; transposable elements; and modes and mechanisms of gene and genome evolution.
EEOB 567. Empirical Population Genetics. (3-0) Cr. 3. F. Prereq: Permission of instructor. An overview of fundamental population genetic theory and the ecological and evolutionary factors underlying the distribution of genetic variation within and among natural populations. Emphasis on the analysis of inbreeding, breeding systems, parentage, relatedness, spatial autocorrelation, effective population size, hierarchial population models, and phylogeography.
EEOB 568. Advanced Systematics. (Same as Ent 568.) (2-3) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered 2007. Prereq: Permission of instructor. Principles and practice of systematic biology; taxonomy, nomenclature and classification of plants and animals; sources and interpretation of systematic data; speciation; fundamentals of phylogenetic systematics.
EEOB 569. Biogeography. (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered 2005. Prereq: Biol 315 or equivalent; permission of instructor. Principles underlying the geographic distribution of organisms throughout the world; influences of geology and tectonic movements; climate, migration, dispersal, habitat, and phylogeny on present distribution patterns; biogeographic methods.
EEOB 570. Landscape Ecology. (Same as A Ecl 570.) (2-3) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered 2006. Prereq: Permission of instructor; EEOB 588; a course in calculus. The study of ecological and evolutionary processes within a spatial context with emphasis on behavior, population, and community dynamics.
EEOB 573. Techniques for Biology Teaching. (Same as Ia LL 573.) See Iowa Lakeside Laboratory.
EEOB 575. Field Mycology. (2-6) Cr. 4 each time taken. SS. Prereq: 5 credits in biology. Collection and identification of fungi and relation of their occurrence to environmental factors. Field trips.
EEOB 575I. Field Mycology. (Same as Ia LL 575I.) See Iowa Lakeside Laboratory.
EEOB 580I. Ecology and Systematics of Diatoms. (Same as Ia LL 580I.) See Iowa Lakeside Laboratory.
EEOB 581. Environmental Systems. (Dual-listed with Biol 381; same as EnSci 581.) (2-4) Cr. 4. F. Prereq: 212 or Micro 201, Chem 164, 167 or 178, Math 165 or 181. Introduction to the dynamics of metabolic and biogeochemical processes in environmental systems, emphasizing microbial processes. Environmental factors controlling major autotrophic and heterotrophic processes of microbes and higher organisms. Laboratory emphasizes mass balance analysis and environmental simulation modeling.
EEOB 582. Functional Ecology. (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered 2007. Prereq: Biol 312. The nature of adaptations to physical and biotic environments. Biophysical, biomechanical, and physiological bases of the structure, form, growth, distribution, and abundance of organisms.
EEOB 583. Environmental Biogeochemistry. (Dual-listed with Biol 483; same as EnSci 583, Geol 583.) (3-2) Cr. 4. S. Prereq: Biol 381 and EnSci 402 or Ia LL 402I. Biological, chemical, and physical phenomena controlling material, energy, and elemental fluxes in the environment. Human interactions with and effects on environmental systems.
EEOB 584. Ecosystem Ecology. (Same as EnSci 584.) (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered 2006. Prereq: Combined 12 credits in biology and chemistry. Survey of the structure and functioning of major terrestrial ecosystems. Nutrient cycles, energy flows, and biotic and abiotic controls over ecosystem structure and composition.
EEOB 585. Advanced Community Ecology. (2-3) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered 2006. Prereq: Biol 312. Factors controlling species diversity, species abundance, and the structure and function of communities in space and time. Relationships between species diversity and ecosystem process rates and community stability.
EEOB 586. Aquatic Ecology. (Dual-listed with Biol 486, EnSci 486, Same as EnSci 586.) (3-0) Cr. 3. F. Prereq: Biol 312, A Ecl 312, EnSci 381, or For 301. Structure and function of aquatic ecosystems with application to fishery and pollution problems. Emphasis on lacustrine, riverine and wetland ecology.
EEOB 586L. Aquatic Ecology Laboratory. (Dual-listed with Biol 486L, EnSci 486L, Same as EnSci 586L.) (0-3) Cr. 1. F. Prereq: Concurrent enrollment in 586. Field trips and laboratory exercises to accompany 586. Hands-on experience with aquatic research and monitoring techniques and concepts.
EEOB 587. Aquatic and Wetland Microbial Ecology. (Dual-listed with Biol 487; same as EnSci 587, Micro 587.) (3-0) Cr. 3. S. Prereq: 6 credits in biology and 6 credits in chemistry. Introduction to major functional groups of autotrophic and heterotrophic microorganisms and their roles in aquatic and wetland ecosystems. Emphasis on energy flow and nutrient dynamics.
EEOB 588. Population Ecology. (Same as A Ecl 588.) (2-2) Cr. 3. F. Prereq: Biol 312, Stat 401, a course in calculus. Concepts and theories of population dynamics with emphasis on models of growth, predation, competition, and regulation.
EEOB 590. Special Topics. Cr. 1 to 3 each time taken. Prereq: 10 credits in biology, permission of instructor.
EEOB 595. Agrostology. (2-3) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered 2006. Prereq: Biol 366. Structure, identification, classification, phylogeny, and economic aspects of grasses and related families.
EEOB 599. Creative Component. Cr. arr. Research toward nonthesis master's degree.
Courses for Graduate students
EEOB 611. Analysis of Populations. (Same as A Ecl 611.) (2-2) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered 2005. Prereq: Biol 312; Stat 401; a course in calculus. Quantitative techniques for analyzing vertebrate population data to estimate parameters such as density and survival. Emphasis on statistical inference and computing.
EEOB 641. General Mycology. (2-6) Cr. 4. F. Prereq: Pl P 407. First semester of a full-year course. Taxonomy, morphology, ecology, and phylogeny of slime molds and fungi (ooymcetes, chytridiomycetes, zygomycetes, ascomycetes, basidiomycetes, and fungi imperfecti).
EEOB 642. General Mycology. (2-6) Cr. 4. S. Prereq: 641. Continuation of 641. Taxonomy, morphology, ecology, and phylogeny of slime molds and fungi (oomycetes, chytridiomycetes, zygomycetes, ascomycetes, basidiomycetes, and fungi imperfecti).
EEOB 679. Light Microscopy. (Same as GDCB 679.) See Genetics, Development and Cell Biology.
EEOB 680. Scanning Electron Microscopy. (Same as GDCB 680.) See Genetics, Development and Cell Biology.
EEOB 681. Transmission Electron Microscopy. (Same as GDCB 681.) See Genetics, Development and Cell Biology.
EEOB 698. Seminar. Cr. 1 each time taken. Meetings of graduate students and faculty to discuss recent literature and problems under investigation.
EEOB 699. Research. Cr. var. Research for thesis or dissertation. Offered on a satisfactory-fail grading basis only.