Iowa State University

Iowa State University

2007-2009 Courses and Programs

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Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology (EEOB)

Graduate Courses |

Jonathan Wendel, Chair of Department
Distinguished Professors (Emeritus): Tiffany
University Professors: Horner
Professors: Ackerman, L. Clark, W. Clark, Downing, Janzen, Van der valk, Wendel
Professors (Emeritus): Farrar, Lersten
Associate Professors: Adams, Colbert, Crumpton, Danielson, Debinski, Jurik, Moloney, Nason, Raich, Vleck, Wallace
Associate Professors (Collaborators): Newton, Rosburg
Assistant Professors: Bronikowski, Lavrov, Proulx, Serb, Valenzuela-Castro, Wilsey
Assistant Professors (Adjunct): Bowen, Harris, Leshem-Ackerman, B. Pleasants, J. Pleasants

Undergraduate Study

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, 204, 211, 211L, 212, 212L, 255, 255L, 256, 256L, 258, 265, 307, 312, 313, 313L, 315, 335, 351, 352, 353, 354, 355, 356, 364, 365, 366, 371, 381, 393, 394, 434, 439, 454, 456, 457, 458, 459, 462, 465, 472, 474, 476, 483, 486, 486L, 487, 488, 489, 490, 491, 494, 495, and 498.

Graduate Study

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; modeling of evolutionary and ecological processes; 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 ( 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 or IELTS 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. (Cross-listed with Ia LL). Cr. 4. SS. Structure and taxonomy of freshwater algae based on field collected material; emphasis on genus-level identifications, habitats visited include lakes, fens, streams, and rivers; algal ecology.

EEOB 507. Advanced Animal Behavior. (3-0) Cr. 3. S. Prereq: Graduate standing, Biol 354, or 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. Evolution of ecological adaptations at the individual, population, community and landscape levels. Emphasis is on evolutionary mechanisms and adaptive strategies; units and mechanisms of evolution, life history strategies, species interactions and organization of communities, behavior, and patterns of distribution, speciation and macroevolution.

EEOB 531. Conservation Biology. (Cross-listed with A Ecl). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered 2008. 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. (Cross-listed with Ia LL, A Ecl). Cr. 4. Alt. SS., offered 2008. Prereq: Ia LL 312I. Population-and community-level examination of factors influencing the viability of plant and animal populations from both demographic and genetic perspectives; assessment of biodiversity; design and management of preserves.

EEOB 534. General and Comparative Endocrinology. (3-3) Cr. 3-4. S. Prereq: Biol 314. Dual-listed with Biol 434. 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.

EEOB 535. Restoration Ecology. (Cross-listed with EnSci, NREM). (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 as case studies.

EEOB 535I. Restoration Ecology. (Cross-listed with Ia LL, A Ecl, EnSci). Cr. 4. Alt. SS., offered 2008. Prereq: A course in ecology. Ecological principles for the restoration of native ecosystems; establishment (site preparation, selection of seed mixes, planting techniques) and management (fire, mowing, weed control) of native vegetation; evaluation of restorations. Emphasis on the restoration of prairie and wetland vegetation.

EEOB 537. Plant Stress Biology. (Cross-listed with Hort, Agron). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered 2009. Prereq: Biol 330A or equivalent and BBMB 404-405. Physiology and molecular biology of plant responses to environmental stress. Emphasis on the role of hormones and hormone interactions in governing stress responses. Lectures are prepared from journal papers that elucidate key mechanisms controlling responses to drought, flooding, salt, nutrient deficiencies, freezing, pathogens and herbivores. Plants studied include genetic model systems and crops of horticultural and agronomic value.

EEOB 539. Environmental Physiology. (3-3) Cr. 3-4. Alt. S., offered 2008. Prereq: Biol 335 or A Ecl 311, physics recommended. Dual-listed with Biol 439. Graduate study in conjunction with Biol 439. Physiological adaptations to the environment with emphasis on vertebrates.

EEOB 542. Introduction to Molecular Biology Techniques. (Cross-listed with GDCB, BBMB, BCB, B M S, FS HN, Hort, NutrS, VDPAM). Cr. 1. Repeatable. F.S.SS. Prereq: Graduate classification. Workshops in basic molecular biology techniques and related procedures. Satisfactory-fail only.
A. DNA Techniques. Includes genetic engineering procedures, sequencing, PCR, and genotyping. (F.S.SS.)
B. Protein Techniques. Includes fermentation, protein isolation, protein purification, SDS-PAGE, Western blotting, NMR, confocal microscopy and laser microdissection, immunophenotyping, and monoclonol antibody production. (S.SS.)
C. Cell Techniques. Includes immunophenotyping, ELISA, flow cytometry, microscopic techniques, and image analysis. (F.S.)
D. Plant Transformation. Includes Agobacterium and particle gun-mediated transformation of tobacco, Arabidopsis, and maize, and analysis of transformants. (S.)
E. Proteomics. Includes two-dimensional electrophoresis, laser scanning, mass spectrometry, and database searching. (F.)

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 557. Herpetology. (Cross-listed with A Ecl). (2-3) Cr. 3. F. Prereq: A Ecl 365, Biol 351. Dual-listed with Biol 457. Biology, ecology, and evolution of amphibians (salamanders, frogs, caecilians) and reptiles (lizards, snakes, tuatara, turtles, crocodilians). Emphasis on structure, physiological adaptation to different environments, behavior, reproduction, roles of amphibians and reptiles in ecosystems, and conservation. Laboratory focus on survey methods, identification, relationships, distribution, habits, and habitats of amphibians and reptiles.

EEOB 558. Ornithology. (Cross-listed with A Ecl). (2-3) Cr. 3. S. Prereq: A Ecl 365 or Biol 351. Dual-listed with Biol 458. Biology, ecology, evolution, and taxonomy of birds. Emphasis on structure, physiology, behavior, communication, navigation, reproduction, and conservation. Laboratory exercises complement lecture topics, emphasize identification and distribution of Midwest birds, and include field trips.

EEOB 559. Mammalogy. (Cross-listed with A Ecl). (2-3) Cr. 3. S. Prereq: Biol 351. Dual-listed with Biol 459. Biology, ecology, and evolution of mammals. Emphasis on structure, physiological adaptation to different environments, behavior, reproduction, roles of mammals in ecosystems, and conservation. Laboratory focus on identification, distribution, habits, and habitats of mammals.

EEOB 560. Resource Ecology. (2-3) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered 2008. Prereq: Biol 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. (3-0) Cr. 3. S. Prereq: Biol 315. Dual-listed with BIOL 462. 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. (Cross-listed with EnSci). (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. (Cross-listed with Ia LL, EnSci). Cr. 4. SS. Prereq: Ia LL 312I. Ecology, classification, creation, restoration, and management of wetlands. Field studies will examine the composition, structure and functions of local natural wetlands and restored prairie pothole wetlands. Individual or group projects.

EEOB 565. Morphometric Analysis. (3-2) Cr. 4. Alt. S., offered 2008. Prereq: Stat 401. Dual-listed with Biol 465. 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 2008. 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. (Cross-listed with Ent). (2-3) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered 2009. 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 2007. Prereq: Biol 315 or equivalent; permission of instructor. Principles underlying the geographic distribution of organisms throughout the world; biological influences of geological history and tectonic movements; role of climate, migration, dispersal, habitat, and phylogeny on past and present organismal distribution patterns; biogeographic methods.

EEOB 570. Landscape Ecology. (Cross-listed with A Ecl). (2-3) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered 2008. 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. (Cross-listed with Ia LL, A Ecl). Cr. 1-2. Repeatable. SS. The development and implementation of laboratory exercises suitable for inclusion in elementary, middle, high school, and community college biology and environmental courses. Exercises will be built around common organisms and ecosystems in Iowa. Field trips.
A. Animal Biology (Same as A Ecl 573A)
B. Plant Biology
C. Fungi and Lichens
D. Aquatic Ecology
E. Prairie Ecology
F. Wetland Ecology
G. Limnology (Same as A Ecl 573G)
H. Animal Behavior (Same as A Ecl 573H)
I. Insect Ecology
J. Biology of Invertebrates
K. Non-invasive Use of Living Organisms
W. Project WET (Same as A Ecl 573W)

EEOB 575. Field Mycology. (2-6) Cr. 4. Repeatable. 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. (Cross-listed with Ia LL). Cr. 4. Alt. SS., offered 2008. Identification and classification of the common fungi; techniques for identification, preservation, and culture practiced with members of the various fungi groups.

EEOB 576. Functional Ecology. (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered 2009. Prereq: Biol 312. Dual-listed with Biol 476. 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 580I. Ecology and Systematics of Diatoms. (Cross-listed with Ia LL). Cr. 4. SS. Field and laboratory study of freshwater diatoms; techniques in collection, preparation, and identification of diatom samples; study of environmental factors affecting growth, distribution, taxonomic characters; project design and execution including construction of reference and voucher collections and data organization and analysis.

EEOB 581. Environmental Systems. (Dual-listed with 381). (Cross-listed with EnSci). (2-4) Cr. 4. F. Prereq: Soc 130, 134 or 3 credits of Env S. (Dual-listed with Biol 381) Dynamics of natural environmental systems. Systems approach to the analysis of material and energy flows and to understanding major physical, chemical, and biological processes in environmental systems. Laboratory emphasizes mass balance analysis and environmental simulation modeling.

EEOB 583. Environmental Biogeochemistry. (Cross-listed with EnSci, Geol). (3-2) Cr. 4. S. Prereq: EnSci 381 and 402 or 402I. (Dual-listed with Biol 483) Biological, chemical, and physical phenomena controlling material, energy, and elemental fluxes in the environment. Interactions of life with and effects on environmental systems.

EEOB 584. Ecosystem Ecology. (Cross-listed with EnSci). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered 2008. 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 2008. 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. (Cross-listed with EnSci). (3-0) Cr. 3. F. Prereq: EnSci 301 or 312 or 381 or 402. (Dual-listed with Biol 486.) 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. (Cross-listed with EnSci). (0-3) Cr. 1. F. Prereq: Concurrent enrollment in 586. (Dual-listed with Biol 486L.) 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. (Cross-listed with EnSci, Micro). (3-0) Cr. 3. Prereq: Six credits in biology and 6 credits in chemistry. (Dual-listed with Biol 487.) 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 589. Population Ecology. (Cross-listed with A Ecl). (2-2) Cr. 3. F. Prereq: Biol 312, Stat 101 or 104, a course in calculus, or graduate standing. (Dual-listed with Biol 489.) Concepts and theories of population dynamics with emphasis on models of growth, predation, competition, and regulation.

EEOB 590. Special Topics. Cr. 1-3. Repeatable. Prereq: 10 credits in biology, permission of instructor.
A. Current Topics in Ecology
B. Current Topics in Evolutionary Biology
C. Current Topics in Organismal Biology
I. Iowa Lakeside Laboratory (Cross-listed with Ia LL 590I, A ECl 590I, ANTHR 590I.)

EEOB 595. Agrostology. (2-3) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered 2008. 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. (Cross-listed with A Ecl). (2-2) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered 2007. 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. (Cross-listed with GDCB, Micro). (2-9) Cr. 5. Alt. F., offered 2008. Prereq: Permission of instructor. Current theories encompassing light optics and their applications for specimen preservation, paraffin and resin sectioning, general staining, histochemistry, cytophotometry, immunocytochemistry, autoradiography, image digitization, processing and presentation, and digitalmacro and digitalmicrography. Limit of 10 students.

EEOB 680. Scanning Electron Microscopy. (Cross-listed with GDCB, Micro). (2-9) Cr. 5. Alt. F., offered 2007. Prereq: Permission of instructor. Current theories encompassing scanning electron optics and their applications for high and low vacuum microscopy, specimen chemical and cryopreservation methods, x-ray microanalysis, backscattered and topographic imaging, image digitization, processing and presentation. Limit of 10 students.

EEOB 681. Transmission Electron Microscopy. (Cross-listed with GDCB, Micro). (2-9) Cr. 5. Alt. S., offered 2009. Prereq: GDCB 679 and permission of instructor. Current theories encompassing electron optics and their applications for chemical and physical specimen preservation, ultramicrotomy, general staining and cytochemistry, immunocytochemistry, autoradiography, negative staining and shadowing, x-ray microanalysis, image digitization, processing and presentation. Limit of 10 students.

EEOB 698. Seminar. Cr. 1. Repeatable. Meetings of graduate students and faculty to discuss recent literature and problems under investigation.

EEOB 699. Research. Cr. arr. Repeatable. Research for thesis or dissertation. Satisfactory-fail only.
I. Iowa Lakeside Laboratory. (Cross-listed with Ia LL 699I)