INSECT ECOLOGY - PEPS 671, Spring 2010
Instructor: Dr. Mark G. Wright

PEPS 671 will address parasitoid ecology in the Spring 2010 semester. The topics listed below will be covered in the course, with special reference to parasitoids.

1 Introduction, approach to course, basic concepts
2 Ecosystem processes, size and scale, facts and hypotheses, observation vs. experiment
3 Plant and insect-herbivore relationships - multi-trophic level interactions
4 Hypotheses: insect/plant interactions
5 Predator/prey interactions
6 Predator/prey population dynamics
7 Parasite/host interactions, symbiosis
8 Pollination Ecology
9 Energy flow, nutrients, ecosystem function
10 Demography
11 Life histories and reproductive strategies
12 Ecological genetics
13 Population dynamics: conceptual aspects
14 Population dynamics: modeling
15 Population dynamics: synthesis
15 Behavioral ecology
17 Niche concept & division of resources
18 Competition
19 Community development and structure
20 Diversity and stability
21 Biogeography, biodiversity
22 Biodiversity - hot spots
23 TBA
24 TBA
25 Insect ecology and pest management
26 Insect ecology and conservation
27 Community analysis
28 Landscape ecology
29 Synthesis - critical assessment
30 Synthesis - are all ecological studies good studies?

Lab sessions: A 4-day field trip is typically included in PEPS671. The 4 day field trip will account for the bulk of lab hours; this field trip will include field training in field techniques, and each student will undertake a small field project. Students will have to develop hypotheses and design protocols to test these during the field trip. Results will be written up in the form of a research paper.
Some lab sessions (probably about 4) may be devoted to topics like the use of multivariate statistics in ecology, and geographical
information systems, with hands on demonstrations of computer software.