Course taught: Ecology: From Genetic Adaptions to Communities
What motivates you to teach in the EES major at UCF?
Scientific literacy outside of the scientific community is far from common. Often, even policy makers are shockingly disconnected from science and evidence, leading to all sorts of absurd and potentially dangerous decisions. Interdisciplinary curricula like LAS can help to connect science with the rest of the world, and I hope to contribute to this process by teaching at the UCF.
What about your course and your field of expertise do you consider particularly relevant to the vast field of EES?
The complexity of biological systems may seem overwhelming, but is shaped by a set of surprisingly simple rules. Our everyday life depends on understanding and applying these rules. Should you get a flu shot? How can we get rid of mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit? What is the optimal design of nature reserves?
In the Ecology module we’ll deal with all sorts of biological interactions. We cover the basic concepts but will quickly move on to complex topics such as dynamics of parasite-host interactions and community ecology. All this is the basis for a discussion of selected examples from applied ecology.