An Introduction to Modeling for Ecology and Biology

 

BIO 4517 - 4 Credits

BIO 5517- 3 credits

 

Tuesday – Lecture 12:00 to 2:00pm (Aqua-culture)

Tuesday – Computer lab (Life Sciences Building) 2:00 pm to 5:00pm

 

Prerequisite is BIO-3410 (General Ecology)

 

 

“If you can’t picture it you can’t understand it” Albert Einstein.

  

The primary aim of this course involves the visualization of pertinent processes in the

form of basic equations and functions that have changed the direction of biology and ecology.

In the laboratory we will use the software program Matlab; students will learn to write their

own programs and work with existing models. Subjects will sequentially address allometric

principles, biological processes within organisms including growth and healing of wounds,

population dynamics, metapopulation models, competition and symbiosis, predator-prey

relations, community and diversity models, models in biogeography, ecosystems and energy,

models in evolution, and conservation principles, including the use of population viability analysis.

 

Course Outline

 

 Week 1. Introduction to modelling (Modeling, Matrices and matlab)

 

Week 2. Allometry and the consequence of size.

 

Week 3. Functions in biology (within the organism).

 

Week 4. Life-history strategies of organisms

 

Week 5. Populations: growth and dynamics

 

Week 6. Metapopulation models

 

Week 7. Competition and symbiosis

 

Week 8. Predator-prey relations.

 

Week 9. Community and diversity

 

Week 10. Biogeography

 

Week 11. Ecosystems and energy

 

Week 12. Evolution, conservation and management

 

Week 13. Research models

 

Week 14. Research models

 

 

 

 

 

Requirements for 4517

1) Complete all laboratories. Students will be required to submit a laboratory report at the end of each laboratory (all reports will be sent to the Teaching Assistant as electronic documents; we are going to try to avoid any paper exchange in this course).

2) All students are required to submit a term paper, which includes an original MatLab model developed by the student. Each student must orally present their term paper at the end of semester. The subject of the term paper is up to the student, but must be approved by Dr. R. van Woesik.

4) All students are required to attend lectures and laboratories (Tuesday 2-5 pm).

Grading for 4517:

70% Weekly laboratory reports (7% each lab);

30% Term paper; which includes the development of your own model (topic will be of your own interest but subject to my approval) (20% written, 10% oral).

We will adopt the University grading system.

 

Requirements for 5517

1) Complete all exercises. Students will be required to submit an electronic report at the end of each week (we are going to try to avoid any paper exchange in this course).

2) All students are required to submit a term paper, which includes an original MatLab model developed by the student. Each student must orally present their term paper at the end of semester. The subject of the term paper is up to the student, but must be approved by Dr. R. van Woesik.

Grading for 5517:

60% Weekly reports (6% each report);

40% Research model, which includes development of conceptual model, writing of code, implementation, sensitivity assessment (and validation if students have data sets); 30% written model and 10% oral presentation.

 We will adopt the University grading system.