left corner
bharat and everestrr2r3
ff BIOL 2446 - Principles of Ecology

Class Website
Related Links
B. Pokharel's Website

Class meeting

Monday and Wednesday (10:00-11:20AM) (H105)

Lab meeting

Friday (8:30-11:20AM; 11:30AM - 2:20PM) (H212)

Office hours

Monday and Wednesday 09:00-10:00AM or by appointment

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the interaction of organisms and the environment. Topics include physiological ecology, population ecology, ecosystem processes and life history strategies. An emphasis is placed on selected terrestrial and wetland environments.

Learning Objectives

The learning objectives of the courses are:
  • to introduce various important ecological concepts and topics in preparation for upper year biology courses
  • to examine abiotic and biotic interactions that influence the distribution and abundance of species at various levels of biological organization
  • to promote the development of scientific skills through the emphasis of classic and current approaches to ecological research
  • to demonstrate ability to understand conceptual and mathematical models used to describe ecological systems
  • to understand why the knowledge of ecology is vital to guiding the process of sustainable resource management and development

Course Resources

- Blackboard (need to login using your Webadvisor ID and Password)
- Website


Required Textbook:
  • Smith, T.M. and Smith R.L. 2012. Elements of Ecology. Eighth edition, Benjamin Cummings, Boston.

Supplementary Textbooks and Reading Materials:
  • Krebs, C.J. 2009. Ecology: The Experimental Analysis of Distribution and Abundance. Sixth edition, Benjamin Cummings, San Francisco.
  • Supplementary reading materials will be assigned throughout the semester. Check course website and blackboard regularly.

Lab Schedule
(PDF Copy of Lab Schedule)

Course Schedule
(PDF Copy of Course Schedule)

Week 1: (Sept 10 & 12)
Course business
The nature and science of ecology

Reading: Chapter 1

Week 2: (Sept 17 & 19)
The physical environment
Adaptations to the environment

Reading: Chapters 2, 3, 4, 6 & 7

Week 3: (Sept 24 & 26)
Populations parameters
Population growth and life history

Reading: Chapter 8, 9 & 10

Week 4: (Oct 01 & 03)
Regulation of population size and pest control

Reading: Chapter 11 & 12

READING BREAK (October 08 - 14)

Week 5: (Oct 15 & 17)

Reading: Chapter 13, 14 & 15

Week 6: (Oct 22 & 24)
Oct 22: Mid-term I (15%)

Parasitism, mutualism and herbivory

Reading: Chapter 16

Week 7: (Oct 29 & 31)
No lecture: GIS lab for Friday 8:30 group

Reading: Check blackboard

Week 8: (Nov 05 & 07)
Special topics in ecology

Reading: Check blackboard

Week 9: (Nov 12 & 14)
Community ecology: structure and dynamics
Landscape dynamics

Reading: Chapters 17, 18, 19, 20

Week 10: (Nov 19 & 21)
Ecosystem ecology: productivity, energy flow and nutrient cycling

Reading: Chapters 21 & 22

Week 11: (Nov 26 & 28)
Population growth, resource use and sustainability
Habitat loss, biodiversity and conservation biology

Reading: Chapters 28 & 29

Week 12: (Dec 03 & 05)
Global climate change
Review for the final

Reading: Chapter 30