Advanced Topics In Entomology (1) These seminar classes are a reading/small-group discussion class about current issues in entomology.

Spider Biology
Term: Fall 2019, 1 credit
Instructor: Eric Yip

With over 45,000 described species, spiders are the world's dominant land predators. Spiders consume on the order of millions to billions of insects and other small animals per year per hector, making them integral components of nearly every terrestrial ecosystem, including agroecosystems. Spiders are not just eight-legged insects; rather they are separated from their hexapod cousins by over 500 million years of evolution and possess their own unique biology. This seminar course explores the fascinating diversity of this underappreciated order, providing a foundational understanding of phylogenetic history, morphology and identification, behavior, and ecology. We will also introduce the other, far less studied but no less interesting, arachnid orders. Classes will be based on a combination of lectures by the instructor and paper discussions led by students on a topic of their choice.

Term: Fall 2019, 1 credit
Instructor: Dr. Heather Hines

Evolutionary trees are utilized across the biological sciences, with applications such as inferring gene or taxon relationships, phylogenetic correction in ecological data, and trait mapping. This seminar will provide a methodological foundation and appreciation for phylogenetics, a field focused on inferring evolution through building evolutionary trees. The course will explore several topics, such as basic tree building methods, ancestral trait reconstruction, historical biogeography, and coevolutionary approaches, and will cover various types of phylogenetic data sources, from morphology, to genes and genomes. Course format will involve a combination of lecture and paper discussion sessions. Guest lectures will be presented by faculty with expertise in diverse aspects of phylogenetics.