400-Level Courses

These upper level courses often have prerequisites, and are available to graduate students and advanced undergraduates.

ENT 402 BIOLOGY OF ANIMAL PARASITES (3) An introduction to animal parasitology. Emphasizes principles, economic importance, host/parasite interactions, epizootiology, zoonoses, control and taxonomy. Prerequisites: BIOL 101 GN, 102 GN. (ENT/V SC) 
ENT 410 INSECT STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION (3) Integrated physiology and anatomy of insects; emphasis on unique adaptations, genetic regulation of development, insects as model systems, environmental physiology. Prerequisite: BIOL 110, BIOL 220W, BIOL 230W, BIOL 240W 
ENT 420 INTRODUCTION TO POPULATION DYNAMICS (3) Principles of population regulation, demographic analysis, modeling of dynamic processes are discussed; laboratories involve the exploration of population growth models. Prerequisite: BIOL 110, BIOL 220W  

ENT 424 SENSORY BIOLOGY of INSECTS (3) The goal of this course is to give students an understanding of insect sensory systems that contribute to the behaviors that we see insects performing for their survival and reproduction. Students will gain knowledge about the sensory mechanisms underlying mate-finding and courtship, host-finding and oviposition, and feeding/recruitment. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the neuroethology of insect orientation, communication, learning, and in particular cases, the evolutionary pressures that may have shaped these behaviors and their underlying sensory systems. Selected systems will be studied with regard to what is known about signal acquisition, signal processing, and signal classification for chemical, visual, mechanoreceptive/auditory, and thermosensory stimuli. This is a 3-credit course taught by Prof. Tom Baker. (Syllabus)
(3) Collection and identification of aquatic insects and other benthic macroinvertebrates in freshwater ecosystems; includes discussions on the use of samplers and sampling techniques for benthic macroinvertebrates. This course focuses on the ecology and taxonomy of freshwater benthic macroinvertebrates with an emphasis on aquatic insects. The role and relationship of aquatic macroinvertebrates to other aquatic biota and water quality management issues will also be presented. Lectures and labs blend together and focus on sampling / collecting, identifying, and the ecology of aquatic insects. Field trips are designed to provide opportunities for observation of the diversity and adaptations of arthropods in aquatic habitats. Laboratory sessions are designed to explore the amazing diversity of aquatic insects and other aquatic macroinvertebrates through laboratory identification, mini lectures, and class discussions. This course is taught by Greg Hoover.

ENT 432 INSECT BIODIVERSITY AND EVOLUTION - Fall (4 credits schedule # 937756) This course is designed to teach graduate students about insect taxonomy, evolutionary relationships, collection and preservation techniques, morphology, and natural history. We’ll focus mostly on adult forms and emphasize insects found in Pennsylvania. In the lab, students will learn how to handle specimens, how use diagnostic keys, and how identify insects by sight. Collection techniques will be honed during multiple field trips.

ENT 445 EVOLUTION AND INSECT SOCIETIES - Spring (3) The formation of social groups is one of the major transitions in evolution.  Insects represent an ideal model system in which to study the evolution of societies and social behavior.  There have been multiple independent evolutions of sociality across different lineages, and the scale and diversity of social behaviors is remarkable.   In this course, we will discuss the basic principles of evolutionary biology, and use these to understand the evolution of complex social behavior in the bees, ants and wasps.  Topics will include natural selection, multi-level selection theory, sociogenomics, host-parasite interactions, extended phenotypes, male-female conflict, cooperation and conflict within social groups, division of labor, mating structures, and communication systems.

ENT 450 Medical Entomology (3) This course will present principles of transmission of human and animal pathogens by insects, mites and ticks, and will discuss other non-transmission based aspects of medically important arthropods such as envenomization and forensic entomology. We will discuss basic arthropod biology with special attention to biological properties of vectors and their interactions with pathogens. We will cover basic components of arbopathogen disease cycles and principles of pathogen transmission dynamics. We will discuss the major groups of arthropod-borne pathogens and vectors. Special topics will include emergent pathogens, vector genetics, traditional and modern disease control strategies and venomous arthropods.

We will also come into the lab and get hands-on experience with mosquitoes, ticks, and modern molecular techniques!
(3) Ecological basis for pest management; principles underlying selected management tactics including application and efficacy; development of pest management systems. Prerequisite: 6 credits of life sciences