ESPM 108A Trees: Taxonomy, growth, and structure

3 units, offered every fall semester

This course is intended for students with an interest in the identification, diversity and evolution of trees. The course begins with a taxonomic survey that focuses on gymnosperms and angiosperms, the major groups to include tree taxa. This is followed by an analysis of structural and developmental traits unique to the tree form. Lectures during the second half of the semester address autecological processes that lead to variation among populations. The current and future distribution of woody plants are considered in terms of ecological constraints, historical events and changing climate.

2 hours lecture per week and one 3-hour lab. Labs are mostly held in one of the local botanical gardens. Saturday Sierra Nevada field trip


ESPM 108B  Environmental Change Genetics

3 units, offered every fall semester

This course examines the consequences of environmental change on the levels and distribution of genetic diversity within species over time and space. It addresses the following questions. 1) Why study the effects of environmental change on within-species genetic diversity? 2) How does environmental change interact with species biological traits to affect genetic diversity? 3) How do genetic and phenotypic diversity buffer species against environmental change? 4) What are the research methods to study effects of environmental change on genetic diversity?  Students are introduced to methods of analysis and their application to organisms from a range of ecosystems. The fate of populations under rapid environmental change are assessed in the light of dispersal and adaptation potential. Students learn to use population genetics freeware to evaluate molecular data.

2 hours lecture per week and 1 hour discussion