Courses

Courses are offered to students over two semesters per year, covering a vast range of topics such as animal behaviour, evolutionary biology, biogeography, community ecology, theoretical and quantitative ecology.

Course schedule for the year 2013-14

August Semester Jan Semester
Introductory Biology-I* Evolutionary Biology **
General Biology** Theoretical and Mathematical Biology
Experiments in Ecology* Ecology: Principles and Applications
Animal Behaviour: Mechanisms and Evolution
Evolutionary Ecology: Pattern and Process
Plant Animal Interactions

(*) UG course taught by CES faculty
(**) Int. PhD course taught by CES faculty

Typical courses offered by CES Faculty.

August Semester Jan Semester
Introductory Biology-I* Evolutionary Biology **
General Biology** Theoretical and Mathematical Biology
Experiments in Ecology* Ecology: Principles and Applications
Animal Behaviour: Mechanisms and Evolution
Evolutionary Ecology: Pattern and Process
Quantitative Ecology: Models, Research Design, and Inference
Plant Animal Interactions
Advances in Macroecology
Advanced Methods in Molecular Phylogenetics
Programming in C

(*) Int. PhD compulsory Course (taught by CES faculty)
(**) UG course (taught by CES faculty)

Course title Introductory Biology-I** (DB-101 and DB-101L)
Course number DB 101 & DB 101L
Semester August Semester
Credits 2:1
Instructor Raghavendra Gadagkar
Schedule
Outline (Only outline relevant to Ecology is presented here) Basic Introduction to the study of evolution and animal behaviour, evidence for evolution, the theory of natural selection, introduction to ethology, evolution of behaviour, levels of natural selection, social life in animals, insect societies, human behaviour. Ecology of populations, resources and intra-specific competition, life histories,populations and metapopulations. Diversity of Life, a brief survey of biological diversity (Tree of life). Animal diversity and life histories. Plant diversity and life histories.

Course title General Biology*
Course number DB 202
Semester August Semester
Credits 2:0
Instructor Vidyanand Nanjundaiah and Renee M. Borges
Schedule
Outline Biology and natural sciences, growth of biological thought, matter and life, origin of life, history of life on earth, bacteria and protists, fungi and other primitive plants, seed bearing plants. Animals without backbones, insects, vertebrates, phylogeny and systematic. Mechanisms of evolution, chemical basis of life, cellular basis of life. Selected topics in plant physiology, selected topics in animal physiology. Introduction to ecology, selected topics in plant ecology, selected topics in animal ecology, population ecology, community ecology, animal behaviour, behavioral ecology and sociobiology, biological diversity on earth. Loss of biological diversity in recent times, conservation biology and the future of the biosphere.

Course title Experiments in Ecology**
Course number
Semester August Semester
Credits 2:1
Instructor Maria Thaker
Schedule
Outline Students will explore key concepts in Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour through field observations, manipulative experiments and computer simulations. Topics will include diversity and distributions of organisms, competition and predation, species interactions, mate choice, optimal foraging theory, plant and animal communication, learning and memory, evolutionary evidence and the fossil record, variation and heritability, natural and sexual selection, genetic drift.

Course title Animal Behaviour: Mechanisms and Evolution
Course number EC 301
Semester August Semester
Credits 2:1
Instructor Rohini Balakrishnan and Maria Thaker
Schedule
Outline History and approaches, classical ethology; neuroethology: sensory processing and neural maps; learning and memory; hormones and behavior; ontogeny of behaviour; sensory ecology; sociobiology; behavioral genetics; optimality approaches and evolutionary models to understanding strategies for foraging, competition group living, sexual selection and mate choice, parental care and family conflicts, predator-prey interactions; theoretical, integrative and computational approaches to studying animal behaviour.

Course title Evolutionary Ecology: Pattern and Process
Course number EC 202
Semester August Semester
Credits 2:1
Instructor Kartik Shanker
Schedule
Outline History of ecology, evolution and biogeography; interactions between organisms and the environment; ecological niche; distribution of species and communities; basic population biology; interspecific interactions; community assembly; diversity, richness and abundance; biogeographic patterns across space and time; ecological and evolutionary processes (dispersal and diversification); island biogeography; meta-population biology; macroecology.

Course title Quantitative Ecology, Statistical Inference and Study Design
Course number EC 305
Semester August Semester
Credits 2:1
Instructor Kavita Isvaran
Schedule
Outline The scientific process in ecology; framing ecological questions; elements of study design; confronting ecological models with data; understanding the nature of data; frequentist, likelihood, and Bayesian frameworks for statistical inference; statistical modeling strategies; model selection and multimodel inference, model validation.

Course title Plant Animal Interactions
Course number EC 302
Semester August Semester
Credits 2:1
Instructor Renee M. Borges
Schedule
Outline The sensory biology of the interaction between plants, their animal mutualists and parasites: vision, chemoreception, olfaction; energetics of plant–animal interactions; nectar, floral and vegetative scents and pollen chemistry; stable isotopes in the study of plant–animal interactions; mate choice in plants; evolution of floral and fruit traits; phenotypic plasticity and inducible defenses in plants; behavioral and physiological processes in generalist and specialist herbivores, pollinators and seed dispersers; co-evolutionary dynamics of symbiosis, mutualisms and arms races.

Course title Advances in Macroecology
Course number EC 308
Semester August Semester
Credits 1:0
Instructor Kartik Shanker
Schedule
Outline Patterns of diversity and distribution; latitudinal, altitudinal and depth gradients in species richness; areography; species ranges and range boundaries; patterns of endemism; species-area curve, range size, body size, and species abundance; phylogeny, phylogeography and niche conservatism; history of neutral models in ecology; geometric constraints, range cohesion and range scatter models; neutral theory of biodiversity and biogeography; metabolic theory.

Course title Advanced Methods in Molecular Phylogenetics
Course number EC 307
Semester August Semester
Credits 1:0
Instructor Praveen Karanth
Schedule
Outline Fundamentals of molecular phylogenetics, Various tree building methods including, distance, maximum likelihood, maximum parsimony and Bayesian approaches to tree building, historical biogeography, phylogeography, character evolution, molecular clock and time trees, DNA networks. This course is a combination of theory, paper writing and seminars.

Course title Programming in C
Course number
Semester August Semester
Credits
Instructor
Schedule
Outline

Course title Evolutionary Biology
Course number DB 209 / EC 204
Semester January Semester
Credits 2:1
Instructor Praveen Karanth
Schedule
Outline Natural selection;units of selection; adaptation; speciation; population genetics; drift and the neutral theory; quantitative genetics; molecular phylogenetics; molecular evolution; estimating nucleotide substitutions; homologous sequences; gene trees vs. species trees; Darwinian selection at the molecular level; gene families; applications of molecular phylogenetics.

Course title Theoretical and Mathematical Ecology
Course number EC 201
Semester January Semester
Credits 2:1
Instructor Vishwesha Guttal
Schedule
Outline Basic elements of theoretical ecology, building and analyzing mathematical models of ecological systems, generating new ecological insights and hypotheses. Discrete and continuous population models; stochastic and spatial models; random walks in ecology and evolution.

Course title Ecology: Principles and Applications*
Course number
Semester January Semester
Credits
Instructor Sumanta Bagchi
Schedule
Outline Earth (geology, geography, climate), ecology and society, population dynamics, species interactions, succession, food webs and trophic cascades, biodiversity and conservation, behaviour and natural selection, behaviour and sexual selection, ecosystems, biogeochemical cycles, global change.