Comparative Temperate/Tropical Ecology
July 10 - July 28
Dr. Jim Costa (WCU/HBS) and Dr. Travis Knowles (Francis Marion University)
An introductory exploration of the ecology and biogeography of temperate-zone and tropical biodiversity hotspots, from the southern Appalachians to Andean Ecuador. Based at two mountain biological field stations (Highlands Biological Station in Highlands, NC and Wildsumaco Biological Station, Sumaco Biosphere Reserve, Ecuador), we will take a field-based comparative approach to exploring southern Appalachian and Amazonian Andean montane ecology and biogeography in the spirit of the explorer-naturalists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. We will consider the geological context of the Appalachians and Andes, comparative biogeography / ecology of these respective regions in terms of the ecological and historical factors that shape their biota, big-picture patterns of latitudinal and elevational diversity gradients, principles of forest community structure and function, and examine comparative species composition and interactions in selected groups as well as soil structure and microbiota.
Prerequisites: Introductory Biology sequence, at least one course at the 200 level or above in Biology, Environmental Science, or Geosciences/Natural Resources Management, or permission of instructor.
Click here for the syllabus.
Stay tuned for updates regarding cost and travel information.