Janzen UPENN ecology course

Humans and their environments
Professor Daniel H. Janzen,




Department of Biology BIO 140/440

1 September 2016

This lecture course in Leidy 10 explores the interface of humans with their environments the world over. The emphasis is on ways that they interface, though given that this is a biology course, there is a strong emphasis on the biological (and less human) side of the interface. The topic is enormous and examples are presented through 80-minute photographic essays that are also on the course web site http://fission.sas.upenn.edu/caterpillar. The images, and the text accompanying them, are presented here for open access use as course material and for outside learning by anyone with access to the internet and curiosity. The course is meant to stimulate your own examination of your biotic environment and your connections with it. You are, after all, a major part of the human-environment interaction.  However, I am trying to stimulate you to look more at the non-human side of the equation. Humans are just one species, though I will grant that they are the world's worst invasive species. 


See course site Canvas at <http://canvas.upenn.edu/courses/1334563> for announcements.  For recordings of lectures go to the same web site.


Course TA: Damian Lekkas at dlekkas@sas.upenn.edu with office hours by appointment.




course requirements
website administration
Lectures, Fall Semester, 2017: image menu
(1) Ants and Acacias: ecology and evolutionary biology of a mutualism - two stories: your professor, and biology 1 Sep
(2) The world is not colored green, but L-dopa, cocaine and caffeine. AND, biodiversity prospecting. 6 Sep
(3) Guest Lecturer: Professor Brent Helliker, Human and Environmental linkages revealed through stable isotope analysis 8 Sep
(4) Why do bamboos wait so long to flower? 13 Sep
(5) The great green solar panel 15 Sep
(6) Pleistocene anachronisms: the plants the megafauna left behind. 20 Sep
(7) First mid-semester examination, 1.5 hours (covering through 20 September included and readings) 22 Sep
(8) Socioeconomics and biology of tropical timber harvest -- carbon bioeconomics 27 Sep
(9) Mimicry: population ecology, evolution, selection, phylogeny, taxonomy, perception and inference. 29 Sep
(10) A day in the life of an African hunter. 4 Oct
(11) CANCELED. FALL BREAK. Animals and their physical environment: beaver, Castor canadiensis. 6 Oct
(12) Short summers: arctic biology 11 Oct
(13) Animals and their biotic environment: Rothschildia moths. 13 Oct
(14) View from the inside: the black bear and other assorted guts. 20 Oct
(15) Animals and their biotic environment: Liomys salvini mice 22 Oct
(16) Second mid-semester examination, 1.5 hours (covering 27 September through 22 October, and readings) 25 Oct
(17) Damien Lekkas, your TA; why is he here? where is he going? what does he do in this biologists guild? 27 Oct
(18) Paradise Reclaimed: in class video on the start of Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Costa Rica; read Long March 1 Nov
(19) Biodiversity development: conservation through non-damaging use, a Costa Rican example; or Paradise Reclaimed today. 3 Nov
(20) Guest Lecture: Professor Tim Linksvayer: A tale of two societies: the insects that rule our world 8 Nov
(21) Restoration Ecology 10 Nov
(22) Life on a small Caribbean island 15 Nov
(23) Guest Lecture: Professor Rob Pringle, Princeton. Biodiversity and development in Lake Victoria, East Africa 17 Nov
(24) Guest lecture: Professor Mecky Pohlschroder: our world of microbes 22 Nov
(25) What is a flower? 29 Nov
(26) What is a fruit and why does it rot? 1 Dec
(27) 12-2:00 pm Final exam Bio. 140/440, Room 10 Leidy, covers entire course, about 100 questions 21 Dec
(28) Nitty gritty of how a non-taxonomist (me/we) uses DNA barcoding and BOLD to curate name application ("identification") and species discovery in a Costa Rican inventory of Lepidoptera, Tachinidae and parasitoid wasps. 22 Jul
(29) Nitty gritty of how a non-taxonomist (me/we) uses DNA barcoding and BOLD to curate name application ("identification") and species discovery in a Costa Rican inventory of Lepidoptera, Tachinidae and parasitoid wasps. 22 Jul
(30) 20 Sep
(31) Where rain rarely falls 22 Jul