I have taught a range of courses spanning conservation biology to eukaryote molecular genetics, undergraduate to graduate, and with class sizes from 1 to > 500 students. Here I present only courses in which I have actively taught in the last few years, although bend this rule a bit for descriptions of the field courses. Note that I am on sabbatical for 2013-14 and teaching only a handful of field courses.


Field Courses

Queen’s University Biological Station

Ecology of Amphibians and Reptiles

I started this course in 2000 with my then Ph.D. student Jim Austin, now an Associate Professor at the University of Florida. Since 2003, I have taught this course with Gabriel Blouin-Demers of the University of Ottawa. This course provides students with an introduction to: i) field techniques for censusing herptofaunal diversity, ii) the ecology of Ontario amphibians and reptiles, and iii) conservation issues (local and global) of these two vertebrate groups. Student seminars, class discussions and lectures will be complemented by “hands-on” field exercises. Students learn how to design and implement field studies focussed on amphibians and reptiles, and various techniques for analysis of field data. In 2016 I will teach the course with Dr. Greg Bulté of Carleton University.

Diversity and conservation of Middle America

Ecology and Conservation in Costa Rica, or Mexico (2007) (2009) (2011).

Typically offered only in alternate years depending on my schedule, this is an intensive two- or three-week field course on tropical ecology and conservation biology. With each trip we explore the tremendous biological and geographic diversity of tropical, subtropical or alpine habitats, typically visiting at least three sites. The course was last offered in 2007 in Mexcio with our itinerary including visits to Chamela and Las Joyas field stations (UNAM and the Universit of Guadalajara, respectively), and Parque Nacional de Volcan de Colima. Costa Rica often taught with colleagues Chris Eckert.   Mexico taught with Javier Salgado (Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo), and with Chris Eckert or Yuxiang Wang.

Diversity and conservation of Argentina

Northern Patagonia 2012

Taught in February 2012 with Shelley Arnott, this course was focused on the town of San Carlos de Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentina, with sites spanning a broad ecotone between dry shrub steppe and temperate rain forest in Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi (dominant tree species – lengas, coihue, and the ñires).

Northwestern Argentina 2010

Taught in February 2010 with Yuxiang Wang, this course focuses on the topographically-rugged region of norwestern Argentina spanning the provinces of Tucuman, Salta and Jujuy. This region has breathtaking variety of life zones spanning the Monte Desert to the humid Yungas forests of the Andean eastern slopes.

Northeastern Argentina 2008

Another Latin American field course endeavour that was taught in February 2008 with Linda Campbell and Pablo Tubaro. This course focused on the northeastern part of Argentina visiting sites in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Corrientes, Entre Rios and Misiones.

Biodiversity of Northwestern Argentina 2004

Co-taught in August 2004, a broad survey of habitat and species diversity in this topographically and biologically complex northwestern part of Argentina including the provinces of Jujuy, Salta, and Tucuman. Taught with Paul Handford, Jane Bowles, and Ricardo Ojeda.

Lecture & Lab-Based

Biology 440: Speciation and Macroevolution

In this course we will explore patterns of biodiversity from genes to ecosystems, and from local to global geographic scales, obviously with emphasis on East Africa. We begin with considerations of biogeography and distribution patterns (including endemicity) of East African biodiversity. We examine various hypotheses/ mechanisms regarding the origin and maintenance of biodiversity, and delve into some controversial areas in biodiversity science (e.g. the putative link between stability and diversity, null models). We also discuss more practical issues such as the measurement and valuation of biodiversity, its potential importance in functioning and stability of ecosystems, its role in human welfare, its conservation, and future prospects. The course includes a series of formal lectures, student presentations, and (hopefully vociferous) class discussions on key issues, as well as field exercises (some impromptu) on a range of ecosystems and taxa spanning terrestrial and marine mammals, birds, herpetofauna, mangroves, and coral reef fishes and invertebrates according to the respective expertise of instructors.