Ecology” by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 

Ecology (from Greek: οἶκος, “house”, or “environment”; -λογία, “study of”)

Ecology= The scientific study (using the scientific method) of the interactions that determine the distribution (i.e. where things are found) and abundance (i.e. how many) of organisms

COURSE GOALS: The dual goals of this course are to introduce some of the major concepts in modern ecological theory, and to teach how ecological knowledge is accumulated through the application of the scientific method. To achieve these goals, we will use a combination of lecture, paper discussions and data analysis assignments designed to improve your critical thinking skills and foster an appreciation for ecological diversity in its many forms. 

Population & Community Ecology BIO-313

Learning Outcomes:


  • describe and apply mathematical models of population growth, dynamics, and pairwise species interactions
  • describe and explain concepts of interspecific interactions (including competition, predation, herbivory, parasitism and mutualism)
  • explain and describe the consequences of species interaction in complex ecological communities (e.g. trophic cascades, indirect effects, succession)
  • describe how ecological theory can be applied to practical conservation issues


  • understand fundamentals of the scientific method, especially the link between making observations and generating testable hypotheses
  • Design simple ecological studies to address specific hypotheses
  • Extract and integrate information from the scientific literature
  • Generate and interpret graphical information and introductory statistical analyses

*Note: Learning outcomes and skills taken from the course website. Written by Professor Cynthia Hayes.