Graduate Seminar Courses


For more information on courses, visit the Evolution and Ecology course distinctions page.

Autumn 2020

EEOB 6620 & 6630
Scientific Writing in Evolution & Ecology: Manuscripts & Proposals

Instructor: Stu Ludsin (
EEOB 6620 (Manuscript Writing). Session 1 (Aug. 25 – Oct. 12, 2020): class # 26308 (1.5 credits) 
EEOB 6630 (Proposal Writing). Session 2 (Oct. 19 – Dec. 9, 2020): class # 26310 (1.5 credits) 
Mondays, 1:00 – 3:00 PM, 104 Aronoff Laboratory (or online, if needed because of COVID-19) 

These graduate-level courses will focus on improving the scientific writing ability of students. EEOB 6620 will emphasize writing scientific manuscripts, with EEOB 6630 centering on writing research proposals. During both courses, students will learn how to approach the writing process, practice writing, and learn to analyze their own writing and that of others. 

These courses will be intensive, as students will be expected to write, peer-review writing, and participate in small and large-group discussions each week. Students will need to have a writing goal for both courses, and ideally can make progress on a manuscript (EEOB 6620) or a research proposal (EEOB 6630). 

EEOB 8896.04
Phenotypic plasticity, adaptations, and climate change

Instructor: Libby Marschall (
1 credit hour
Meeting times: Tuesdays 1:50-3:40PM, alternating weeks
class #: 35049

This seminar will be focused on recent research across taxa and systems on the interaction between rapid environmental change (specifically, climate change), phenotypic plasticity, and adaptation. We will meet on alternating weeks, resulting in seven 2-hour meetings over the course of the semester.



EEOB 8896.19
Analyzing animal social networks in R

Instructor: Gerald Carter (
2 credit hours
Meeting Time: TBD
Class#: 35051

Students will learn how to use R to create and analyze social networks using real and simulated data. We will focus on practical skills for testing hypotheses using custom permutation tests. Background knowledge of R will be useful but not required. Topics include methods of behavioral data collection, inferring relationships from different kinds of social data, resampling statistics, and simulations. Each student will present a presentation on an R script they wrote to answer a question using network data. Students are encouraged to work with their own data. Students will also be invited to work together as a group to test a hypothesis using high-resolution social network data (from vampire bats) with the goal of co-authoring a peer-reviewed paper.

Spring 2020

New Course!
Insect Behavior: Mechanisms and Function

Spring Semester Even years (R. Adams)
3 credit units

The behavior of insects mediates all aspects of their ecological interactions and evolution. This course will describe the multitude of amazing behaviors expressed by insects and explore how behavior determines their survivorship and fitness. We will discuss the selective forces and constraints driving the evolution of behaviors and the proximal mechanisms that make possible complex expression within the comparatively simple insect nervous system.

EEOB 8896.01
Functional and Evolutionary Morphology

Instructor: John Hunter (
1 credit
Meeting time: Thursdays 3-4 PM (tentative)
class #: TBD

Analysis of the form and function of morphological traits underlies and informs studies of adaptation, character evolution across a phylogeny, and the distribution of organisms across space and time. Thus, functional morphology is at the interface between many subfields of evolution and ecology. Although functional morphology is sometimes pursued for its own sake, often with a heavy dose of biomechanics, insights gains from an analysis of structure and function can apply much more broadly, especially when coupled with phylogenetic, developmental, paleontological, macroevolutionary, or macroecological approaches.
In this seminar, students will read and discuss papers in functional morphology with an eye to determining  how the field interfaces with other fields in modern evolutionary biology and ecology. My default will be to emphasize feeding and locomotion in vertebrate musculoskeletal systems, but I am open to other groups and systems depending on student interest. Topics might include the correlation of diet and tooth shape in mammals, the evolution of the definitive mammalian middle ear, and the rise of ecometrics and ecomorphology.

EEOB 8896.05
Digitized Data: Using museum collections to study biodiversity in the Anthropocene

Instructors: Dr. Lisa Barrow (, Dr. Bryan Carstens (
1 credit, Second 7 weeks (2/26–4/20)
Meeting Times: Tuesdays 9–10:30 AM (Tentative), Aronoff TBD

The billions of specimens in natural history collections hold vast potential for understanding global biodiversity across time and space, particularly in this time of rapid global change (the “Anthropocene”). Major digitization efforts in the last few decades have increased accessibility of collections data in public databases, enabling research on topics such as phenological shifts, species interactions, pollution, emerging pathogens, and phenotypic evolution.

Students will be introduced to some of the methods and potential for working with museum specimens and their associated data. We will discuss recent papers that harness digitized collections to study global change and biodiversity. Each student will develop a short proposal idea to supplement their research with open-access collections data, stimulating discussions about what data already exist and what challenges remain for addressing a variety of questions in global change biology using museum collections.

EEOB 8896.12                                
Microbiome meta-analysis

Instructors: Antonino Malacrino (, and Alison Bennett (
Credit Hours 2 (2nd 7 weeks)
Meeting times TBA

Microorganisms drive several fundamental physical, chemical and biological phenomena. We usually focus on single or few microbial species, while mechanisms and processes are often driven by communities of microbes. Isolation and cultivation of entire communities is virtually impossible, so current research relies on sophisticated sequencing and bioinformatics methods to uncover microbial communities. Metabarcoding allows us to explore the diversity of microbial communities.
In this course, students will explore the metabarcoding microbiome literature, develop a research question, and conduct a meta-analysis of metabarcoding data. Students will retrieve the data from public repositories, build a database, and analyze the database with state-of-the-art bioinformatics techniques. The goal of the seminar will be to focus in depth on a question in the metabarcoding microbiome literature, analyze the question, and submit a manuscript for peer-review.

Autumn 2019

EEOB 8896.07
Communicating science via photography

Instructor: Andi Wolfe (
Credit Hours TBA
Meeting times TBA
Class# TBA

Every scientist needs to communicate his/her research in as many ways as possible. Sharing images during presentations at meetings, while giving seminars, teaching courses, or via social media sites are good ways to let others know about your work and passion(s) for evolution, ecology, or organismal biology. This seven-week seminar will focus (pun intended) on all aspects of nature photography – from the basics of how to make photos under a variety of conditions to using software for post-processing of images. We’ll meet twice a week – for a 2-hr period during the regular week, and again for a half-day or all-day field trip on Saturday to go make photos in local parks or nature reserves. Students will need to purchase a copy of Lightroom 5 (available at Wired Out for an academic discount, or via an online subscription available from, and own, rent, or borrow an appropriate camera to use during the course. Specific goals of the course include: 1) review of photography basics, 2) learn how to use post-processing software, 3) develop a critical eye for composition, exposure, and depth-of-field settings, and 4) sharing photos and information via social media.

Analyzing the Genomic Basis of Adaptations

Instructors: Lisle Gibbs ( and Andreas Chavez (
Credit Hours TBA
Meeting times Tentatively Thursday 10 – 1130 AM in Aronoff 104
Class# TBA

The goal is to organize a forum within EEOB with people who have research interests on this topic to meet and discuss conceptual issues, methodological approaches and empirical results. All are welcome. Students who wish to take the course for official credit can sign up under EEOB 8896 course listing.  We ask that people who are interested in participating please fill out the Google Form link by 1 August so that we can get an idea of who might participate.

Weekly meeting with faculty and student led discussions on series of topics related to the use of genomic methods/information to study the evolution of adaptive variation in natural populations. A tentative list of topics and dates is given below but we are open to alternative topics or possibly research presentations.  Depending on the numbers of participants, students will be responsible for leading 1 – 2 discussions based on papers they choose that are relevant to the topic or from papers suggested by the instructors. Please see attached document for a tentative weekly schedule, a list of potential topics, a list of foundational/review papers for your bibliography, some key questions on this topic, and a list of additional resources from the "Population Genomics” book by Rajora 2019. We will also incorporate seminar visits by Matt Hahn and Gideon Bradburd by discussing papers suggested by them on the weeks they are at OSU. Details can be found in the Topics-Genomics of Adaptation document.

Diversity and Inclusion in Ecology and Evolution

Instructor: Maria Miriti (
Second 7 weeks; Credit Hours TBA
Meeting times TBA
Class# TBA

Increasingly, the value of a diverse workforce in identifying questions, designing research programs, and evaluating results is recognized in STEM disciplines. People with different experiences bring varied perspectives to a problem, which can promote more rigorous examination of hypotheses and generate more robust findings. Interestingly, the environmental sciences remain one of the least diverse disciplines in STEM according to the NSF's annual report on Women, Minority and Persons with disabilities. The reasons for such low participation are complex, but limited exposure to nature, negative experiences with STEM among underrepresented groups, and lack of culturally competent mentorship can create disparities that impede success at all educational levels.

This course will examine barriers to inclusion in ecology from a variety of perspectives including education, field experiences, and social science. Topics include: 

1. The influence of one’s cultural lens on perceptions of the natural world

2. How cultural perceptions can influence field experiences

3. Strategies to improve mentoring and inclusion in environmental disciplines

Spring 2019

EEOB 5194
Group Studies: Evolutionary Ecology

Instructors: Ian Hamilton, and Gerry Carter,

Meeting Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:35AM-10:55AM

Course overview

This course uses evolutionary approaches to understand the causes and consequences of interactions between organisms and their environment, including interactions within and between species.  Key topics in the field of evolutionary ecology include the evolution of schedules of reproduction and development (life history), the evolution of behavior and the evolution of interactions among species.

Course Objectives

·Students will understand the diversity of life history patterns, behaviors and interspecific interactions, and how these can be the result of natural, sexual and social selection

·Students will be able to develop and test hypotheses about the evolutionary causes and consequences of variation in life history, behavior and interspecific interactions.

·Students will be able to use mathematical and computational models such as quantitative genetics models and game theoretical models, to make predictions about the evolution of strategies

·Students will understand how evolutionary perspectives are used to understand how individuals, populations and species respond to anthropogenic change.

EEOB 5797
Tropical Behavioral Ecology and Evolution in Panama

Instructors: Rachelle Adams, and Gerry Carter,

Tropical Behavioral Ecology and Evolution in Panama is a May study abroad program where you will be immersed in biological research in a Panamanian Neotropical rainforest. With guidance of instructors, students will propose and complete independent research projects related to evolution, ecology and/or behavior. You will have unique opportunities to interact with a global community of scientists and work at the world-renowned Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Funding information can be found at the Office of International Affairs.  For questions contact OSU study abroad ( or Dr. Note: All students must take Undergraduate Independent Studies EEOB 3193 or EEOB Graduate Seminar: Behavior EEOB 8896.02 with Dr. Adams.

EEOB 6330
Phylogenetic Methods

Instructors: John Freudenstein, and Laura Kubatko,
4 credit hours
Class# 33909

Methods for phylogenetic analysis: cladistics, maximum likelihood, Bayesian approaches; character coding and data management.

EEOB 8896.01 
Taste and smell in arthropods

Instructor: Norm Johnson,
14 Weeks; 1 credit hour
Course #34376

A review and discussion of recent literature on the molecular biology, physiology, neurobiology of olfaction and gustation in arthropods. 

EEOB 8896.02
Tropical Research Proposal Writing

Instructors: Rachelle Adams, and Gerry Carter,

We will focus on evolutionary processes that shape the ecology and behavior of systems in a diverse tropical forest. Students will build skills in writing and experimental design in Columbus, Ohio (SP19) as they prepare their research permits and research proposals. Field research will be conducted at the world renowned Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (May 2019; EEOB5798). In addition, the students will review and discuss the work of their peers as well as attend lectures to prepare for fieldwork. A final proposal will be submitted in April 2017 in the format of a NSF Preproposal and STRI Short Term Fellowship. This course provides unique opportunities to interact with a global community of scientists and learn successful research strategies while preparing to work in a Neotropical rainforest.

**This course is offered only in conjunction with EEOB 5798

Global biodiversity and macroecology

Instructor: Marta Jarzyna,
Second 7 weeks
Meeting times TBA

Class# 34814

Most contemporary empirical ecology focuses on the ecological interactions of individuals and populations at small temporal and spatial scales and often relies on experimental manipulation. Macroecology is a rapidly emerging field that takes a much larger perspective and explores patterns and processes driving biodiversity across the landscape, continental, and global spatial scales as well as long—i.e., decadal to paleontological—time scales. Because experimental manipulation across such large scales is impossible, macroecology often relies on sophisticated statistical methods. The objective of the course is to introduce students to the ecological questions that are at the forefront of the field of macroecology and to the variety of statistical approaches for tackling them.

EEOB 8896.09

Instructor: Roman Lanno,
Schedule TBA; 2 credit hours 
Class# 33895

EEOB 8896.12
Introduction to Methods in Genome Analysis

Instructors: Alexander Ochoa,; Lisle Gibbs,; Michael Broe,
Second 7 week session
Meeting Time: Mondays 1:00-3:15 PM, 104 Aronoff Laboratory
Class# 33503

EEOB 8896.15
Topics in Population Genetics and Phylogenetics

Instructor: Laura Kubatko, and Paul Fuerst,
Meeting Time: Mondays 12PM-1PM, Aronoff Laboratory
14 Weeks; 1 credit hour
Class# 28427

In this course, we will be reading and discussing the recently published book "Phylogenetic Comparative Methods: Learning from Trees" by Luke Harmon. The phylogenetic comparative method seeks to use a phylogenetic framework to study the evolution of traits ranging from morphological features of organisms to rates of speciation and extinction. The methods used for these analyses include a variety of mathematical and statistical techniques, and our goal will be to achieve an intuitive understanding of how these tools are used to address evolutionary questions of interest. We will read approximately one chapter per week and discuss the reading as a group.

EEOB 8896.19
Quantitative Methods: Multivariate Statistics  

Instructor: Dr. Stuart Ludsin,, Ben Marcek,
2 credit hours
Meeting Time: TBD, 0124 Aquatic Ecology Lab/Research Center
Class# 34984


Micro 5161
Bioinformatics and Genomics

Instructor: Dr. Igor Jouline,, Department of Microbiology
Meeting Time: Monday, Wednesday, Friday; time and location TBD; 3 units

In this course, you will learn how the genome sequencing technology has revolutionized biology and provided a foundation for new developments in science and medicine. You will become familiar with computational tools that are necessary to analyze genomic data and you will find out what biological questions can be answered by genomic approaches. We will use prokaryotes as the main material for genomic studies, but the core principles that you will learn are also applicable to eukaryotes including humans.

Autumn 2018

EEOB 8896.04-190
Graduate Writing Seminar I

Instructor: Ian Hamilton,
First 7 week session (Aug. 28 – Oct. 8); 1.5 credits
Meeting Time: Mondays 1:00-3:00, 104 Aronoff Laboratory
Class # 14587

This graduate-level course is the first of a two-part set that will focus on improving the scientific writing ability of students. This course will focus specifically on writing scientific manuscripts. During the course, students will learn how to approach the writing process, practice writing, and learn to effectively critique their own writing and that of others.


EEOB 8896.04-290
Graduate Writing Seminar II

Instructor: Ian Hamilton,
Second 7 week session (Oct. 15 – Dec. 3); 1.5 credits
Meeting Time: Mondays 1:00-3:00, 104 Aronoff Laboratory
Class # 18469

This graduate-level course is the second of a two-part set that will focus on improving the scientific writing ability of students. This course will focus specifically on writing scientific proposals. During the course, students will learn how to approach the proposal writing process, practice writing, and learn to effectively critique their own writing and that of others.


EEOB 8896.10
Comparative phylogeography

Instructor: Bryan Carstens, 
14 weeks
Meeting times TBA
Class # 16091

This seminar will survey classic and current approaches to comparative phylogeography, including gene tree concordance, suture zones & breaks, hypothesis testing, hierarchical approximate Bayesian computation, community trees, automated phylogeography, and likelihood based approaches. The course will be a mix of paper discussion and hands-on experience with software packages, and a term project will be required.

Spring 2018

EEOB 8896.10
The practice of taxonomy and nomenclature

Instructor: Marymegan Daly,

EEOB 8896.11 Graduate Seminar
Effects of climate change on populations and communities

Instructor: Allison Snow,

EEOB 8896.14 Graduate Seminar
Climate change impacts on the structure and function of lake phytoplankton and zooplankton communities.

Instructor: Dr. Jim Hood,

EEOB 8896.15
Seminar in Population Genetics

Instructors: Laura Kubatko,; Paul Fuerst,

Autumn 2017

EEOB 8896.04
Writing Science: Two-part Graduate Seminar Series

Instructor: Stuart Ludsin,

EEOB 8896.07
Communicating science via photography

Instructor: Andi Wolfe,

May / Summer Semester 2017

EEOB 5798
Tropical Behavioral Ecology and Evolution in Panama

Instructor: Rachelle Adams,

EEOB 7210
Methods in Evolution and Ecology: Essential tools for computational biology

Instructors: Bryan Carstens, and Ariadna Morales,

Spring 2017

EEOB 8896.01 
The Anatomy and Physiology of Host-Microbial Interactions

Instructor: Zakee Sabree,

EEOB 8896.02
Graduate Seminar: Behavior

Instructor: Rachelle Adams,

EEOB 8896.05  
Ecological Speciation

Instructor: Bryan Carstens,

EEOB 8896.11
Population Ecology Part II: developing and applying demographic models 

Instructors: Maria Miriti ( and Libby Marschall (

EEOB 8896.18
Sexual Selection and…  

Instructors: Susan Gershman ( and Andy Roberts (

EEOB 8896.19
Agent Based Models in Behavior and Ecology

Instructor: Ian Hamilton,

Autumn 2016

EEOB 8896.10 
Discussion of current primary literature and major topics in phylogenetic systematics.

Instructor: Meg Daly

EEOB 8896.12 
When should engineered gene drives be used to manage wild species?

Instructor: Professor Allison Snow,

EEOB 8896.15  
Seminar in Population Genetics

Instructors:  Laura Kubatko and Paul Fuerst

EEOB 8896.19
Meta-Analysis in Evolution and Ecology

Instructor: Steve Hovick

EEOB 8896.20
Gender in Science and Engineering

Instructor: Joan M. Herbers

Spring 2016

EEOB 6210

Instructor: Roman Lanno, Phone: 292-4943

EEOB8896.04—section 310
Publishing Papers in Plant Ecology

Instructor:  Allison Snow

EEOB 8896.05
Molecular Basis of Adaptive Variation in Natural Populations

Instructor: H. Lisle Gibbs

EEOB 8896.07-100
Communicating science via photography

Instructor: Andi Wolfe

EEOB 8896.09
Hydraulic Fracturing: Environmental and sociological considerations

Instructor: Roman Lanno, Phone: 292-4943

Population Genetics

Instructor: Laura Kubatko

Autumn 2015

Ecology of Inland Waters

Jim Bauer

EEOB8896.04 – 500
Writing Science Graduate Seminar

Stuart Ludsin, Michael Fraker, Conor Keitzer

Evolutionary radiations seminar

Andi Wolfe

EEOB 8896.11
Teaching College-level Ecology: Bringing Innovation Into the Laboratory Experience

Maria Miriti and Peter Curtis

Molecular Ecology

Bryan Carstens

Host finding mechanisms in insects

Norm Johnson

Current Topics in Quantative Methods

Bryan Carstens

Spring 2015

EEOB8896.02 – 500
Graduate Seminar in Complex Adaptive Systems in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

Dr. Ian Hamilton

EEOB 8896.05
Evolutionary Innovation

Dr. John Freudenstein

EEOB 8896.12
Model-based Phylogeography

Dr. Bryan Carstens

EEOB 8896.15
Topics in Phylogenomic Inference

Instructor: Laura Kubatko 

EEOB 8896.20
WGSS 8896.20
Gender in Science and Engineering

Dr. Joan M. Herbers

Autumn 2014

EEOB 5450
Quantitative Population Ecology

Drs. Maria Miriti, Libby Marschall, and Noelle Beckman

EEOB 8896.02
Animal Personalities

Instructor: Dr. Doug Nelson

EEOB 8896.04 
Career Options for EEOB PhDs: Exploring the Landscape

Instructor: Dr. Allison Snow, EEOB

EEOB 8896.04
EEOB Departmental Seminar Series

Dr. Zakee Sabree

EEOB 8896.07-100 (34551)
Communicating science via photography

Instructor: Andi Wolfe

EEOB 8896.12
Molecular Ecology focusing on Phylogeography and Landscape genetics

Instructor: Bryan Carstens

Spring 2014

EEOB 5320
Creation and Evolution: Differing Worldviews  (29190)

Instructor: Dr. Andrea D. Wolfe

EEOB 6210

Instructor: Roman Lanno

EEOB 6320
Principles of Systematics I

Instructor: Hans Klompen

EEOB 7220
Modeling in Evolutionary Ecology

Instructors: Ian Hamilton, Libby Marschall, David Glover

EEOB 8896.04
Graduate Seminar in Ecology: Ecology and evolution in weedy and invasive species: considering plant functional traits

Instructors: Steve Hovick and Kristin Mercer (HCS faculty)

EEOB 8896.05
Evolution and ecology of animal venoms: Unanswered questions

Instructors: Meg Daly, Lisle Gibbs

EEOB 8896.06
Phylogeography and evolution in marine systems

Instructor: Meg Daly

EEOB 8896.15
Current Topics in Mathematical Population Genetics

Instructors:  Laura Kubatko and Paul Fuerst



The Nature and Practice of Science

Dr. Dan Herms ,  Professor and Chair, Dept. of Entomology
Dr. Carol Anelli, Professor and Associate Chair, Dept. of Entomology                                          
Dr. Ross MacDonald, Research Scientist, Dept. of Entomology

Commercialization for Researchers

Team Leader: Professor Thomas Rosol, 614-292-5661

Autumn 2013

EEOB 5420
Ecology of Inland Waters

Instructor: Dr. James Bauer

EEOB 7310
Studies in Taxonomy (to become Plant Taxonomy)

Instructor: Dr. John Freudenstein

EEOB 8896.02 
Behavior Seminar

Instructors: Dr. Andrew Roberts & Dr. Susan Gershman

EEOB 8896.04
Publishing in High-Impact Journals

Instructor: Dr. Allison Snow

EEOB 8896.10
Graduate Seminar in Systematics:

Instructor: Bryan Carstens

EEOB 8896.11
Foundations of Quantitative Ecology Seminar

Instructor: Paul Hurtado

EEOB 8896.11
Graduate Seminar in Population Ecology:
Introduction to R for Biologists

Instructor: Simon Queenborough