Landscape Genetics

W. Chris Funk, Brenna Forester, Daryl Trumbo

Description:This is an online course organized by Helene Wagner, Melanie Murphy, and Lisette Waits that provides interdisciplinary training in the field of landscape genetics. The local section at Colorado State University will be led by Chris Funk, Brenna Forester, and Daryl Trumbo. These instructors will facilitate local discussions of readings and online lectures, and assist with computer lab exercises provided as part of the online course. The course caters to students in basic and applied ecology, conservation and population genetics, landscape ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation biology. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of landscape genetics, there are no course prerequisites. However, experience, training, and/or previous coursework in one of landscape ecology, population genetics, and/or spatial statistics is recommended. A key objective of landscape genetics is to study how landscape modification and habitat fragmentation affect organism dispersal and gene flow across the landscape. Landscape genetics requires highly interdisciplinary specialized skills making intensive use of technical population genetic skills and spatial analysis tools (spatial statistics, GIS tools and remote sensing). Even when students receive disciplinary training in these areas, educational programs often lack the necessary linkage and synthesis among disciplines. This linkage can only be accomplished after experts from each discipline work together to develop guiding principles for this new research area. This online course will be concurrently offered at multiple universities across the globe, giving students the opportunity to learn from international experts, work with peers from outside institutions, and work with local instructors with wide-ranging expertise in the field. Students will prepare for each weekly meeting by reading 2-3 peer-reviewed papers relevant to that week's topic. Course meetings will start with a live web-cast lecture by an expert on the week's topic that introduces foundations and methods and highlights points for discussion in our local seminar group. After local group discussion, a web-based discussion across campuses will wrap up the weekly topic. Students who are unable to make it to livecast of lectures can view taped lectures. The course includes a computer lab component (using R) that provides code and hand-on training in landscape genetic analyses. There is also an optional interdisciplinary group term project with web-based collaboration across institutions. Students who participate in group projects will have the option of applying to attend a project synthesis meeting in Coeur Alene, Idaho in May 2018. Evaluation will be based on attendance, participation in discussion, and completion of lab exercises.

Section: 3
Credits: 3
First Meeting: 1/17/2017
Meeting Times: Wednesdays (1/17/17-5/9/17) 8:30am-11:30am
Classroom: TBD
CRN: 28670
Cross Listed:
Enrollment Limit: 20
Background: Some training is recommended in one of: landscape ecology, population genetics, and/or spatial statistics.
Course Text:
Instructor Contact Info:
      W. Chris Funk 970-491-3289
      Brenna Forester
      Daryl Trumbo