Terrestrial Microbiology 145 (4 units)

Exploration of the diversity of archaea, bacteria, viruses, slime molds and fungi that often associate with humans, animals, plants (special focus on symbiotic interactions), and extreme terrestrial environments. Topics include ecology, evolution, genetics, systematics, and physiology. This class is taught every fall and includes a discussion section. Students are required to lead two group presentations and give one final presentation on a paper of their choice.

2020 Fall Syllabus; 2019 Fall Syllabus; 2018 Fall Syllabus2017 Fall Syllabus

    Student testimonials:

  • "I really appreciated the structure of your terrestrial microbio course. It was enjoyable and really prepared me for grad school. A lot of what we do in our program involves critically analyzing published articles and presenting patient cases to our class." - Sahana Arkalgud (2017 Fall student, currently in PA school)

Plant Physiology 157C-L (4 units)

The course explores the link between structure and function that contributes to the development, reproduction, and diversity of plants. There will be a special emphasis on primary literature reading and analyses. The class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays with a mandatory three-hour lab section. Students are required to complete two midterms, a non-cumulative final, weekly quizzes, two project presentations and either a final presentation on a paper of their choice or an independent project. 

2020 Spring Syllabus; 2019 Spring Syllabus; 2018 Spring Syllabus2017 Spring Syllabus

      Student testimonials:

  • "Taking your class was an important step in my undergraduate career because it was the only class I took at UCSB with a lab that allowed students to develop and explore their own research questions, and it showed me just how interesting it can be to have the opportunity to explore one's own interests in research."  - Lauren Skube (2018 Spring student, currently Master's student at the Bren School)
  • "All of the video lessons were incredible! Amidst all the transitions to online, I really think this course handled it the best. The quizzes were good to keep me on top of things, and all the videos were very information rich! I thought the exam questions were also clever and ensured we couldn't just directly copy answers from videos, but had to synthesize the information (graphing questions especially!)." - anonymous review (2020 Spring student)

Plant Ecology 194D/595D (2 units)

Plant ecology research seminar is a weekly graduate course where students and faculty share their ongoing research or read recent literature in plant or ecosystem ecology. Students gain valuable experience practicing their presentation skills and learning about other people's work. Advanced undergraduate students interested in plant research are also invited. The course is taught jointly with Prof. Carla D'Antonio and Prof. Josh Schimel and runs on Tuesday nights from 6:30-8:30 pm. 

Introductory Biology EEMB 3 (3 units)

This course is required for all biology majors and co-taught by three faculty or staff. Students are required to take two midterm exams (in-class or synchronously online) and one cumulative final exam. Attendance and assessment will involve iClicker questions or weekly quizzes online. 

Symbiosis 194EE/595EE (2 units)

This class is no longer offered but served as preparation for EEMB 145 Terrestrial Microbiology (see above).

Symbiosis is the interaction of two or more species living in close proximity.  Some have described it as “an important strategy for the survival of living organisms” and often considers it as the source of key evolutionary and ecological novelty. Hence, the evolutionary origin, maintenance, spread, and breakdown of symbiotic systems are of general interest to the study of biological diversity. The seminar will focus primarily on mutualistic interactions, but will cover theory and analytical tools that will be useful for students interested in other symbiotic systems, e.g., parasitism and commensalism. The focus each week will be on a conceptual question in the study of symbioses and we will read one to two research or review articles exploring this topic in a model symbiotic system. The goals of the course are to become familiar with the current questions and analytical tools in symbiosis biology, to learn about the natural history of model systems, and to gain practical experience in presentation skills, both oral and written. 

Papers read Fall 2014

Freshman Seminar INT 94SG

Hundreds of different species of fungi are endophytic, living inside plant tissues without causing apparent signs of disease. Many of these fungal endophytes are often previously unidentified new species. This course starts and ends in the classroom but consist of two 3-hour lab sessions where students will gain valuable skills in how to explore the diverse world of fungal endophytes.

Fungal endophytes cultured in Winter 2016

Fungal endophytes cultured in Spring 2016