Foundations of Ecology

This seminar course familiarizes students with foundational concepts and themes in ecology and how they have changed over time. Each week we read and discuss two papers: one classic paper selected from the recently published volume Foundations of Ecology II: Classic Papers with Commentaries (Eds. Miller and Travis, 2022) covering the period 1970–1995, and one related contemporary paper published after 2010. We discuss how the concepts and themes introduced in classic papers have influenced the field of ecology and consider how new tools, data, and insights have advanced, diminished, or changed their impact. The Foundations book covers many topics, arranged into six core areas. Readings cover all six areas, but the included content varies depending on the interests of the class. Students are responsible for choosing one classic paper from Foundations, pairing it with one contemporary paper and leading the discussion during the class meeting. Students also submit short weekly “reflections” in response to a prompt.

1 credit for Yale College students
Course Number: 
E&EB 712
Professor (Faculty Member): 
Day / time: 
Th 9:25am-11:15am
Course Type: 
Course term: