BIO 206: Plant Physiology Lecture

This course is designed as an introduction to Plant Physiology. Students will learn fundamental concepts and innovative research that encompasses this exciting field based on the functioning of plants. Through this course students will learn about the biochemical and molecular processes to whole- plant function, such as germination, growth & development, phenology, plant diseases & defenses, and adaptations to stress. We will take an eco-physiological approach for using the key concepts in plant physiology to understand dynamic ecosystem processes, response and adaptation to climate change, and biodiversity of plant communities.

BIO 207: Plant Physiology Lab

This lab focuses on the impacts of the environment on plant physiology. Through course-based research projects, students learn key concepts in plant physiology in order to understand plant function. Students choose grow their own plants from seeds and expose them to various treatments at the Smith College Botanic Garden. Students take various measurements including leaf-level gas exchange (photosynthesis) using sophisticated equipment, growth, nutrient allocation, and water-use efficiency. Students use RStudio for data analysis and data visualization. By the end of this course, students gain valuable experience in experimental design, use state of the art equipment, learn how to statistically analyze their data, and become proficient at coding in R.

BIO 355: ecoPhysiology Lecture

Ecophysiology is based on the interaction between an organism’s physiology and its environment. Topics in this course include the impacts of changes in climate and resources on physiological processes, with a strong emphasis on plants. The role of microbes and animals are also discussed through a food-web approach to understanding ecosystem patterns and processes. Through understanding the physiology of the cells and individuals, students will be able to understand how to scale up to the physiology of the ecosystem.

BIO 356: ecoPhysiology Lab

Students explore the creative and artistic side of science through independent research projects that address world-pressing problems in Ecophysiology. Projects will be based on large, long-term, publicly available datasets from world-renowned field stations. Students will use RStudio to become proficient in the art of data visualization, data exploration, and data analysis. We explore how to make scientific presentations come alive and make research more palatable to the general public. The course ends with a scientific poster symposium.

BIO 390 Seminar: Ecological impacts of Global Change

I have designed a course that incorporates (1) a critical analysis of the current global change research and how it is represented by the media sources and (2) exercises and projects that help students conceptualize the most up-to-date global change research and present a public friendly version of the outcomes. The course will primarily consist of student led discussion sessions on recent scientific developments and blogs. The semester culminates with the development of a newsletter that incorporates student creativity and research. Ultimately, the course addresses pressing global change problems and investigates the role for adaptation and mitigation. Students will be able to enhance their public speaking and writing skills while exploring the vast knowledge of research focusing on the impacts of global change.

BIO 132 (formerly known as BIO 150): Cells, Physiology, and Development

Students in this course investigate the structure, function and physiology of cells, the properties of biological molecules, information transfer from the level of DNA to cell-cell communication, and cellular energy generation and transfer. The development of multicellular organisms and the physiology of selected organ systems will also be explored. In addition to lectures, each student will participate in discussion sections that focus on data analysis and interpretation while integrating mechanisms across scales.