[F&ES 768] / 2016-2017
Pests, Pathogens & Parasites in Natural and Managed Systems
Insect and microbial natural enemies play an integral role in shaping ecological communities, but receive much less attention than more charismatic megafauna. In this seminar, we will discuss the good, the bad and the truly disgusting. Weekly meetings will focus on student-led discussions of peer-reviewed scientific literature. Topics will include: parasites as indicators of ecosystem health; the role of natural enemies in maintaining tropical forest diversity; disease spillover between natural and managed systems; how escape from natural enemies contributes to the success of invasive species; the genetic basis of pathogen resistance in wild plants and crop species; emerging infectious diseases in wildlife; and parasitic mind control. Students will gain a better understanding of species interactions in ecological communities and the importance of considering those interactions when making conservation and management decisions.