I developed and normally contribute to the teaching of three courses.


1. “Pollutants, invaders and global change” is a 4th year undergraduate and graduate courses which explores the various roles that biologists play in ecological management and biodiversity protection in the face of two classes of ecological stressors – pollutants and non-indigenous species.   This is a very popular and well attended course, perhaps because I normally adopt a hopeful stance in its delivery.  We have successfully dealt with large scale environmental problems many times in the past, and it behooves us to learn from these past successes to help us deal with the very real and serious environmental problems of the day.

2. “Aquatic Restoration Ecology”.  Every other year or so I teach a field course in aquatic restoration ecology with my colleagues at Laurentian University.  In this course we explore the history of severe environmental contamination in Sudbury-area lakes, then focus on the pace and extent of recovery of aquatic biota in the face of both profound historical disturbance, and equally profound efforts to reverse the damage.  Students in this course get hands on experience in the role that ecologists can play in answering some of the most difficult but important environmental problems of the day.  How do we recognize environmental damage?  How do we determine its cause?   How can recovery be gauged in a world where so many environmental drivers, including the climate, are changing?  What are the regulators of the pace and extent of recovery?  What is the role of environmental biologists in the environmental management process?

3. The required introductory module for the core course for incoming MSc students in ecology and evolution.  I developed this 6 week module to address all of the issues I had as I entered graduate school in biology many years ago.  We focus on (1) the importance of understanding the deep history of your chosen field,  (2) the expectations, requirements,  responsibilities, supervisor-interactions, etc that characterize an MSc project, (3) written and oral communication skills, and (4) the lessons of the professional life from a practicing ecologist, namely me. 




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