Search result: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2021

Biology Master Information
Elective Major Subject Areas
Elective Major: Ecology and Evolution
Compulsory Concept Courses
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
701-0323-00LPlant EcologyO3 credits2VJ.  Alexander
AbstractThis class focuses on ecological processes involved with plant life, mechanisms of plant adaptation, plant-animal and plant-soil interactions, plant strategies and implications for the structure and function of plant communities. The discussion of original research examples familiarises students with research questions and methods, and how to evaluate results and interpretations.
ObjectiveAfter attending this course, you will be able to:
1. Use your understanding of plant ecological theory to interpret primary data (tables, graphs) from ecological studies.
2. Critically evaluate evidence and conclusions presented in ecological studies based on your understanding of plant ecological processes.
3. Apply your knowledge of plant ecology to make general predictions about major responses of plant communities to biotic and environmental perturbations.
4. Evaluate the main methodological approaches used to study ecological processes in plants, and decide when they should be applied to address a research question.
ContentPlant communities can be spectacularly diverse, which has long puzzled ecologists since all plants compete for the same few limiting resources. Plants also represent the matrix of ecological communities, and the structure and dynamics of plant populations drives the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. This course provides insight into these broad themes by providing an introduction to the essential ecological processes involved with plant life. We use original research examples to discuss how ecological questions are studied and how results are interpreted. Specific topics include:

- Plant functional traits (e.g. leaf economics, phenology), and how they determine interactions between plants and their physical environment.
- Plant life-history, and the different ecological strategies plants have developed to grow, survive and reproduce.
- Intra- and interspecific competition as regulators of plant population dynamics and multispecies coexistence.
- Interactions between plants and their friends (e.g. symbiotic fungi, pollinators) and enemies (e.g. herbivores, pathogens) above- and below-ground.
- Plant functional types and rules in the assembly of plant communities.
Lecture notesHandouts and further reading will be available electronically through the course Moodle at the beginning of the semester.
Prerequisites / NoticePrerequisites
- General knowledge of plant biology
- Basic knowledge of plant sytematics
- General ecological concepts
Elective Compulsory Master Courses
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
701-0310-00LConservation Biology Information W2 credits2GF. Knaus
AbstractIn this course, the students explore ecological approaches, philosophical foundations, and practical implementations of conservation activities. Based on case studies, they are introduced to different views, values and ideals inherent in these activities.
ObjectiveStudents of this course are able to:
- understand the historical development and the current state of biodiversity and estimate possible future trends
- explain the economic legal, political and philosophical foundations of conservation activities
- define different possibilities of how conservation can be implemented in practice
- identify and critically appraise normative elements in conservation
- analyse and evaluate a nature conservation project from conception to successful completion.
ContentThe course covers the following content:
- Describe and analyse the past, current and future human impacts on biodiversity.
- Explore alternative approaches to nature conservation and their implementation for example species or habitat protection, restorations, parks, etc.
- Discuss the ethical, moral, legal, and economic reasons for conservation.
- Understand the main theories relevant to conservation such as the vulnerability of small populations, ecosystem services, biodiversity, etc.
- Explore practical examples during excursions and provide an analysis and evaluation of concrete case studies.
Lecture notesKein Skript
LiteratureKüster H. 1999: Geschichte der Landschaft in Mitteleuropa. Von der Eiszeit bis zur Gegenwart. Beck, München, Germany. 424p.
Piechocki R. 2010: Landschaft, Heimat, Wildnis. Schutz der Natur - aber welcher und warum? Beck'sche Reihe, Beck, München, Germany. 266p.
Primack R.B. 2008: A primer of Conservation Biology. Fourth Edition. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland MA, USA. 349p.
Prerequisites / NoticeKenntnisse aus den folgenden LV sind vorausgesetzt:
- Allgemeine Biologie I
- Allgemeine Biologie II
- Biologie III: Ökologie
- Biologie IV: Diversität der Pflanzen und Tiere
701-1450-00LConservation GeneticsW3 credits4GR. Holderegger, M. C. Fischer, F. Gugerli
AbstractThe course deals with conservation genetics and its practical applications. It introduces the genetic theories of conservation genetics, such as inbreeding depression, adaptive genetic diversity or fragmentation. The course also shows how genetic methods such as eDNA and metabarcoding are used in conservation management, and it critically discusses the benefits and limits of conservation genetics.
ObjectiveGenetic and evolutionary argumentation is an important feature of conservation biology. The course equips students with knowledge on conservation genetics and its applications in conservation management. The course introduces the main theories of conservation genetics and shows how genetic methods are used in conservation management. In addition, it critically discusses the benefits and limits of conservation genetics. Practical examples dealing with animals and plants are presented.
ContentThere are 4 hours of lectures, presentations and group work per week. Students also have to spend about 3 hours per week on preparatory work for the following week. Every week, one subject will be presented by one of three lecturers.

Overview of themes:
Barcoding, eDNA metabarcoding and genetic monitoring; effects of small population size, genetic drift and inbreeding; neutral and adaptive genetic diversity; hybridization; gene flow, fragmentation and connectivity.

Specific topics:
(1) Species and individual identification: barcoding; metabarcoding; eDNA; estimation of census population size; habitat use and genetic monitoring.
(2) Inbreeding and inbreeding depression: small population size; bottlenecks; genetic drift; inbreeding and inbreeding depression; effective population size.
(3) Adaptive genetic diversity: neutral and adaptive genetic variation; importance of adaptive genetic diversity; methods to measure adaptive genetic variation.
(4) Hybridization and monitoring of genetic diversity: gene introgression; gene flow across species boundaries; demographic swamping; monitoring of genetic diversity.
(5) Half day excursion: practical example of conservation genetics on fragmentation.
(6) Discussion and evaluation of excursion; gene flow: historical and contemporary gene flow and dispersal; fragmentation and connectivity.
(7) Oral examination.
Lecture notesNo script; handouts and material for downloading will be provided.
LiteratureThere is no textbook for this course, but the following books are recommended:
Allendorf F.W., Luikart G.; Aitken S.N. 2013. Conservation and the Genetics of Populations, 2nd edition. Wiley, Oxford.
Frankham R., Ballou J.D., Briscoe D.A. 2010. Introduction to Conservation Genetics, 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

The following book and booklets in German are targeted to conservation professionals:
Holderegger R., Segelbacher G. (eds.). 2016. Naturschutzgenetik. Ein Handbuch für die Praxis. Haupt, Bern.
Csencsics D., Gugerli F. 2017. Naturschutzgenetik. WSl Berichte 60: 1-82 (free download: https://www.wsl.ch/de/publikationensuchen/wsl-berichte.html)
Prerequisites / NoticeRequirements:
Students must have a good background in genetics as well as in ecology and evolution. The courses "Population and Quantitative Genetics" or "Evolutionary Genetics" should have been attended.

Examination:
A final oral examination on the content of the course and the excursion are integral parts of the course.

Teaching forms:
The course needs the active participation of students. It consists of lectures, group work, presentations, discussions, reading and a half-day excursion.
701-1424-00LGuarda-Workshop in Evolutionary Biology Information
This course has limited spaces. To register for this course you have to sign in via mystudies and via the website of the University of Basel http://evolution.unibas.ch/teaching/guarda/index.htm.
W3 credits4PS. Bonhoeffer
AbstractThis one week course is intended for students with a keen interest in evolutionary biology. The aim of the course is to develop a research project in small teams of 4-5 students. The students receive guidance by the "faculty" consisting of Prof. D. Ebert (U Basel) and Prof. S Bonhoeffer (ETHZ). Additionally two internationally reknown experts are invited every year.
Objectivesee link http://evolution.unibas.ch/teaching/guarda/index.htm
Contentsee link http://evolution.unibas.ch/teaching/guarda/index.htm
Lecture notesnone
Literaturenone
Prerequisites / NoticeAs the number of participants is limited, application for the course is necessary. Please apply for the course using the course website (see link http://evolution.unibas.ch/teaching/guarda/index.htm).
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551-0216-00LField Course in Mycology Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 8.
W3 credits3.5PR. Berndt, M. A. Garcia Otalora
AbstractThis mycology class combines field excursions and a practical training in the lab. The participants will be introduced to the species diversity and morphology of basidio- and ascomycetes, learn how fungi are collected for scientific purposes and how they are determined by macroscopic and microscopic characters using specialist literature. This year’s course will focus on lichenized fungi.
ObjectiveRecognizing fungal species diversity and learning to determine basidio- and ascomycete species.
Collecting, documenting and preparing herbarium specimens of fungi for scientific purposes.
Introduction to the light microscopy of fungi.
Learning how to use specialist mycology literature and understanding the technical terminology.
Knowledge of the relevant macroscopic und microscopic characters of fungi.
ContentIntroduction to the taxonomy of basidio- and ascomycetes. Field excursions to study fungi in their habitats. Study and determination of the collections in the lab. Micromorphology of basidio- and ascomycetes (incl. lichenized fungi). Introduction to major groups of plant-pathogenic fungi, especially rust fungi.
Lecture notesScripts will be handed out.
LiteratureTechnical literature will be provided in the lecture room.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course is restricted to eight persons who are requested to enroll by a written application to the lecturers.
Requirements: The participants need to read in advance selected chapters from mycology textbooks (to be announced) to gather the basic mycology knowledge necessary for the course.
751-5110-00LInsects in AgroecosystemsW2 credits2VC. De Moraes, A. Kantsa, D. Lucas Gomes Marques Barbosa
AbstractThis class will focus on insect-plant interactions in agroecosystems, and how the unique man-made agricultural community effects insect populations leading to pest outbreaks. Key concepts in pest prediction and management will be discussed from an ecological perspective.
ObjectiveAt the end of this course, students will understand what biotic and abiotic factors contribute to pest outbreaks, why some modern pest management techniques have failed over time, and the trade-offs associated with the use of different pest control methods. Our approach will allow students to apply their knowledge to a variety of pest management situations. Additionally, students will learn about current research goals in agroecology and how these goals are being addressed by scientists engaged in agricultural research.
ContentThe focus of this course will be on understanding how the ecologies of agricultural systems differ from natural ecosystems, and how these difference affect the population dynamics of insect pests and natural enemies. Each section of the course is centered around a basic ecological, biological or engineering theme such as host shift, physiological time, or sampling techniques. Different management techniques will be discussed, as well as the ecological basis behind why these techniques work and why they sometimes fail. The role of insects in spreading economically important plant diseases will also be discussed. Recent advances in research will also be addressed throughout the course and reinforced with periodic readings of primary literature.
Lecture notesProvided to students through ILIAS
LiteratureSelected required readings (peer reviewed literature, selected book chapters).
701-1418-00LModelling Course in Population and Evolutionary Biology Information Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 20.

Priority is given to MSc Biology and Environmental Sciences students.
W4 credits6PS. Bonhoeffer, V. Müller
AbstractThis course provides a "hands-on" introduction into mathematical/computational modelling of biological processes with particular emphasis on evolutionary and population-biological questions. The models are developed using the Open Source software R.
ObjectiveThe aim of this course is to provide a practical introduction into the modelling of fundamental biological questions. The participants will receive guidance to develop mathematical/computational models in small teams. The participants chose two modules with different levels of difficulty from a list of projects.

The participant shall get a sense of the utility of modelling as a tool to investigate biological problems. The simpler modules are based mostly on examples from the earlier lecture "Ecology and evolution: populations" (script accessible at the course webpage). The advanced modules address topical research questions. Although being based on evolutionary and population biological methods and concepts, these modules also address topics from other areas of biology.
Contentsee www.tb.ethz.ch/education/learningmaterials/modelingcourse.html
Lecture notesDetailed handouts describing both the modelling and the biological background are available to each module at the course website. In addition, the script of the earlier lecture "Ecology and evolution: populations" can also be downloaded, and contains further background information.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course is based on the open source software R. Experience with R is useful but not required for the course. Similarly, the course 701-1708-00L Infectious Disease Dynamics is useful but not required.
701-0364-00LFlora and Vegetation of the Alps Restricted registration - show details
Zur dieser Vorlesung gehört eine 4-tägige Exkursion (max. 24 Plätze) nach Davos. Für eine Teilnahme an der Exkursion muss die Lehrveranstaltung «Böden und Vegetation der Alpen» (Nr. 701-0362-00) separat belegt werden.
W1 credit1VA. Widmer
AbstractThis course provides an introduction to the flora and vegetation of the Alps. This includes the climatic conditions at different elevations, the origin of Alpine plants, centers of diversity, ecological requirements and adaptations to prevailing environmental conditions, as well as characteristic plant communities at different altitudes and soil types.
ObjectiveThe students
- understand how climatic and edaphic factors affect the occurrence and distribution of alpine plants
- know characteristic plant species of the subalpine and alpine elevational belts in the Alps
- are familiar with characteristic plant communities on acidic, basic and ultramafic soils in the subalpine and alpine elevational belts.
ContentClimatic conditions at different elevations in the Alps; origin and distribution patterns; centers of diversity; ecological requirements and adaptations to prevailing environmental conditions; altitudinal belts; characteristic plant communities on different bedrock (dolomite, acidic and basic silicates, serpentine).
Lecture notesCourse material will be provided.
LiteratureLandolt E. 2003: Unsere Alpenflora. 7.Aufl., SAC-Verlag.
Prerequisites / NoticeSolid background in systematic botany and successful participation in the course "Systematic Biology: Plants" (Nr. 701-0360-00). It is further recommended that students have also participated in the block course "Plant Diversity" (Nr. 701-2314-00L), or alternatively the two courses "Plant Diversity: Colline/Montane" (701-0314-00L) and "Plant Diversity: Subalpine/Alpine" (701-0314-01L).

Notice:
To this lecture belongs the course "Soils and Vegetation of the Alps" (No. 701-0362-00) which currently includes three excursion days in the Davos region. The course is expected to take place between July 12 and 17, 2021. More detailed information will follow at the beginning of the spring semester 2021. Program changes and adjustments due to the corona situation are possible and will be communicated promptly.

Please note that this course will be taught in German.
701-1708-00LInfectious Disease DynamicsW4 credits2VS. Bonhoeffer, R. D. Kouyos, R. R. Regös, T. Stadler
AbstractThis course introduces into current research on the population biology of infectious diseases. The course discusses the most important mathematical tools and their application to relevant diseases of human, natural or managed populations.
ObjectiveAttendees will learn about:
* the impact of important infectious pathogens and their evolution on human, natural and managed populations
* the population biological impact of interventions such as treatment or vaccination
* the impact of population structure on disease transmission

Attendees will learn how:
* the emergence spread of infectious diseases is described mathematically
* the impact of interventions can be predicted and optimized with mathematical models
* population biological models are parameterized from empirical data
* genetic information can be used to infer the population biology of the infectious disease

The course will focus on how the formal methods ("how") can be used to derive biological insights about the host-pathogen system ("about").
ContentAfter an introduction into the history of infectious diseases and epidemiology the course will discuss basic epidemiological models and the mathematical methods of their analysis. We will then discuss the population dynamical effects of intervention strategies such as vaccination and treatment. In the second part of the course we will introduce into more advanced topics such as the effect of spatial population structure, explicit contact structure, host heterogeneity, and stochasticity. In the final part of the course we will introduce basic concepts of phylogenetic analysis in the context of infectious diseases.
Lecture notesSlides and script of the lecture will be available online.
LiteratureThe course is not based on any of the textbooks below, but they are excellent choices as accompanying material:
* Keeling & Rohani, Modeling Infectious Diseases in Humans and Animals, Princeton Univ Press 2008
* Anderson & May, Infectious Diseases in Humans, Oxford Univ Press 1990
* Murray, Mathematical Biology, Springer 2002/3
* Nowak & May, Virus Dynamics, Oxford Univ Press 2000
* Holmes, The Evolution and Emergence of RNA Viruses, Oxford Univ Press 2009
Prerequisites / NoticeBasic knowledge of population dynamics and population genetics as well as linear algebra and analysis will be an advantage.
701-1410-01LQuantitative Approaches to Plant Population and Community EcologyW2 credits2VJ.  Alexander, T. Walker
AbstractThis course presents leading problems in plant population, community and ecosystem ecology and modern tools to address them. Topics include parameterising models of plant population dynamics, using biological networks to investigate species coexistence, exploring the physiological and functional basis of plant life history strategies and quantifying how plants influence ecosystem functioning.
ObjectiveStudents will attain deep insight into topics at the cutting edge of plant ecological research, whilst developing specific skills that can later be applied to basic and applied ecological problems.
751-4505-00LPlant Pathology IIW2 credits2GB. McDonald
AbstractPlant Pathology II focuses on disease control in agroecosystems based on biological control, pesticide applications and breeding of resistant crop cultivars. The genetics of pathogen-plant interactions will be explored in detail as a basis for understanding the development of boom-and-bust cycles and methods that may be used to prevent the evolution of pathogen virulence and fungicide resistance.
ObjectiveAn understanding of the how biological control, pesticides and plant breeding can be used to achieve sustainable disease control. An understanding of the genetic basis of pathogen-plant interactions and appropriate methods for using resistance to control diseases in agroecosystems.
ContentPlant Pathology II will focus on disease control in agroecosystems based on biological control, pesticide applications and breeding of resistant crop cultivars. The genetics of pathogen-plant interactions will be explored in detail as a basis for understanding the development of boom-and-bust cycles and methods that may be used to prevent the evolution of pathogen virulence and fungicide resistance.

Lecture Topics and Tentative Schedule

Week 1 Biological control: biofumigation, disease declines, suppressive soils.

Week 2 Biological control: competitive exclusion, hyperparasitism.

Week 3 Chemical control: History of fungicides in Europe, fungicide properties, application methods.

Week 4 Fungicide categories and modes of action, antibiotics, fungicide development, fungicide safety and risk assessment (human health).

Week 5 Resistance to fungicides. Genetics of fungicide resistance, ABC transporters, risk assessment, fitness costs. FRAC risk assessment model vs. population genetic risk assessment model.

Week 6 Genetics of pathogen-plant interaction: genetics of pathogens, genetics of plant resistance, major gene and quantitative resistance, acquired resistance. Flor's GFG hypothesis and the quadratic check, the receptor and elicitor model of GFG, the guard model of GFG.

Week 7 Resistance gene structure and genome distribution, conservation of LRR motifs across eukaryotes. Genetic basis of quantitative resistance. QTLs and QRLs. Connections between MGR and QR. Durability of QR.

Week 8 Genetic resistance: Costs, benefits and risks.

Week 9 Non-host resistance. Types of NHR. NHR in Arabidopsis with powdery mildews. NHR in maize and rice. Avirulence genes and pathogen elicitors. PAMPs, effectors, type-III secretion systems, harpins in bacteria. Fungal avirulence genes.

Week 10 Easter holiday no class.

Week 11 Sechselauten holiday no class.

Week 12 Host-specific toxins. GFG for toxins and connection to apoptosis. Fitness costs of virulence alleles. Diversifying selection in NIP1.

Week 13 Boom and bust cycles for resistance genes and fungicides and coevolutionary processes. Pathogen genetic structure and evolutionary potential. Genetic structure of pathogen populations in agroecosystems, risk assessment for pathogen evolution and breeding strategies for durable resistance.

Week 14 Resistance gene and fungicide deployment strategies for agroecosystems.

Week 15 Genetic engineering approaches to achieve disease resistant crops.
Lecture notesLecture notes will be available for purchase at the cost of reproduction.
LiteratureLecture notes will be available for purchase at the cost of reproduction.
Prerequisites / NoticePlant Pathology I provides a good preparation for Plant Pathology II, but is not a prerequisite for this course.
701-1462-00LEvolution of Social Behavior and Biological Communication Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 24.
W3 credits2VM. Mescher
AbstractThis course addresses presents core concepts in the study of behavior and biological communication from a Darwinian perspective, with a focus on the evolution of sociality and the emergence of higher-level biological organization. It will entail lectures and discussion of selected readings from relevant primary and secondary literature.
ObjectiveStudents will become familiar with the application of Darwinian evolutionary theory to the study of behavior, communication, and social organization. They will also gain insight into the relevance of these topics for broader intellectual questions in biology, as well as for the organization of human societies.
ContentThis course will begin with an exploration of key concepts, including the central role of information in biology and Darwinian explanations for the emergence of adaptation and functional complexity in biological systems. We will then discuss the application of these concepts to the study of behavior and communication, with a focus on the evolution of social interactions. Significant attention will also be given to the evolution of cooperation among individual organisms and the emergence and maintenance of complex social organization. Finally, we will discuss the implications of the material covered for understanding human behavior and for the organization of human societies, including implications for implementing collective action to address global environmental challenges. These topics will be covered by lectures and discussion of relevant readings selected by the instructor. Evaluations will be based on in-class or take-home examinations, as well as participation in classroom discussions.
701-1426-00LAdvanced Evolutionary Genetics
Does not take place this semester.
W3 credits4GT. Städler
AbstractThe field of evolutionary genetics rests on genetic and evolutionary principles, (often) mathematical models, and molecular data. The explosion in the availability of genome-wide data makes competencies in "making sense" of such data more and more relevant. This course will cover selected topics that are both fundamental and/or currently very active research fields.
ObjectiveThis course deals with (some of) the conceptual foundations of evolutionary genetics in the age of genomics, going well beyond the introductory material that is part of the BSc curriculum. The principal aim is for students to gain a thorough appreciation for the underlying ideas and models of key evolutionary processes, and to witness how these are being tested and refined vis-à-vis the recent deluge of genome-wide sequence data. The course focuses on theoretical concepts and ways to infer the action of evolutionary processes from molecular data; as such it is also designed to facilitate understanding of the burgeoning scientific literature in molecular ecology and evolution. These aims require students to be actively engaged in reading original papers, discussing ideas and data among themselves, and presenting their interpretations in group talks.
ContentThere are 4 hours of lectures, student presentations, and/or group work per week. Students are expected to spend 4 additional hours per week on preparatory study for the following week. Every week, one subject will be presented and overseen by one of the two lecturers.

Each weekly topic will be introduced by a lecture (max. 2 x 45 minutes), highlighting key concepts and historically important papers. The (slight) majority of the time will be spent with group presentations based on recent important papers, and discussions of the relevant concepts.

Specific proposed topics (subject to change):
(1) The coalescent in structured populations (e.g. spatial sampling and its genealogical consequences, demographic inference from sequence data, spurious bottlenecks).
(2) Population subdivision: evolutionary processes and measures (e.g. spatial models, absolute and relative measures of divergence, Jost's (2008) fundamental insights and their reception).
(3) Speciation genetics and modes of species divergence (e.g. intrinsic postzygotic barriers, Dobzhansky-Muller incompatibilities, snowball effect, genomic islands of divergence).
(4) The interplay of linkage, recombination, and selection (e.g. selective sweeps, background selection, Hill-Robertson interference, adaptation).
(5) Evolutionary consequences of mating systems (e.g. clonal vs. sexual reproduction, bottlenecks, colonizing potential, efficacy of natural selection).
(6) Genomics of virulence evolution (e.g. pathogenicity islands, mobile genetic elements, chromosomal rearrangements).
Lecture notesNo script; handouts and material for downloading will be provided.
LiteratureThere is no textbook for this course. Relevant literature will be provided for each weekly session, selected mostly from the primary research literature.
Prerequisites / NoticeRequirements:
Students must have a good background in genetics, basic population genetics, as well as evolutionary biology. At a minimum, either the course "Population and Quantitative Genetics" or the course "Ecological Genetics" should have been attended, and ideally, both of these ("Evolutionary Genetics" in the D-BIOL curriculum).

Teaching Forms:
The course consists of lectures, readings, group work, student presentations, and discussions. Active participation and preparation of students is critical for a successful learning experience and outcome.
701-0314-00LPlant Diversity: Colline/Montane Restricted registration - show details
Participation in LV 701-0360-00L (Systematic Biology of Plants) or comparable knowledge (after consultation with the lecturer).
Enrollment for target group until 19.02.2021.
Waiting list until 31.3.2021.
W3 credits6PR. Berndt
AbstractThe practical focuses on the vegetation and flora of the colline and montane belts of Switzerland. It comprises five day excursions to typical and botanically rich locations. During the excursions the students will deepen their knowledge of plant species and learn to recognize important vegetation units and their ecological characteristics.
ObjectiveKnowledge of the flora and ecological conditions of the most important vegetation units of the colline and montane belts of Switzerland. Consolidation of taxonomic and plant morphological knowledge. Experience in plant determination using scientific determination keys. Basic collecting and herbarium techniques.
ContentThis course gives an introduction to the flora and vegetation of the colline and montane belts of Switzerland. During five excursions the students will become acquainted with the most important vegetation types, their species diversity and the respective environmental conditions.
Besides deepening the knowledge of plant species and vegetation a focus will be laid on how man shaped the cultural landscape and continues to change it.
Literature-Stützel T. 2015. Botanische Bestimmungsübungen (3. Aufl.). UTB, Ulmer Verlag.

-Hess H.E., Landolt E., Hirzel R. & Baltisberger M. 2015: Bestimmungsschlüssel zur Flora der Schweiz. 7., aktualisierte und überarbeitete Aufl., Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel/Boston/Berlin.
Prerequisites / NoticeParticipants need to know the teaching contents of the lecture « Plant Systematics » (LV 701 0360 00L) and the associated exercises and excursions.
It is expected that the participants know how to use a determination key (Hess et al. 2015. Bestimmungsschlüssel zur Flora der Schweiz) and understand the necessary botanical terminology (e.g. Stützel 2015).

Students from other universities are requested to contact the lecturers.

Program: Depending on actual CoVid situation the program may be changed on short notice!
15.-19. 6.: Day excursions (destinations to be announced)
22.6. (morning): Exam (9-11 Uhr, HIL E1)

The excursions will take place under any weather conditions. The participants should be equipped appropriately to cope with rough and steep terrain and adverse weather conditions. Sturdy mountain boots are mandatory!

Course fees:
No course fees.
701-0314-01LPlant Diversity: Subalpine/Alpine Restricted registration - show details
Prerequisite: Enrollment and successful performance assessment of LV 701-0360-00L (Systematic Biology: Plants).

Enrollment for target group until 19.02.2021
Waiting list until 31.03.2021.

The registration form must be handed in by 05.03.2021. Unconfirmed places are allocated to students on the waiting list.
W3 credits6PA. Guggisberg
AbstractThe practical focuses on the flora and vegetation of the northern Alps and covers from the upper montane to the lower alpine zone. Depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic, students are offered a mixture of individual activities and guided excursions to deepen their knowledge of plant species and to learn to recognize important vegetation units and their ecological characteristics.
ObjectiveGetting to know the most important vegetation types, their flora and ecological conditions in the northern Alps. Consolidation of taxonomic and plant morphological knowledge. Experience in plant determination using scientific determination keys.
ContentThis course provides an introduction to the flora and vegetation of the northern Alps. The students will become acquainted with the botanical richness of the Alps and the ecological specificities of the encountered habitats. They will not only gain knowledge in plant species, but also learn which environmental conditions do plants cope with and which adaptation they have evolved.

Following topics will be addressed in this course:

- Climatic and geological divisions of the Alps
- Effect of local conditions on vegetation of different altitudes
- Adaptation of plants to various alpine conditions
- Characteristic vegetation types of the subalpine and alpine zone (e.g. subalpine conifer forests, tall-herb communities and green alder scrubs, alpine grassland and scree vegetation, subalpine floodplain forest with fens) and their ecological conditions
- Interaction between plants and their environment: examples from pollination, reproduction and dispersal strategies.
Lecture notesA script is provided via Moodle.
Literature- Baltisberger M., Nyffeler R. & Widmer A. 2013: Systematische Botanik. 4., vollständig überarbeitete und erweiterte Aufl. v/d/f Hochschulverlag AG an der ETH Zürich.
- Stützel T. 2015. Botanische Bestimmungsübungen (3. Aufl.). UTB, Ulmer Verlag.
- Hess H.E., Landolt E., Hirzel R. & Baltisberger M. 2015: Bestimmungsschlüssel zur Flora der Schweiz. 7., aktualisierte und überarbeitete Aufl., Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel/Boston/Berlin.
Prerequisites / NoticeWe only admit students to the practical who have successfully completed the introductory lectures in systematic botany together with the associated exercises and excursions (cf. course 701-0360-00L Systematic Biology: Plants). In addition, we expect that the participants know how to use a determination key (Bestimmungsschlüssel zur Flora der Schweiz) and understand the necessary terminology.

Students from other universities are requested to contact the lecturers.

Program:
27.6.-1.7.: individual activities and guided day excursions (to be announced)
3.7.: exam at ETH Zentrum

The excursions will take place under any weather conditions. The participants should be able to cope with rough and steep terrain and should bring appropriate equipment. Sturdy mountain boots are mandatory!

Course fees:
No course fees.
701-0362-00LSoils and Vegetation of the Alps (Excursion) Restricted registration - show details
Diese Exkursion (max. 24 Plätze) gehört zur Vorlesung «Flora und Vegetation der Alpen» (701-0364-00; A. Widmer). Sie kann nur gleichzeitig mit der Vorlesung oder nach bestandener Prüfung belegt werden. Alternativ ist eine Teilnahme möglich mit bestandenen Prüfungen in «Boden- und Wasserchemie» (701-0533-00L; R. Kretzschmar, D.I. Christl, L. Winkel) und «Pedosphäre» (701-0501-00L; R. Kretzschmar).
W2 credits2PA. Widmer, R. Kretzschmar
AbstractThe excursion in the area of Davos illustrates how climatic and edaphic factors shape the distribution of alpine plants. Visits of multiple sites on different bedrocks in the subalpine and alpine elevational belts reveal connections between climatic conditions, soil formation and vegetation development.
ObjectiveThe students
- understand how parent rock, topography, climate, and vegetation influence soil forming processes and resulting soil properties (e.g. nutrients, water) in the Alps.
- understand, how climatic and edaphic factors affect the occurrence and distribution of alpine plants.
- are familiar with characteristic plant communities on acidic, basic and ultramafic bedrock in the subalpine and alpine elevational belts.
- know characteristic plant species and plant communities of the subalpine and alpine elevational belts in the Alps.
Content4-day excursion in the area of Davos with visits of sites on different bedrock (dolomite, gneiss/mica schist, amphibolite, serpentinite) in the subalpine and alpine elevational belts.
Structure, development and characteristics of the soils and of their effects on the vegetation; characteristic plant species and communities on different soil types.
Lecture notesA guide to the excursion will be made available.
LiteratureLandolt E. 2003: Unsere Alpenflora. 7.Aufl., SAC-Verlag.
Prerequisites / NoticePlease note that this course will be taught in German.
701-1480-00LEvolutionary Developmental Biology Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 24.
Waiting list will be deleted after 05.03.2021.
W3 credits1SM. La Fortezza, G. Velicer
AbstractStudents will be introduced to fundamental concepts and current open questions in the field of evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo) primarily through reading, analysing and jointly discussing key literature.
ObjectiveThe course aims to expose students to major conceptual themes of the Evo-Devo field through discussion of key papers and to active areas of current Evo-Devo research. At the end of the course, students should be able to present, think critically about and discuss key Evo-Devo concepts.
ContentEvolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo) is a multidisciplinary field that studies the interplay between developmental and evolutionary processes. Major questions include: How do developmental systems evolve and diversify? Do developmental programs influence their own future evolution, and how? How does ecology affect the evolution of developmental programs, and vice versa? Fascinating and experimentally challenging, Evo-Devo first empirically emerged from comparative embryology. However, in recent decades this discipline has grown considerably to interconnect with many other fields, from genetics to sociobiology to microbiology. The course will examine questions such as those above and touch on the ongoing inter-disciplinary integration of Evo-Devo, including its interface with ecology (“Eco-Evo-Devo”) and the integration of aggregative microbial developmental systems into the field.
LiteratureRelevant literature:

Müller, G. (2007). Evo–devo: extending the evolutionary synthesis. Nature Reviews Genetics 8, 943-949. https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrg2219

Abouheif, E., et al (2014). Eco-evo-devo: the time has come. Advances in experimental medicine and biology 781, 107-25. https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-7347-9_6

Moczek, A et al (2015). The significance and scope of evolutionary developmental biology: a vision for the 21st century. Evolution & development 17, 198-219. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ede.12125

Gilbert, S. (2019). Evolutionary transitions revisited: Holobiont evo‐devo. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution 12, 117762501877479 - 8. https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jez.b.22903
Prerequisites / NoticeSignificant basic knowledge in especially evolutionary biology and developmental biology, and also cell biology and genetics, will be advantageous for readily understanding the course material.
401-0102-00LApplied Multivariate StatisticsW5 credits2V + 1UF. Sigrist
AbstractMultivariate statistics analyzes data on several random variables simultaneously. This course introduces the basic concepts and provides an overview of classical and modern methods of multivariate statistics including visualization, dimension reduction, supervised and unsupervised learning for multivariate data. An emphasis is on applications and solving problems with the statistical software R.
ObjectiveAfter the course, you are able to:
- describe the various methods and the concepts behind them
- identify adequate methods for a given statistical problem
- use the statistical software R to efficiently apply these methods
- interpret the output of these methods
ContentVisualization, multivariate outliers, the multivariate normal distribution, dimension reduction, principal component analysis, multidimensional scaling, factor analysis, cluster analysis, classification, multivariate tests and multiple testing
Lecture notesNone
Literature1) "An Introduction to Applied Multivariate Analysis with R" (2011) by Everitt and Hothorn
2) "An Introduction to Statistical Learning: With Applications in R" (2013) by Gareth, Witten, Hastie and Tibshirani

Electronic versions (pdf) of both books can be downloaded for free from the ETH library.
Prerequisites / NoticeThis course is targeted at students with a non-math background.

Requirements:
==========
1) Introductory course in statistics (min: t-test, regression; ideal: conditional probability, multiple regression)
2) Good understanding of R (if you don't know R, it is recommended that you study chapters 1,2,3,4, and 5 of "Introductory Statistics with R" from Peter Dalgaard, which is freely available online from the ETH library)

An alternative course with more emphasis on theory is 401-6102-00L "Multivariate Statistics" (only every second year).

401-0102-00L and 401-6102-00L are mutually exclusive. You can register for only one of these two courses.
Elective Concept Courses
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
551-0314-00LMicrobiology (Part II)W3 credits2VW.‑D. Hardt, L. Eberl, J. Piel, J. Vorholt-Zambelli
AbstractAdvanced lecture class providing a broad overview on bacterial cell structure, genetics, metabolism, symbiosis and pathogenesis.
ObjectiveThis concept class will be based on common concepts and introduce to the enormous diversity among bacteria and archaea. It will cover the current research on bacterial cell structure, genetics, metabolism, symbiosis and pathogenesis.
ContentAdvanced class covering the state of the research in bacterial cell structure, genetics, metabolism, symbiosis and pathogenesis.
Lecture notesUpdated handouts will be provided during the class.
LiteratureCurrent literature references will be provided during the lectures.
Prerequisites / NoticeEnglish
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