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OEB 59 (formerly OEB 104) Plants and Human Affairs (co-taught with Professor D. Pfister)

[offered at Harvard University, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology]

An introduction to the uses of plants by humans. Topics include the form, structure and genetics of plants related to their use as sources of food, shelter, fiber, flavors, beverages, drugs, and medicines. Plant structure and reproduction are studied in lecture and laboratory with a particular focus on relationships between the plant's structural, chemical, or physiological attributes and the utility plant.

Prerequisite: OEB 10 or BS 51 or permission of instructor.

OEB 103 Plant Systematics and Evolution

[offered at Harvard University, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology]

An introduction to the diversity and evolution of vascular plants. The course focuses mainly on flowering plants because of their dominant role on the earth, but lycophytes, ferns, and gymnosperms are studied as well. A phylogeny of vascular plants provides the framework for their evolution and diversification. Related subjects, including plant habitats, biogeography, phylogenetics, herbaria, nomenclature, and pollination biology are also presented in lecture and laboratory.

Prerequisite: OEB 10 or BS 51 or permission of instructor.

EEB 556 Field Botany of Northern Michigan (co-taught with Melanie Gunn)

[offered at The University of Michigan Biological Station]

A comprehensive field approach to vascular plants of the region, including characteristic species of terrestrial and wetland habitats as well as species known for their rarity or distinctive distribution patterns. Topics covered include the major plant families of the Great Lakes area, basic terminology and techniques useful in plant identification, the general phytogeography and ecology of the region especially as these relate to recent geological history of the landscape, and field recognition of over 300 selected species. A phylogeny of vascular plants provides the framework for their evolution and diversification. Prior familiarity with at least some families and species will be extremely helpful.

Prerequisites: Two college-level courses in biology and some previous experience with plant taxonomy/identification, or permission of instructor.