Courses Taught by Dr. Bergmann

Click on the course names to view the latest syllabus for each course.

BIOL.111Comparative Vertebrate and Human Anatomy
Offered Every Spring Semester. Next Offered: Spring 2015
During the Vertebrate and Human Comparative Anatomy Course, students will be introduced to vertebrate anatomy. The lecture component will focus on the development and evolution of anatomy, examine the diversity of structures possessed by vertebrates, how these structures are used and function, and how they relate to one another. The laboratory component will give the students a hands-on experience with anatomy. The labs will focus on dissection of the shark and cat, with material from a diversity of vertebrates available for comparison and evolutionary context. The course assumes that students are familiar with general biology, and knowledge of evolution is recommended, although not required.
Offered Every Other Fall Semester. Next Offered: Fall 2016
During the herpetology course, students will be introduced to the diversity and biology of amphibians and “reptiles”. The lecture component will have a global and diverse focus, covering topics of phylogenetics, the origin and evolution of amphibians and reptiles, the global diversity of these taxa, and their biogeography, biology, ecology and conservation. In the laboratory component, students will learn to identify amphibians and reptiles, the anatomy of these taxa, and some field techniques that are useful for studying them. The course assumes that students are familiar with basic evolutionary theory and general biology, and that they are proficient in writing.
BIOL.206/306Advanced Biostatistics
Offered every other Fall Semester. Next Offered: Fall 2015
During the Advanced Biostatistics course, students will build on knowledge gained in Introductory Biostatistics by learning more advanced techniques, learning to read about biostatistics in the primary literature, and analyzing real biological data, often collected in research labs in Clark's Biology Department. Students will cover topics including experimental design, dealing with multiple comparisons, different types of regression, advanced ANOVA designs, ANCOVA, MANOVA, principle component analysis, discriminant function analysis, resampling methods, model selection in a maximum likelihood framework, Bayesian inference, and a range of phylogenetic statistics. Most analyses will be done in [R], a free, open source statistical computation software. Prior experience with statistics is mandatory.
BIOL.233/333Animal Locomotion
Offered every other Spring Semester. Next Offered: Spring 2015
Please note that this course has changed from the last time it was offered. It is now a hands-on research course.
How do vertebrate animals move? How is their movement affected by different aspects of their environment? What techniques can we use to study locomotion? These are the questions that students will grapple with as they learn about animal locomotion in an inquiry-based research course that will combine short lectures, demonstrations, reading and discussion of primary literature, and hands-on analysis of locomotion data in the form of high-speed videos. Students will learn about the biophysics of locomotion and motion analysis, and apply this knowledge to a research project, where they will collect data from high-speed videos, learn to formulate and test hypotheses about their data and write a report on their findings. Students will learn about various aspects of research, including scientific ethics, data collection and presentation, critical evaluation of the primary literature, and writing in a scientific manner.
BIOL.290/390Scientific Careers & Effective Practice
Offered every other Spring Semester. Next Offered: Spring 2016
Targeted for Senior undergraduate and graduate students, this course will explore how science works and how it can be done with maximum rigor and effectiveness. It will also address ethical considerations in doing science, how to disseminate research findings (including at conferences and by writing), how to secure funding for research (including grant writing), and how to successfully apply for academic and non-academic science jobs. Although short lectures will be given on some topics, the course will be highly focused on discussion. Students will also write a curriculum vitae or resume, write a grant proposal, do a literautre search, and give an oral presentation.
BIOL.243/343Seminar in Evolution: From DNA to Diversity
Last Offered: Spring 2012. Dr. Meyer now offers an Evo-Devo course as Biol.239
During this seminar course we will be reading the book "From DNA to Diversity: Molecular Genetics and the Evolution of Animal Design" by Carroll, Grenier and Weatherbee (2004), and a combination of recent primary literature. The idea is to broaden the material covered in the book to consider how the evolution developmental genetics has mediated the evolution of phenotypes, and in turn, organismal function and ecology. The idea is to consider how these different scales of inquiry are related. Students will present material covered in the book and papers orally and using Powerpoint presentations. They will also be writing a term paper which will be a case study of well-studied systems where these connections have been worked out at least partially. Students should have a background in Evolution and basic knowledge of genetics and ecology. A proficiency in writing is expected.

© 2005-2014 Philip J. Bergmann | Updated 10.17.2014