teaching & learning



BIO224/164/EARTHYS224 - Spring Quarter (2022-, yearly)
Plant Ecology & Evolution in Arid Climates

Learn by going out to nature!

Schedule in 3 parts:

Plant biodiversity in California 3/28, 4/4, 4/11
Ecophysiology across aridity gradients 2-day Field Trip (TBD), 4/25, 5/2
Genetic adaptation to climate 5/9, 5/16, 5/23

Description: Understanding responses of plants to climate change is paramount to protect our ecosystems. In this course, we will review classical work on fundamental concepts of plant biology and evolutionary ecology in arid climates. We will study plant biodiversity patterns in California, we will collect and investigate plants and their ecophysiological stress coping strategies, and we will learn how to use genomics to understand plant adaptation. The course will introduce some new technologies, such as bioinformatic tools, DNA sequencing, biodiversity databases, etc. And we will have field trips to Jasper Ridge and other ecosystems to see living examples across the California landscape. Transportation Provided!

Audience: This course can serve as an elective course for Biology Ph.D. candidates in the Eco/Evo and CMOB tracks for the following areas: Ecology, Plant Biology, Evolutionary Genetics. This course can also serve as an upper division biology and earth sciences elective for undergraduates (co-term and upper-level) and grad students from other programs (with permission of instructor). Prerequisites: None for graduate students Grading: Based on attendance, participation in discussion, and conducting research of each module

Please direct any questions to course instructor (mexpositoalonso@stanford.edu)

BIO243 - Spring Quarter (2021-, every second year)
Plant Biology Seminar / Journal Club

Students will meet with the speaker of Friday seminars from the Department of Plant Biology in a round table to discuss frontier research in genetics and plant and evolutionary biology.

BIO229/129 - Winter Quarter (2020-, every second year)
Fundamentals in Plant Biology

Co-taught with Dominique Bergmann, Jenn Brophy, José Dinneny Mary Beth Mudgett, Sue Rhee, Ginny Walbot

Description and learning outcomes: This course will serve as a primer for all levels of graduate, co-term, and upper-level undergraduates interested in learning about the fundamental aspects of plant biology as well as the latest advances in tools, techniques, and theories that link basic science with translational science and applications for solving major societal challenges of today and tomorrow. Topics include plant evolution, genomics, genetics, biotic and abiotic interactions, cell and development, and systems and synthetic biology.

Overall learning goals: Students will learn major concepts and methods in plant biology and gain the tools and resources to research the literature more independently and deeply. In addition, students will learn fundamental ways that plants are different from animals and microbes. In each module, students will learn major concepts and skills from lectures and primary literature discussions. Students will also learn how to write a succinct critique of research papers and to analyze/present scientific papers to the class.

Class activities: There will be one lecture and one paper discussion class meeting each week. The discussion class is structured like a journal club, where individual students will lead discussions on specific sections of the paper. Students will write a 1-page critique of the paper and submit it before class (via Canvas or as a printout); faculty will provide feedback on composition and content. The Carnegie Spring Quarter Seminar Series will include speakers highly relevant to this class. Students are encouraged to attend, Fridays 4 – 5 pm at 260 Panama with a special session after each talk for students to interact with the speaker.

Other learning groups

Moi Lab led a book club on Molecular Population Genetics (M. Hahn 2018 Sinauer) - Spring 2020

Our group is reading the recent (state-of-the-art updated) book by Matthew Hahn on Molecular Population Genetics. If you are in Stanford