Photo Credit: D. Tank


Current courses

Structure and Function Across the Tree of Life (BIOL 213)

4 credits, Spring; 3 lectures & 1 3-hr lab per week; co-taught with Dr. Christine Parent

This course builds on introductory biology to examine some of the morphological and physiological similarities and differences that exist across the tree of life in a comparative framework, and to to learn how plants and animals have evolved morphological structures and physiological processes to adapt to the common challenges faced by all organisms.

Advanced Field Botany (BIOL 460/560)


3 credits, Summer; 2 week immersion

This course is open to upper division undergraduates and early career graduate students that want to enhance their botanical knowledge and field skills with hands-on training in field botany as applied to evolutionary, ecological, and floristic studies. Students will learn the flora of Idaho during a two-week field experience in the Inland Northwest.

Throughout the course we spend alternating days in the field and the classroom. Field days strategically target a diversity of habitats/plant communities in under-collected areas throughout the Payette National Forest. Classroom days focus on identifying the collected specimens using a mix of short lectures, discussions, and hands-on learning. The research goal of the collecting expeditions is centered on conducting general botanical surveys to document the diversity and distribution of vascular plants in Idaho.

More information and how to apply at: www.webpages.uidaho.edu/dtank/AFB/

Professional Development for Biologists (BIOL 552)

3 credits, Fall; 2 meetings per week

Communication skills are crucial for a successful science career. This course provides a structured environment with both faculty and peer-to-peer mentoring, to strengthen students’ written and verbal communication skills and to foster a sense of community. The target audience is 1st and 2nd year graduate students, and the intent is to identify and practice skills that will help you have a productive, engaging, and timely graduate career, including communicating scientific topics to varied audiences, and submitting high quality grant proposals.

Phylogenetics Reading Group (PuRGe; BIOL 536)


1 credit, Fall & Spring; 1 discussion per week

Phylogenetic methods have become increasingly necessary to address questions at all levels of biological diversity, ranging from the evolution of molecules, to organisms and communities. PuRGe meets once a week and different participants choose relevant papers and lead a discussion. All students, postdocs, and faculty are welcome - the goal being to gain a broader understanding of phylogenetic methods and their application to the investigation of evolutionary questions in biological systems.