Symbioses: Physical and Behavioral Interactions among Species

The course explores the important symbiotic relations between organisms, including humans. Species associations are important for reproduction, development, defenses, communication, and acquiring resources. All animals and plants have symbiotic organisms both internal and external, and these associations influence the evolution of species. Topics will cross disciplinary covering fields botany, zoology, behavior, chemistry, evolution, physiology, and many other areas. Students will learn the importance of symbionts for human wellbeing and for maintenance of life on the planet. The course consists of lecture, discussions, readings, hands-on activities, and potential field trips.

Richard Hofstetter:

Richard Hofstetter (PhD) works as an associate professor of forest entomology at the Northern Arizona University (the USA) where he has worked since 2005. His research interests are focused on community ecology, population dynamics, tritrophic interactions, symbioses and insect acoustics. Currently, Dr. Hofstetter’s and his colleagues’ research involves understanding the response of insects to forest management through thinning and wildfire in pine forests, effects of tree characteristics and resin defense against insects, the role of bark beetles in influencing the structure and evolution of pine forest ecosystems, improving insect attractants, the effects of thinning piles on forest insect communities, interactions among fungi, mites and bark beetles across multiple bark beetle communities, and the evolution and ecology of acoustic communication in bark beetles.