Carrion Ecology and Evolution includes a range of organisms including molecular, bacterial, fungal, invertebrate, and vertebrate communities. Intra & interspecific interactions related to population biology, community ecology, & processes that manifest into habitats and ecosystems will be addressed. A multidisciplinary view of organisms will provide the basis for understanding decomposition.
At the successful completion of this course, students should be able to
- Explain the processes and mechanisms of death of vertebrate carrion.
- Define carrion ecology and evolution and explain where these areas of biology fit into the biological hierarchy, and within spatial and temporal scales.
- Identify and discuss ecological mechanisms of carrion decomposition within various habitats.
- Explain the evolutionary ecology of carrion decomposition in terms of population and microbial genetics.
- Design and analyze a field study in carrion ecology.
- List and explain the types of interactions between and among species and the ecological and evolutionary effects of these interactions on carrion decomposition.
- Outline the different terrestrial, aquatic and interkingdom ecological interactions of carrion decomposition and provide examples of the species involved in these interactions.
- Articulate the applications of carrion decomposition from management and conservation perspectives but also from a forensic viewpoint.
- Explain the frontiers to carrion ecology and evolution and where the field will be in the future.