Laboratory for Integrative Biology





James Ackerman



I teach at both undergraduate and graduate levels, offering a course every semester.  I am currently teaching the following:

1) For beginning undergraduates: General Botany (BIOL 3410 Biología de Organísmal Vegetal).  I often team-teach with Dr. Eugenio Santiago.  We cover the basic principals of plant science from processes to patterns.  However, lately our teaching has shifted to other courses so you may not see us in this classroom as frequently as in the past.

2) For advanced undergraduates: Biology and Management of Invasive Species (BIOL 4057).  I teach this course once a year, either in the fall or the spring.  For the first half of the semester I introduce the basic concepts and issues regarding species invasions.  For the second half of the semester, I invite experts from academia, non-government organizations, and local and federal agencies who deal with biological invasions to give their perspectives and share their experiences, whether in research or management.

3) For undergraduates:  Investigations (BIOL 4990).  This course is designed to offer students experience in research under the guidance of a professor.  Some students usually become part of team engaged in field work under my direct supervision or that of one of my graduate students.  Others become involved in the herbarium or zoological museum learning curatorial techniques and the application of data derived from natural history collections.  This is available every semester.

3) For advanced undergraduates and graduate students:  Plant Taxonomy (BIOL 5495 Taxonomía de Plantas Floríferas).  Again, I team up with Dr. Eugenio Santiago.  We cover the basic principals of plant systematics and focus much of lab and class time on learning to identify families and use the literature, internet, and herbarium to identify species.  Our emphasis, of course, is on tropical plants and Puerto Rico especially. We usually usually schedule four weekend field trips to collect plants across a diversity of habitats from Caribbean beaches to dry coastal woodlands and up into the wet mountain cloud forests.  We generally teach the course every other year, depending on demand.

4) For graduate students: Conservation Biology (BIOL 6145).  Occasionally I am called upon to teach/coordinate this course which is currently heavily dependent on guest speakers from academia (mostly UPR-Río Piedras), non-government organizations, and government agencies.

5) For graduate students: Plant Reproductive Biology (BIOL 6007).  A lab and field-oriented course that delves deeply into ecological and evolutionary issues, often centered around pollination biology and/or seed/spore dispersal.  I teach this course infrequently since it is entirely dependent on demand from our graduate student population.