ENY 6905 Non-Thesis Capstone Project

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Description

This course serves as the final project for non-thesis master’s degree students. Throughout this course, students demonstrate their ability to apply knowledge gained during their graduate program to develop scholarly work that addresses important problems, issues and opportunities that are of professional interest to them

Types of Capstone Projects

  1. Research or demonstration in pest management, public health or other applied area of entomology and nematology
  2. Research into natural history, biology, behavior or conservation of insects and other invertebrates
  3. Development and/or execution of training for pest management scouts, mosquito control workers, the pest control industry or related groups
  4. Develop print or digital educational materials for outreach to extension or public health
  5. Develop curriculum and measure knowledge gained in a K-12 audience
  6. Literature review and synthesis of an under-studied entomological or nematological topic that addresses a professional knowledge gap or personal interest
  7. Portfolio of artistic endeavors or pieces related to insects or nematodes

Prerequisites

  • ENY 6931 Seminar in Scientific Communication

Course Format

Location: Online

Course Goals

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Apply scientific principles and an understanding of the scientific process.
  2. Apply graduate coursework to an area of specific professional or personal interest.
  3. Generate new knowledge for appropriate instruction, extension or research fields.
  4. Create educational materials for appropriate audiences.
  5. Communicate the results of the project clearly in writing and in poster or oral presentation form.

Description

This course presents current information on insect, other arthropod and nematode vectors of plant pathogens, and the role and management of these vectors in agricultural and environmental areas. The material discussed in this course deals with the identification and morphology of important vectors and how these features affect transmission of plant pathogens.

Prerequisites

Students must have an introductory course in entomology (ENY3005, ENY5006, or equivalent) completed before beginning this course. An introductory course in plant pathology would be helpful, but is not required.

Course Format

Location: Online

Course Goals

The goal of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the biology of arthropods and nematodes and the role they play in the spread of different plant pathogens. This course was designed to foster your creative and critical thinking skills by directing you through an independent exploration of weekly topics. The lectures begin by providing introductory material and readings to provide you with the background necessary to understand the topic. Questions will be posed during the lectures that will direct your exploration of the literature.

Writing assignments are designed to help you improve your scientific writing skills and provide you an outlet for demonstrating your comprehension of the topic. As the semester advances lectures will become shorter and you will be asked to pose questions and provide answers. By the end of the semester you should be more comfortable with this higher-level inquiry-based learning approach (that is expected from graduate students and research scientists) and that you have a new appreciation for insects as vectors of plant pathogens.

Topics

Module Topic
Week 1Guest lecture: Historical background of vector-borne plant disease
Week 2Guest lecture: Mechanisms of insect transmission of plant pathogens
Week 3Ecological aspects of insect transmission of plant pathogens
Week 4Guest lecture: Classification and biology of vectors (aphids, leafhoppers, whiteflies, nematodes, others)
Week 5Guest lecture: Psyllids, vectors of citrus greening
Week 6Case studies:
A. Sharpshooter leafhoppers, vectors of Xylella fastidiosa
B. Leafhoppers, vector of Phytoplasmas and Spiroplasmas
Week 7Mechanisms of nematode transmission of plant pathogens
Week 8I-Non persistent viruses Case study: The majority of potyviruses (aphids)
Week 9II-Semi-persistent viruses Case study: Citrus tristeza virus
III-Persistent viruses.Case study: Geminiviruses such as Tomato yellow leaf curl virus
Week 10Guest lecture: Rose rosette disease and mites as vectors
Week 11Introduction to fungal plant pathogens: Classification
Week 12Fungal/insect symbiosis and commensalism
Week 13Insects that vector fungal organisms Case studies: Chestnut blight, Dutch elm disease and Laurel wilt
Week 14Bioterrorism intro.
Week 15Border patrol, and the use of insect vectored plant pathogens.
Week 16Group Project

Description

This course provides students with a conceptual and practical understanding of the application of statistics in the agricultural and life sciences. This is an online course that will use a combination of lectures, programming demonstrations, data exercises using the programming language R, group activities, and primary literature to teach introductory statistics at the graduate level. This course is NOT a “go at your own pace” course. Each module must be completed in a specific week (see Course learning objectives in Syllabus).

Prerequisites

None

Course Format

Course format is 100% online. Students watch lectures online and complete assignments, quizzes and finals, all online. Most of the course is about learning the R program language.

Course Goals

  1. Learn the programming language R
  2. Familiarize students with the foundations of statistical analysis
  3. Teach students basic statistical analysis and data management
  4. Prepare students for advanced statistics courses they will take throughout their graduate career

Topics

WeekModule
1Broad overview of statistics 
2Reproducible science / R 
3Knowing your data and Summary Statistics
4Visualizing your data and graphing your results
5Random variables and probability distributions 
6Hypothesis testing 
7Linear models 
8T-tests 
9ANOVA
10Simple regression 
11Multiple regression 
12Categorical data analysis 
13Monte Carlo tests 
14Future classes/analyses 

Description

Nematodes are the most numerous multi-cellular animals on earth. They are present everywhere ranging from the coldest deserts in Antarctica to the tallest mountains and deepest ocean sediments. They are incredibly diverse. For instance, a handful of soil can contain hundreds of species of nematodes. Some nematodes play a role in ecosystem processes like decomposition, nutrient mineralization, or plant parasitism. Many are parasites of most species of invertebrate and vertebrate animals, including humans. In other words, nematodes are everywhere! Find out more about the worms that you tread upon every day.

Prerequisites

Course Format

Location: Online

Course Goals

  • How nematodes are related to other worm-like invertebrates
  • How they look
  • How they function
  • Where they live
  • How they are classified
  • Their often complex life histories
  • The varied and critical roles that they play in ecology and our world
  • Aspects of the management of parasitic species
  • History of their discovery

This class will peak your curiosity about nematodes and prepare you for advanced nematology courses or classes in allied fields such as entomology, plant pathology, parasitology, or zoology.

Description

This course is a 1-credit graded class that will help you practice various forms of scientific communication while learning to evaluate critically scientific information presented in written form and orally by invited speakers in our department’s weekly seminar series.

Prerequisites

You should have taken at least a basic entomology class and, ideally, will be a year into your graduate program so that you can understand and appreciate the scientific content of the seminars.

Course Format

Course materials are organized into modules on the Canvas course website. They will include videos to view and analyze, scientific articles to read, and discussions and assignments to apply what has been learned.

Course Goals

  1. Evaluate the elements of an effective research presentation and provide constructive criticism.
  2. Design an engaging poster presentation based on critically evaluated scientific research.
  3. Produce a lay public-appropriate science blog using engaging, clear and concise writing.
  4. Plan and deliver an oral 8-minute scientific presentation applying effective presentation techniques.

Topics

Topics
Elements of effective oral science communication
Providing constructive feedback on oral presentations
Elements of effective poster presentation
Designing an engaging poster
Informal science communication
Designing an effective oral presentation

Description

Insect Microbiology ENY 6821 will cover the diverse associations that exist between insects and microorganisms. These associations include mutualistic relationships, commensalism, vector biology, and insect-pathogen interactions. Insects from a wide range of orders as well as a diverse array of microbes will serve as theoretical models for the students to learn about developmental biology, physiology, behavior, and ecology involved in interactions between insects and microbes. In addition, various methods in scientific research will be presented and discussed. The course is composed of lectures, student presentations, and journal club discussions in order to build a comprehensive understanding of insect microbiology.

Prerequisites

There are no formal prerequisites, however introductory coursework in entomology and microbiology are suggested.

Course Format

Location: Online

Course Goals

  1. Define and classify the major groups of microorganisms associated with insects.
  2. Identify and differentiate between beneficial, neutral, and pathogenic interactions.
  3. Assess metabolic pathways with regard to prospective industrial use (e.g., biofuel production).
  4. Explain and discuss vector biology and implement the concept of vector control for disease prevention in various agricultural systems.
  5. Synthesize and integrate the concept of biological control into pest management strategies.
  6. Analyze and critique research publications.

Description

Advanced Medical and Veterinary Entomology Laboratory is a 1-credit class that provides students the opportunity to observe and handle the specimens discussed in the companion lecture of this course. Laboratory exercises are designed to reinforce concepts introduced during the companion lecture and provide hands-on viewing of arthropods for future identification. Some students may be making pest management decisions in the future; it is therefore essential that they be able to properly identify the pest that they are attempting to manage. This is increasingly important as the ecological and social pressures increase for control of non-specific arthropod pests with minimal effects on human health and the environment. Students will be given the opportunity to learn about evolving relationships that many of the species have developed in order to survive as an ectoparasite and/or serve as an efficient vector. Several evaluation methods including laboratory quizzes, laboratory exams and a collection will be administered so that students can demonstrate their knowledge of arthropod identification, pest importance to human and animal health and effective management tactics. We will take several trips to local sites during the laboratory session where students will have the opportunity to examine issues on site and to obtain specimens for their collections. Transportation will be provided.

Course Format

Location: Online

Course Goals

  1. Identify the major pests of veterinary entomology and provide pest management solutions.
  2. Learn to recognize the diversity of arthropods of medical and veterinary importance.
  3. Learn the biology and ecology of the primary pests of importance.
  4. Compare and contrast the life-history strategies used by major vector and pest species of medical and veterinary importance.
  5. Compare the variety of taxa and recognize that this is but an example of the diversity in the world.

Description

Advanced Medical and Veterinary Entomology is a 3-credit class that presents current information on the pests that have and continue to plague humans and animals. This course will explore the arthropods of importance in human health and those that impact livestock production, companion animals and wildlife through direct attack and disease transmission. It will include information on their biology, ecology, potential for disease transmission and management. Students will learn to identify the common pests and the principles of epidemiology and pest management. The factors involved in the epidemiology of vector-borne diseases, host, parasite, vector and reservoir, will be stressed, as this is the recurrent theme in medical entomology. Students will be encouraged to share their own experiences throughout the course.

Course Format

Location: Online

Course Goals

  • Define and compare the primary vectors of medical entomology.
  • Identify the major pests of veterinary entomology and provide pest management solutions.
  • Explain the reasons underlying the major diseases outbreaks in human history, and relate to why these outbreaks occasionally occur in today’s modern world.
  • Explain and support the principles of Integrated Pest Management in livestock systems.
  • Compare and contrast the life-history strategies used by major vector and pest species of medical and veterinary importance.
  • Discuss the principles of vector-borne epidemiology.
  • Assess the likelihood of new approaches in solving humanities vector-borne pathogen challenges.

Description

This course will provide an overview on insecticide classification, formulation, mode of action, resistance, metabolism, environmental fate, and regulatory legislation.

Prerequisites

There are no formal prerequisites. However, a general knowledge of entomology and organic chemistry is needed.

Course Format

Location: Online

Course Goals

Topics

The need for pesticides and their pattern of use
The formulation of pesticides
Pesticide laws and regulations
The classification of insecticides
Evaluation of toxicity
The uptake of insecticides
The mode of action of insecticides
Principles of pesticide metabolism
Species differences and other phenomena associated with the metabolism of xenobiotics
Insecticide resistance
Pesticides in the environment

Description

Advanced Mosquito Biology is an in-depth course on mosquito classification, natural history, ecology, physiology, population dynamics, mosquito-borne disease and control. The relationships between mosquitoes, humans and the environment, along with the mechanisms of pathogen propagation and transmission, will be emphasized. The course will be offered in an online format by experts at UF Medical Entomology Laboratory.

Prerequisites

There are no prior coursework requirements to enroll; however this is an advanced course and basic knowledge of ecology, cell biology, genetics, and molecular biology is highly recommended. Graduate students are encouraged to contact the course director with questions prior to enrolling in the course.

Course Format

Location: Online

Course Goals

  • Understand the fundamental biological processes governing the various life stages of the mosquito.
  • Identify human practices that promote the proliferation of anthropophilic mosquito species.
  • Analyze the suitability of an environment to support immature and adult mosquitoes in terms of its ecological factors, and to furthermore evaluate the suitability of the environment for mosquito-borne disease transmission.
  • Review and understand literature pertinent to mosquito biology including physiology, modeling, genetics, ecology, and disease transmission.
  • Scientifically and systematically assess contemporary issues related to mosquito ecology, control, and disease transmission.

Learn More About the Program

Click for details about the Entomology and Nematology program.