Conservation and evolution labs

John Grehan jrg13 at PSU.EDU
Tue May 16 10:24:30 CDT 2000

Kia Ora Taxacom,
I am in search of innovative and exciting first-year biology laboratory
exercises in the areas of conservation and evolution. If you have any
suggestions I would appreciate hearing from you very much. I will be happy
to collect responses and send them to others as well. Thanks very much.

University of Waikato

New Zealand conservation is in the fortunate position of having some of the
most detailed accounts of biology and history in the world. In 1990 the New
Zealand Journal of Zoology published a compendium of papers including
several focusing on the biogeographic infrastructure of New Zealand's biota
and its correlation with geology and tectonics. It would seem that a
presentation of this synthesis would put students face to face with
evolution as well as confront the conservation issues that arise when
dealing with the present and future maintenance of these patterns. There
may be many different possibilities for developing a laboratory oriented
exploration. Perhaps students could examine some of the biogeographic
patterns and synthesize them with the current ecological structure of
communities for particular places to understand the potential impact of
history on the evolution and organization of the modern communities and
assess the conservation significance. The Waikato area itself is of some
biogeographic and ecological interest with respect to the process of
sea-level regression and stranding of coastal communities. As Croizat said,
ecology has long roots.

John Grehan

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