Mary Beth Decker (banner)


Marine Ecology

This course explores a range of coastal and pelagic ecosystems and the close coupling between physical and biological processes in these systems. Solar energy drives the vertical structuring of the oceans and the formation of both deep and surface currents. These currents are the means by which heat is redistributed, and determine where nutrients are available for primary production. The currents and other physical processes also determine the distribution and abundance of plankton, fish, seabirds and marine mammals. This natural science course will provide a foundation for those interested in the structure and function of marine ecosystems and in the management of coastal zones.

Science and Policy of Coastal Eutrophication and Restoration

In this course, students are introduced to the science and policy of the eutrophication problem and discuss past/present management models that strive to restore coastal systems to normal function by controlling nutrient loading. The students have the opportunity to interact with experts from around the country who present case studies on the eutrophication problem from different coastal systems. The studentsí group projects and presentations draw on and integrated the case studies, in order to recommend a strategy for dealing with nutrient enrichment on both national and regional scales. Co-taught with Profs. Anisfeld, Burroughs and Raymond.

General Biology I

This is an introductory exploration of the study of life from the level of atoms through the cellular level of organization. I emphasize biologically important molecules, cellular structure and function, principles of energy utilization and metabolism, and Mendelian and molecular genetics.

General Biology II

General Biology II begins with an overview of evolutionary biology. I continually revisit evolutionary processes in my discussions of the diversity of life and the ecology of organisms. The course finishes with an illustration of the interdependence of living organisms and the biological implications associated with human impact on the biosphere.

Photo (school of fish) courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce

Mary Beth Decker, Associate Research Scientist
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Yale University New Haven, CT 06520-8106
Tel: 203-432-6293; Fax: 203-432-5176