Welcome to the Tobin
Disturbance Ecology

Patrick Tobin
People in the Lab



ESRM 415, Biology, Ecology, and Management of Plant Invasions (5 credits). Biological invasions are a major threat to native biodiversity and ecosystem function. This course explores the vectors which move plants and their pests, the biology and impacts of the invasive species, and management and policy approaches.  Prerequisites: refer to the UW Time Schedule. NOTE: Graduate students interested in taking this course should enroll in SEFS 590D.

Winter Quarter:

Q SCI 381, Introduction to Probability and Statistics (5 credits). Statistics plays an important role in nearly all aspects of science and society, and the ability to understand, interpret, and critique data and the statistics used to analyze these data provides an important foundation, regardless of career choice. The main objectives of this course are (1) to understand the different types of data and how they are collected; (2) to understand the basis of distributions and the information that can be inferred from them; and (3) to understand different types of basic data analysis, and how to interpret the results. Prerequisites: refer to the UW Time Schedule.

Spring Quarter:

ESRM 435, Insect Ecology (3 credits). This course is presented as a study of ecological principles as they pertain to insects, the factors and processes that affect insect populations, and the role that insects play in the ecosystems they inhabit. The main objectives of this course are to (1) Integrate broad-based knowledge of the principles of insect ecology at four levels of integration (populations, communities, ecosystems, and landscapes); (2) Appreciate the linkages between these four levels of integration; (3) Synthesize the relationship between principles of insect ecology and the scientific and applied charges of entomology; and (4) Recognize the broad and diverse roles that insects play in the ecosystems they inhabit. Prerequisite (one of the following): BIOL 161, BIOL 180, BIOL 220, or ESRM 161

ESRM 436, Laboratory in Insect Ecology (2 credits). The purpose of this class is to supplement the lecture course (ESRM 435) by providing hands-on lab and field experience on ecological principles as they pertain to insects. In addition to weekly exercises, students will conduct a lab-based population dynamics experiment, collecting weekly data throughout the quarter and synthesizing their data in a final report. By the end of the course, students will demonstrate the ability to (1) Appreciate the intricacies of the techniques used to quantify insect population dynamics and biodiversity, and apply these methods in field and laboratory settings; (2) Use a dichotomous key for insect identification; and (3) Initiate and conduct a population dynamics lab experiment, and write a scientific report on their findings. Prerequisite: must be concurrently enrolled in ESRM 435, or previously taken ESRM 435.

Courses Previously Taught:

Q SCI 483, Statistical Inference in Applied Research II: Regression Analysis for Ecologists and Resource Managers (5 credits). This course is designed for graduate students, and undergraduate students who are pursing the Q SCI minor. The objective of this class is to provide students with an advanced understanding of regression techniques commonly used with biological and ecological data. In this course, I review simple linear regression and then explore regression diagnostics, regression assumptions, and transformations. I then introduce advanced regression techniques used with continuous response variables: multiple linear regression, nonlinear regression, quantile regression, and nonparametic regression. Lastly, I cover regression techniques used with categorical response variables and count data: logistic regression, Poisson regression, and polytomous logistic regression. Prerequisite: Q SCI 482