Tobin Lab



Patrick Tobin

People in the lab



Gypsy moth larvae, WisconsinHemipteran aggregation, Costa Rica

Courses I teach

Autumn Quarters:

ESRM 415/SEFS 506, Terrestrial Invasion Ecology (5 credits). Biological invasions are a major threat to native biodiversity and ecosystem function. This course covers the major principles of invasion biology and ecology as they apply to terrestrial ecosystems, from invasion pathways and the arrival stage, factors that affect non-native species establishment and spread, impacts to ecosystem function and diversity, and stage-specific management strategies.

Winter Quarters:

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.

Spring Quarters:

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. 

Early Fall Quarters:

ESRM 489, The Natural and Cultural History of Costa Rica (Study Abroad Exploration Course). This is a 24-day study abroad course where we experience the rich biodiversity and cultural history of Costa Rica. We explore a range of tropical ecosystems, from the beaches of the Pacific Ocean, to the lush humid rainforests of the Osa Peninsula, and up into the cloud forests. An overall objective of the course is to explore the connection between modern society and the natural world through activities centered at the intersection of nature, commerce and tourism. In 2023, the dates of the course are August 22 to September 14. Contact me if you are interested in more information.

Undergraduate research opportunities:

Undergraduate students interested in conducting independent undergraduate research, a capstone project, or a senior thesis project in my lab should contact me.