Dr. Mark J. Butler IV

Old Dominion University
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Dr. Mark J. Butler IV

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Department of Biological Sciences

ODU College of Sciences

Dr. Butler




BIOL 415/515 - every fall

Course Overview:

This is an undergraduate/graduate lecture course covering ecological processes as they are manifested in marine ecosystems.  The course is taught every fall semester and students are required to take the accompanying Marine Ecology Laboratory (Biol 442/542) course.  The general topics that are cover are listed in the syllabus (see link below). The course focuses on coastal habitats and their ecology, not open ocean systems which is covered in biological oceanography courses offered in the OEAS department.  Lectures stress ecological processes and principals as they pertain to marine ecosystems (e.g., top-down community control, alternative stable states, trophic guilds, etc.), and those themes are often bolstered with examples from case studies. Marine Biology is a prerequisite for this course, therefore we do not cover much behavior or organismal biology which is covered in that course.

◊ Example Syllabus PDF file


BIOL 442/542 - concurrent with BIOL 415/515

Course Overview:

In this field-intensive laboratory course students gain practical experience with research techniques commonly used in the study of coastal marine ecology and the organisms and ecological conditions in temperate saltmarsh & beach habitats, as well as subtropical hard-bottom, seagrass, mangrove, and coral reef environments.   Individual and group research projects provide students with experience in experimental design, testing hypotheses, project implementation, computer-based data analysis, and the presentation of research results in both written and oral formats. Students must be simultaneously enrolled in the lecture section of the course (Biol 415/515) and a week-long field trip to the Florida Keys is required.

◊ Example Syllabus

◊ Class Photos

◊ Class Videos