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Peter Van Zandt

Peter Van Zandt

Assistant Professor of Biology

Peter Van ZandtOffice:

Stephens Science Center 246

Contact Information:

Birmingham-Southern College
Division of Science and Mathematics
900 Arkadelphia Rd
Birmingham, AL 35254
Office Phone: (205) 226-7817
Office Fax: (205) 226 3078

Personal Web Page

Brief Career Background:

Post-doctoral Fellow – 2001-2003. University of Toronto, Department of Botany Post-doctoral Researcher – 2003-2005. Washington University, Department of Biology.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology – September, 2006-present. 
BSC Adjunct Professor of Biology – January, 2006-August, 2006
Assistant Professor of Biology – 2013-present

Educational Background:

B.A. Philosophy - Michigan State University (1989)
B.Sc. Fisheries & Wildlife - Michigan State University (1993)
M.Sc. Fisheries & Wildlife Ecology - Utah State University (1996)
Ph.D. Biology - University of Louisiana at Lafayette (2001)

Areas of Academic Interest:

  • ecology
  • evolution
  • entomology
  • botany

Courses Taught:

BI 101 Explorations in Biology (1) A course for non-science majors designed to provide an understanding of selected fundamental biological principles and processes. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. This course does not count towards the biology or biology-psychology major.

BI 206 Field Botany (1) A study of the plants and fungi native to the southeastern United States, particularly Alabama, with special emphasis on identification, classification, distribution, and ecology. Two lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. One weekend field trip is required. Prerequisite: BI 115. Spring of even-numbered years.

BI 225 Evolutionary Ecology (1) A study of the basic concepts of evolution and ecology as a gateway to upper-level coursework in ecology and organismal biology. Emphasis is placed on an understanding of natural selection and how it shapes speciation, population dynamics, and community interactions and composition. Prerequisites: either BI 115 and 125, or UES 150, and at least sophomore standing. Fall, Spring.

BI 410 Tropical Field Ecology (1) A field-oriented examination of tropical ecology in Costa Rica, with special emphasis on research methods. The course involves a six-week stay at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica, where students discuss readings, interact with researchers in tropical ecology, gain first-hand experience exploring tropical systems, and complete a field research project in tropical ecology. Prerequisite: consent. Occasional summers.

BI 470 Directed Research (1) An advanced exploration of the practices and techniques of biological research focusing on the design, execution, and presentation of experiments, data analysis, and information retrieval. Two units are required, one of which may be in the exploration or summer terms.

UES 150 Introduction to Environmental Studies (1) An interdisciplinary introduction to the complexities of environmental problems. The course provides an overview of scientific knowledge on ecology and environmental management and examines political, economic, and ethical issues involved in the attainment of a sustainable future. The course explores how an understanding of the natural and social sciences is necessary to address and solve environmental problems. Selected topics, including population growth, food shortages, pollution containment, and energy resources, are addressed. Two lectures and one three‑hour laboratory per week. Fall.