Kenneth G. Karol

Undergraduate Discipline

Biology

BSc, University of Wisconsin-Madison. PhD, University of Maryland-College Park. Research interest in molecular systematics, classification and evolution of green algae and land plants, and interest in organellar genome evolution. Currently an assistant curator at the New York Botanical Garden’s Cullman Molecular Systematics Program, adjunct faculty member at City University of New York, international collector of algae, and author of more than 30 papers and book chapters on algae and land plant evolution. SLC, 2008–

Undergraduate Courses 2018-2019

Biology

Principles of Botany

Open , Seminar—Fall

Understanding the basic principles of plant biology is crucial to understanding the complex web of life on Earth and its evolutionary history. Nearly all other organisms, including humans, rely on plants—directly or indirectly—for their basic needs. Consequently, plants are essential to our existence; and by studying them, we learn more about our self and the world we inhabit. This course is an introductory survey of botanical science and is designed for the student with little science background. We will broadly examine numerous topics related to botany, including: cell biology comprising DNA/RNA, photosynthesis, and respiration; plant structure, reproduction, and evolution; as well as plant diversity, ecology, and habitats. Seminars and textbook readings will be supplemented by a field trip to the New York Botanical Garden. Conference projects will provide the opportunity for the student to explore specific botanical interests in detail.

Faculty

Plant Systematics and Evolution

Intermediate , Seminar—Spring

Understanding the diversity of plants and their evolutionary relationships is fundamental to understanding the complex web of life on Earth. Nearly all other organisms, including humans, rely on plants—directly or indirectly—for their food and oxygen. Consequently, plants are essential to our existence; and by studying plants in detail, we learn more about our own species and the world we inhabit. This course is a detailed survey of plant diversity and the evolutionary relationships of plants. In the course, you will gain a thorough understanding of the diverse morphology of plants and will acquire an understanding of the plant “Tree of Life.” You will be able to describe morphological structures of plants using botanical terminology and learn how to identify prominent plant families using diagnostic morphological characters and plant keys. Seminars and associated labs will be supplemented with independent field collections.

Faculty

Previous Courses

General Biology Series: Photosynthetic Life

Open , Seminar—Spring

Billions of years of oxygenic photosynthesis has altered the Earth's atmosphere and modified its landscape. From single-celled cyanobacteria to towering redwoods, photosynthesis produces the fuel that powers the food webs upon which all life depends. Rubisco, a key enzyme in photosynthesis, has been identified as the single most-abundant protein on Earth. In this course, students will develop an understanding of the origin and diversity of photosynthetic life, including cyanobacteria, marine and freshwater algae, and land plants. Concepts will be placed in an evolutionary framework that demonstrates the interconnected history of life. Seminars will be supplemented by lab sections, in which students will be exposed to the diversity of photosynthetic organisms and will learn to identify representative species and key morphological features and adaptations.

Faculty
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