Ecology of Food
Prof. M. Raveret Richter
The study of fundamental concepts in ecology from a who-eats-whom perspective. Topics include the behavior and ecology of herbivores, predators, parasites, and mutualists, interactions among competitors in quest of food, trophic connections, and analyses of communities and landscapes managed for agricultural and aquacultural production. Quantitative field investigations of herbivory in Skidmore's North Woods are complemented by laboratory investigations of plant physical defenses and secondary chemicals, including the use and function of these secondary chemicals in world cuisine. A similar investigative approach is taken to the study of pollination, seed dispersal, and predation. Local food producers contribute to the study of agroecology. Ecological impacts of various agricultural and aquacultural practices and the implications and potential ecological impacts of genetically modified foods are explored.