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EEB 3240 Syllabus 2017

EEB 3240: Bryophyte and lichen biology


Dr. Bernard Goffinet, PBB 300

Office Hours: By appointment

Phone: 860-486-5290



CLASS MEETINGS: TuTh 11:00AM – 12:15PM in Torrey Life Sciences 181

Laboratories: We 1:25PM – 4:25PM in Torrey Life Sciences 181





Charles Delavoi, PBB 316

Office Hours: By appointment

Phone: 860-486-6306




Lectures are not supported by a textbook, instead readings will be assigned.

These papers are considered essential and part of the lecture material.



Lecture component (60%)

 5% Assignment

23% Midterm exam

32% Final exam (partially comprehensive)


Laboratory component: (40%)

5% Twitter/news/ Laboratory notes/discussion

10% Presentation

25 % Lab final 



Two assignments are due, one in each half of the semester. They are due on the date indicate in the schedule below at the beginning of the lecture. Late assignments are not accepted.

The first assignment is focused on the theoretical evolution of life cycles and the second one is focused on a seminar, which student must attend. The seminar is held on April 13, in the Biology-Physics Building room 131 at 4 PM, and is presented by Dr. T. Spribille. The assignment will consist in questions on the seminar and will be handed to you as you exit the room. If you cannot attend the seminar you must notify the instructor (BG) no later than two weeks in advance (i.e., March 31) for an alternative assignment.


You are required to attend the labs. If you miss 3 labs or more, without a valid written excuse you will automatically fail the class.

If you miss a lab you have to let the TA know no later than the morning of the lab, if you would like to make up the lab at a later point. If you fail to notify the TA and request to make up the lab, you will not have an opportunity to do so.

Each lab will focus on a group of bryophyte or lichens, exploring the organization of the body plan, reproductive structures, anatomy and distribution of symbionts. Students will prepare their own sections and mounts for examination in light microscopy.


Paper discussions: Every other week we will discuss a scientific paper presenting novel data. Papers will be assigned two weeks prior to the discussion. Students will work in pairs and prepare a power point presentation presenting the context, hypotheses, results and significance of the study. The presentation should be no more than 15 minutes long.

Discussion leaders will meet with the TA one week before the discussion day and present a draft of their presentation. The Tuesday preceding the discussion the leaders will share their final version of the presentation with the TA. Leaders will prepare 5 questions that they will ask the class. These questions should be designed to provide starting points for discussion, and relate to understanding the background, objectives, and implications of the paper. Questions should not be short answer style. Both students will be leading the discussion.

Draft (2 pts)—Final presentation (4 pts)—Questions (1 pt)—Discussion (3 pts)

Every student will be required to read the paper and send in questions on Tuesday of the week preceding the Wednesday discussion. Every student will be graded for their participation in the discussion.

Summary discussion timeline:

2 weeks prior to discussion (see syllabus for discussion dates)

  • Paper assigned to two volunteers

1 week prior to discussion

  • All students send at least one question to Charlie via email no later than noon.
  • Charlie will send out the compiled questions to all students via email

Day of discussion (in lab)

  • Discussion leaders give brief introduction on theme, objectives, rational, and implications of assigned paper
  • Discussion leaders guide discussion around compiled questions
  • All students are required to contribute during discussion

You will be assessed based on your presentation, contributed questions and participation.



The course has two meetings per week. These sessions will include lectures and discussions. Attendance is strongly encouraged!

The exams will consist of a mixture of fill-in-the-blank, short answer, and essay questions. Around 1/3 of the points of the final exam will be cumulative.

Make-up exams will be given only in the case of a documented medical emergency.


Consult “Student Handbook” for UCONN’s policies on grades, withdrawals, and incompletes.

As a courtesy to others, please turn off all personal communication devices (cell phones, pagers, etc.) when in class. The use of these items is prohibited during examinations.


In the event of severe weather, see the University Emergency Closing web site ( for delays and cancellations. If you are a commuter student, please use discretion when making decisions about travel in bad weather.


Special testing needs. Please see the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) web site if you are in need of special accommodation for testing ( . Students should discuss their specific needs for testing with CSD staff within the first two weeks of each semester, and communicate these needs to the course instructors well before the first lecture exam.


Academic integrity. Please consult the Community standards web page for detailed information about academic integrity: “Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

– Providing or receiving assistance on academic work (papers, projects, examinations) in a way that was not authorized by the instructor

– Any attempt to improperly influence (bribery, threats) any member of the faculty, staff, or administration of the University in any matter relating to academics or research

– Plagiarism

– Doing academic work for another student

– Presenting the same or substantially the same papers or projects in two or more courses without the explicit permission of the instructors”


Some useful contacts:

Counseling and Mental Health Services, 486-4705 (24 hrs),

Alcohol and other Drug Services, 486-9431

Dean of Students, 486-3426


Tentative schedule for EEB 3240/5240, Spring 2017


Date Lecture topics Laboratory
T 01/17/12 Introduction Introduction to lab practices and bryophytes
Th 01/19/14 Concepts applied in this course
T 01/24/14 Liverwort diversity and evolution

Assignment 1 due

Liverworts: thalloid taxa
Th 01/26/14 Liverwort diversity and evolution
T 01/31/14 Liverwort diversity and evolution  

Discussion 1

Liverworts: leafy taxa

Th 02/02/14 Liverwort and Moss diversity and evolution
T 02/07/14 Moss diversity and evolution Mosses: Peatmosses and Nematodonteae
Th 02/09/14 Moss diversity and evolution
T 02/14/14 Moss diversity and evolution Discussion 2

Mosses: Arthrodonteae

Th 02/16/14 Hornwort diversity and evolution
T 02/21/14 Evolution and diversification of bryophytes Arthrodonteae cont.
Th 02/23/14 Bryophyte evo-devo
T 02/28/14 Symbiotic associations of bryophytes Discussion 3


Th 03/02/14 Bryophyte ecophysiology
T 03/07/14 Peatlands: ecology and global significance Bryophyte review
Th 03/09/14 Midterm
03/12-18 /14 Spring Break  
T 03/21/14 Lichen introduction and morphology Lichens: intro and foliose
Th 03/23/14 Developments of lichens
T 03/28/14 Lichen chemistry Lichens: identification
Th 03/31/14 Co-evolution between lichen symbionts
T 04/04/14 Evolution of lichenization Discussion 4

Lichens: identification

Th 04/06/14 Recent advances in bryology
T 04/11/14 Ecological significance of lichens and bryophytes Lichens: crustose
Th 04/13/14 Ecological significance of lichens and bryophytes

Discussion with Dr. Spribille

T 04/18/14 Lichens and bryophytes as bioindicators

Assignment 2 due

Discussion 5

Bryophytes and lichens review

Th 04/20/14 Lichen and bryophyte distributions through time
T 04/25/14 Lichen and bryophyte distributions through time Lab final
Th 04/27/14

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