FISH 310: Biology of Shellfishes


A laboratory course on aquatic invertebrates, with emphasis placed on those of economic, ecological, and socio-cultural importance in the Pacific Northwest region.  Inverts are dazzling in their diversity, and this course will examine the sometimes surprising ways in which these organisms feed, reproduce, and persist in a changing environment.

Student feedback from official evaluations:

IMG_0328 copy“Lectures were very good and lab was incredible. Best lab I’ve taken at UW.”

“Dr. Wood’s engaging lectures motivated me to invest more time in this course than I initially thought I would. Her enthusiasm and prolific use of anecdotes provided a deeper connection to the material.”

“I … really enjoyed conducting the research proposal, which has given me the ability and confidence to think critically and creatively about scientific research, as a scientist!”

“Chelsea’s enthusiasm for this class was utterly inspiring and motivating, greatly contributing to my learning in this class. She is exceptionally supportive of her students which has benefitted me immensely.”

“Chelsea was an amazing professor, the best I have ever had.”

“Chelsea’s enthusiasm for the course material and availability to students was outstanding. She clearly has a deep knowledge of and passion for the course material.”

“Lectures, assignments, and expectations for students were clear, well laid out, and reinforced throughout the entire course. The lectures were engaging, the labs were interesting, and the field trips provided excellent real life examples of the organisms we learned about.”

“I wish more classes were as well-organized as this one!”

“The organization of walking through the tree of life really helped me understand the morphological and physiological similarities and differences between the phyla we studied. We were given an incredibly dense amount of material but it was distributed extremely well throughout the lectures and Chelsea made sure that everyone was understanding the introduced topics as we went along.”

“I really enjoyed this class so much. You could tell how passionate Chelsea was about each of the lectures. She made each and every class day exciting and interesting. I don’t think I have ever learned as much in a class as I have in this one.”

“Chelsea’s ability to grab her audience’s attention and to hold onto it far surpasses any other professor’s. Ideas were introduced that challenged me to think beyond basic textbook ideas.”

Exemplary term projects from Spring 2018:

Kahana Pietsch, “Physical environmental triggers of aggregating anemone (Anthopleura elegantissima) reproduction in a changing ocean.”

Alex Sawyer, “Effects of treated and untreated stormwater runoff on three benthic macroinvertebrate taxa: Mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies.”

Ethen Whattam, “From the market to the wild: Second intermediate host infections of Echinostoma revolutum in a rural Cambodian province.”

Katie Wold, “The effects of the cestode worm Diphyllobothrium dendriticum on Cyclops copepods, and sockeye smolt (Oncorynchus nerka) predation rates on infected copepods.”

Exemplary term projects from Winter 2017:

Sarah Colosimo, “Scyphozoans in the diet of penguins: Adaptive and/or opportunistic response to increased jellyfish abundance driven by climatic change, or persistent long-term source of prey?”

Ellie Davis, “Sea star wasting disease transmission in Pisaster ochraceus.”

Rachel Fricke, “Changing prevalence of Fasciola hepatica in response to damming.”

Alanna Greene, “Epigenetics in offspring of oysters infected with Perkinsus marinus.”

Andrea Odell, “An investigation into the impacts of polychaete worm on crown-of-thorn population outbreaks.”

Hyejoo Ro, “Effects of rhizocephalans on their king crab hosts.”


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