Middlebury

 

Matthew Landis

Visiting Scholar in Biology

Email: 
Phone: work802.443.3484
Office Hours: By appointment.
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I channel my interests in field biology, data analysis, and computer simulation to the laboratories I teach for BIOL0140, Ecology and Evolution.

When I am not occupied with that, I study the responses of forest trees to disturbances such as logging and fire, and to climate change. My research has taken me to such exotic locales as the White and Green Mountains, the Brazilian Amazon, the Pine Barrens of Long Island, and most extensively, 40 cm in front of my computer. I'm a big fan and heavy user of GIS and the R and Python computer languages. I also have a latent and mostly suppressed interest in understanding the impacts and limits of local biomass energy production in the Northeast.

 

Courses

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

BIOL 0392 - Conservation Biology      

Conservation Biology
This course will focus on advanced topics in applied ecology and population genetics as they relate to the protection and restoration of biological integrity in the natural world. Emphasis will be placed on in-depth exploration of current issues, such as the design of nature reserves, genetic and demographic factors associated with population decline, metapopulation analysis, connectivity, and large-scale ecological processes. This course will involve reading from the primary literature, discussion, computer modeling, and writing assignments, and will build upon the information presented in the prerequisite courses. (BIOL 0140)

SCI

Winter 2012

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BIOL 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
In this course students complete individual projects involving laboratory and/or field research or extensive library study on a topic chosen by the student and a faculty advisor. Prior to registering for BIOL 0500, a student must have discussed and agreed upon a project topic with a member of the Biology Department faculty. Additional requirements include participation in weekly meetings with disciplinary sub-groups and attending all Biology Department seminars. This course is not open to seniors; seniors should enroll in BIOL 0700, Senior Independent Study. (Approval required) 3 hrs. disc.

Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013

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BIOL 0700 - Senior Independent Study      

Senior Independent Study
In this course students complete individual projects involving laboratory and/or field research or extensive library study on a topic chosen by the student and a faculty advisor. Prior to registering for BIOL 0700, a student must have discussed and agreed upon a project topic with a member of the Biology Department faculty. Additional requirements include participation in weekly meetings with disciplinary sub-groups and attending all Biology Department seminars. (Approval required; open only to seniors) 3 hrs. disc.

Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013

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BIOL 0701 - Senior Thesis      

Senior Thesis
Seniors majoring in Biology who have completed one or more semesters of BIOL 0500 or BIOL 0700 and who plan to complete a thesis should register for BIOL 0701. In this course students will produce a written thesis, deliver a public presentation of the research on which it is based, and present an oral defense of the thesis before a committee of at least three faculty members. Additional requirements include participation in weekly meetings with disciplinary sub-groups and attending all Biology Department seminars. Open to Biology and joint Biology/Environmental Studies majors. (BIOL 0500 or BIOL 0700 or waiver; instructor approval required for all students) 3 hrs. disc

Fall 2012, Spring 2013

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ENVS 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
A one- or two-semester research project on a topic that relates to the relationship between humans and the environment. The project, carried out under the supervision of a faculty member with related expertise, must involve a significant amount of independent research and analysis. Students may enroll in ENVS 0500 no more than twice for a given project. (Approval only)

Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

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ENVS 0700 - ES Senior Honors Work      

Senior Honors Work
The final semester of a multi-semester research project on a topic pertinent to the relationship between humans and the environment. Students may enroll in ENVS 0700 only once. (Previous work would have been conducted as one or two semesters of an ENVS 0500 Independent Study project.) The project, carried out under the supervision of a faculty member, will result in a substantial piece of writing, and will be presented to other ENVS faculty and students in a public forum. (Senior standing; ENVS 0112, ENVS 0211, ENVS 0215, GEOG 0120, and ENVS 0500; Approval only)

Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

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INTD 1131 - Visual Data Analysis      

Visual Data Analysis
If a picture is worth 1000 words, then a graph can illuminate 1000 data points. In this course, we will explore the principles and tools of scientific data visualization, an underutilized but powerful way of understanding patterns in data. Using datasets drawn from a variety of fields such as public health, geography, ecology, political science, and students' choice, we will gently introduce the computing language, R, the premier tool for data visualization and analysis. No previous knowledge of programming is assumed, but by course's end, students will be able to write powerful scripts to analyze and present data in a clear and compelling way. (Pass/Fail)

non-standard grade WTR

Winter 2013, Winter 2014

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Selected Publications

Grogan, J. and R.M. Landis. In press. Growth history and crown vine coverage are principle factors influencing growth and mortality rates of big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) in Brazil. Journal of Applied Ecology.

Grogan, J., A. Blundell, R.M. Landis, A. Youatt, R. Gullison, M. Martinez, R. Kometter, M. Lentini. In press. Over-harvesting driven by consumer demand leads to population decline: big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) in South America. Conservation Letters.

Recent Student Projects

Impacts of spatial variability on model simulations of bigleaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) population dynamics (Chris Free)

The impact of environmental change in the Adirondack lowland boreal: creating a monitoring plan. (Gus Goodwin)

Long-term shifts in the deciduous-coniferous ecotone in Vermont: evidence from pre-settlement land survey records (Alyse Forrest)

Determining the level of genetic variability among isolated balsam fir (Abies balsamea) populations using microsatellite analysis (Jordan Valen)

Relative abundances of seedling, sapling, and canopy tree species on burned and unburned sites in a forest stand in Salisbury, Vermont (Anna Chavis)

Williams Woods: Post-Disturbance Inventory and Stand History Reconstruction (Hannah Panci)

Herbivory and tree species range limits: A case study in the Green Mountains, Vermont (Anna Viel)