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Marius van der Merwe, PH.D.

van der Merwe

Office: SCI 203
Phone: 435-652-7924
E-mail: marius@dixie.edu


Education:

    Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution
    University of Illinios at Chicago
    M.Sc. in Entomology
    University of Pretoria, South Africa
    B.Sc. in Zoology and Genetics
    University of Pretoria, South Africa

Courses:

    BIOL 1010 - General Biology
    BIOL 1610 - Principles of Biology I
    BIOL 3040 - General Ecology
    BIOL 3045 - General Ecology Lab
    BIOL 4040 - Medical Ecology
    BIOL 4411 - Mammalogy
    BIOL 4415 - Mammalogy Lab
    BIOL 4810/4820 - Independent Research I/II
    BIOL 4910/4920 - Senior Seminar I/II
    BIOL 4930 - Senior Thesis

At Dixie State University I am first and foremost a teacher who loves to work with undergraduate students in the wonderful deserts and mountains surrounding St. George. My formal training was in behavioral ecology and for my dissertation work I studied the foraging behavior of squirrels to gain insights into food value, habitat use, the risk of predation, and coexistence of animal competitors. More recently I have become interested in the ecology of cliffs, and more specifically, the ecology of cliff-dwelling lichens. Undergraduate students that take my ecology classes do a variety of field based projects, with an emphasis on ecological survey techniques. For undergraduate research I offer projects ranging from field-based optimal foraging experiments, animal activity (as measured by camera traps or live traps), to base-line surveys of cliff vegetation.