Marius van der Merwe

van der Merwe

Office: Science Building, Room 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 Taught:
– BIOL 1010 – General Biology
– BIOL 1300 – Evolution and Ecology
– BIOL 1610 – Principles of Biology I
– BIOL 3040 – General Ecology
– BIOL 3045 – General Ecology Lab
– BIOL 4411 – Mammalogy
– BIOL 4415 – Mammalogy Lab
– BIOL 4810 – Independent Research I
– BIOL 4820 – Independent Research II
– BIOL 4910 – Senior Seminar I
– 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.