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Marius van der Merwe, PH.D.

van der Merwe

Office: SCI 203
Phone: 435-652-7924


    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


    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.