EEB 446 - Microbial Ecology
Winter 2022, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB)
Department: LSA Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
With permission of instructor.
Advisory Prerequisites:
Introductory Microbiology (BIOLOGY 207 or the equivalent) and one 300-level or above biology course [Microbial diversity (EEB 470) and general ecology (EEB 281/381) are recommended.].
Other Course Info:
For the Microbiology concentration, this course counts as a Group 1 Specified Elective.
This course counts toward the 60 credits of math/science required for a Bachelor of Science degree.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


A greater focus on the microbial component of the biosphere is warranted, since “microbes run the world.” If we are to build comprehensive and predictive models for ecosystems important to environmental and human health, we need a better understanding of how microbial communities assemble and operate.

This course will cover the ecology of microbes by highlighting their interactions with each other and the environment, and will present the latest insights into their role in ecosystems ranging from thawing permafrost to the human gastrointestinal tract. Ecological and evolutionary concepts and tools used in microbial research, including novel “omics” techniques, will be introduced. The course also aims at uncovering how concepts developed in plant and animal ecology do and do not translate to the microbial world.

Course Requirements:

Grades will be based on the midterm (15%) and the final (comprehensive) exam (30%). Exams will be short answer and essay style questions (10 on the midterm; 15 on the final). The rest of the grade will be based on participation in discussions and written assignments (10%); questions asked to guest lecturers (5%); the problem sets for the computer labs (10%); the independent project (carried out individually) (1/3 on written, 1/3 on oral presentation, 1/6 on questions, 1/6 on mid-term discussion).

Students will develop a concept from ecology in the microbial field, written as a short research proposal, and presented during the last week of classes. The week before Fall break we will have a class session based on the first summary page of their proposals. One-on-one discussions will be held where the students explain their research question and critique their fellow students specific aims.

Intended Audience:

This class is intended for juniors and seniors in any of the Program in Biology concentrations, particularly Microbiology, EEB, and Biology. Graduate students in EEB, as well as in Environmental Engineering, Public Health, Medical School, SNRE, and Earth, are also welcome.

Class Format:

The class is scheduled twice per week for 1-1/2 hours each. Class sessions (28) will consist of lectures (12), computer labs (3), paper discussion sessions (3), class debate/proposal discussion (2), student presentations (2), guest lectures (3), review sessions (2), and midterm (1).


EEB 446 - Microbial Ecology
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for EEB 446.001

View/Buy Textbooks


Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for EEB 446 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi

CourseProfile (Atlas)

The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)