Molecular ecology utilizes the spatial and temporal distribution of molecular genetic markers to ask questions about the ecology, evolution, behavior, and conservation of organisms. This science may utilize neutral DNA markers to understand individuals, populations, and species as a whole. For instance, "What is the population structure and phylogeography (history) of a species?" Similarly, molecular ecologists may use specific, ecologically important genes to investigate how organisms respond and adapt to their environments ("How do genetically modified organisms escape into natural environments?") We will read background and primary literature in this field to understand how molecular ecology is important in answering basic and applied questions about organisms. Students will research specific applications of this discipline and present their findings in written and oral format. Prerequisites: Some knowledge of biology and genetics will be assumed for this class.