Amend Lab | Univ of Hawaii


Introductory Ethnobotany

Botany 105

(Taught every fall)

The field of ethnobotany ecompasses nearly every aspect of human livelihoods from the dawn of civilization up to the present day.  From the sacred Bodhi trees of South Asia to the sorghum fields of cental Kansas, students will systematically learn about how we manipulate plants to suit our needs, and how plants manipulate our cultures to suit theirs.  By the end of this course, students will have a solid foundation in how plants have, and continue to shape human livelihoods and culture. This course values participatory learning, meaning that students will be able to discuss and appreciate the roles of plants in their own daily lives. Students will become familiar with the basic tools of botanical and cultural sciences in order that they may conduct their own independent ethnobotanical research.

Hawaiian scenery 

High Throughput Sequencing Approaches for Ecology and Evolution

Botany 662

(Taught odd-yeared springs)

Next generation sequencing technologies are transforming our understanding of evolutionary and ecological processes. With ever-increasing data throughput and decreasing assay costs, genomic approaches formerly accessible only with model organisms are now tractable for researchers working in many systems. This course covers the fundamentals of experimental design, wet-lab techniques and data-management/analysis required to conduct research using the Illumina sequencing platform. Students work in small groups to conduct a phylogenomic, population genomic or metagenomic (amplicon based), study consisting of ten samples. Student work will result in a final analysis suitable for preliminary data for a grant proposal or a proof of concept publication.

Natural History of the Hawaiian Islands

Botany 450

(Taught even-yeared springs)

A broad survey of the crawling, flying, flowering, sporulating, erupting and swimming things that make Hawaii such an exciting place to observe nature in the making.    

coral Hawaiian scene

Microbial Symbioses

Botany 612

(Taught fall 2012 and 2013)

Fungal symbioses are pervasive in nature, involving members of every biological kingdom. These interactions run the gamut from tightly co-evolved partnerships between symbionts, such as leaf miner ants and the fungi they cultivate, to diffuse associations with hosts and fungal communities of 100s or 1000s of species. This course will examine contemporary topics in fungal symbiosis and ecology by reading and discussing recent papers in the field.