Spring 2014 Classes

Cenozoic Vertebrates of the Neotropics

GLY 5786/4930 and ZOO6927/4926

Course Prospectus

This graduate-level course (also available for undergraduate students) will focus on the theme Cenozoic Vertebrates of the Neotropics. Major topics will include:

  1. History of vertebrates in the New World Tropics,
  2. Climatic and geologic/tectonic history of the New World Tropics, and
  3. The Great American Biotic Interchange. It will include lectures, discussion of assigned readings, and student research projects. It also will include field experiences collecting fossil vertebrates in Florida and during a trip to Panama over Spring Break.


Jonathan I. Bloch
Associate Curator and Professor 
Florida Museum of Natural History

Aaron Wood
PCP PIRE PostDoc and Project Manager 
Florida Museum of Natural History



Class periods


Required field trip dates

Panama: March 1-8; Thomas Farm: TBD


Instructor approval

Class size limit



TBA (Place and time will be arranged around students’ schedules)

Grades will be based on

  • Leading discussion sessions about assigned reading (25 %)
  • Submission of written discussion questions each week (25 %)
  • Class & Field Trip attendance and participation (50 %)


Each student should anticipate about $1,500 (estimated) of funds needed to support the costs of the field trips, particularly to Panama. Some “work for travel funds” grants will be available to defray a portion of these costs, and students should consider other sources of support, as available.


Mostly articles assigned from the primary research literature and book chapters.