This unique course provides an opportunity for students to experience the scientific inquiry process in a comprehensive and creative way. Enrolled students will explore the diverse ecosystems of various forests where they will collect plant samples. During the summer, the students will engage in full time research where they will culture endophytic microorganisms growing within the plant tissue. Students will design their own assays and experiments to characterize the microorganisms. Organisms will be screened for the production of novel, biologically active natural products. Taxonomic characterization is expected to reveal some new species. There is no lab manual; each student will design and execute their own research project under the direction of course faculty. Interested students are encouraged to continue their projects beyond the duration of the course in other laboratories at Yale. For a more comprehensive description of the course and for enrollment information, click on the course description page.

Funding for this course is provided by a grant from the National Science Foundation and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professorship to Scott Strobel. Expeditions to the Ecuadorian Amazon Basin are with permission of the Ministry of the Environment of Ecuador (MAE).