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Angelika Kurthen 2019

Angelika Kurthen

Graduate Student
Department of Integrative Biology

Angelika Kurthen

Graduate Student
Department of Integrative Biology


Advised by David Lytle

I’m interested in the population and community dynamics and responses of aquatic invertebrates to their environmental conditions, with a focus on desert rivers (especially the Colorado River). My background in aquatic invertebrate metacommunity ecology, researching how spatial factors influence aquatic invertebrates in streams inspired me to take interest in understanding the processes that drive the patterns of communities we observe in the field. This has led me to my dissertation work, developing stage-structured population matrix models that incorporates density-dependence, water temperature, and disturbances (press and pulse) for invertebrates.


My teaching philosophy is rooted in my subscription to the constructivist philosophy of teaching, with a goal to provide a holistic, hands-on, and student-interaction based learning experience for students in my classes, whether introductory or upper-level/graduate level. I firmly believe in providing students with the relevant skills and knowledge they will need to complete real-world tasks in other classes or post-graduation. In addition, I prioritize student-interactions and collaborative exercises in my teaching because group-work is an important skill, and I believe that collaboration fosters community and agency in the classroom. Finally, I want students to have opportunities to make meaning of their learning through reflection and to have channels to communicate feedback to myself and the instruction team. By providing students with experiential activities (usually lab-based) through which they can learn the fundamentals (and also the specifics) of biology, my hope is that all students who I encounter leave the classroom feeling respected, supported, and more interested in the sciences than when they arrived.

Classes Taught

  • BI 221, BI 222, BI 223 - Principles in Biology (series)
  • Z477/IB577 - Aquatic Entomology Z477/IB577
  • BI 206 - E-campus Biology for Life Sciences


University of Michigan and a M.Sc. in Biodiversity, Ecology, and Evolution from the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.


  • Provost's Distinguished Fellowship 2019