Families of Vascular Plants - Botany 307F 

Organization of this course (2012/2013)

Course Text:

Judd, W. S., Campbell, C. S., Kellogg, E. A., Stevens, P. F. & M. J. Donoghue (2008). Plant Systematics - A Phylogenetic Approach, 3rd ed. Sunderland MA, Sinauer Associates, Inc. Students should note that this text includes a CD-ROM with images of representative plants from virtually all families discussed in the book (and hence in this course). These images will be used to supplement those available from the collections of the Vascular Plant herbarium (TRT) of the Royal Ontario Museum.


Dickinson, T., Metsger, D., Bull, J. & R. Dickinson (2004). The ROM Field Guide to Wildflowers Of Ontario. Toronto ON, Royal Ontario Museum and McClelland and Stewart Ltd.

The choice between these two texts lies with the student. Judd et al. lists with the publisher at US$95.95 and for slightly more with the Canadian branch of Amazon.com. The field guide is availablr for Cdn$30.00 or less. If you plan to continue in plant biology then the Judd et al. text is a good investment, but it contains far more information than can be covered in this course. The field guide contains less information than we cover, but it contains critical introductory material that students may find useful. Some of the illustrations are used on this web site, and after the course is over you have a field guide that you can use in Ontario and adjacent jurisdictions.

Other recommended Texts:

Capon, B. (2010). Botany for gardeners, 3rd ed. Portland OR, Timber Press. 

Zomlefer, W. B. (1994). Guide to Flowering Plant Families. Chapel Hill NC, University of North Carolina Press.

NOTE: students who seek a concise review of the comparative morphology covered in early lectures and labs should consult Raven, Evert & Eichhorn (1999) Biology of Plants, 6 th ed. This is the text that has been used in BIO251Y, and used copies of this or earlier editions are available in the library system, or for sale, used.

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Lecture and Lab Topics, Fall 2012 (Click HERE to see the 2011/2012 syllabus, complete with all links);
This course outline is still a work in progress please note that for this year the topics, dates, and other details may still change!

Lectures, Tuesday/Thursday 1300-1400h, Earth Sciences Centre 3087
Laboratories Thursday 1400-1700h, Earth Sciences Centre 4076


Dr T. A. Dickinson 

phone: 416 586 8032 
e-mail: tim.dickinson@utoronto.ca 

Green Plant Herbarium (TRT)
Department of Natural History
Royal Ontario Museum
100 Queen's Park
Toronto, CANADA  M5S 2C6
(corner of Bloor and Queen's park; for class visits to the herbarium, or to visit my office, present yourself at the staff entrance on the south side of the Museum, just west of the TTC Museum stop)


Arrangements will be made to facilitate students' course-related access to the herbaria. Other visitors should contact the herbarium staff (Deb Metsger, or Tim Dickinson) to arrange their visit.

Click HERE to visit my lab's website. 

Click HERE for the ROM's map of its location; the staff entrance is just to the west of the Loblaw School Entrance. 

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Marking scheme and Academic Integrity Statement

Penalty for lateness: If an assignment is handed in after the deadline given in the course outline above (without having made prior arrangements for an extension) 10% of the final mark component will be deducted. If the assignment is handed in the following week, a further 10% will be deducted, and so on, on a weekly basis.

Academic integrity is fundamental to learning and scholarship at the University of Toronto. Participating honestly, respectfully, responsibly, and fairly in this academic community ensures that the U of T degree that you earn will be valued as a true indication of your individual academic achievement, and will continue to receive the respect and recognition it deserves. Familiarize yourself with the University of Toronto’s Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters (http://www.governingcouncil.utoronto.ca/policies/behaveac.htm). It is the rule book for academic behaviour at the U of T, and you are expected to know the rules. Potential offences are described HERE, and to remind you of these expectations, and help you avoid accidental offences, I will ask you to include a signed Academic Integrity Checklist with every assignment. If you do not include the statement, your work will not be graded.

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Field trips and labs

Labs and field trips are integral parts of the course that deliver practical experience of material covered in lectures and readings. Attendance is expected, and make-ups are not possible. Although marks are not assigned for work done in labs and on field trips, attendance will be taken. Reasonable assistance will be provided to enable students who miss labs or field trips because of health, religious, or other valid reasons to master the material covered on their own.

For labs, please note venue (ESC 3088, or Vascular Plant Herbarium) and bring lab coat, a supply of unlined paper (loose sheets or a notebook), sharp pencils, and an eraser. You will be expected to make sketches of and notes on the material seen, and you may submit these notes and sketches to the Teaching Assistant to be checked for errors.

For field trips, please note the meeting place and time, and dress for comfortable movement outdoors in any kind of weather. In addition to paper and pencils, please bring some plastic bags with which to keep things dry and to make limited collections of plants for personal reference. As you will note from the course outline, one field trip is scheduled during the Thursday lecture and lab periods; others, if scheduled, will take place on a Saturday.

In order to get as much as possible out of field trips and labs, students should obtain a handlens and bring it with them. This quintessential piece of botanical equipment can be obtained in Toronto at Science City downtown (about $25) or at Efston Science (about $10) across Dufferin Street from the Yorkdale Mall (and perhaps elsewhere as well).
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There will be two assignments given during the term this year, to be completed and then submitted as described below on or before the due date. These are intended as learning exercises, and should not require a disproportionate amount of effort. These assignments may involve some or all of the following:

Students agree that by taking this course all required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers will be included as source documents in the Turnitin.com reference database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such papers. The terms that apply to the University's use of the Turnitin.com service are described on the Turnitin.com web site.

All assignments must be submitted to the instructor via Turnitin.com, accompanied by a signed Academic Integrity Checklist (see above). Extenuating circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Click HERE for information on getting started with a Turnitin student account.

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Course delivery, e-mail policy, and costs

Although the primary means of delivery for this course is by lectures, labs, and fieldtrips, the course does have substantial web-based content, including this website (http://courses.eeb.utoronto.ca/eeb337/) and digital handouts. The website provides much of the material covered in lectures together with references, graphics, and links to relevant information elsewhere on the World Wide Web. Students are expected to access this web-based content as part of the study of the course subject matter.

Students in this course can consult the instructor about course-related matters at any time via e-mail, and can expect a reply within 48h (usually sooner). Students are encouraged to use a UTORmail address (see http://www.utorid.utoronto.ca) for course-related e-mails as it is likely to be more reliable than other services. Students can also use e-mail to make arrangements for face-to-face consultation as needed. Please make sure that you consult the course outline and any relevant pages on the course website (these are linked, in the first instance, from the course outline) BEFORE asking questions by e-mail. Please note that e-mail IS NOT an alternative to regular attendance at lectures and labs as these provide an opportunity for face-to-face discussion in addition to being the principal means of delivery for the course content. In any event, to help identify your e-mail as course-related, please include "EEB337H" in the subject line.

E-mail is also used by the instructor and teaching assistant to communicate with the class about arrangements for field trips, clarification of course content, and other course-related issues. For this reason it is the student's responsibility to ensure that the instructor and teaching assistant have their e-mail address so that it can be incorporated into a class mailing list. Such mailing lists will be used, as much as possible, in a manner that will not compromise the privacy of students in the course.

Digital handouts in the portable data file format (.pdf) can be viewed using the free Adobe šAcrobatš Reader™ software that is available for both Macintosh and PC platforms (and that may be included with materials distributed by the University of Toronto Information Commons). The principal advantage of digital handouts is that they can provide students with access to images used in lectures. Most of these images are part of the collections of the Vascular Plant Herbarium (TRT) of the Royal Ontario Museum. As such they are © the ROM and may not be used without permission of TRT staff. Use of digital handouts also will eliminate the need to recover photocopying costs from students.

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| What are plant families? | How do we distinguish them? | How and why do we study them? | Selected vascular plant families of Ontario | Reading List | Course outline |

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© 2008-2012 Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and 2000-2006 Botany Department, University of Toronto.

Please send your comments to tim.dickinson@utoronto.ca; last updated 25-Nov-2012