University of Arizona

Independent Study Course


“COVID-19: Transdisciplinary Research Perspectives”

ECOL 499/599 - 2 units


Instructor: Dr. Regis Ferriere, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Biosphere 2/iGLOBES International Research Lab


This Independent Study Course offers a unique opportunity for international collaborative learning about COVID-19 from multiple disciplinary perspectives. The course is organized around the weekly seminar “COVID-19: Breaking And Raising Boundaries” organized with French partner institutions (Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris Sciences & Lettres University, Institut des Ameriques). The seminar will feature UArizona faculty and French colleagues presenting cutting-edge research on and analyses of the pandemic from a diversity of disciplinary perspectives: humanities, sociology, history, economy, politics, mathematics, neurobiology, evolutionary biology, environmental sciences… Students registered in the course will (1) attend the weekly seminar (Wednesdays 10-11:30), (2) complete a brief survey on each seminar session, (3) use the seminar content and other sources to write a 5 to 6 page essay with a small group of international students (other UArizona students registered in the course and French students from Paris Sciences & Lettres University). Each group will define the topic of their essay in relation with the general theme “COVID-19: Where Is This Going?” and set up their working method (e.g. weekly Zoom meeting, sharing references and collaborative writing via collaborative web platforms…). Essays will be due on May 10, 2021. Student working groups will be formed by the Instructor to balance students’ countries, study level, and main training areas.


The seminar series will start on Wednesday, February 17. The full program is available here.


Students can enroll via Change of Schedule. Students registered in the course should also sign up for attending the seminar to receive their Zoom connection information – follow the link “Registration is free but required” on the program webpage


Note that the seminar “COVID-19: Breaking And Raising Boundaries” itself is open to all, with free but required registration.


For more information about the course, please contact Dr. Regis Ferriere.


For more information about the organization of the seminar, please contact Ruth Gosset