- Teaching Notes
- Answer Key
- Supplemental Materials
Making It Fit: Using Excel to Analyze Biological Systems
Brian R. Murphy
In this case, students read about a biologist who needs to determine how to analyze age-at-length data, a common situation in fisheries biology. The fictional Dr. Latimer is tasked with fitting non-linear models to the data, and the case develops as he draws parallels between linear and non-linear models. After learning the terminology and concepts through a series of exercises, students use Excel's built-in Solver algorithm to fit models to the data. Intended for use in a fisheries biology, ecology, or management class, the case is targeted to junior and senior level undergraduate students who have some experience using spreadsheets on microcomputers and some knowledge of ichthyology.
|Keywords:||Fisheries management; ichthyology; yellow tang; Zebrasoma flavescens; fish; fish growth; age determination; von Bertalanffy growth function; non-linear regression; Microsoft Excel; Hawaii|
|Topical Area:||Scientific method|
|Educational Level:||Undergraduate upper division|
|Subject Headings:||Natural Resource Management Wildlife Management Ecology Biology (General)|
|Copyright:||Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.|
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Answer keys provide answers to the questions posed in a case study. Since these questions are intended to be answered by students and are often graded, answer keys are password-protected and access to them is limited to registered instructors.
Simulated age and growth data for yellow tang, the species of fish used in the case study, are included in the supplemental Excel spreadsheet provided here (Age_Length.xls).