This is a time of unprecedented change in the world we share with billions of species. Unlike the previous catastrophic changes seen over geological time, the changes we see today are caused primarily by just one species, our own. In this new human-dominated era, the Anthropocene, humans have critically changed the conditions of life through a great diversity of activities, including release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, accelerated transport of organisms, fragmentation of forests, consumption of antibiotics, agriculture, hunting prey to near extinction, bushmeat hunting, and many other activities. This course will address two kinds of effects of each of these activities on microbes: (1) that humans and agricultural animals and plants are being subjected to new infectious diseases, and the geographical and temporal patterns of infection are changing; and (2) microbes are being challenged to adapt to new environmental challenges, both biotic and abiotic. Students will read and discuss articles from the scientific literature, and they will each write a research proposal.