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Principles of Evolution

Instructors: Nick Barton, Sylvia Cremer

Teaching Assistant: Fabienne Jesse

Description

This course will give a broad introduction to evolutionary biology. It is open to anyone, including biologists who haven’t covered much evolution before. We will discuss six topics, showing the variety of methods that can be applied:

-History of life

-Adaptation

-Deleterious mutation

-Social evolution

-Consequences of sexual reproduction

-Disease and evolution

 


Course Structure

Each Thursday, we will introduce the week's subject, and give a choice of three specific topics for discussion the following week. The reading list will include general background on the topic, plus three sets of papers. Every week, one student will present each subtopic (i.e., three presentations each week). Thus, each for-credit student should present three times during the course, with auditors presenting once for the remaining slots. The for-credit students who do not present that week will write a short essay that summarizes one of the three subtopics (approximately 1000 words). These essays should be handed in on the Tuesday, so that we can give you feedback on them at the end of the week.  The course assumes a knowledge of basic genetics (Mendelian and molecular); we can arrange extra tutorials for those with no background in biology. A very general introduction to evolutionary biology can be found in Chs. 1 & 3 of Evolution (Barton et al.); all relevant chapters of this book can be downloaded from this website. The textbook website has extensive notes and references on each chapter, and also a section on "Exploring the literature" that gives a guide to journals and other resources: http://www.evolution-textbook.org. Multiple copies of core books will be in the library: these can be borrowed, but please sign out and return them promptly.

 


Course Schedule

Thursday: lecture (8:45 - 10:00). Friday: recitation (14:15-15:00). Tuesday: presentations and discussion (8:45 - 10:00). All in Mondi 3.


Requirements/Exams

Students will write a short essay or give an oral presentation about each topic.


Credits


 

Schedule (subject to change)

Date Time Location Topic
Tue, 25-Nov-2014 08:45 - 10:00 Mondi 3 History of Evolutionary Biology
Thu, 27-Nov-2014 08:45 - 10:00 Mondi 3 History of Life
Thu, 27-Nov-2014 11:45-12:30 Mondi 3 Recitation
Tue, 02-Dec-2014 08:45 - 10:00 Mondi 3 Presentations/Discussion: History of Life
Thu, 04-Dec-2014 08:45 - 10:00 Mondi 3 Adaptation
Fri, 05-Dec-2014 14:15-15:00 Mondi 3 Recitation
Tue, 09-Dec-2014 08:45 - 10:00 Mondi 3 Presentations/Discussion: Adaptation
Thu, 11-Dec-2014 08:45 - 10:00 Mondi 3 Social Evolution
Mo, 15-Dec-2014 15:00-15:45 Mondi 3 Recitation
Tue, 16-Dec-2014 08:45 - 10:00 Mondi 3 Presentations/Discussion: Social Evolution
Thu, 18-Dec-2014 08:45 - 10:00 Mondi 3 Deleterious Mutations
Fri, 9-Jan-2014 14:15-15:00 Meeting room 3rd floor Recitation
Tue, 13-Jan-2015 08:45 - 10:00 Mondi 3 Presentations/Discussion: Deleterious Mutations
Thu, 15-Jan-2015 08:45 - 10:00 Mondi 3 Sexual Selection
Fri, 16-Jan-2015 14:15-15:00 Mondi 1 Recitation
Tue, 20-Jan-2015 08:45 - 10:00 Mondi 3 Presentations/Discussion: Sexual Selection
Thu, 22-Jan-2015 08:45 - 10:00 Mondi 3 Evolution of Disease
Fri, 23-Jan-2015 14:15-15:00 Mondi 3 Recitation
Tue, 27-Jan-2015 08:45 - 10:00 Mondi 3 Presentations/Discussion: Evolution of Disease
Thu, 29-Jan-2015 08:45 - 10:00 Mondi 3 Exam

Course Material

File Description
Reading list Overview of readings for each topic (updated!).
Introduction: History of Evolutionary Biology Lecture slides and book chapters
Topic 1: History of Life Lecture slides, book chapters and papers
History of the universe Video to illustrate the timescales
Topic 2: Adaptation Lecture slides, book chapters and papers
Topic 3: Social Evolution Lecture slides and papers
Topic 4: Deleterious Mutations Lecture slides, book chapters and papers
Topic 5: Sexual Selection Papers
Topic 6: Evolution of Disease Papers