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Evolutionary Biology

Instructor: Beatriz Vicoso, Sylvia Cremer

Teaching Assistant: Barbara Milutinovic, Pavel Payne

Description

Target audience

The course is primarily aimed at students with a molecular biology background who are interested in molecular and organismal evolution, but students from other fields are welcome.

 


Syllabus

We will cover aspects of evolutionary biology, with a focus on evolutionary ecology and genomics. Each week, there will be an introductory lecture, followed by a paper discussion. 

  1. Adaptive and non-adaptive evolution (BV):
    • Deleterious and beneficial mutations
    • Origin of new genes and functions 
  2. Evolution of non-coding sequences (BV):
    • Genome size evolution and complexity
    • Transposable elements and non-coding RNAs 
  3. Speciation (BV) 

  4. Evolution of sociality and cooperation (SC) 

  5. Sexual selection and the evolution of dimorphic traits (SC)

  6. Host parasite interactions and symbioses (SC)

  


Prerequisites

A basic knowledge of genetics will be useful.

 


Requirements/Exams

Every Monday two students present a paper on a current topic taught in the previous lecture. All other students hand in a short essay on one of the papers.

 

Presentations:

• 20 minute presentations

• Slides allowed/encouraged

 

Essays:

• 1-2 pages long

• should include

1) introduction/background,

2) summary of methods and results

3) critical assessment. For instance:

• Were the conclusions supported by the data?

• Were there flaws in the experimental design/analysis?

• Why is this an important result?

 


Credits

4 credit students


Final Grade

The final grade will be based on students' performance in oral paper presentations and grades of short written essays.

 

 

 

Schedule

  Monday 8h45-10h00 Wednesday 8h45-10h00 Wednesday 14h30-15h20
Week 1 (Oct 5, 7) Lecture: Topic 1 Part 1 Lecture: Topic 1 Part 2 Recitation
Week 2 (Oct 12, 14) Presentations on topic 1 Lecture: Topic 2 Recitation
Week 3 (Oct 19, 21) Presentations on topic 2 Lecture: Topic 3 Recitation
Week 4 (Oct 26, 28) Holiday Lecture: Topic 4 Presentations on topic 3
Week 5 (Nov 2, 4) Presentations on topic 4 Lecture: Topic 5 Recitation
Week 6 (Nov 9, 11) Presentations on topic 5 Lecture: Topic 6 Recitation
Week 7 (Nov 16) Presentations on topic 6   Recitation

Papers and presentations

  Presentations Papers Further reading
Topic 1 part 1: Mutations Mutations pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/Sanjuan_et_al.-2004-Fitness_effects.pdf review: pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/Eyre-Walker_Keightley-2007-Distribution_of_fitness_effects.pdf
classic 1: pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/Luria_Delbruck-1943.pdf
classic 2: pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/Kimura1968.pdf
Topic 1 part 2: New genes New genes pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/Deng_et_al.-2010-Neofunctionalization.pdf review: pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/Kaessmann-2010-Origins_of_new_genes.pdf
classic: pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/Hall-1982-Evolution_of_a_Regulated_Operon.pdf
Topic 2: Genome complexity and noncoding RNA Genome complexity and noncoding RNA pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/Lynch_and_Conery-2003-TheOriginsofGenomeComplexity.pdf
pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/Duret_et_al.-2006-TheXistRNAGene.pdf
review: pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/Petrov-2001-Evolution_of_genome_size.pdf
review: pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/Levin_and_Moran-2011-Dynamic_interactions_between_transposable_elements.pdf
classic: pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/McClintock-1950-The_Origin_and_Behavior_of_Mutable_Loci_in_Maize.pdf
Topic 3: Speciation Speciation pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/Poelstra_et_al-2014-Crows.pdf
pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/Mavarez_et_al-2006-Heliconius.pdf
book chapter: pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/ch18_speciation.pdf
       
Topic 4: Sociality and cooperation Sociality and cooperation pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/Pratt_2002.pdf
pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/Rendueles_2015.pdf
classic: pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/Axelrod_Hamilton_1981.pdf
classic:pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/Milinski_1987.pdf
review:pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/Strassmann_Queller_2007.pdf
Topic 5: Sexual selection and dimorphic traits   pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/Chapman1995.pdf
pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/Pearcy2004.pdf
review: pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/Chapman_et_al_2003.pdf
classic: pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/Andersson1982.pdf
Topic 6: Host parasite interactions and symbioses   pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/Wedekind1995.pdf
pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/Berenos2011.pdf
review: pub.ist.ac.at/~payne/Schulenburg2009.pdf
      book: An Introduction to Behavioural Ecology by Nicholas B. Davies, John R. Krebs, and Stuart A. West. (available in the IST library)
       
       

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