B BIO 466
Explores evolution using experiments and simple algebraic models, explains processes underlying observed patterns (e.g., evolution of HIV), predicts outcomes (e.g., health and crop management), and depicts and interprets relationships. Prerequisite: B BIO 180.
Explores how we reconstruct evolutionary history and the processes by which life has diversified. We will examine processes of evolution including natural selection and genetic drift using mathematical models, simulations, and case studies. Topics include the evolution of sex, aging, disease virulence, and how one can test evolutionary scenarios.
Student learning goals
Understand the basic logic of phylogeny reconstruction, how we map ancestral character states, and why phylogenies are important
Be able to incorporate selection, mutation, and other evolutionary agents into quantitative models of evolutionary change
Understand the effects of population size on the relative importance of genetic drift and natural selection.
Understand the meaning and applications of linkage disequilibrium
Apply evolutionary approaches to understanding the evolution of sex, aging, life history variation, social behavior, and medicine
Appreciate the importance of historical constraint
General method of instruction
We will combine lecture, in-class activities, and student presentations.
Class assignments and grading
Typically, grading will be based on:. Exams (350 pts.): Two midterms (100 pts. each) and one comprehensive final (150 pts.) Activity Sheets (10 @ 10 pts. = 100 pts.) Group Research and Presentations (50 pts.): You will work in groups of four to research and develop a presentation related to course material.