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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Geoffrey C. Kushnick
BIO A 382
Seattle Campus

Human Population Biology

Explores human fertility and mortality, and their relationships to the size and structure of populations through time. Emphasizes the biological and cultural determinants of these life course events in evolutionary perspective. Introduces the quantitative tools needed to understand these phenomena, including formal demography, epidemiology, and population genetics. Prerequisite: BIO A 201.

Class description

This course provides an overview of human population biology, with emphases on: (a) the use of models, including but not limited to mathematical ones, to understand the basic principles of population biology, such as the capacity for population growth and the spread of infectious diseases; (b) the role of natural selection, individuals, and interspecific interactions in shaping population-level phenomena; (c) the interdependence of biology and culture for shaping human adaptation; and, (d) examples of how these principles help explain both global and local issues facing the human species today.

You will learn and use mathematical concepts, but only basic math skills are necessary.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lectures, readings, and in-class practice problems

Recommended preparation

You should have already taken either BIOA 201 or BIOL 180.

Class assignments and grading

Two tests (midterm and final), four take-home problem sets, and in-class participation.

You will be assigned a grade based on the number of points you earn. There is no curve.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Geoffrey C. Kushnick
Date: 08/06/2009