Billie J. Swalla
Evolution and systematics core course for biological sciences majors. Emphasizes patterns, processes, and consequences of evolutionary change. Serves as gateway to 400-level courses and seminars in evolution, population genetics, sociobiology, conservation biology, phylogenetics, and systematics. Prerequisite: either BIOL 180 or BIO A 201. Offered: ASp.
Students in this course will learn how to think and study evolutionary processes. Students will learn to put morphological and molecular characters into a phylogenetic framework to see evolutionary trends. We will study microevolution within populations, speciation, adaptation, and sexual selection. We will also learm about macroevolution, how life on earth has channged dramatically over time, and the effects of mass extinction. Finally, we will study how microevolution and macroevolution are linked through genomic changes. We will study what evolution means to human health and think about the future on evolution.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Two lectures per week and one discussion section per week. Students who attend lecure and discussion regularly tend to receive the highest grades in the course.
It would be best to do the assigned readinge before coming to class and discussions, so you will be prepared. Forming a study group with other students is a fun and effective way of learning.
Class assignments and grading
Threre will be two exams and one final paper to write. We will correct the first draft and encourage you to re-write the paper for a final draft.
There will be TWO mid-term exams (@ 100 points), equally weighted and each 50 min in length. Thus, there will not be a comprehensive final. The discussion section assignments will contribute 50 points towards your final grade. Final grades are not assigned on a curve, but rather by setting a 4.0 equal to the 95 th percentile score, and setting 0.7 (the lowest passing grade) at 50% of the total points possible. Thus, it is possible for everyone in the course to get a very good grade (even a 4.0!) if everyone gains a mastery of the material and participates in class and discussion sections.