Billie J. Swalla
Analysis of intertwined developmental and evolutionary processes studied through evolution of developmental genes, proteins, and expression patterns in different organisms. Includes reading and analyzing implications for ecology evolution, and human disease. Prerequisite: either a minimum grade of 3.0 in BIOL 200, B BIO 200, or TESC 130, or a minimum grade of 2.0 in either BIOL 354 or BIOL 355.
The papers and ideas discussed in the course reflect a new field of science, the Interdisciplinary studies of Evolution and Development. This field has been renewed in the past 15 years, since the discovery that all metazoan embryos use similar genes during developmental processes. We will investigate such diverse topics as how eyes have evolved, if there was a Cambrian explosion, frogs that brood their tadpoles in a flap of skin under their backs, and nematodes genetically modified to live longer. How do morphologies evolve? Are there developmental constraints acting evolutionarily? Why don't we have flying horses? In the past, I have been able to find good papers to read for whatever your interest might be, from plant cold tolerance to the evolution of teeth morphology in primates. Let me know what kind of papers you would like to read!
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