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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Joseph Felsenstein
GENOME 453
Seattle Campus

Genetics of the Evolutionary Process

Contributions of genetics to the understanding of evolution. Processes of mutation, selection, and random genetic events as they affect the genetic architecture of natural populations and the process of speciation. Emphasis on experimental data and observation, rather than mathematical theory. Prerequisite: either GENOME 361 or GENOME 371.

Class description

An evolutionary genetics course covering the genetic / genomic aspects of evolution. Includes material on the history of genetics in evolution, elementary population genetics, genetics of quantitative characters, kin, group, and species selection, molecular variation within species, molecular evolution and phylogenies, chromosome evolution, and evolution of the genetic system.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Scintillating lectures by me (Joe Felsenstein), plus some computer exercises simulating evolution.

Recommended preparation

Get used to the idea that the course has no textbook.

Class assignments and grading

The computer exercises are to be run by the student who then is asked to write a short (3 to 5-page) report on what the result was and how it is to be interpreted.

There will be two exams, a midterm and a final, which are worth 100 and 200 points, respectively. The two computer exercises are worth 25 points each. The teacher takes the point totals and makes a histogram of them, then burns incense and casts chicken entrails and finally assigns the grades.


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 Joseph Felsenstein
Date: 09/26/2013