Mary K Kuhner
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.
Fundamentals of population genetics: how the fate of populations and species is driven by mutation, natural selection, random genetic drift, and gene flow among populations.
Topics in evolution: the origin of species, genome evolution, evolution of sex and sexual behavior, gene transfer among lineages.
Student learning goals
Make qualitative and simple quantitative predictions about evolutionary processes.
Evaluate evidence for evolutionary explanations of phenomena: tell a real, testable explanation from an unsupported "just so story".
General method of instruction
Lectures and some in-class problem solving. There is no textbook, although some supplementary reading will be on reserve in the library.
Students should know the fundamentals of inheritance and meiosis. Some algebra is required, but no calculus.
Class assignments and grading
Weekly homework assignments involving solving problems and applying concepts to real or fictional situations. Midterm and final will be composed of problems similar to the homework. This is not a memorization course: it relies heavily on problem-solving skills.
1/3 homework, 1/3 midterm, 1/3 final.