BIOL 428
Evolutionary Ecology Spring 2010
Division III Writing Skills
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Class Details

We all recognize the tight link between ecology and evolution. Excellent work on Evolutionary Ecology has deep roots (Darwin’s work still provides some of the best examples), but this area of research is particularly exciting now. New methods in DNA sequencing and in isotope analysis, combined with more flexible and powerful ways to confront theory with data, are allowing us to integrate evolution and ecology more incisively than before. The aim of this tutorial is to explore the surge of current research on the interface of ecology and evolution. The course starts with an analysis of levels of selection, then explores the effect of evolution on the dynamics of simple population interactions (mutualisms, predator-prey dynamics, and host-parasite conflicts), moves on to the origins of diversity (sexual selection and speciation, ecological speciation), and finally to the assembly and control of complex communities (random community models, adaptive radiations, and the assembly of diversity through geologic time). We cover each of these topics through an in-depth analysis of ten case studies of ecological systems where evolutionary mechanisms play a critical role.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 3405
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on five (4-5 page) papers, tutorial presentations, and the student's effectiveness as a critic
Prerequisites: Biology 203 or 302 or 305 or Environmental Studies 203 or permission of instructor; open to juniors and seniors
Enrollment Preferences: senior Biology majors who have not taken a 400-level biology course
Distributions: Division III Writing Skills

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