Evolutionary Biology Fall 2012
EEB 2245: Evolutionary Biology
Meeting Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30-1:45 in UTEB 150
Instructor: Chris Simon, Professor EEB, Office: Biopharm 305D, phone 6-4640, Lab: Biopharm 323 & 325, phone 6-3947;
e-mail: email@example.com [e-mail is the best place to leave messages.]
Office hours: Flexible except in the morning before our class. See me after class or send me an e-mail to arrange a meeting. I encourage quick questions by electronic mail. With longer questions or many questions, please come to see me or your TA, Colin Carlson. Don’t wait until the day before an exam!
Teaching Assistant: Colin Carlson, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Class Website: http://hydrodictyon.eeb.uconn.edu/eebedia/index.php/Category:EEB_Courses
Grade: The goal of this class is to teach you the basic principles of evolution and to give you an appreciation for the science. It is important to me that you learn the material. I hate to assign grades but they are required. Therefore I am trying an experiment this semester to try to lessen the pressure on the midterm and enhance your learning experience. Each Friday I will post a Study Guide. Each Wednesday, TA Colin Carlson will host a study guide review session. Each Thursday at the end of class, as a quiz, I will ask you a few questions from that study guide. We’ll grade the quizzes and return them to you by the following Thursday. Hopefully these quizzes will serve to prepare you for the first midterm and to ensure that your grade is not based on your performance on only the midterm and the final.
EEB 245: There will be a series of ten quizzes (as described above) and two one-hour exams covering each half of the course (listed on the syllabus) and a comprehensive one-hour synthetic final exam. The second one-hour exam will be given in the same two-hour time block as the synthetic final. The quizzes will count 10% of your total grade, the first exam 40% and the second hour exam plus the final will count 25% each.
EEB 245W: If you are registered for EEB 245W, 75% of the final course grade will be determined by your lecture exams (as above) and 25% by your term paper. As required by University regulations, an F in the W part of the course will result in an F for the entire course. At least two drafts of your writing assignment must be successfully completed to pass the course. A detailed set of instructions will be provided and W students will be assigned a W instructor during the first week of class.
Text: Futuyma, D. J. 2009. Evolution. Second Edition. Sinauer Publications, Sunderland, Mass. http://www.sinauer.com/detail.php?id=2238. The UCONN coop should have lots of used copies. Please read assigned chapters prior to the class for which they are scheduled. Additional supplementary readings may be assigned during the semester. See also new value options from Sinauer: http://www.sinauer.com/detail.php?id=2238#tions
Syllabus: Download the PDF. The syllabus always evolves. I will periodically send updated versions which track our true progress and introduce late breaking topics.
Study Guides, Handouts:
Evolution in the News, Scientific Literature, and You Tube
Watch your back mate! Courtship of peacock spider Maratus volans from Australia- 23 Mar 2011
African mouse sheds patches of skin and hair to escape predators- 26 Sep 2012
Cool Looking Monkey New to Science Found in Congo- 14 Sep 12
Peppered moths vindicated! - 28 February 2012
Darwin's long-lost fossils - 17 January 2012
H1N1- A case of suspended animation- 29 Aug 2012
Tool use evolution
Tool Use Evolution- Sept 2002
“Tool-use is commonly attributed to humans and other primates. However, several bird species are also known to use tools habitually. Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus) are famous for dropping stones on ostrich eggs (Van Lawick-Goodall & Van Lawick-Goodall 1966), green-backed herons (Butroides striatus) use bait to catch fish (Walsh et al. 1985), satin bower birds (Ptilonorhynchus violaecus) use bark-wads to paint their bower (Chaffer 1945), and New Caledonian crows (Corvus moneduloides) make and use two forms of tools to capture prey (Hunt 1996). The woodpecker finch (Cactospiza pallida), one of 15 species of Darwin's Finches, is perhaps the most famous example of a tool-using bird. It uses twigs or cactus spines to pry arthropods from tree-holes and crevices (Eibl-Eibesfeldt 1961; Eibl-Eibesfeldt & Sielman 1962)…. social learning is not an important mechanism in the acquisition of tool-use in the woodpecker finch (Tebbich et al. 2001).”