Evolutionary Biology Spring 2015

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EEB 2245/2245W
Evolutionary Biology

Course Overview

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Meeting Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30-10:45 am in TLS154
Textbook: Futuyma, D.J. 2013. Evolution. 3rd ed. Sinauer Associates, Inc. (ISBN 978-1-60535-115-5)
Objectives: The objectives of this course are to familiarize students with the mechanisms of evolutionary change (processes of evolution), major patterns of evolution, and the history of the diversity of life.

This website contains information for the lecture portion of the course only.

Please see HuskyCT for materials for the W portion of the course.


EXAM 1 REVIEW SESSION Wednesday Feb 18TH BPP 130 at 7PM

Pdficon small.gifActivity 9 is the mean fitness table from Activity 8. Complete this table using the values from your Activity 8 simulations, and submit it at the beginning of class on Thursday, Feb. 19. Questions about Activity 9? Hopefully Pdficon small.gif this will answer them!

Pdficon small.gifActivity 8 is now available. This online activity simulating the effects of natural selection is due by Tuesday, February 17 at 9:15 am.

Pdficon small.gifProblem Set 1 for Exam 1 is now available.

Pdficon small.gifAnswer key for problem set 1. Large file size: downloading may be slow.

Honors Conversion Students: More details on the different honors conversion options are now available here

Students interested in adding EEB2245W (or switching from EEB2245 to EEB2245W) should fill out this form and attend lecture. Those who are selected will be provided a permission number and asked to enroll within 24 hours. Unfortunately, it will not be possible to accommodate all students interested in the W version of this course.

SNOW DAY JAN 27TH: Make sure you check the updated syllabus and the new date for Exam 1

Lecture Instructors


Part I, 20 January - 5 March
Dr. Elizabeth Jockusch
Office: PBB 305B
Phone: 486-4452
Office hours: 11-12 Tuesdays or by appointment

Part II, 10 March - 7 May
Dr. Chris Simon
Office: PBB 305D
Phone: 486-4640
Office hours: Anytime by appointment

Note: All emails must contain "EEB2245" in the subject line to avoid being filtered out and deleted

Teaching Assistants

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James Bernot Veronica Bueno Geert Goemans
Office: TLS 478 Office: TLS 478 Office: PBB 323
Phone: 486-1882 Phone: 486-1882 Phone: 486-3947
Last names A-F Last names G-N Last names O-Z
Office hours: by appointment Office hours: by appointment Office hours: by appointment


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Lecture Grading:

Activities 30 points
Exam 1 50 points
Exam 2100 points
Exam 3 50 points
Exam 4100 points
Comprehensive Final Exam 70 points
Total Lecture Points 400 points

EEB 2245W Grading: Your grade in the lecture portion of the course will be calculated as above. This grade will constitute 75% of your final course grade. Your grade in the W part of the course, as determined by your W instructor, will constitute the remaining 25% of your final course grade, except that an F in the W part of the course will result in an F for the entire course. An F in the lecture part of the course will also result in an F for the entire course.

Course Policies

Lecture Expectations:

  • Arrive on time and stay until the end. If you must come late or leave early, sit by a door and leave as quietly as possible.
  • Turn cell phones OFF and store them out of sight.
  • Use laptops only for taking notes or other activity directly related to class.
  • Recording is prohibited without the written permission of instructors.
  • Course materials are the intellectual property of the course instructors. Students may not make these materials (including handouts, exams and activities) available electronically.

Activities: During the first half of the semester, there will be opportunities to earn points from a mixture of in-class and out-of-class activities. Each will be worth 3 points. A minimum of 13 opportunities will be available and the best 10 will count towards the final grade. Out-of-class activities must be submitted by the specified deadline for credit. No late assignments will be accepted. In-class activities must be submitted during the class period in which they take place. No make-ups will be given.

Missed exams: Any student who misses an exam without advance permission will receive a 0 for the exam. Permission to miss an exam requires, but is not guaranteed by, verifiable written documentation of the reason. A student who receives permission to miss an exam will have his or her grade for the missed work prorated based on his or her performance on the remainder of the exams. We will not give make-ups. Every student must take the final exam (and exam 4) during the scheduled final exam period unless permission to reschedule is obtained through the Dean of Students Office

Academic integrity: Plagiarism and cheating are violations of the student conduct code, and may be punished by failure in the course or, in severe cases, dismissal from the University. For more information, see Appendix A of the Student Conduct Code

Disabilities: If you have a disability for which you may be requesting an accommodation, you should contact a course instructor and the [www.csd.uconn.edu Center for Students with Disabilities] (Wilbur Cross Building, Room 201) within the first two weeks of the semester.

Lecture Schedule

Please read assigned chapters, as indicated below, prior to class
This schedule is subject to change. Check regularly for updates!

Date Topic Readings Study Questions / Problem Sets
Part I: Jan 20 - Mar 6, Dr. Elizabeth Jockusch
Jan 20 Class organization; Introduction to the study of evolutionary biology Ch 1 Study Questions

Pdficon small.gif Activity 1, Evolutionary vs. non-evolutionary change
Bird-of-paradise courtship

Jan 22 Variation and the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium pp 217-228 Study Questions
Pdficon small.gif Activity 2, testing for HWE
Jan 29 Mutation and non-random mating pp 189-208, 229-35, 247-8 Study Questions

More about kuru and prions
Pdficon small.gif The math behind the HWE
Pdficon small.gif Activity 3, assortative mating vs inbreeding
Pdficon small.gifActivity 4-due Mon. Feb. 2 by 11pm

Feb 3 Sampling effects and migration Ch 10 Study Questions

Pdficon small.gifProblem Set 1
Pdficon small.gif Activity 4 results
Pdficon small.gifActivity 5-due Thurs. Feb. 5 at 9:15 am
Pdficon small.gif Activity 5 answers

Feb 5 Conservation applications of population genetics -- Study Questions

Pdficon small.gifActivity 6

Feb 10 EXAM 1 (50 pts) & Natural selection Ch 11
Feb 12 Evidence for natural selection Ch 11 Study Questions

Pdficon small.gifActivity 7

Feb 17 Genetics of natural selection Ch 12 study questions

Pdficon small.gifActivity 8-due Tues. Feb. 17 at 9:15 am

Feb 19 Modes of natural selection Ch 12 & 13 study questions

Pdficon small.gifActivity 9-Mean fitness table at end of Activity 8 due in class today

Feb 24 Sexual selection and female choice Ch 15 study questions
Feb 26 Genetic conflict and levels of selection Ch 16 study questions
Mar 3 Geographic variation and speciation pp 483-491 study questions
Mar 5 EXAM 2 (100 pts, midterm covering all lectures)
Part II: Mar 10 - May 7, Dr. Chris Simon
Mar 10 Mechanisms of Speciation Ch 17 & 18 study questions
Mar 12 Hybridization, reproductive character displacement, and speciation Ch 17 & 18 study questions
Mar 24 Systematics, the study of biodiversity and its origins.
Problems in constructing relationships: polymorphisms and homoplasy.
Tree thinking.
Ch 2 & 3 study questions
Mar 26 Homoplasy (continued): convergence, parallelisms, and reversals in evolution. Ch 2 & 3 study questions
Mar 31 Reconstructing evolutionary trees from morphological and molecular data.
How molecules evolve.
Ch 2 & 3 study questions
Apr 2 The tempo of molecular evolution; is there a molecular clock? Ch 2 & 3 study questions
Apr 7 A review of the tree of life and the major innovations in animal evolution.
EXAM 3 (50 pts)
Apr 9 Overview of life continued. The origin of evolutionary novelties: Body plans, constraints; pre-adaptation, modification of existing traits:
gene duplication, gene regulation.
Ch 21 & 22 study questions
Apr 14 Evolutionary novelties (continued) Homeobox genes, Master control genes. Flies with eyes on their wings. Ontogeny and phylogeny, Allometry. Ch 21 & 22 study questions
Apr 16 Introduction and overview of the fossil record. The origin of life.
The RNA world. Prokaryote world. The origin of animals; the Ediacaran Fauna. Mass extinctions.
Ch 4 & 5, pp 168-171, Box 7A study questions
Apr 21 The Paleozoic: Cambrian explosion (or was it?). The origin of vertebrates and the invasion of land. Ordovician (the age of jawless vertebrates), Silurian (first life on land), Devonian (the age of fishes). Carboniferous (Dragonflies w/ 2 ft. wing span, clubmoss forests); Permian. The origin of mammals. The Permo-Triassic boundary mass extinction. Ch 4 & 5, 168-171, box 7A study questions
Apr 23 The Mesozoic: The age of reptiles. Pangea breaks up followed by Laurasia and Gondwanaland. The evolution of birds from dinosaurs, insects and angiosperms radiate. The K-T Boundary. The extinction of the dinosaurs. Birds and mammals cross the boundary. Ch 4, 5 & 6 study questions
Apr 28 The Cenozoic: Greenhouse to Icehouse. Continental drift, land bridges, mountain building. Modern biogeographic distributions take shape. The great American interchange. Primate evolution. Ch 4, 5 & 6 study questions
Apr 30 Human evolution; Mitochondrial Eve and her relatives. Africa, our most diverse continent. Humans invade Asia and the Pacific and later North America. Biogeography and Biodiversity. Ch 4, 5 & 6 study questions
May 7 EXAM 4 (100 pts) & COMPREHENSIVE FINAL EXAM (70 pts)