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.


Pdficon small.gifProblem Set 2 for Exam 2 is now available
Pdficon small.gifAnswer key for problem set 2.

Pdficon small.gifThis study guide provides some additional information about what to expect on exam 2. Use it to supplement your other course resources.

Exam 2 Review Session Tuesday March 3rd 7-9 PM BPB 130

Pdficon small.gifActivity 12: Sharing game: what's good for the individual vs. what's good for the group. If you weren't able to play the sharing game, have a look to see what was learned!

Pdficon small.gifActivity 11: Testing hypotheses of sexual selection. We began this in lecture. It is due at the beginning of class Thursday, Feb. 26. The additional data needed to complete the activity are here Pdficon small.gif

Group game: the evolution of sharing. Come play! (This will count as activity 12).
All games will meet in TLS 313. There are 6 opportunities to play.

  • Monday, Feb. 23, 7-8 pm
  • Monday, Feb. 23, 8-9 pm
  • Tuesday, Feb. 24, 11 am-12 pm
  • Tuesday, Feb. 24, 12:30-1:30 pm
  • Wednesday, Feb. 25, 5-6 pm
  • Wednesday, Feb. 25, 6-7 pm

    Pdficon small.gifActivity 10: effects of dominant vs. recessive alleles. This is due online Tuesday, Feb. 24 by 9:15 am.

    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

    Pdficon small.gifActivity 10-Selection on dominant vs. recessive alleles : online portion due before class; bring your graphs to class

    Feb 26 Genetic conflict and levels of selection Ch 16 Study Questions
    Mar 3 Geographic variation and speciation pp 483-491 Study Questions

    Review Session tonight 7-9pm BPP 130

    Mar 5 EXAM 2 (100 pts, midterm covering all lectures)
    Part II: Mar 10 - May 7, Dr. Chris Simon
    Mar 10 Mechanisms of Speciation: Reproductive Isolation. (taught by Dr. Jockusch) Ch 17 & 18 Study Questions
    Mar 12 Species Concepts; Hybridization (taught by Dr. Wade) Ch 17 & 18 Discussion Questions
    Pdficon small.gif Lecture 14
    Mar 24 Speciation Mechanisms. Spatial, temporal, chromosomal with and without hybridization Ch 17, 18 & 531-533pp (ch 19) Discussion Questions
    Pdficon small.gif Lecture 15
    Mar 26 Systematics, the study of biodiversity and its origins.
    Problems in constructing relationships: polymorphisms and homoplasy.
    Tree thinking.
    Ch 2 & 3 Discussion Questions
    Pdficon small.gif Lecture 16 part I
    Pdficon small.gif Lecture 16 part II
    Mar 26 Discussion Session 7-8pm BPB 131 Discussion questions
    Lectures 14, 15 & 16
    Mar 30 Discussion Session 8-9pm BPB 131 Discussion questions
    Lectures 14, 15 & 16
    Mar 31 Homoplasy (continued): convergence, parallelisms, and reversals in evolution. Ch 2 & 3 Discussion Questions
    Pdficon small.gif Lecture 17
    Apr 2 Reconstructing evolutionary trees from morphological and molecular data. Ch 2 & 3 Discussion Questions
    Pdficon small.gif Lecture 18 corrected
    Apr 2 Discussion Session 7-9pm BPB 131 Discussion questions
    Lectures 17 & 18 + Exam review
    Apr 7 Discussion Session 7-9pm BPB 131 Discussion questions
    Lectures 17, 18 & 19 + Exam review
    Apr 7 Reconstructing evolutionary trees from morphological and molecular data.
    How molecules evolve. Is there a molecular clock?
    Ch 2 & 3 Discussion Questions
    Pdficon small.gif Lecture 19 revised
    Apr 9 Molecular Clock (continued)
    EXAM 3 (50 pts)
    Discussion Questions
    Pdficon small.gif Lecture 20
    Apr 9 Discussion Session CANCELLED
    Apr 13 Discussion Session 8-9pm BPB 131 Discussion questions
    Lectures 19 & 20
    Apr 14 An overview of life This is mostly review from intro-biology discussion questions
    Pdficon small.gif Lecture 21
    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 discussion questions
    Apr 16 Discussion Session 7-8pm BPB 131 Discussion questions
    Lectures 21 & 22
    Apr 20 Discussion Session 8-9pm BPB 130 Discussion questions
    Lectures 21 & 22
    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 discussion 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 discussion questions
    Apr 23 Discussion Session 7-8pm BPB 131 Discussion questions
    Lectures 23 & 24
    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 discussion 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 discussion questions
    May 7 EXAM 4 (100 pts) & COMPREHENSIVE FINAL EXAM (70 pts)