BIOB 420 sections 1 & 2, Evolution, Spring Semester 2016 (the link to this website is posted in D2L)

Instructors and contact information.

Ryan Thum (1st half of the Spring Semester), 313 Plant Bioscience Building, email.

Matt Lavin (2nd half of the Spring Semester), 308 Plant Bioscience Building, email.

Lecture section 01: 105 Reid Hall on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9:00-9:50AM

Lecture section 02: 304 Lewis Hall on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 1:10-2:00 PM

Office hours. Mondays 10 AM - 12:30 PM in 313 (Ryan Thum) or 308 (Matt Lavin) Plant Bioscience Building or by appointment.

Text: Evolutionary Analysis, 5th edition, J.C. Herron and S. Freeman

Course learning outcomes and objectives. Students will be able to 1) Describe the four fundamental processes of evolution: mutation, migration (degree of gene flow), genetic drift, and selection. 2) Predict the evolutionary response to selection on quantitative traits using the concept of heritability. 3) Interpret phylogenetic trees and use phylogenetic and other methods of inferring the history of biological evolution with genetic and morphological data. 4) Apply analytical methods covered in the course to questions related to population management, forensics, epidemiology, and adaptation. 5) Integrate the principles of reasoning with evolutionary theory and empirical examples to construct a rational argument for why evolutionary biologists believe that evolution shapes biological diversity. This course will not focus on biochemical theories that address the ultimate origins of life. A great starting point for such theories includes chapter 17 of Evolutionary Analysis, 5th edition.

Schedule of lectures

13 January. Ryan Thum begins lecturing. Introduction.

15 January. Evidence for microevolution.

18 January. Martin Luther King Day, no class.

20 January. Evolution by natural selection.

22 January. Evolution by natural selection.

25 January. Evolution by natural selection.

27 January. Variation among individuals (Thum away).

29 January. Variation among individuals (Thum away).

1 February. Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium.

3 February. Review.

5 February. Exam #1.

8 February. Population genetics - selection, mutation.

10 February. Population genetics - selection, mutation.

12 February. Population genetics - selection, mutation.

15 February. Presidents Day, no class.

17 February. Population genetics - drift, migration.

19 February. Population genetics - drift, migration.

22 February. Population genetics – linkage.

24 February. Population genetics – linkage.

26 February. Quantitative genetics.

29 February. Quantitative genetics.

2 March. Review.

4 March. Exam #2.

7 March. Matt Lavin begins lecturing. Historical sciences: cosmology, geology, and evolutionary biology.

9 March. Orthogenetic versus phylogenetic evolution.

11 March. Neutral genetic data and historical inference.

14-18 March. Spring Break

21 March. The UPGMA method of reconstructing a phylogeny.

23 March. Homology and monophyly.

25 March. University Day, no class

28 March. Five case studies.

30 March. Five case studies.

1 April. Sage grouse and wolf data set.

4 April. Wolf data set.

6 April. Class review.

8 April. Exam #3

11 April. The E-W & N-S wolf data.

13 April. The Ponderosa pine data.

15 April. The Lemba people data.

18 April. Speciation.

20 April. Transitional fossils. Paranthropus and catarrhine data sets.

22 April. Another morphometric data set (Mimulus).

25 April. Cladistic analysis. Cetacean-artiodactyl data set.

27 April. Cladistic analysis. Paranthropus cladistics data set.

29 April. Review using topics on human evolution.

2 May, Monday. Exam #4, section 2, 4:00-5:50 PM, 304 Lewis Hall

3 May, Friday. Exam #4, section 1, 8:00-9:50 AM, 105 Reid Hall

These final exam periods come from the Schedule of Finals Week Exams published by the Registrar (http://www.montana.edu/registrar/documents/pdfs/spring_finals.pdf).

Course grading policies.

Formative assessments – 20% of your final grade

·         These assessments are graded based only on you completing them. You are not graded on getting the correct answer(s). These are designed to help you identify which topics/content areas you are strong versus weak on so you can target areas that need work for your studying. And, formative assessments help us identify content areas to focus more or less time on.

·         Examples of formative assessments are in-class discussions and problem sets, iClicker questions, online quizzes.

Summative assessments – 80% of your final grade

·         These assessments are graded based on whether you get them correct. Summative assessments evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit.

·         Summative assessments will come in the form of four exams scores. Each exam score will contribute 20% to your final grade.

Require materials.

1.    Text - Evolutionary Analysis, 5th edition, J.C. Herron and S. Freeman.

2.    iCLICKERS - iClickers are required for this class, and we will use them for formative assessments. Be sure you have purchased an iClicker at the bookstore, and bring them to every class session. Please register your clicker right away at https://www3.montana.edu/iclicker/. You will need your NetID username and password to register. It is critical that you continue to use the SAME clicker every day, and it is a good idea to put your name on your clicker in case you lose them of confuse them with other identical-looking clickers.

Web sites from which examples, data, and tools for analysis are utilized:

Sponsoring MSU Department. Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology