BIOB 420 sections 1 & 2, Evolution, Spring Semester 2015 (the link to this website is posted in D2L)

Instructors. Matt Lavin (1st half of the Spring Semester), 308 Plant Bioscience Building, email (preferred form of communication). Ryan Thum (2nd half of the Spring Semester), 313 Plant Bioscience Building, email (preferred form of communication).

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

Lavin’s office hours first half of semester. Mondays 10 AM - 12:30 PM in 308 Plant Bioscience Building or by appointment.

Thum’s office hours second half of semester. Mondays 10 AM - 12:30 PM in 313 Plant Bioscience Building or by appointment.

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

Learning outcomes. Students will be able to 1) Describe the four fundamental processes of evolution: mutation, migration (gene flow), genetic drift, and selection. 2) Interpret phylogenetic trees and use phylogenetic and other methods of inferring the history of biological evolution with genetic and morphological data. 3) Predict the evolutionary response to selection on quantitative traits using the concept of heritability. 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 this includes chapter 17 of Evolutionary Analysis, 5th edition.

Schedule of lectures

14 January. Matt Lavin begins lecturing. Introduction.

16 January. Mutation and Genetic Drift.

19 January. Martin Luther King Day, no class.

21 January. The UPGMA method of reconstructing a phylogeny.

23 January. See D2L post covering the concepts of homology and monophyly.

26 January. See D2L post introducing five case studies.

28 January. Continue with the five case studies.

30 January. See new posts to D2L, including a sage grouse and wolf data set.

2 February. Work on the wolf data set.

4 February. Class review.

6 February. Exam #1.

9 February. The E-W & N-S wolf data.

11 February. The Ponderosa pine data.

13 February. The Lemba people data.

16 February. Presidents Day, no class.

18 February. Speciation.

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

23 February. Another morphometric data set (Mimulus).

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

27 February. Cladistic analysis. Paranthropus cladistics data set.

2 March. Review using topics on human evolution.

4 March. Review of the 2nd quarter topics.

6 March. Exam #2.

10-14 March. Spring Break

16 March. Ryan Thum begins lecturing. Introduction, Chapter 1 sections 1.3 & 1.5 and Chapter 3.

18 March.

20 March.

23 March.

25 March.

27 March.

30 March.

1 April.

3 April. University Day, no class

6 April.

8 April.

10 April. Exam #3

13 April.

15 April.

17 April.

20 April.

22 April.

24 April.

27 April.

29 April.

1 May.

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

8 May, Friday. Exam #4, section 2, 8:00-9:50 AM, 304 Lewis Hall

GRADES are derived from four exam scores, each contributing 25% to your final score.

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

Sponsoring MSU Department. Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology