BIOB 420-01 & 420-02, Evolution, Spring Semester 2014 (the link to this website, http://www.montana.edu/mlavin/420/syll.htm, is posted in Desire2Learn)

Instructor (2nd half of the Spring semester): Matt Lavin, 308 & 339 Plant Bioscience Building, or 408 Lewis Hall, email (preferred form of communication)

Office phone: 994-2032 (for leaving a message).

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 (Lavin). Mondays 10 AM - 12:30 PM in 339 Plant Bioscience Building or by appointment.

Text: none.

Learning outcomes. Students will be able to: 1) describe the fundamental aspects of a scientific study of natural selection; 2) use basic methods of inferring the history of biological evolution, including the reconstruction phylogenetic relationships from genetic and morphological data using distance and cladistics methods on data sets that are simplified for ease of hand-calculation; 3) using these methods, answer questions that are related to population management, forensics, epidemiology, and adaptation; 4) analyze allele frequency data on population samples in order to study recent historical events; 5) analyze nucleotide sequence, DNA structural, and morphological data on individual samples in order to study older historical events; 6) describe why merely accepting the truth of evolutionary theory is not so much the issue as is valuing the principles of reasoning and educated discourse that now make belief in evolution obligatory (quoting Sam Harris). This course will not focus on biochemical theories that address the ultimate origins of life. If interested, a good starting point includes chapters 17 and 18 in Evolutionary Analysis, 4th edition.

SCHEDULE OF LECTURES

8 January - Overview of adaptation and natural selection (Kevin O’Neill begins lecturing)

10 January - Natural selection continued

13 January - Mutation

15 January - Genetic drift

17 January - Directional selection

20 January - Martin Luther King Day (no classes)

22 January - Directional selection

24 January - Directional selection and rates of evolution due to natural selection

27 January - Stabilizing, balancing, and frequency-dependent selection

29 January - Stabilizing, balancing, and frequency-dependent selection

31 January - Sexual selection

3 February - Sexual selection

5 February - Kin selection and inclusive fitness

7 February - Kin selection and inclusive fitness

10 February - Constraints on adaptive evolution

12 February - review

14 February - Exam #1

17 February - President’s Day (no classes)

19 February - Proterozoic & Paleozoic Era (Chris Organ begins lecturing)

21 February - Mesozoic Era and Cenozoic Era

24 February - Macroevolution

26 February - Genome Evolution & Developmental Evolution

28 February - Transformation: A consilience

3 March - Exam #2

5 March - introduction - the scientific study of history and neutral genetic variation (Matt Lavin begins lecturing)

7 March - the scientific study of history and neutral genetic variation (corrected on 20 March 2014)

10-14 March - Spring Break

17 March - introduction continued

19 March - recent population divergence

21 March - recent population divergence

24 March - recent population divergence (North American wolf N-S data set, blank matrix, and answers including Fst~km graph)

26 March - recent population divergence

28 March - recent population divergence (North American wolf E-W data set – answers including Fst~km graph)

31 March - isolation by distance models (Ponderosa pine study and worksheetanswers)

2 April - review (genetic variation in urban Brazilian population)

4 April - Exam #3, bring a calculator and pencils, calculators can be checked out from Renne Library (2014 Exam 3 without and with answers)

7 April - the scientific study of history (review)

9 April - phylogenetics and nucleotide substitution data (human example1, example2, example3, answer1, answer2, answer3)

11 April - phylogenetic distance methods (brown/polar bear example1, example2, answer1, answer2)

14 April - phylogenetic species concept (review)

16 April - analysis of morphological data (introduction, data set, answers)

18 April - University Day (no classes)

21 April – cladistics (background, worksheet)

23 April – cladistics (answers)

25 April - review (2014 Exam 4 without and with answers)

Thursday 1 May - Exam #4, section 01 at 8:00-9:50 AM in 105 Reid Hall, bring a calculator and pencils, calculators can be checked out from Renne Library

Thursday 1 May - Exam #4, section 02 at 6:00-7:50 PM in 304 Lewis Hall, bring a calculator and pencils, calculators can be checked out from Renne Library

GRADES are derived from four exams with exams 1, 3, and 4 contributing 81% (27% each) and exam 2 contributing 19% towards your final average score. The dates of the last two exams in this final half of the course are given above. Exams 3 and 4 will involve mostly problem solving questions. See the above links to exams from 2013).

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

MSU Departments of LRES (Kevin O'Neill - 1st part), Earth Sciences (Chris Organ - 2nd part), and Plant Sciences (Matt Lavin - 3rd part)