Biology 650, Topics in Evolution
A seminar covering various topics in
marine biology, fisheries and aquaculture, marine biomedical science,
and coastal ecology.
R. T. Dillon
Science Center Room 200A
1. Class meetings are held
Tuesdays at 5 - 7:00 PM in Grice Room 202. I will be disappointed
if you are not present.
2. Theoretical Population Genetics.
Science is the construction of predictive models about the natural
world. In few other disciplines are those models as formal as in
evolutionary biology. We will devote at least part of each class
meeting to a review of foundational population genetic theory.
You won’t want to miss this!
A series of problem sets in population genetics will be distributed as
homework. Please do not collaborate in solving these problem
sets. You will receive one grade for each homework set assigned.
3. Literature Review.
We will also survey the published literature to see how evolutionary
theory can be applied to populations of marine organisms. Our
first reading list focuses on marine mussels (genus Mytilus).
Please read all the papers critically. Each student will be
assigned one paper to present for the class, reviewing biological
background and relevant research previously published, as well as the
methods, results, and conclusions of the primary work. The class
will then discuss each paper as a group. Future reading lists
will be developed with student input.
I will grade each student on the quality of his or her
presentation. There will also be a grade for class participation.
4. Darwin Week Report.
A series of lectures and other events has been scheduled in the late
afternoon hours February 12 - 16, in observance of the 197th
anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. Please attend at
least one of these events and write a brief report outlining the theme
or subject of the event and its impact on your understanding of
evolutionary science and/or related social issues.
5. Course Grade. Your
overall final grade will be the simple average of your grades on each
problem set, each paper presented, class participation, and the Darwin
Week report. I can’t predict the exact number of grades at this
point. I would guess about four or five problem sets, three or
four papers, one class participation and one Darwin Week, so about ten
grades total for the semester.