This course explores evolutionary processes and the patterns that they produce at and above the species level. We’ll begin with a reprise of microevolution and the distinction between it and macroevolution (if indeed such demarcation can be sharply drawn and is useful). This is followed by detailed considerations of theoretical underpinnings and empirical examinations of models and genomics of speciation (contrasting different mechanisms), adaptive radiation, mechanisms and rates of extinction, evo/devo, cladogenesis and origins of higher-order taxa and reconstructions of evolutionary history of focal groups of species. Class lectures (2 – 50 min. sessions weekly) may be supplemented by guests presenting case studies based on their latest research. In the laboratory, lectures are complemented by student-led tutorials on recent articles from top-line scientific journals like Science, Nature, and Evolution, and by a group research project designed to provide students with hands-on experience with the most recent advances in phylogenetic inference.
Time Slots for 2017
Lectures: Monday 16:30-17:20 & Wednesday 15:30-16:20 Bioscience Room 1120.
Tutorial/Laboratories: Section 002: Tuesday 18:30-21:20, Biosci 3110 & Section 003:
Wednesday 11:30-14:20, Ontario 206.
There is no comprehensive textbook on both speciation and macroevolution (and I know of no book that adequately covers both evolution above the species level and speciation itself). This presents a conundrum as I know many students prefer having a text to deepen their understanding of concepts covered in class. Regardless, we require no text (saving you loads of $$$) and use review articles and papers from the primary literature to underpin the lectures and labs in this course. There are many excellent books that you may wish to purchase and that cover some of what we will discuss in Biology 440 some of which I list here:
- Jablonski , D. D.H. Erwin and J.H. Lips. 1996. Evolutionary Paleobiology 1st Edition. Univ. Chicago Press.
- Levinton, J.S. 2001. Genetics, Paleontology and Macroevolution. 2nd ed. Cambridge Univ. Press. From the publisher “… examines a wide range of topics including genetics, speciation, development, evolution, constructional and functional aspects of form, fossil lineages, and systematics …”
- Coyne, J.A. & H.A. Orr. 2004. Speciation. Sinauer. This tome synthesizes much of the recent work on speciation from the vantage of these two long-time collaborators who emphasize the biological species concept and the evolution of reproductive isolation.
- Ridley, M., ed. 2004. Evolution, 2nd edition. Oxford Readers Series. Oxford University Press. This is a compendium of article extracts (edited by noted evolutionary biologist Mark Ridley) written by some important evolutionary thinkers of the last 150 yrs. plus articles from the primary literature.
- Futuyma, D.J. 2013. Evolution. 3rd ed. Sinauer, Sunderland, MA. A descendent of Futuyma’s 1998 and 2005 text – targeted at undergraduates.
- Herron, J.C. and S. Freeman. 2014. Evolutionary Analysis, 5th ed. This is the text that has long been used in Biology 206 and provides broad coverage of many important issues in evolution.
- Pontarotti, P., ed. 2011. Evolutionary Biology – Concepts, Biodiversity, Macroevolution and Genome Evolution. Springer. This book is a series of articles from the European Evolutionary Biology Meetings in Marseilles in 2010.
Course Grading Scheme
|Individual tutorial exercise||20% (Based on an assigned peer-reviewed article).|
|In-class group assignment||5% (Date TBA. Based on cumulative knowledge gained from lectures)|
|Class Participation (including tutorial discussions)||10% (contributing to discussions, asking questions, attendance)|
|Term paper proposal||10% Due: Mon. Oct. 30th at 4:00 pm|
|Term paper||30% Due: Monday Dec. 4th at 4:00 pm|
|Phylogentics group exercise||25% (5% for verbal proposal, 20% for presentation)|
This Course Taught By
Instructor: Steve Lougheed. Room 4428, Bioscience Complex. Tel: x. 36128 email:
TAs: Danielle Beaulne, Room 4430. email: firstname.lastname@example.org