ENV BIOL 2501 - Evolutionary Biology II
North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2015
General Course Information
Course Code ENV BIOL 2501 Course Evolutionary Biology II Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences Term Semester 2 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 6 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Assumed Knowledge BIOLOGY 1101 & BIOLOGY 1201 or BIOLOGY 1202 Course Description This course addresses key components of evolutionary biology from the perspective of molecular evolution, from the perspective of individual organisms evolving attributes to cope with and exploit spatially and/or temporally variable and different environments, and from a macro-evolutionary perspective. Natural selection, sexual selection, kin selection and inclusive fitness are used to develop an understanding of the behavioural, morphological and physiological adaptations of individual organisms to their environments, as well as an understanding of the interactions and co-evolutionary processes that occur between organisms both intra- and inter-specific (reproductive strategies, mating systems, competition, predator-prey, plant-herbivore, host-parasite, mutualisms, facilitation). Molecular evolution and population genetics provide the mechanics for evolution. Knowledge of these and biogeographic changes are used to develop the ideas of species and speciation, to construct phylogenies, and to interpret the fossil record and patterns of extinction
Course Coordinator: Dr Simon Tierney
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
1 Develop and explain the importance of evolutionary studies as a foundation of comparative biology. 2 Examine and apply the major genetic and ecological processes underlying evolution and selection 3 Recognise and explain the processes driving speciation and how these relate to classification techniques. 4 Explain and interpret the methodologies for the reconstruction and interpretation of phylogenetic and biogeographic patterns and processes 5 Recognise and explain the importance of the fossil record in evolutionary studies, and the role of phylogenetic studies in the wider context of biodiversity and conservation. 6 Access and synthesise contemporary information in evolutionary biology in written and verbal form.
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s) Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-6 The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1-6 An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3,4,5 A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 2,4
Recommended ResourcesSome important and useful texts include:
Alcock, J (1998) ‘Animal behavior: an evolutionary approach, 6th edition.’ (Sinauer: Sunderland, Mass.)
Judd, WS, Campbell, CS, Kellogg, EA, Stevens, PF, Donoghue, MJ (2008) ‘Plant systematics: a phylogenetic approach, 3rd edition.’ (Sinauer: Sunderland Mass.)
Krebs, JR, Davies, NB (1993) ‘An introduction to behavioural ecology.’ (Blackwell Science: Oxford)
Maynard Smith, J (2002) ‘Evolutionary genetics, 2nd edition.’ (Oxford University Press: Oxford)
Ridley, M (2004) ‘Evolution, 3rd edition.’ (Blackwell Scientific Publishing: Malden, MA)
Rose, MR, Mueller, LD (2005) ‘Evolution and ecology of the organism.’ (Pearson Education: Upper Saddle River, NJ)
Skelton, PW (Ed.) (1993) ‘Evolution: a biological and palaeontological approach.’ (Addison-Wesley: Workingham, UK)
Toft, CA, Jaeger, RG (1998) Writing for scientific journals. I: the manuscript. Herpetologica 54 (Suppl.), S42–S54.
Zimmer, C (2001) ‘Evolution: the triumph of an idea.’ (Harper Collins Publishers: New York)
Online LearningIt is important that all students maintain active communication channels throughout the semester. The primary communication channels to students in this course will be via email, MyUni and announcements made in lectures:
MyUni: Students should regularly login to MyUni via the MyUni website (http://myuni.adelaide.edu.au/) for important course-related announcements. Teaching materials, past examination papers and course documentation will also be posted on this site.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThe course will be delivered in the following means:
- Lectures: 3 X 1-hour lectures per week
- Practicals/Tutorials: 1 X 3-hour practical/tutorial per week
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.A students enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12-hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required for the course (lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (eg revision, reading)
Learning Activities Summary
Schedule Week 1 The nature of biological evolution; natural selection
Gene frequencies and the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium; the concept of fitness
Week 2 Key findings in evolutionary biology
Current issues in evolutionary biology
Week 3 The idea of a species; speciation; allopatry, sympatry, vicariance, selection, genetic isolation
Hybridisation, polyploidy, apomixis and other alternative pathways to evolve; adaptive radiation
Week 4 Introduction to systematics; classical taxonomy; classification systems and nomenclature
Morphological data – characters, states, typology; behavioural and non-traditional characters; cladistics; homoplasy
Week 5 Using molecular and allied data; proteins, immunological approaches, amino acids, DNA, RNA, sequence and banding approaches Week 6 Micro-evolution, direct and indirect measures of fitness, diversity of selective pressures (optimality theory, life-time reproductive success, inclusive fitness)
Selecting a place to live and selective pressures acting on dispersal
Avoiding predation: selective pressures exerted by predators
Week 7 Evolution of anisogamy, sex ratios, mate selection and sexual selection
Cooperation, kin selection and altruism
Life history and reproductive strategies (r- and K-selection, etc)
Week 8 Evolutionary outcomes of competitive interactions
Predator-prey and plant-herbivore co-evolution
Mutualisms, plant–pollinator co-evolution
Week 9 Introduction to biogeography; how organisms get to be where they are found; adaptations for dispersal; dispersal versus vicariance; application of phylogenetics in biogeography - explaining distribution patterns; centres of origin
Week 10 Island biogeography: adaptations of plants and animals to living on islands; gigantism and dwarfism; island communities; niche convergence
Week 11 Origins and make-up of the Australian biota: examples from the flora and invertebrates
Week 12 Origins and make-up of the Australian biota: the vertebrate groups
The Geological Time Scale; the importance of fossils and how they are formed; how evolution takes place – incremental changes in existing structures; environmental stresses caused by large extra-terrestrial impacts; climate change past, present and future
Final comments; revision; exam information and preparation
Small Group Discovery ExperienceStudents will have the opportunity to work together and interact in small groups during practical classes and tutorials.
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment Task Task Type Hurdle
Yes or No
Weighting Learning Outcome Online Quiz Summative
10% 1,2 Major essay Formative Summative No 25% 1-6 Practical reports Formative
No 25% 2,4 Final exam Summative No 40% 1-6
Assessment DetailOnline Quiz (10% of total course grades)
This online quiz will assess content and concepts presented in the first four lectures. . It will comprise approximately 10 multiple-choice questions and is designed to reinforce the major points on natural selection and population genetics.
Major Essay (25% of total course grades)
Note that detailed information on the essay will be handed out separately. The essay is 1500-2000 words in length and comprises a set topic. It is designed to help students synthesise material from across the course and from their reading to develop an overall understand of the nature and process of evolution as it is presently understood and as it applies to a major group of organisms. The essay is also designed to help them develop writing skills so that you can learn to present information in a coherent but concise manner.
Practical Reports (25% of total course grades)
You will be required to write-up and present some of the practical exercises that you conduct during the semester. These will be written up in a formal report with introduction, methods, results and discussion. Dr Conran practicals are worth 10% and Dr Paton’s practicals are worth a total of 15%. These weightings are indicative of the amount of time you should devote to the reports. These reports should also cover your responses to questions posed in the practical notes.
Examination Paper (40% of total course grades)
The exam will be a 2 hour paper and will cover material presented and discussed in Lectures and Tutorial Sessions.
SubmissionThe Essay must be submitted electronically using TurnItIn within MyUni (instructions will be provided in the Essay tutorial). Hard copies will not be accepted.
Practical reports should be lodged in the drop box for the course in the Mawson Building foyer. Do not give your reports or essay to any of the lecturing staff or put them into internal mail. All Practical reports must be submitted with a signed cover sheet that can be down loaded from MyUni. NB. Essays without a cover sheet will not be marked.
If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
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