Evolutionary Ecology - PCB 4673/5687 – Spring 2010

Lecture:  M,W,F 2-2:50 pm in GC 287B     

CE8 link 

Dr. Suzanne Koptur

OE 232, ph. 305-348-3103

office hrs Wednesdays 9 am - noon (or by appt.)

kopturs@fiu.edu

Course description:

We will examine the adaptations organisms make to their environments (all levels, from the individual, through the population, to the community).  Students will explore physiological and biological stresses and the subsequent adaptations of organisms under these forces.  Life history strategies, breeding systems, and multitrophic interactions will be given special attention.  A general background in ecology is assumed and knowledge of genetics will be reviewed (Prerequisite: PCB 3043, PCB 3063, or permission of instructor).  Basic principles and foundations of the field will be considered as well as current research.   Readings will come from a textbook (see syllabus that follows) and from books and articles from the older and current literature to expand the topics.  Lectures will be interspersed with group and discussion activities to maximize student participation in the learning process.

Each student will write three (5-pg.) papers (library research, with original synthesis, on topics chosen by mutual consent of student and professor; one of these may be a review of a classic book) during the semester, and participate in one or more group projects.  There will be three exams during the semester and a final exam.  Grades will be determined as follows:  first three exams 10% each (30%), final exam 20%, each paper 10% (30%), project 10%, and class participation (in-class work and participating in discussions) 10%.

All students are expected to do original work.  Plagiarism of any type will not be tolerated and will be basis for failing the course.  If you are unsure of what plagiarism is, and how to correctly use and cite reference materials, please check out the links on our library web page (my favorite is from Canada:   http://library.acadiau.ca/tutorials/plagiarism/ ).  We will be using the services of "TurnItIn" to check the proper use of materials in papers written for this course, as well as to provide feedback and peer review.

 Textbook:  Mayhew, Peter.  2006.  Discovering Evolutionary Ecology – bringing together ecology and evolution.  Oxford University Press (paperback).

Evolutionary Ecology Schedule of Events

Day/ date / Wk

Topic

Chapters 

M/ 23 Aug / 1st

Introduction to course

 

W/25 Aug

Where two fields meet   - Lec 1 - Variation, Foundations of Evolution

1

F / 27 Aug

Haplochromine fish group project

 

M / 30 Aug/ 2nd

Evolutionary Cover Stories  -

2

W / 1 Sep

  Lec 2 - Natural Selection

 

F / 3 Sep

 Virtual class – Origin of Species ch. 1 Discussion

M / 6 Sep/ 3rd

 Evolution Truths?

3

W/ 8 Sep

 [paper topics introduced] Lec 3 - Genes

F / 10 Sep

Virtual class – Origin of Species ch. 2, also ectoparasite paper, Discussion

M / 13 Sep/ 4th

Traits, invariants, and theories of everything - Lec 4 - Age and size at Maturity

4

W / 15 Sep

Lec 5 - Senescence and Life Cycles

F / 17 Sep

Virtual class – Origin of Species ch. 3 discussion

 

M / 20 Sep/ 5th

Exam 1

W/ 22 Sep

 Sons, daughters, and distorters - Lec 6 - Sex, gender, sex ratios

5

F/ 24 Sep

Virtual class -

M/27 Sep/ 6th

Voyagers, residents, and sleepers  - Lec 7 - Mating Systems and sexual selection

6

W/29 Sep

[First Paper Due] - printed out and Turnitin.com - Lec 8 Migration

F/ 1 Oct

Virtual class -

M / 4 Oct/ 7th

Doing adaptive things    - Lec 9 - Dispersal and Population Structure

7

W/ 6 Oct

Lec 10 - Plasticity

F/ 8 Oct

Virtual class -

M / 11 Oct/ 8th

 Lec 11 -  Cooperation and Altruism  [Group Projects assigned]

 

W / 13 Oct

Exam 2

 

F / 15 Oct

Virtual class -

M/18 Oct/ 9th

Evolution and numbers -A world of specialists?  - Lec 12 - Predator/Prey

8, 9

W/20 Oct

Mutualism, Parasitism, etc - Lec 13 - Foraging

F/22  Oct

 No Virtual Class - Library Session today - for future papers and Group Project Work

M/ 25 Oct/ 10th

The good, the bad, and the commensal - Lec 14 - Specialization/Generalization [Second Paper Due]

10

W/ 27 Oct

Lec 15 - Competition

F/ 29 Oct

NO VIRTUAL CLASS TODAY - group project work

M / 1 Nov/ 11th

Evolving together - Lec 16 - Parasitism

11

W/ 3 Nov

Lec 17 - Mutualism

 

F/ 5 Nov

Virtual class -

 

M / 8 Nov/ 12th

Birth of a species - Lec 18 - Herbivory

12

W/ 10 Nov

Lec 19 - Speciation and Extinction

F/ 12 Nov

virtual class -

 

M / 15 Nov/ 13th

Death of a species - Lec 20 - Inbreeding and Outbreeding

13

W/ 17 Nov

Exam 3

F/ 19 Nov

virtual class

M / 22 Nov/ 14th

Big Evolution  [Third Paper Due] - Lec 21 - Evolutionary Trees

14

W/ 24 Nov

catch up day

 

F/ 26 Nov

THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY – no class meeting

 

M / 29 Nov/ 15th

Big Ecology – combining in diversity - Lec 22 - Molecular Evolution

15 & 16

W/  1 Dec

Group project presentations [group papers due]

F / 3 Dec

Group project presentations

M / 6 Dec or W 8

Final exam during this week