General Information



by Bergstrom and Dugatkin

ISBN: 978-0-393-92592-0

Electronic version available here. Hard copies can also be purchased, please ask instructors before buying for a discounted price.

The Beak of the Finch
by Jonathan Weiner

ISBN: 067973337X




RELEVANT READINGS (papers are linked below and can also be found on the Supplementary Materials page)

Tuesday, 1/7 Introduction Lecture (slides)

Famous Dhobzhansky article.

Zuckerkandl and Pauling 1965. This interesting paper spells out a vision for how molecules will be used as a way to explore evolutionary relatedness of organisms.

Gruber 2013 (National Geographic). Oldest human DNA sequenced and suggests genetic mixing between ancient groups of Neanderthals and Denisovians.

This series of excellent videos includes the discussion of dog breeding that was mentioned in class.

This popular article talks about the efforts of Svante Paabo to sequence extinct organisms.

Thursday, 1/9 History of Life on Earth Part I (slides)

Bergstrom: Chapter 2

Radioactive isotope dating: This website gives a number of insights into how radioactive isotopes are used as "clocks in the rocks."

Sleep 1989: This paper is a study of large impacts on the surface of the Earth and their implications for life.

Monday, 1/13 Lab: 7pm-10pm: Geologic time line
Tuesday, 1/14 History of Life on Earth Part II

Bergstrom: Chapter 15

Andrew Knoll:The excellent lecture by Andrew Knoll explains the challenges of exploring the history of life before the Cambrian.

Kappler 2005: This paper describes how chemistry, cell biology and geology conspire to understand the presence of banded iron formations.

Thursday, 1/16 Phylogenetics Part I: Systematics/Cladistics (slides)

Bergstrom: Chapters 4+5

"Dinopocalypse": Radiolab show on dinosaur extinction.

Saunders & Reichow 2009: This fascinating paper describes the Siberian traps and their possible significance for the end Permian mass extinction.

Monday, 1/20 No lab (Institute holiday)
Tuesday, 1/21 Phylogenetics Part II: DNA sequence (slides)

Bergstrom: Chapters 4+5

Telford & Copley 2011: This paper describes the recent use of other genomic features besides the sequence itself that have been used for phylogenetic purposes.

Stringham 2012, Shapiro 2013: These very nice papers describe the use of DNA sequence to explore the great diversity of domesticated pigeons.

Case 2007: This paper describes the recent use of other genomic features besides the sequence itself that have been used for phylogenetic purposes.

Thursday, 1/23 Facts of evolution: Variation etc. (slides)

Bergstrom: Chapter 6

Sulloway 1982: This paper is a scholarly study of the role that the study of finches did and did not play in Darwin's thinking.

Mitchell-Olds 2006: This paper reports on careful studies that have been made on natural variation in the "model organism" Arabidopsis thaliana.

Weigel 2012: This paper gives an excellent account of variation in Arabidopsis as was introduced in class.

Pool & Aquadro 2007: "The genetic basis of adaptive pigment variation in Drosophila melanogaster." Paper mentioned by Rob in class.

Saturday, 1/25 (POSTPONED to Saturday, 2/1) Field trip: 9am - 4pm: Page Museum and Tar Pits - field trip and sample collection
Monday, 1/27 No lab
Tuesday, 1/28 Fact of Heritability

Bergstrom: Chapter 3

Thursday, 1/30 Natural Selection / Adaptive Evolution

Bergstrom: Chapters 7+8

Monday, 2/3 Lab: 7pm-10pm: Microbial diversity from tar pit samples (part I)
Tuesday, 2/4 Population Genetics - forces of evolution (slides)

Bergstrom: Chapter 9

Thursday, 2/6 Ecology/environment examples in natural selection (slides)

Wilson 1987: Perspective article by EO Wilson discussing evolutionary factors influencing ecological success of organisms.

Saturday, 2/8 - Sunday, 2/9 (CANCELLED) Field trip: Death Valley, with Ge 11b, led by Profs. Woody Fischer and Joe Kirschvink. (CANCELLED)
Monday, 2/10 Lab: 7pm-10pm: Microbial diversity from tar pit samples (part II)
Tuesday, 2/11 Species and Speciation

Bergstrom: Chapter 14 (14.1-14.3)

Thursday, 2/13 Meet in Bruan 016 classroom. Microbial species concept; Luria-Delbruck experiment part I.
Monday, 2/17 No lab (Institute holiday)
Tuesday, 2/18 Great transitions O2/multicellularity

Bergstrom: Chapter 12

Thursday, 2/20 Biogeography - emphasize Galapagos (slides)
Monday, 2/24 Evening discussion: 7pm-10pm: Galapagos, Sequence analysis
Tuesday, 2/25 Coevolution and symbiosis

Bergstrom: Chapter 19

Thursday, 2/27 Microbial Evolution; Human Evolution Part I (slides)

Bergstrom: Chapter 14 (14.4)

Documentary about one of the great figures of modern evolutionary biology.

Giant virus revived from Siberian ice. PNAS paper and Nature News article.

Monday, 3/3 Lab: 7pm-10pm: Computer simulations of evolutionary scenarios and population dynamics
Tuesday, 3/4 Human evolution part II or evolution of sex
Thursday, 3/6 Evo-Devo lecture

Bergstrom: Chapter 13

Monday, 3/10 Lab: 7pm-10pm: TBD
Tuesday, 3/11 Course wrap-up, expectations for field trip