BIOLOGY 320EVOLUTION & ECOLOGY Course Syllabus Fall 2006

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                               Course Syllabus Fall 2006

I. Instructor Information

Dr. Dale D. Edwards
Office: KC 214
Phone: 488-2645
E-mail:; homepage:
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 9-10:00 a.m., Wednesday, 1:30-3:30 p.m., and by

II. Course Information

A. Meeting Times and Places

Lecture: 10 - 10:50 a.m., MWF, KC 200; Lab: Section 1, 2-5:00 p.m., Tu, KC 200; Section 2, 2-
5:00 p.m., Th, KC 200

B. Textbook and Laboratory Manual

Textbook: Molles, Jr., M.C. 2005. Ecology: Concepts and Applications. Third Edition.
McGraw Hill, Boston, MA.
Futuyma, D.J. 2005. Evolution. Sinauer Associates, Inc., Sunderland, MA.

Lab Manual: A lab manual for the course can purchased from Pat Akrabawi in room KC 219.
There will be a fee of $15.00 (cash only) to cover the printing costs of the laboratory manual.

C. Course Description and Objectives

        This course introduces the fundamental concepts of evolution and ecology, with special
efforts made to demonstrate the inherent relationship between these two disciplines. We will
examine the ecology of individuals, populations and species and the mechanisms of evolutionary
change, while also addressing the interplay between ecology and evolution. The three major
objectives of this course are: (1) to provide a fundamental understanding of evolutionary and
ecological theory, (2) to exercise your skills in critical thinking, and (3) to enhance your research
skills by increasing your ability to design and perform experiments, as well as by improving your
laboratory writing skills.

       A substantial component of class period will be a lecture-based presentation of the
material to ensure that everyone understands the topics being discussed. To ensure that you can
provide a meaningful contribution to each subject, though, you are expected to read the assigned
chapters prior to the class discussion of that subject. To encourage timely reading of the
material, there will be a quiz over designated chapters at the beginning of class on most Mondays

The schedule may be modified to enhance learning opportunities.
(see lecture schedule below). With regard to the laboratories, assignments will vary in their
grade value. Because you will be developing your writing skills as this course progresses, we
will give lesser weight to the first lab report. Nevertheless, you will want to invest time and
effort in each report in order to improve the quality of your writing.

III. Evaluation

Your final grade will be determined using the following formula:

       Lab reports/presentation:      30%
       Quizzes:                       10%
       Exam 1-4:                      12.5% each (50% total)
       Final Exam:                    10%

Course grades will be determined using the following scale:

93 - 100 = A           73 - 76 = C
90 - 92 = A-           70 - 72 = C-
87 - 89 = B+           67 - 69 = D+
83 - 86 = B            63 - 66 = D
80 - 82 = B-           60 - 62 = D-
77 - 79 = C+           >60 = F

IV. Attendance/Deadline Policy

        Your participation in classroom and laboratory exercises is integral to this course. You
are expected to attend all classes; if you miss class during a regular lecture session, you are
responsible for all work missed. The dates for the exams, quizzes and assignments are indicated
in the syllabus; if you are unable to attend class, contact the instructor immediately. In addition,
you will need to submit a note from the Office of the Dean of Students confirming the reason for
your absence. Your absence will be excused provided that it complies with the University's
policy governing excused absences and provided that you complete the assignment within the
requested time frame. Unexcused absences and incomplete work will regrettably receive zeros
for grades.

V. The Honor Code

        In the performance of all work in this course each student is expected to adhere to the
standards of ethical behavior as stated in the University of Evansville Honor Code (page 42,
2005-2007 Undergraduate Catalog). Accordingly, students are expected to neither give nor
receive unauthorized aid on quizzes. Plagiarism, the use of unauthorized sources of information
on submitted work, is considered a transgression of the honor code. If you violate the University
honor code, you will receive a zero for the work in question and your violation will be reported
to the Office of the Dean of Students.
VI. Lecture Schedule*

Week       Lecture Topic                                              Reading             Quiz Topic

8/21      Introduction: Relationship between ecology and              Molles 1, 3
          evolution; Ecology; Natural history of streams and rivers

8/28      Ecology of populations and communities                      Molles 9, 16        Molles 9

9/4       Ecology of communities (cont.);                             Molles 16           Molles 16
          Food webs (pgs. 419-25),Trophic pyramids                    Molles 17, 18, 20
          (pgs. 442-3), Succession (pgs. 485-8);
          Population dynamics                                         Molles 10

9/11      Population growth; Life history biology                     Molles 11, 12       Molles 11
          Exam 1 (Friday)

9/18      Life history biology (cont.); Competition                   Molles 13           Molles 12

9/25      Predation; Herbivory; Mutualism                             Molles 14, 15       Molles 14

10/2      Mutualism (cont.)                                           Molles 15           Molles 15
          Physiological ecology                                       Molles 4, 5, 6

10/9      Fall Recess
          Patterns of Evolution                                       Futuyma 2, 3
          Exam 2 (Friday)

10/16     Sources of genetic variation; Population genetics           Futuyma 9           Futuyma 9

10/23     Genetic drift, gene flow, non-random mating                 Futuyma 10          Futuyma 10

10/30     Natural Selection (also see Molles Ch. 8)                   Futuyma 11, 12      Futuyma 11

11/6      Quantitative genetics                                       Futuyma 13
          Exam 3 (Friday)

11/13     Sexual selection; Kin selection                             Futuyma 14          Futuyma 14
          If time allows: Social behavior                             Molles 7

11/20     Species and Speciation                                      Futuyma 15, 16      Futuyma 15
          Thanksgiving break

11/27     Speciation; macroevolution                                  Futuyma 16, 21

12/4      Exam 4

12/12    Final Exam (12:30 p.m.)

*This lecture schedule may be modified depending on the pace of the course
VII. Laboratory Schedule

       Week           Lab Topic

       8/21           No lab

       8/28           Natural history of Pigeon Creek: collection

       9/4            Pigeon creek: sample identification

       9/11           Woody plant diversity: Wesselman Woods I (Pigeon creek report due)

       9/16-17        Hancock Biological Station Field Trip

       9/18           Woody plant diversity: Wesselman Woods II

       9/25           Discussions of: Writing a Lab Report
                                     Literature Research
                                     JMP & Data Analysis
                      (Students will need to collect and care for isopods)

       10/2           TBA (Woody plant diversity report due)

       10/9            Fall Break

       10/16          Seed dispersal experiment: experiment I

       10/23          Seed dispersal experiment: experiment II

       10/30          Isopod behavior: experiment

       11/6           Isopod behavior: experiment and data analysis (Seed dispersal report due)

       11/13          Isopod selection experiment

       11/20          Thanksgiving

       11/27          Presentation of isopod behavior experiment (Both Isopod reports due)

Weekend Field Trip: We have a special opportunity to take a trip to the Hancock Biological
Field Station at Aurora, KY during the weekend of September 16th and 17th. We will leave for
the station early Saturday morning and return to UE early Sunday afternoon. Due to travel
constraints, only the first 15 students who deposit a $25 fee to cover travel, housing, and food
costs will be able to attend the trip. This trip will provide you with an opportunity to sample,
identify, and learn more about the natural history of a variety of plants and animals from a
unique aquatic ecosystem. Please apply for this trip ASAP.
VIII. Writing Assignment Policy

    To ensure that students turn in original work, all writing assignments must be submitted to Your assignment will not be graded (and may be counted as late) until your
assignment has been successfully submitted to The procedures are very easy for
anyone who has worked on the WWW. Follow the instructions below to get started:

   1. Go to
   2. Click on user login, and then click on CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED (unless you
      already have an account at from a previous course--if this is the case, go to
   3. Enter your UE email address and choose a personal password. You will need to
      remember this password. Click the NEXT button to enter your name and address. When
      finished, return to the login page and login as a student. You can now always register as a
      student. (Please do not ask me what your personal password is; I will not know)
   4. Click on JOIN NEW CLASS. The course ID is 1552046 and the enrollment password is

To submit a paper, click the TURN IT IN! button. Select the appropriate assignment, and
upload the file or paste it into the text box. Press submit when you are finished.
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