Course Coordinator: 
Evan Economo
Fundamentals of Evolution

From the diversification of lineages over billions of years, to the rise of modern humans, to ongoing global pandemics, evolution underpins our understanding of living systems.  Through lectures, discussion, and critical reading, this course focuses on fundamental theoretical and empirical aspects of evolutionary science, and how these are applied to both understanding the natural world and our place within it.    Substantial practice is provided in reading, discussing, critiquing, and writing scientific literature.   Assessment via term papers and assignments will reflect theoretical concepts, relate evolutionary events to scientific evidence, and apply it to contemporary problems.

Target students   

All OIST students are welcome to take the course and differing backgrounds will be accommodated.  Life sciences students are encouraged to take this course to get a solid foundation in evolution.  Students oriented toward Ecology and/or Evolution as a PhD topic should take this course.

At the end of this course, the students should be able to: - Explain core theoretical concepts in evolutionary biology. - Relate key events in the history of life on Earth to evidence contributing to our understanding of these events. - Apply evolutionary thinking to contemporary problems - Demonstrate skills in reading, discussing, and critiquing primary literature through completing assignments and term papers.
Course Content: 
1. History of Evolutionary Science
2. Systematics and Phylogenetics
3. History of Life on Earth
4. Natural Selection and Adaptation
5. Population Genetics
6. Evolution of behavior
7. Sexual Selection
8. Speciation and Adaptive Radiation
9. Macroevolution
10. Applied Evolutionary Science
Course Type: 
(50%) of the grade will be based on in-class discussion, preparation, and short writing assignments. There will be two longer term papers, one due in the middle of the term (20%), and one at the end of the term (30%)
Text Book: 
Evolutionary Biology (third edition), Douglas Futuyma
Prior Knowledge: 

Students in the life sciences are highly encouraged to take a Fundamentals of Ecology course prior to this course. However, it is not required.