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