Biol 495 -- Advanced Topics in Evolution: Plants

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Biol 484 – Plant Evolution
Fall 2015
Instructor
Office hours
Lila Fishman
email: [email protected]
office: 309A Health Sciences
phone: 406 243-5166
11:00-12:00 T/Th
other times by appt.
Goals

Reinforce understanding of the principles of biological evolution

Explore the patterns and processes of plant evolution, with primary focus on
mechanisms of adaptation and speciation

Practice critical evaluation of research and writing on plant evolution

Practice scientific writing skills
Course format
Lectures, plus discussion of readings. The readings will be a mix of syntheses/reviews
and primary research literature. You are expected to complete the readings before class
and come with questions/comments for discussion.
Course schedule (will evolve...)
See page 2 for a general overview of topics to be covered.
Materials
Each week’s readings will be posted on the course Moodle page in advance. Powerpoint
slides from the lectures will be placed online after class. For those in need of review, I
have spare copies of various evolution/genetics texts in my office.
Assessment
Grading will follow +/- grading scale and the standard decile letter grade system.
Grades will be based on
 participation in class discussions
 short article reviews (précis)
 final project
~20%
~25%
~55%
See pages 3-5 for more detail on the writing expectations and assignments.
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Fall 2015 -- Biol484 Schedule
Week
Date
Topic
Week 1
9/01
9/03
Intro to Course
Broad patterns in plant evolution
Week 2
9/08
9/10
Week 3
9/15
9/17
Review: Population Genetics
 Drift, selection and migration
 Inbreeding and inbreeding
depression
 Mating system evolution
Week 4
9/22
9/24
Week 5
9/29
10/01
Week 6
10/06
10/08
Week 7
10/13
10/15
Week 8
10/20
10/22
Week 9
10/27
10/29
Week 10
11/03
11/05
Week 11
11/10
11/12
Week 12
11/17
11/19
Week 13
11/24
11/26
Readings
see Moodle
Review: Quantitative Genetics
 Heritability
 Linkage and pleiotropy
 Genotype-phenotype mapping
 Plasticity and GxE
Abiotic Adaptation
 Life history evolution
 Photosynthetic variation
 Adaptation to drought, toxic soil
 Climate change adaptation
Biotic Adaptation & Coevolution
 Pollination biology
 Defense against herbivores and
parasites
 Plant-plant competition (evolution
post-invasion?)
 Microbial symbioses
Speciation & Adaptive Radiation
 Polyploidy
 Chromosomal rearrangements
 Premating barriers
 Sexual selection and post-mating
barriers
THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY
Week 14
12/01
12/03
 Hybrid speciation?
Student Presentations
Week 15
12/08
12/10
Student Presentations
Student Presentations
Finals Week
12/16
Final Paper Due – Wed. Dec. 16th
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