Evolution (BIO4104.01)

Kerry Woods

Evolutionary theory provides conceptual unity for biology; Darwin’s concept and its derivatives inform every area of life science, from paleontology to molecular biology to physiology to plant and animal behavior to human nature. This course will establish deep grounding in basic evolutionary theory with particular focus on selective processes and life-history theory. Particular topics are likely to include: evolution of reproductive systems and behaviors, evolutionarily stable strategies and game theory; competing models of sexual selection; inclusive fitness and the evolution of sociality and altruistic behavior; coevolution in mutualistic and predator-prey (parasite-host) systems; evolution of disease and evolutionary medicine; and the (multiple) origin and loss of sex. There will be extensive reading in primary literature as well as both critical and synthetic writing, and students will be expected to work with quantitative models and approaches to basic population genetics and fitness calculation. Registration is first-come, first-serve, starting when 4000-level registration opens on May 17. To register, see the instructor in Dickinson 144 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00am – 12:00pm or 2:00pm – 4:00pm, or email kwoods@bennington.edu.

Prerequisites: Prior work in college-level biology or permission of instructor.
Credits: 4
M 8:00am - 9:50am; Th 8:00am - 9:50am
Maximum Enrollment: 18
Course Frequency:
This course is categorized as 4000, Biology, Kerry Woods, Monday and/or Thursday Mornings, All courses, Environment, Four Credit.