Ecology & Evolution, Biology 301-001
Schedule:Tuesday & Thursday, 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm; Room CLS 005
Instructor: Bob Friedman; EWS 601; 777-0655;
Office Hours: Tuesday & Thursday: after class
Required Texts: The Economy of Nature, 6th Edition, by R. Ricklefs
The Beak of the Finch by J. Weiner
Biology 301 is a lecture course on ecology and evolutionary biology. The topics are mainly organized into three areas: population ecology, population interactions, and population genetics. By study of the first two areas, an objective is a general understanding of population dynamics, including population regulation, competition, and predation. Another goal is toprovide an overview of communities and ecosystems. The final goal is to introducebasic population genetics theory, but this part also includes the mechanisms of biological speciation and interpretation of evolutionary trees. Along with learning concepts, an emphasis will be ondeveloping skills at reading and constructing graphs. Graphs visually summarize data and provide a way to describebiological processes.
- Read assignedreadings beforeclass, attend class, and take notes.
- Proficient at routine arithmetic and basic algebra.
- Using BlackBoard for tasks such as checking announcements, uploading completed assignments, downloading final exam, and viewing grades.
- Bring a pencil to exams.Arrive on time; no one will be admitted to the exam after the first person has left the room. Exams will include material from class lectures, reading assignments, and homework.
- Students are responsible for calculating their total points and letter grade for this course.
- Students are responsible for uploading assignments to BlackBoard and verifying these assignments were uploaded. An assignment will not be accepted after one week past its due date.
The course grade will be calculated based upon the following:
30 pointsHomework/Attendance / Use of BlackBoard
90 pointsExam #1
90 pointsExam #2
90 pointsExam #3
60 pointsFinal Exam (take-home)
The total points sum to 360. The final letter grade will likely be calculated as follows:
A 324; B+ 310-323; B 288-309; C+ 273-287; C 252-272; D+ 237-251; D 216-236; F 215
Without Final Exam, the total points sum to 300. The final letter grade would then be:
A 270; B+ 258-269; B 240-257; C+ 228-239; C 210-227; D+ 198-209; D 180-197; F 179
Once the final grade distribution is calculated, there will be no adjustments for borderline grades. Also, there are no extra credit assignments in this course.
- Students engaged in disruptive behavior may be asked to leave. This includes, but is not limited to, ringing cell phones, texting, andtalking to classmates during lecture.
- Practicing the highest standards of academic integrity. Any deviation from this expectation may result in failing the assignment and referral to the Office of Academic Integrity.
- Questions aboutan exam score must be submitted in writing within one week of being graded.
- Please be aware that make-up exams will not usually be allowed.
- If arriving late, please enter the room quietly.
- If possible, ask questions during or after class rather than e-mail messaging. Do not wait until a day before the exam to ask questions about a study guide.
Student Success Center Tutoring Program provides free academic assistance to USC students. More information is available at: or call 777-0684.Date / Topics / Readings
Jan12 / Introduction to ecology & evolution / Chapter 1
Jan14 / Biosphere / Ch. 2, 3, 4
Jan 19 / Population structure I / Ch. 10
Jan 21 / Population structure II / Ch. 10
Jan 26 / Population growth / Ch. 11
Jan 28 / Age-structured populations / Ch. 11
Feb 2 / Population regulation I / Ch. 11
Feb 4 / Population regulation II/ Review / Ch. 11
Feb 9 / Exam I
Feb 11 / Introduction to evolution * / Ch. 6
Feb 16 / Evolution II / Ch. 6, 21
Feb 18 / Speciation (Feb 22 is last day to drop course) / Ch. 17 (pp. 359-360)
Feb 23 / Beak of the Finch discussion / Beak, Ch. 1-4
Feb 25 / Beak of the Finch discussion / Beak, Ch. 1-4
Mar 2 / Beak of the Finch discussion / Beak, Ch. 5-10
Mar 4 / Beak of the Finch discussion / Beak, Ch. 5-10
Mar 9 / Spring Break, No Class
Mar 11 / Spring Break, No Class
Mar 16 / Population genetics I / Ch. 13
Mar 18 / Population genetics II / Ch. 13
Mar 23 / Phylogenetics I / Ch. 17 (pp. 363-366)
Mar 25 / Phylogenetics II / Review
Mar 30 / Exam II
Apr 1 / Species Interactions I * / Ch. 16
Apr 6 / Species Interactions II / Ch. 16
Apr 8 / Predator-Prey Interactions / Ch. 15
Apr 13 / Communities / Ch. 18
Apr 15 / Ecosystems / Ch. 22
Apr 20 / Biodiversity / Review / Ch. 20
Apr 22 / Exam III
Apr 30 (Fri) / Final Exam (uploaded to BlackBoard)