BIOL 324 (Fall)

Ecological Genetics

(Not offered in 2017-2018)



Instructor(s):
D. Schoen
N3/8A
(514) 398-6461
daniel.schoen@mcgill.ca
Workload:
3 credits (3-0-6)
Prerequisite(s):
Content:
The aim of this course is to present evolutionary genetics within an ecological context. The course will cover theoretical topics together with relevant data from natural populations of plant and animals. The topics presented are complementary to higher level courses in evolution. Topics include:

1) THE ECOLOGICAL CONTEXT OF EVOLUTIONARY CHANGE (1 lecture)

2) TYPES OF GENETIC VARIATION: DNA, PROTEINS, QUANTITATIVE VARIATION (1 lecture)

3) ORGANIZATION OF GENETIC VARIATION (2 lectures)
A) Population, races, ecotypes, species
B) Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium
C) Two loci. Linkage equilibrium

4) POPULATION STRUCTURE (5 lectures)
A) Inbreeding theory and mating systems
B) Population subdivision
C) Effective population size and genetic drift
D) Shifting balance theory

5) EFFECTS OF NATURAL SELECTION ON GENE FREQUENCIES IN POPULATIONS (9 lectures)
A) Differential survival, reproduction, and fitness variation
B) Basic modes of selection
C) Frequency- and density-dependent selection
D) Selection in heterogeneous environments
E) Selection and gene flow
F) Selection and mutation
G) Selection and genetic drift
H) Fisher's fundamental theorem

6) POLYGENIC TRAITS AND EVOLUTION (4 lectures)
A) Polygenic inheritance and the analysis of phenotypic variation
B) Phenotypic description of selection
C) Heritability, genetic correlation, and selection

7) EVOLUTION AT THE MOLECULAR LEVEL (4 lectures)
A) Rate and patterns of sequence evolution
B) Neutral theory
C) Gene duplication, unequal crossing over, transposition, and concerted evolution
D) Mobile genetic elements and selfish DNA
Readings:
 
To be announced
 
 
Method:
 
Two lectures per week; one group discussion per week.
 
 
Evaluation:
 
Mid term, final exam, participation and discussion and problem sets  

McGill University values academic integrity. Therefore all students must understand the meaning and consequences of cheating, plagiarism and other academic offences under the Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures (see http://www.mcgill.ca/integrity/ for more information).
 
Last update: March 21, 2017