BIOL215 Lecture 1 Notes
Ecology and evolution: study relationships between organisms and their environment.
Earth contains an extraordinary diversity of plants, animals and microbes-how did this diversity
originate? And how is it maintained? And what are its consequences?
Both ecology and evolution use the scientific method: method that is used in all science disciplines
which begins with an observation.
Observation -> Question -> Hypothesis -> Predictions -> Experimental design -> Data collection and
analysis -> Comparing predictions and data... (Hypothesis rejection) -> Hypothesis... (Hypothesis
confirmation) -> Question answered -> Additional testing
Ecologists describe and try to understand the distribution and abundance of organisms in their
Evolutionary Biologists describe, reconstruct, and try to understand the changes in characteristics of
living organisms through time.
Ecologists and evolutionary biologists study ecology and evolution at different scales.
• Planetary scale: How how does concentration of CO2 vary at the planetary scale? What are the
ecological processes that cause the different concentration of CO2 difference.
• Ecosystem: Describes all the organisms and chemical and physical parts of the organism's
environment in a prescribed area.
• Interaction: How prey and predators interaction in that environment and how they interact.
• Individuals: How do plants or animals regulate their internal water balance?
Some evolutionary biologists study fossils (molecular) record (relatio