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BIO342 L1

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Marc Johnson

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BIO342 Evolutionary Biology Lecture 1 Evolution is a change in the frequency of an allele or genotype through time within a population  allele - a unique copy of a gene  genotype - individuals that share th same set of alles at one more loci  population - group of interbreeding individuals ◦ population is the unit of evolution ◦ individuals cannot evolve Phenotypic evolution  when a change in the frequency of alleles cause a change in the distribution of phenotypic traits within a population we call this phenotypic evolution  a phenotypic trait is any characteristic of an organism i.e. Hair/eye colour, height, weight, size, behaviour, physiological response, etc. What is Evolutionary Biology?  evolutionary biology - scientific discipline that tests hypotheses proposed to explain evolutionary processes and patterns associated with organic evolution (i.e. the evolution of life) Why is evolutionary biology important?  evolution explains the history and diversity of all life on earth  4.6 billion years ago, earth started as molten soup, no life at all  in the 1st billion years, earth cooled  as water appeared (by 4 bya) first signs of life appeared, molecules that self replicated - amino acids  amino acids gave rise to more complex life, similar to RNA ◦ self replicate and make copies of itself ◦ more resistant to changes in the environment  single common ancestor (4 bya) gave rise to all the organisms you see on earth today Climate change: can populations adapt?  changing precipitation and atmosphere on earth  industrial evolution, manufacturing ◦ CO2 bouncing up to 300 ppm then 50 years ago, sky rocket ◦ increase in temperature, length of growing season, increase about 10 days longer on average  changed the way we see the world around us  glacier receding due to human influence  profound effect on life on
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