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BIO120 Fall 2012 Course Syllabus

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University of Toronto St. George
James Thomson

BIO120H1FAdaptationBiodiversity Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology University of TorontoCourse SyllabusFall 2012The BIO120H team Lecturers Corey Goldman Course Coordinator Prof James Thomson Jill Wheeler Laboratory CoordinatorLectures 111 Tammy Pecoskie Course Administrator Emily AustenLecture TAmany Laboratory Teaching AssistantsProf Spencer Barrett Dom Fenech and Mary Ann Honig Laboratory TechniciansLectures 1223 BIO120H officebio120utorontocaPlease direct all course enquiries to the BIO120 office the office will redirect enquiries as appropriateES 3045A Earth Sciences Centre enter off 33 Willcocks take stairs to third floor 4169787588 Please include BIO120 in subject line of emails and be sure to include your full name and student numberOffice hourssee Contacts page on course site on the PortalCourse description Principles and concepts of evolution and ecology related to origins of adaptation and biodiversity Mechanisms and processes driving biological diversification illustrated from various perspectives using empirical and theoretical approaches Topics include genetic diversity natural selection speciation physiological population and community ecology maintenance of species diversity global environmental changeconservation species extinction and invasion biology PrerequisiteGrade 12 Biology or equivalent Exclusion BIO150Y1YCourse objectives 1 A goal of this course is to provide you with a solid foundation in evolutionary and ecological principles and conceptsas related to the origins of adaptation and biodiversityso that you can make informed decisions on pressing societal issues such as population growth global environmental change and the conservation of biodiversity and be prepared for advanced study in the biological sciences2 Darwinian evolution is the unifying concept in biology and explains biodiversity on earth and why species differ You will learn that the traits of organisms are the product of a complex interplay between natural selection genetic variation and constraints imposed by evolutionary history 3 You will learn that adaptive evolution is a process that results from selection pressures imposed by the physical and biotic environment on individuals within populations The ecological challenges of capturing resources for growth successful reproduction and avoiding enemies largely determine the ways organisms function 4 Required reading of selected articles from the Nature Scitable online library will extend and reinforce lecture material on how natural systems work and how diverse organisms respond to the challenges of the natural world From reading Why Evolution is True you will learn how various independent lines of evidence demonstrate the fact of evolution and give insight into its mechanisms particularly adaptation by natural selection 5 In the laboratories you will learn to make observations devise hypotheses and conduct experiments in ecology and evolutionary biology including critically evaluating and communicating both orally and in writing hypotheses and experimental designsA paper copy of this syllabus is available in your BIO120 Laboratory Manual 1
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