Biology 301Ecology and EvolutionFall 2002CLS 005TTH 3:30PM- 4:45PMDr. Sarah Woodin, CLS 406, 7-4254 or 7-4141 or email:

Dr. David Wethey, EWS 704, 7-3936 or 7-4141 or email:

Office Hours: Mon 2-3 (Woodin), Tues 1:30-2:30 (Wethey), and by appointment 

Email Office Hours: Tues 5-7, Thurs 5-7 

Required Text: The Economy of Nature, fifth edition by Robert E. Ricklefs On Reserve: Evolutionary Analysis, second edition by Scott Freeman and Jon C. Herron (abbreviated as F&H) 

previous examinations

On the internet: On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin, 1st Edition 

Click here to download Populus


Introduction to the course, ecological/environmental stage evolutionary play, means and variances 

Aug. 22

Ricklefs Ch 1read the data analysis component of the Biology 301L lab manual ----


Darwin: Artificial selection

Aug. 27

Darwin Ch 1


Darwin: Natural selection

Aug 29

Darwin Ch 4Diagram ("Natural Selection, Circumstances Favorable, Chapter Summary")


Darwin: Homology, biogeography, adaptation, evidence for natural selection

Sept 3

F&H 47-62    "packet # 1" on reserve in library

Darwin Ch 6 ("Transitions, Organs of extreme perfection, Chapter Summary")


Darwin: Common descent, General deductions Speciation and Phylogeny

Sept 5

Darwin Ch 10

F&H Ch 2  "packet #2" on reserve in library


Population Genetics and evolution, constraints on genetic variation, Hardy-Weinberg model, selection

Sept 10

Ricklefs 311-315F&H 109-125 "packet #3" on reserve in library


Random drift, mutation, migration, inbreeding

Sept 12

Ricklefs 316-322F&H 142-144 "packet #4" on reserve in library

F&H 155-170 "packet #4" on reserve in library 


Directional Selection and quantitative traits

Sept 17

Ricklefs 322-328F&H 241-243  "packet #5" on reserve in library 


Sexual selection, reproductive behavior

Sept 19

Ricklefs Ch 11


Altruism and kin selection 

Sept 24

Ricklefs Ch 12


Exam I

 Sept 26



Foraging behavior

Oct 1

Ricklefs 192-196


Distributions of organisms:dispersal, habitat selection, physiological limitations, environmental heterogeneity

Oct 3-8

Ricklefs Ch 13


Population demography:age structure

Life history evolution

Oct 10

Ricklefs Ch 14Ricklefs Ch 10CAPA homework assignment – due Oct 17 at 3:30 pm


Fall Break

Oct 15



Population growth models

Oct 17

Ricklefs Ch 14


Population fluctuations and cycles

Oct 22

Ricklefs 293-301


Metapopulations, patches, environmental grain

Oct 24

Ricklefs 302-310


Population interactions:competition

Oct 29

Ricklefs Ch 19


Population interactions:predation

Oct 31

Ricklefs Ch 17-18


Election Day

Nov 5



Exam II


Nov 7


Physical Environment

Nov 12

Ricklefs Ch 4


Community structure, disturbance, equilibrium or not, Experimental analysis

Nov 14

Ricklefs Ch 21


Species diversity, causal factors, consequences, patterns in Recent

Nov 19

Ricklefs Ch 23



Nov 21

Ricklefs Ch 22 CAPA homework due Tues Nov 26 3:30 pm


Energy flow and trophic structure

Nov 26

Ricklefs Ch 6



Nov 28



Biogeochemical cycling and nutrient regeneration

Dec 3

Ricklefs Ch 7


Human population growth

Dec 5

Ricklefs Ch 26


Exam III

Dec 9

5:30 p.m.






There are three examinations including the final.The final is not cumulative.All exams will have a similar format of short answer questions, problems, and short essay questions.Students will be expected to interpret data presented as tables as well as in graphical form.Material for the examinations will come both from lecture and the readings.In addition to the major examinations there will be several quizzes, homework assignments, and discussions.The quizzes plus the homework and discussions will count for 10% of your grade.The examinations will count for 90% of your grade.The grading scale is

A 90-100, B 80-89, C 70-79, D 60-69, F below 60.(B+ 88-89, C+ 78-79)

Makeup examinations will not be allowed without a written doctor’s excuse or written proof of a genuine family emergency.Students are expected to attend all lectures and to read the assigned text prior to the lecture.The instructors will be available both during office hours and by appointment.Please, if you are confused, come see us or send us questions via email.Note there is an email ‘office hour’ period.Answers to questions submitted during email period will be provided by 9 pm that evening.Email questions submitted during other times will typically be answered within 24 hours.Changes to the course schedule (if any) and outlines of lectures will be posted on the Department of Biological Sciences web page at Lecture outlines will be posted each week.Homework assignments will be announced in class and typically will be due at the beginning of the next class period.Some homework will be done using CAPA.For each week there is the following standing homework assignment:(1) submit a possible exam question based on that week’s lectures (it can include information from preceding lectures) and (2) submit a short (no more than one-third of a page) summary of the primary points of the week’s lectures.These can be submitted via email prior to the next week’s first lecture or at the beginning of that lecture.Particularly good exam questions will be used on the exam and from 2 to 5 extra credit points given to the author.URL: