Population Biology


Course Description - Fall, 2004


This course will fill a major gap in the Ecology specialty area by introducing you to important new developments in areas such as:


COURSE SYLLABUS POPULATION BIOLOGY 3100:423/523

Date Week Day

Topic

Reading Computer Files
8/30/2004 1 M Introduction Ayala handout LEC1
9/1/2004   W Natural Selection   LEC2
9/3/2004   F Natural Selection    
9/6/2004 2 M Holiday    
9/8/2004   W Group vs. Individual selection   LEC3
9/10/2004   F Describing populations Chap 1 - BMT LEC4
9/13/2004 3 M Describing populations    
9/15/2004   W Fitness   LEC5
9/17/2004   F Life Tables    
9/20/2004 4 M Intraspecific competition Chap 2 - BMT LEC6
9/22/2004   W Modeling populations Chap 3 - BMT LEC7
9/24/2004   F Modeling populations    
9/27/2004 5 M Life Histories Chap 6 - BMT (Old) LEC8
9/29/2004   W Life Histories    
10/1/2004   F Reproductive value    
10/4/2004 6 M Timing of reproduction    
10/6/2004   W Trade-offs   LEC9
10/8/2004   F Costs of reproduction; Paper 1 - 1st draft due    
10/11/2004 7 M Phenotypic plasticity   LEC10
10/13/2004   W Evolution of senescence    
10/15/2004   F Evolution of sex; Paper 1 Due Williams, Chap. 1 LEC11
10/18/2004 8 M Introduction to Population Genetics Pp. 1-20 - H LEC12
10/20/2004   W Genetic Variation Pp. 20-26 - H LEC13
10/22/2004   F Midterm    
10/25/2004 9 M Hardy-Weinberg Pp. 26-41 - H LEC14
10/27/2004   W Hardy-Weinberg    
10/29/2004   F Deviations from Hardy-Weinberg Pp. 59-74 - H LEC15
11/1/2004 10 M Genetic drift   LEC16
11/3/2004   W Bottlenecks   LEC17
11/5/2004   F Founder effects    
11/8/2004 11 M Selection Pp. 74-98 - H LEC18
11/10/2004   W Selection   LEC19
11/12/2004   F Inbreeding Pp. 41-52 - H LEC20
11/15/2004 12 M Inbreeding    
11/17/2004   W Molecular Population Genetics Chap. 3 - H LEC21
11/19/2004   F Molecular Population Genetics    
11/22/2004 13 M Selectionists vs. neutralists   LEC22
11/24/2004   W Quantitative Genetics Chap 4 - H LEC23
11/26/2004   F Thanksgiving Holiday    
11/29/2004 14 M Components of variation    
12/1/2004   W Nature vs. Nurture    
12/3/2004   F Measures of Va; Paper 2 - 1st draft due    
12/6/2004 15 M Conservation Genetics   LEC24
12/8/2004   W Memes    
12/10/2004   F Memes; Paper 2 due    
  

BMT = Begon, Mortimer and Thompson, Population Ecology

H = Hartl, A Primer of Population Genetics

Other Pertinent Information

Course Grade

            The course is divided into two major sections: Population Ecology and Population Genetics. Therefore, the course grading will parallel these emphases. The course grade is based on a combination of two exams (midterm and final = 25% ea. for undergraduates and 20% ea. for graduate students) and two papers (25% ea.), and a number of homework assignments (extra credit for undergraduates and 10% of grade for graduate students).  The two exams will cover the two sections of the course listed above, and will not be comprehensive.

            The papers will be on a topic of the student's choosing, with the stipulation that the first is on a topic related to Population Ecology and that the second relates to Population Genetics. Each paper should be typewritten or computer generated, and should be approximately 7-10 double-spaced pages long. The subject of each paper must be approved at least two weeks before its due dates, and it is advisable to turn in a rough draft a week before the due date if one wants constructive criticism of the paper.  Graduate students MUST turn in a rough draft, but early submission is not required for undergraduates (but it is encouraged).

            The topic of each paper should be an in-depth discussion of a topic that was covered in the course, or is directly related to topics covered in the course. Independent library research will be required to add a minimum of 3 references to research conducted on plants and/or animals that relates to the topic being discussed (theoretical research papers are also acceptable, if one wishes). Points will be allotted on the basis of the depth of discussion of the topic, and how well the research articles are incorporated into the discussion. Clarity of presentation is important, and therefore, poorly written text will earn a lower grade.

            Graduate student will have 10% of their grade in the form of problem sets in the population genetics portion of the course. The problem sets do not require "higher math" skills. Problem sets will be assigned on a weekly basis during this section of the course.  Each problem must be worked out completely to receive full credit. Undergraduate students can also do these problem sets for extra credit.  It is advisable that all students study these problems, since ones like these will be on the course final.

Literature Searches

            Both papers require references and discussion of 3 (or more) experimental papers related to the topic under discussion.  This will require some level of literature search.  The easiest ways to conduct this type of research are to use either the Science Citation Index or the Biological Abstracts (both are on the Ohio Link web site).  Both are quite useful, with SCI allowing searches from an identified, informative paper, and both the SCI and Biological Abstracts for the search capabilities on keywords.  For tutorials on the use of the Biological Abstracts and/or SCI, contact Christen Cardina (972-6192) in the Science Library on campus.

            I will also be available to "consult" on a topic, and will gladly point you to one or more papers, if I know of them.

Computer Lab Access

            All students in this course will be automatically assigned access to the Biology Department's computer lab (ASC 282).  If you are not signed up on the “official” class roster, make sure you get me your name and ID# so that I can sign you up on the computer list.  Lab hours are M-F 8-5 pm.  You can gain access to the facility using your Zip card.  If your card is not correctly encoded, the computer lab door will not unlock.  This means you need to go to the zip card office (in the Student Center) and check that your card is properly encoded (it takes about 30 seconds).  If your card is encoded, but the locking systems people haven't gotten your name on their list yet (they sometimes make mistakes), you need to speak with Dr. Peter Lavrentyev, and he will try to get the locking systems people to fix the problem.

            Computer lab access will allow access to the multimedia presentations that you see in class.  Thus, if you wish to review a lecture or two, or (heaven forbid) if you miss a lecture, you can see all of them in the lab. 

Policy on Academic Dishonesty

            Diana Hacker writes, "To borrow another writer's language or ideas without proper acknowledgment is a form of dishonesty known as plagiarism" (1997. A Pocket Style Manual, 2nd Edition.  Bedford Books, Boston, p. 91).  The University of Akron regards plagiarism as a grave academic offense, and it will not be tolerated.  You will be guilty of committing plagiarism if you use, without proper acknowledgment, paragraphs, single sentences, clauses, or ideas of others, regardless of the source (scientific publications, books, pamphlets, newspapers or newsletters, commercial "term paper" services, electronic media [such as information on the Internet, CD-ROM's, commercial or non-commercial floppy disks, etc.], papers previous students have submitted for this or other courses, and the like).  See the appendix at the end of this syllabus for examples of plagiarism and how to avoid such plagiarism.  If you have any questions about what constitutes plagiarism, be sure to inquire before submitting your papers!

            If you are found to have committed plagiarism or are caught cheating on any graded portion of this class, you will be reprimanded to the full extent outlined in the student handbook.  This includes one of the following actions: reduction of course grade, disciplinary probation, suspension, or outright dismissal from the University.

Make-up Policy for Missing a Test

            The University of Akron only allows make-ups on tests when a student is sick or has a major accident, or if there is a death in the immediate family.  Under these circumstances, a make-up exam will be issued after the student is able to attend class again.  For the make-up test to be issued, the student must have some documentation available to prove that one of the above misfortunes has occurred.  No exceptions for making up tests will be allowed.
 

Other useful Population Biology Texts (all are available in the Sci. Library):

Population Ecology

Wohrmann, K. and S.K. Jain. 1990. Population biology : ecological and evolutionary viewpoints

Maynard Smith, J. 1989. Evolutionary Genetics.

Begon M., and M. Mortimer. 1981. Population ecology : a unified study of animals and plants.

Harper, J. L. 1977. Population biology of plants

Population Genetics

Real, L. A. 1994. Ecological genetics.

Hartl, D. L. and A. G. Clark. 1989. Principles of population genetics.

Maynard Smith, J. 1989. Evolutionary Genetics

Spiess, E. B. 1989. Genes in populations.

Mettler, L. E., T. G. Gregg, and H. E. Schaffer. 1988. Population genetics and evolution.

Wallace, B. 1981. Basic population genetics.

Instructor: Dr. Steve Weeks, Professor. Office hrs: M/W 11:00 - 12:00 in Auburn Rm. 581. If you cannot make either of the above times, you may be able to schedule an alternate time by appointment. Phone: 972-7156.

Final is on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2004 from 12:00pm-1:55pm


APPENDIX A - PLAGIARISM

 

We investigated the dynamics of adaptation of the unicellular chlorophyte Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to new and hostile conditions of growth provided by novel carbon substrates in the dark. The experiment was designed to contrast perennially asexual lines with lines that had experienced one or more sexual episodes. All lines were capable of adapting to the novel environment. The sexual lines, however, showed greater adaptation over the course of the experiment, especially in more complex environments. Moreover, the effect of sex on adaptation increased with the number of successive sexual episodes.

Oliver & Graham, 2002, pg. 1743

Good Summary in One’s Own Words (i.e., NO plagiarism):

In asexual and sexual lines of a green alga (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii), sexual reproduction was found to increase the ability of the unicellular alga to adapt to a novel environment, relative to the asexual forms (Oliver and Graham, 2002).  The relative benefits of sexual reproduction were more evident in more complex environments.

Plagiarism 1–Completely taking another’s writing word-for-word (Outlined in underline above):

Oliver & Graham (2002) investigated the dynamics of adaptation of the unicellular chlorophyte Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to new and hostile conditions of growth provided by novel carbon substrates in the dark. The experiment was designed to contrast perennially asexual lines with lines that had experienced one or more sexual episodes. All lines were capable of adapting to the novel environment. The sexual lines, however, showed greater adaptation over the course of the experiment, especially in more complex environments. Moreover, the effect of sex on adaptation increased with the number of successive sexual episodes.

To make this “non-plaigerized” –

Oliver & Graham (2002) “investigated the dynamics of adaptation of the unicellular chlorophyte Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to new and hostile conditions of growth provided by novel carbon substrates in the dark. The experiment was designed to contrast perennially asexual lines with lines that had experienced one or more sexual episodes. All lines were capable of adapting to the novel environment. The sexual lines, however, showed greater adaptation over the course of the experiment, especially in more complex environments. Moreover, the effect of sex on adaptation increased with the number of successive sexual episodes” (pg. 1743).

Plagiarism 2-Cutting and pasting large sections of other’s work (Outlined in bold above):

Oliver and Graham (2002) investigated the dynamics of adaptation of the unicellular chlorophyte Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to new and hostile conditions to contrast perennially asexual lines with lines that had experienced one or more sexual episodes.

To make this “non-plaigerized” –

Oliver and Graham (2002) “investigated the dynamics of adaptation of the unicellular chlorophyte Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to new and hostile conditions…to contrast perennially asexual lines with lines that had experienced one or more sexual episodes” (pg. 1743).

Plagiarism 3-Mixing other’s work in between one’s own words (Outlined in italics above):

In asexual and sexual lines of a green alga (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii), the sexual lines showed greater adaptation over the course of the experiment, being able to adapt to a novel environment, relative to the asexual forms (Oliver and Graham, 2002).  The relative benefits of sexual reproduction increased with the number of successive sexual episodes, especially in more complex environments.

To make this “non-plagiarized” –

In asexual and sexual lines of a green alga (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii), “the sexual lines…showed greater adaptation over the course of the experiment” (Oliver and Graham, 2002, pg. 1743), being able to adapt to a novel environment, relative to the asexual forms.  The relative benefits of sexual reproduction “increased with the number of successive sexual episodes” (Oliver and Graham, 2002, pg. 1743), “especially in more complex environments” (Oliver and Graham, 2002, pg. 1743).

                                                                                                  

The BEST of the above cases is the summary in one’s own words!  If you can’t do that, then the various “non-plagiarized” versions MUST BE STRICTLY ADHERED TO!  If not, you will be caught and you will receive a score of ZERO on your paper, as a MINIMUM punishment for the plagiarism.  More serious cases will be referred to the University’s student conduct board for possible additional punishment (which could include expulsion from the University).

 

 



Last Updated : 7/21/2004

E-mail address : SCWeeks@uakron.edu.