EEB323 Evolutionary Genetics Syllabus

University of Toronto, Fall 2015

About This Course

This course is intended for students with a serious interest in the study of evolutionary biology. Because of the importance of evolution to all biological disciplines, this course has not been restricted to those students specializing in evolution. Nonetheless, this course is taught at a high level and is intended to provide a firm and rigorous foundation for those continuing in this subject. As genes are the substrate of evolutionary change, much of this course will focus on evolutionary genetics, i.e., how and why alleles change in frequency and our ability to detect such changes. (A follow-up course, EEB 324 Evolutionary Ecology, focuses more on changes in phenotypes as driven through the interaction between phenotype and environment.) Evolutionary biology, more so than any other biological discipline, is built upon a strong mathematical foundation. Students will be exposed to this mathematical theory and be expected to learn the basics elements of it. The theoretical framework allows us to quantify the importance of different evolutionary forces and make predictions that can be examined empirically. Students will learn how molecular data is used to test patterns predicted by evolutionary theory.