Recommended prerequisites: BIOLOGY 171 or equivalent (e.g. BIOLOGY 195), two college-level courses in biology, or permission of instructor.
Satisfies requirements for: BS, NS, EEB field course, Biology majors Lab, PitE practical experience.
Meets: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Instructor: André Green
Organismal form and function result not only from instructions encoded within the genome, but also from environmental context. In this course, we will examine how abiotic (e.g. temperature, nutrition) and biotic (e.g. species interactions) environmental contexts shape organismal development, how these ‘interactions’ are encoded in and interpreted by genomes, and how this encoding influences how organisms evolve on a dynamic planet. This is the emerging field of ecological evolutionary developmental biology or "eco-evo-devo."
This integrated classroom-lab-field course will introduce the foundational principles of eco-evo-devo (e.g. phenotypic plasticity, developmental symbiosis, genetic assimilation andaccommodation, etc.) through the lens of genetics. Discussions and readings will examinemajor concepts and explore contemporary controversies in the field.
In a hybrid lab-fieldresearch project, we will use cutting edge molecular genetics techniques (including CRISPR) to illustrate fundamental concepts in eco-evo-devo while leveraging the remarkable biodiversity at UMBS.
A primary goal for this research experience is to introduce you to research and equip you with sufficient training to confidently enter research labs in a variety of fields (e.g. EEB, MCDB, biomedicine, etc.).
The learning goals for the course include the following:
- Demonstrate understanding of foundational eco-evo-devo concepts
- Apply critical thinking skills to a scientific question
- Develop analytical skills to quantify and analyze phenotypic data
- Communicate results of scientific investigation (journal-style article on results)
- Gain practical skills for joining the scientific workforce
I like...getting to go out in the field and do the lab work and then see how it relates to what we are doing in class. -2022 student