Tuesday-Thursday 12:30-2PM, Welch 2.304
Instructors: Eric R. Pianka (Prof.) and Scott Solomon (T. A.)
Email Addresses: Eric R. Pianka (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Scott Solomon (email@example.com)
Office Hours: Eric (PAT 125, Tue-Wed 2-3)
or by appointment (471-7472 or email)
Scott (PAT 642, Tuesdsay 2-3)
or by appointment (471-7619 or by email)
Text: Pianka, Evolutionary Ecology, 6th ed., (read pp. 1-14, 110-174)
Student Evaluations of some past 357 classes
Suggested Additional Reading:
Case, An Illustrated Guide to Theoretical Ecology (read pp. 79-100)
Ginzburg and Golenberg, Lectures in Theoretical Population Biology
(read pp. 1-5 and 193-219)
Gotelli, A Primer of Ecology (read pp. 2-85)
Exams: Three in-class exams during the semester (only the best two will be counted) plus one comprehensive final, scheduled as follows:
First Exam: Thursday, 19 September 2002
Second Exam: Thursday, 24 October 2002
Third Exam: Thursday, 5 December 2002
Final Exam: Tuesday, 11 December 2002, 7-10 PM
Download sample first exam
Download sample second exam
Download sample third exam
How to get straight A's
Your lowest hour exam will be thrown out (no "make up" exams!)
Your best two exams will each count 25% of your course letter grade.
The comprehensive Final will count as 50% of your course grade.
Course Outline, Biology 357: Evolutionary Ecology
Scaling and the hierarchical structure of biology, levels of approach in biology, domain of ecology, definitions and ground work; anthropocentrism, the importance of wild organisms in pristine natural environments, the urgency of basic ecological research; scientific methodology; models; multiple causality; limiting factors, tolerance limits, the principle of allocation; natural selection, self-replicating molecular assemblages; units of selection.
Principles of Population Ecology
Life tables and schedules of reproduction; net reproductive rate and reproductive value; stable age distribution; Leslie matrices; intrinsic rate of increase; evolution of reproductive tactics; avian clutch size; evolution of old age and death rates; population growth and regulation -- Pearl-Verhulst logistic equation; density dependence and independence; r and K selection; population "cycles," cause and effect; use of space (vagility, home range, territoriality, foraging tactics); evolution of sex; sex ratio; mating systems; sexual selection; fitness and the individual's status in the population; kin selection, reciprocal altruism, parent-offspring conflict.
Interactions Between Populations
Parasitism, Commensalism, Mutualisms, etc.; Direct versus indirect and complex population interactions. Competition and Niche Theory: Lotka-Volterra equations and competition theory; diffuse competition; niche overlap and competition; niche dimensionality; niche breadth (specialization versus generalization); evolutionary consequences; laboratory and field experiments; other evidence from nature; future prospects. Predation: Theory; predator-prey oscillations; aspect diversity; "prudent" predation and optimal yield; evolutionary consequences; predator escape tactics; adaptive coloration; mimicry; warning calls; coevolution; plant-herbivore interactions and plant-apparency theory; selected other observations and experiments.
The Role of Phylogenetics in Ecology
Phylogenetic systematics, independent contrasts, the comparative method, evolutionary ecomorphology
Macrodescriptors; compartmentation in communities (trophic levels, guild structure, and food webs); connectance; pyramids of numbers, biomass, and energy; energy flow and ecological energetics; secondary succession and transition matrices; community matrix; saturation with individuals and with species; species diversity; diversity of lowland rainforest trees; community stability; chaotic attractors; evolutionary convergence and ecological equivalents; evolution of communities; pseudo-communities.
Island Biogeography and Conservation Biology
Classical biogeography; biogeographic "rules;" continental drift; island biogeography; species-area relationships; equilibrium theory; compression hypothesis; islands as ecological experiments: Krakatau, Darwin's finches, Hawaiian Drosophilidae, other examples; metapopulations, conservation biology, human impacts on natural ecosystems, hot spots of biodiversity, applied biogeography and the design of nature preserves.