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Ecology & Evolution, Biology 301-001
Spring 2010
Schedule: Tuesday & Thursday, 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm; Room CLS 005
Instructor: Bob Friedman; EWS 601; 777-0655; [email protected]
Office Hours: Tuesday & Thursday: after class
Required Texts: The Economy of Nature, 6th Edition, by R. Ricklefs
The Beak of the Finch by J. Weiner
Course objectives:
Biology 301 is a lecture course on ecology and evolutionary biology. The topics are mainly
organized into three areas: population ecology, population interactions, and population genetics. By
study of the first two areas, an objective is a general understanding of population dynamics, including
population regulation, competition, and predation. Another goal is to provide an overview of
communities and ecosystems. The final goal is to introduce basic population genetics theory, but this
part also includes the mechanisms of biological speciation and interpretation of evolutionary trees.
Along with learning concepts, an emphasis will be on developing skills at reading and constructing
graphs. Graphs visually summarize data and provide a way to describe biological processes.
Course expectations:
 Read assigned readings before class, attend class, and take notes.
 Proficient at routine arithmetic and basic algebra.
 Using BlackBoard for tasks such as checking announcements, uploading completed assignments,
downloading final exam, and viewing grades.
 Bring a pencil to exams. Arrive on time; no one will be admitted to the exam after the first
person has left the room. Exams will include material from class lectures, reading assignments,
and homework.
 Students are responsible for calculating their total points and letter grade for this course.
 Students are responsible for uploading assignments to BlackBoard and verifying these
assignments were uploaded. An assignment will not be accepted after one week past its due
The course grade will be calculated based upon the following:
30 points
Homework / Attendance / Use of BlackBoard
90 points
Exam #1
90 points
Exam #2
90 points
Exam #3
60 points
Final Exam (take-home)
The total points sum to 360. The final letter grade will likely be calculated as follows:
A  324; B+ 310-323; B 288-309; C+ 273-287; C 252-272; D+ 237-251; D 216-236; F  215
Without Final Exam, the total points sum to 300. The final letter grade would then be:
A  270; B+ 258-269; B 240-257; C+ 228-239; C 210-227; D+ 198-209; D 180-197; F  179
Once the final grade distribution is calculated, there will be no adjustments for borderline grades.
Also, there are no extra credit assignments in this course.
Classroom policies
 Students engaged in disruptive behavior may be asked to leave. This includes, but is not limited
to, ringing cell phones, texting, and talking to classmates during lecture.
Practicing the highest standards of academic integrity. Any deviation from this expectation may
result in failing the assignment and referral to the Office of Academic Integrity.
Questions about an exam score must be submitted in writing within one week of being graded.
Please be aware that make-up exams will not usually be allowed.
If arriving late, please enter the room quietly.
If possible, ask questions during or after class rather than e-mail messaging. Do not wait until a
day before the exam to ask questions about a study guide.
Student Success Center Tutoring Program provides free academic assistance to USC students.
More information is available at:; or call 777-0684.
Jan 12
Jan 14
Jan 19
Jan 21
Jan 26
Jan 28
Feb 2
Feb 4
Feb 9
Feb 11
Feb 16
Feb 18
Feb 23
Feb 25
Mar 2
Mar 4
Mar 9
Mar 11
Mar 16
Mar 18
Mar 23
Mar 25
Mar 30
Apr 1
Apr 6
Apr 8
Apr 13
Apr 15
Apr 20
Apr 22
Apr 30 (Fri)
Introduction to ecology & evolution
Population structure I
Population structure II
Population growth
Age-structured populations
Population regulation I
Population regulation II / Review
Exam I
Introduction to evolution *
Evolution II
(Feb 22 is last day to drop course)
Beak of the Finch discussion
Beak of the Finch discussion
Beak of the Finch discussion
Beak of the Finch discussion
Spring Break, No Class
Spring Break, No Class
Population genetics I
Population genetics II
Phylogenetics I
Phylogenetics II / Review
Exam II
Species Interactions I *
Species Interactions II
Predator-Prey Interactions
Biodiversity / Review
Exam III
Final Exam (uploaded to BlackBoard)
Chapter 1
Ch. 2, 3, 4
Ch. 10
Ch. 10
Ch. 11
Ch. 11
Ch. 11
Ch. 11
Ch. 6
Ch. 6, 21
Ch. 17 (pp. 359-360)
Beak, Ch. 1-4
Beak, Ch. 1-4
Beak, Ch. 5-10
Beak, Ch. 5-10
Ch. 13
Ch. 13
Ch. 17 (pp. 363-366)
Ch. 16
Ch. 16
Ch. 15
Ch. 18
Ch. 22
Ch. 20