Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior

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This course presents the principles of evolution, ecology, and behavior for students beginning their study of biology and of the environment. It discusses major ideas and results in a manner accessible to all Yale College undergraduates. Recent advances have energized these fields with results that have implications well beyond their boundaries: ideas, mechanisms, and processes that should form part of the toolkit of all biologists and educated citizens.

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Natural Selection
Transmission Genetics
Neutral Evolution
Evolution of Sex
Genomic Conflict


Lecture 1 The Nature of Evolution: Selection, Inheritance, and History

Lecture 2 Basic Transmission Genetics

Lecture 3 Adaptive Evolution: Natural Selection

Lecture 4 Neutral Evolution: Genetic Drift

Lecture 5 How Selection Changes the Genetic Composition of Population

Lecture 6 The Origin and Maintenance of Genetic Variation

Lecture 7 The Importance of Development in Evolution

Lecture 8 The Expression of Variation: Reaction Norms

Lecture 9 The Evolution of Sex

Lecture 10 Genomic Conflict

Lecture 11 Life History Evolution

Lecture 12 Sex Allocation

Lecture 13 Sexual Selection

Lecture 14 Species and Speciation

Lecture 15 Phylogeny and Systematics

Lecture 16 Comparative Methods: Trees, Maps, and Traits

Lecture 17 Key Events in Evolution

Lecture 18 Major Events in the Geological Theatre

Lecture 19 The Fossil Record and Life's History

Lecture 20 Coevolution

Lecture 21 Evolutionary Medicine

Exam 1 Midterm Exam 1

Lecture 22 The Impact of Evolutionary Thought on the Social Sciences

Lecture 23 The Logic of Science

Lecture 24 Climate and the Distribution of Life on Earth

Lecture 25 Interactions with the Physical Environment

Lecture 26 Population Growth: Density Effects

Lecture 27 Interspecific Competition

Lecture 28 Ecological Communities

Lecture 29 Island Biogeography and Invasive Species

Lecture 30 Energy and Matter in Ecosystems

Lecture 31 Why So Many Species? The Factors Affecting Biodiversity

Lecture 32 Economic Decisions for the Foraging Individua

lLecture 33 Evolutionary Game Theory: Fighting and Contests

Lecture 34 Mating Systems and Parental Care

Lecture 35 Alternative Breeding Strategies

Lecture 36 Selfishness and Altruism

Exam 2 Midterm Exam 2