Biology Major: Ecology and Evolution
As a biology major in the ecology and evolution track, you will study the vital processes of all organisms and the environments in which they flourish. The ecology and evolution track focuses on the relations of organisms with each other and their physical surroundings and how those relations are shaped and changed over time.
This course examines animal behavior from an evolutionary perspective and explores the relationships between animal behavior, ecology, and evolution. Topics include foraging behavior, mating systems, sexual selection, predator-prey relationships, cooperation and altruism, competition and parental care.
This course explores the costs, benefits and constraints that drive the evolution of animal behavior. It is divided into four modules: a brief overview of basic statistics, a lab on agonistic behavior, a lab on animal communication, and a lab on sexual selection by female choice. Laboratory modules are hands-on and student driven. They begin with an overview of relevant literature and a discussion of key questions that have been addressed experimentally in that field. Students are then encouraged to apply these concepts into the design, execution, and analysis of a research project aimed at answering a question of their own choosing through the use of house crickets as a study system. A majority of class time is devoted to active learning through the collection and analysis of data (each lab module lasts 4 weeks). In addition, the course includes weekly presentations by the instructor and class discussions on topics that help place the students' work into the broader context of evolutionary theory.
our students have gone on to become: