Instructors: Mary Kuhner and Peter Beerli
Time and location: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:30-12:20 HSB J-280
News about the course
- Office hours for Winter, 2001 are 1:30-2:30 Tuesday in K-121A Health Sciences.
- Preliminary Summary for Friday January 5 is up, and available
in the summaries section.
Description from the UW Course Catalog
GENET 453 Genetics of the Evolutionary Process (3) NW Felsenstein
Contributions of genetics to the understanding of evolution. Processes of mutation, selection, and random genetic events as they affect the genetic architecture of natural populations and the process of speciation. Emphasis on experimental data and observation, rather than mathematical theory. Prerequisite: either GENET 371 or GENET 372.
Instructor Course Description:
Mary Kuhner and Peter Beerli
Why don't we have a textbook?
(We know it makes everyone insecure, but at the graduate level it is
standard not to have a textbook. If you go to grad school you'll have to
get used to it.) We are trying to compensate by handing out lecture
What are some other related courses?
- Biology 454 (Evolutionary Mechanisms)
- The main evolution course at the University, taught yearly by
Joel Kingsolver (Zoology Department) and Doug Schemske (Botany Department).
Both are well-known researchers in evolutionary biology. Text in past
has been Futuyma's "Evolutionary Biology" or Ridley's "Evolution".
This year it is Freeman and Herron's "Evolutionary Analysis".
What is the difference between Genetics 453 and Biology 454?
Biology 454 is a fine course with a somewhat different emphasis. It is
more oriented to covering issue such as evolutionary ecology, speciation,
fossil record, and so on, while we spend more time than they do on
genetic effects -- particularly molecular evolution, chromosome evolution,
and population genetics. There is some substantial overlap.
- Zoology 414 (Molecular Evolution)
- Molecular evolution course by Scott Edwards, who is an active
researcher in that area. Texts last time were Li and Graur "Fundamentals of
Molecular Evolution" and Avise "Molecular Markers". Winter quarter.
- Genetics 562 (Population Genetics)
- A course given every other year by Joe Felsenstein.
This is a graduate theoretical
evolutionary genetics course. Lots of equations, though
mostly at a low mathematical level. No pictures of cute furry animals.
Next time it's given will be Spring, 2001. Text: notes, sold
inexpensively by ASUW Publications in the HUB.
- Genetics 570 (Phylogenetic Inference)
- This is a
graduate-level course on evolutionary trees taught by Joe Felsenstein.
Methods for inferring
phylogenies, and methods for doing things with them. Some background
in statistics necessary. It will be given every other
Spring (next time is Spring 2002).
- There are more courses and we will gradually try to put descriptions of
What are some Internet resources on evolutionary biology?
There are many:
Some brief descriptions of some of the major ones covering evolution:
- Discussion of systematics, including phylogeny and classification.
Most postings are serious discussions by researchers. Some percentage
of them are semantic issues or legalistic discussions of taxon names.
There is often an endless thread about cladistic versus evolutionary-systematic
approaches to classification.
- Discussion among researchers about molecular evolution. Low
volume, high quality. Co-moderated by Jerry Learn of our Micro Department.
- Tends to be filled with postings by fossil enthusiasts and
tends to be dinosaur-centered. Some creation/evolution debating too.
- Supposed to be the forum for discussion by population biologists. But
they don't post much there. Occasionally someone sees the "population"
in the group title and starts a discussion of human overpopulation issues,
which are best discussed elsewhere. This helps ensure that real population
biologists will continue to avoid the group.
- Moderated by Josh Hayes, formerly of our own Center for Quantitative Sciences, who
should get some sort of award for putting up with a lot of nonsense.
I think it was intended as a forum for discussion among researchers, but has
tended to be filled with postings by others about whether humans are still evolving
(answer: yes, but it's extremely slow compared to cultural change) and
whether laughter is selectively advantageous. Not intended for
evolution/creation debates: Josh screens these out.
- The arena for endless debate between creationists and others, with
frequent digressions into theology. Extremely high noise to signal ratio.
When a decisive point is made, the opponent changes the subject or just
refuses to respond.
World Wide Web Pages
- The amazing Tree of Life , a phylogeny of all life, in the
making. A professional data base system of systematics, in effect.
- TreeBASE, a database of evolutionary trees (phylogenies)
from the scientific literature. Mostly contains angiosperm plants now, and
badly suffers from not being effectively updated.
- EP-GED the Evolution and Population-Genetics Educational Database,
pages maintained by Patrick Phillips at the University of Texas at Arlington
which have many links to people, departments, software, etc in evolutionary
- Joe Felsenstein's
PHYLIP free package of computer programs for inferring phylogenies.
Includes some web pages on all possible phylogeny programs and how to get
- Our own package
LAMARC free package of computer programs for inferring population parameters, such as
population size, population growth, recombination, and migration rates.
University of California Museum of Paleontology
pages, which include a substantial evolution and phylogeny section. This is
a sort of "virtual museum".
- Our own Burke Museum has a
Vertebrate Paleontology Page that leads on to many images of vertebrate
- PB maintains a site about
Water frogs with information about their phylogeny and ecology.
- Want some DNA or protein sequences? How about getting them from the
international database? Try the Web pages of the databases at the
NCBI, the National Center for Biotechnology Information of the National
Library of Medicine, in Bethesda, Maryland. Not for the faint-hearted.
- The journal
Systematic Biology is the major journal of systematics.
These are the Web pages of the Society of Systematic Biology, which publishes
the journal. Its pages
include tables of contents with abstracts of many papers.
talk.origins Evolution FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).
- The Harvard Biopages evolution page, with lots of links to other
This page was originally created by Joe Felsenstein (who gave this course until Winter 2000) and now modified
by Peter Beerli