BIOL 0380 -- Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease (Fall term each year). In this course we will (1) survey the diverse biology of microbes responsible for human infectious disease, (2) develop and apply ecological and evolutionary theory to infectious microbes, (3) provide practical experience interpreting and synthesizing the peer-reviewed scientific literature, and (4) provide exposure to recent biotechnological advances. Weekly student presentations of published papers from a reading list will be complemented with lectures covering the discovery of infectious microbes, the role of genetic novelty, population structure and transmission mode, and the influence of clinical therapies and host immune response. Expected: BIOL 0200 or equivalent.
BIOL 1430 -- Computational Theory of Molecular Evolution: Population Genetics (Fall term in odd-numbered years). Population genetics is the study of how biological processes such as mutation, natural selection, population size, and subdivision drive evolution over the timescale of generations. The past 20 years have seen a flowering in our understanding of this process from both theoretical and experimental perspectives. This course will present a thorough yet rigorous introduction to modern population genetics, with particular emphasis on the complementary interplay between theory and experiment. Students will also gain extensive experience with the primary literature of the field. Prerequisites: MATH 0100 and one of BIOL 0470 or 0480, or permission. LILE.
BIOL 1950/1960/2980 -- Directed Research/Independent Study/Graduate Independent Study. I am actively seeking highly motivated undergraduate and fifth-year masters students with interests in theoretical or experimental evolutionary genetics. Click on the RESEARCH tab at left to learn more about ongoing work in the lab.
BIOL 0370 -- Experimental Evolution: Seeing Darwin in Real Time (Fall 2014 only) It is generally difficult to rigorously study evolution by natural selection because it acts across thousands of generations and in varying environments. Studying laboratory populations of short-lived organisms overcomes both challenges. This course will survey the field of experimental evolution, develop and apply ecological and evolutionary theory, and interpret and synthesize the peer-reviewed literature. Students will evolve bacteria to increased environmental stress resistance in complementary labs. Evaluation will be based on participation, student-led discussion, weekly written assignments, a midterm and final. Expected: BIOL 0200 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 25 first year students and sophomores. Instructor permission required. LILE.
BIOL 2440 S06 -- Grad Seminar "Beyond Classical Population Genetics. (Spring 2013 only) My own training in theoretical microevolution has been dominated by the classical population genetics textbooks of Crow and Kimura, Hartl and Clark, and the like. This seminar course will explore other traditions. Students will be expected to regularly lead discussions and to be active, prepared members of the classroom. Motivated students from all backgrounds and of all levels from advanced undergraduate to faculty are welcome to participate.