Evolutionary Biology (Life Sciences 3500) — Fall 2013

Class meetings: Agriculture Building 41, 9:35–10:50 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday
Syllabus: pdf version of syllabus
Professor: Alex Buerkle (email)
Teaching Assistant: Monia Haselhorst (email)


  • Handouts for Tuesday and Thursday of final week of the semester:
    1. Tuesday – Questions associated with Jiggins et al. 2010
    2. Thursday – Questions associated with Chapter 20 on Human Evolution
  • We used Populus computer simulations for: (i) deterministic models of selection and (ii) models that combined selection with the random effects of genetic drift.
  • The results from the paper Genetics mirrors geography within Europe (Novembre et al. 2008) have come up in multiple lectures. The figure we discussed is below (click for full resolution) and the full paper is here.
  • In fall 2013 Wyoming will be deciding whether to adopt new science standards developed by a consortium of 26 other states. A description of the standards and the process of their development can be found at Next Generation Science Standards. This relates to our reading about current Wyoming Science Standards (12 Sept. 2013).

Examples from the literature

Use one or both of the following databases to search for scientific articles that provide examples to accompany our studies.



Evolutionary Analysis (4th edition) by Scott Freeman and Jon C. Herron (ISBN: 0-1322-7584-8).
Note: if you are buying this book somewhere other than the bookstore, be sure to get the 4th edition (the 5th edition was just published in August 2013).

From the primary literature

Some of these links are to copyrighted material to which the university has a subscription. It is easiest to access these from a computer within the university network, where the direct links will work. Alternatively, if you are off-campus, you can navigate to the journal article through the university library (search). All links are to pdf files that are suitable for printing with Adobe Reader.

  1. Burke, M., J. P. Dunham, P. Shahrestani, K. R. Thornton, M. R. Rose & A. D. Long. 2010. Genome-wide analysis of a long-term evolution experiment with Drosophila. Nature 467: 587–590.
  2. Jiggins, C.D., Naisbit, R.E., Coe, R.L. and J. Mallet. 2001. Reproductive isolation caused by colour pattern mimicry. Nature 411: 302–305. (Questions associated with reading)
  3. Lenner et al. 2012. The State of State Science Standards. Thomas Fordham Institute. (read assessment of WY standards on p. 198–200). Link to full report, including full pdf.
  4. Mead, L. S. and A. Mates. 2009. Why science standards are important to strong science curriculum and how states measure up. Evolution: Education and Outreach 2: 359–371.
  5. Stolz, U. et al. 2003. Darwinian natural selection for orange bioluminescent color in a Jamaican click beetle. PNAS 100: 14955–14959. (Questions to accompany reading)
  6. Wyoming State Board of Education. 2008. Wyoming science content and performance standards.