Biology 241: Evolutionary Biology

Instructors: Jacobus de Roode

Content: This undergraduate course is aimed at providing a firm understanding of evolutionary theory and its applications to other fields of biology and medicine. Topics include adaptation and natural selection, sexual selection and the evolution of sex, the evolution of conflict and cooperation, population genetics, speciation, the evolution of life, human evolution and the evolution of disease. The emphasis is on understanding and applying current theories and interpretation of scientific data.

Class format: Lectures on Tuesdays and Thursdays, discussion sections on Mondays.

· Freeman, Scott and Jon C. Herron. Evolutionary Analysis, 4th Edition. (Prentice-Hall)
· Dawkins, Richard. The Selfish Gene.

Assessment: Exams, writing assignments and discussion participation. Discussion of current and classic literature and group presentations are required. Class meets in small groups on Mondays (in different rooms). This class fulfills the Column C requirement for the Biology major.

Prerequisites: Biology 141 and 142.

Course schedule and syllabus: See the Biology Department's course schedule for details on scheduling.


Biology 260: Insect Biology

Instructors: Jacobus de Roode

Content: Insects form one of the most diverse abundant animal groups on earth, with some estimates indicating that there are no fewer than 800,000 species of beetle alone. Entomology is the branch of biology that studies insects and related arthropods such as spiders, ticks, millipedes and woodlice. This course will provide an introduction to the study of entomology, by addressing questions such as: what makes an insect, how do insects develop and how does an understanding of entomology help combat human disease and ensure food security? Topics will further include insect behavior, insect ecology and insect evolution. The course is a combination of lectures, labs and field work, and a major goal is to develop the ability to distinguish between the major orders (e.g. butterflies vs beetles) and subgroups (e.g. bees vs. wasps) of insects.

Class format: The class is a mix of lectures, labs, field work, student-led presentations and development of an insect collection. Lectures 9.00-12.00, labs 2.00-4.00 Mo-Tu-We-Th-Fr.

· The Insects: an Outline of Entomology, Gullan & Cranston, 4th edition, Wiley-Blackwell
· A Field Guide of Insects America North of Mexico (Peterson Field Guides), Borror and White, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Assessment: Participation, insect id exam, poster production, oral presentation. This class fulfills the upper level lab requirement for the Biology and Environmental sciences majors.

Prerequisites: Biology 142 or Biology 240.

Course schedule and syllabus: See the Biology Department's course schedule and Emory College Summer programs' Maymester for details on scheduling.


IBS 595: Ecology

Instructors: Jacobus de Roode (course director), Nicole Gerardo, Berry Brosi, Chris Beck

Content: This graduate course is aimed at providing a firm understanding of ecological theory as well as the methods to study ecological questions in scientific research. Topics include population growth, species interactions, community ecology, biodiversity, experimental design and statistical analysis.

Class format: The class is a mix of lectures, discussion sections and computer labs, most of them using the package R.

Texts: See syllabus.

Assessment: A number of written assignments.

Prerequisites: An understanding of basic ecology.

Course schedule and syllabus: Fall semester of odd years. A syllabus for the Fall 2011 semester is available here.



  Happy Halloween! Jaap displaying a greeting card produced by PBEE Dave Gruenwald. The image is produced entirely in R, using code snippets from various ecological models taught in our IBS 595 class.