Course content

0h43m

1. The Nature of Evolution: Selection, Inheritance, and History

Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

The lecture presents an overview of evolutionary biology and its two major components, microevolution and macroevolution. The idea of evolution goes back before Darwin, although Darwin thought of natural selection. Evolution is driven by natural selection, the correlation between organism traits and reproductive success, as well as random drift. The history of life goes back approximately 3.7 billion years to a common ancestor, and is marked with key events that affect all life.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction
03:22 - Chapter 2. History of Evolutionary Studies
15:59 - Chapter 3. Conditions for Natural Selection
21:25 - Chapter 4. The Power of Selection and Adaptation
27:09 - Chapter 5. Drift
31:10 - Chapter 6. History of Life
39:33 - Chapter 7. Conclusion

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.

0h44m

2. Basic Transmission Genetics

Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

Genetic transmission is the mechanism that drives evolution. DNA encodes all the information necessary to make an organism. Every organism's DNA is made of the same basic parts, arranged in different orders. DNA is divided into chromosomes, or groups of genes, which code for proteins. Asexually reproducing organisms reproduce using mitosis, while sexually reproducing organisms reproduce using meiosis. Both these mechanisms involve duplication of DNA, which then gets passed to offspring. RNA is a key component in the duplication of DNA.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction
01:29 - Chapter 2. Structure of DNA and Genetic Material
12:51 - Chapter 3. DNA Replication and Its Implications
25:56 - Chapter 4. Mendel's Laws
33:08 - Chapter 5. Mutations and Their Consequences

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.

0h45m

3. Adaptive Evolution: Natural Selection

Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

Adaptive Evolution is driven by natural selection. Natural selection is not "survival of the fittest," but rather "reproduction of the fittest." Evolution can occur at many different speeds based on the strength of the selection driving it. These types of selection can result in directional, stabilizing, and disruptive outcomes. They can be driven by frequency-dependent selection and sexual selection, in addition to more standard types of selection.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction
02:36 - Chapter 2. Strength of Selection and the Speed of Evolution
24:06 - Chapter 3. Why Evolution Can Be Slow
30:50 - Chapter 4. Types of Selection
42:01 - Chapter 5. Large Scale Selection

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.

0h44m

4. Neutral Evolution: Genetic Drift

Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

Neutral evolution occurs when genes do not experience natural selection because they have no effect on reproductive success. Neutrality arises when mutations in an organism's genotype cause no change in its phenotype, or when changes in the genotype bring about changes in the phenotype that do not affect reproductive success. Because neutral genes do not change in any particular direction over time and simply "drift," thanks in part to the randomness of meiosis, they can be used as a sort of molecular clock to determine common ancestors or places in the phylogenetic tree of life.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction
04:56 - Chapter 2. Genes and Amino Acid Changes Not Reflected in Phenotypes
14:29 - Chapter 3. Neutral Evolution in the History of Life
20:38 - Chapter 4. Mechanisms of Neutral or Random Evolution
35:28 - Chapter 5. The Molecular Clock of Neutral Evolution

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yal

0h49m

5. How Selection Changes the Genetic Composition of Population

Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

Genetics controls evolution. There are four major genetic systems, which are combinations of sexual/asexual and haploid/diploid. In all genetic systems, adaptive genetic change tends to start out slow, accelerate in the middle, and occur slowly at the end. Asexual haploids can change the fastest, while sexual diploids usually change the slowest. Gene frequencies in large populations only change if the population undergoes selection.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction
05:45 - Chapter 2. History of Genetics
10:57 - Chapter 3. Different Genetic Systems
20:45 - Chapter 4. Math of Genetics
40:42 - Chapter 5. Rates of Change in Different Genetic Types

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.

0h48m

6. The Origin and Maintenance of Genetic Variation

Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

Mutations are the origin of genetic diversity. Mutations introduce new traits, while selection eliminates most of the reproductively unsuccessful traits. Sexual recombination of alleles can also account for much of the genetic diversity in sexual species. In some instances, population size can affect diversity and rates of evolution and fixation, but in other cases population size does not matter.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction
05:32 - Chapter 2. Mutation rates
13:57 - Chapter 3. Recombination
20:43 - Chapter 4. Genetic Variation in Humans
26:52 - Chapter 5. The Maintenance of Genetic Variation
47:03 - Chapter 6. Conclusion

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.

0h45m

7. The Importance of Development in Evolution

Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

Development is responsible for the complexity of multicellular organisms. It helps to map the genotype into the phenotype expressed by the organism. Development is responsible for ancient patterns among related organisms, and many structures important to development shared by many life forms have changed little over hundreds of millions of years. Development is expressed combinatorially, allowing a relatively small amount of genetic information to be expressed in many different ways.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction
03:17 - Chapter 2. Structures of Development
11:04 - Chapter 3. Development and the Diversity of Life
20:21 - Chapter 4. The Control of Development
25:09 - Chapter 5. "Boxes" (Transcription Factors)
38:42 - Chapter 6. The Big Picture and Conclusion

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.

0h43m

8. The Expression of Variation: Reaction Norms

Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

Reaction norms depict the range of phenotypes a single genotype can produce, depending on the environment. Reaction norms must fit within an organism's phylogenetic constraints. They can differ for different individuals within a population, but some traits differ very little based on the environment; some do not differ at all.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction
03:22 - Chapter 2. Reaction Norms
12:10 - Chapter 3. Reaction Norms in Populations
23:42 - Chapter 4. Developmental Constraints on Reaction Norms
36:23 - Chapter 5. Benefits and Limitations of Studying Reaction Norms

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.

0h49m

9. The Evolution of Sex

Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

There are several explanations for the evolution of sex and its continued prevalence. One is facilitating the spread of helpful mutations while hastening the removal of harmful ones. Another is expediting resistance against pathogens. Sex does have several costs compared to asex, such as only giving half your genome to offspring, having to find mates, and the risk of predation and STDs. Overall, the benefits outweigh the costs and sex has a firm hold on the majority of the recent branches of the tree of life.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction
08:54 - Chapter 2. The Traditional View on Sex’s Existence
13:38 - Chapter 3. The Costs of Sex
28:02 - Chapter 4. Recombination
38:25 - Chapter 5. Pathogens and Parasites
44:54 - Chapter 6. Modern Asexuality and Conclusion

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.

0h47m

10. Genomic Conflict

Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

Genomic conflict arises when the interests of various genomic elements, such as chromosomes and cytoplasmic organelles, are not aligned. These conflicts arise in two situations: either when one unit is contained within another, as a mitochondrion is contained within a cell, or when inheritance is asymmetrical. Genomic conflict can thus occur within a cell, within an organism, or between two organisms, such as a mother and developing fetus. There have been several steps taken to avoid these conflicts in sexual species, including the fairness of meiosis and the uniparental inheritance of cytoplasmic genomes.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction
01:46 - Chapter 2. Hierarchal Selection and Conflicts
14:44 - Chapter 3. Segregation Distortion
20:26 - Chapter 4. Reproductive Conflicts
36:17 - Chapter 5. Reproductive Conflict and Mental Disorders
42:57 - Chapter 6. Evolutionary Principles of Conflict Resolution

Complete cour

0h45m

11. Life History Evolution

Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

Life history covers three main classes of traits in organisms: age and size at maturity, number and size of offspring, and lifespan and reproductive investment. Organisms must make tradeoffs among these traits that typically cause them to come to evolutionary equilibrium at intermediate values. Life history traits are evolutionary solutions to the ecological problems of the risk of mortality and the acquisition of food, and they are expressed in reaction norms that determine the particular traits that an organism will exhibit when its genes encounter a specific environment during development.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction
04:53 - Chapter 2. Life History and the History of Ideas
08:56 - Chapter 3. Age and Size at Maturity
23:38 - Chapter 4. Size and Number of Babies
31:49 - Chapter 5. Lifespan and Aging
42:32 - Chapter 6. Summary

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://o

0h48m

12. Sex Allocation

Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

Sex allocation is an organism's decision on how much of its reproductive investment should be distributed to male and female functions and/or offspring. Under most conditions, the optimal ratio is 50:50, but that can change under certain circumstances. Sex allocation determines what sexes sequential hermaphrodites should be at each part of their life as well as how simultaneous hermaphrodites should behave. Some species have more control over the sexes of their offspring than others, and adjust the sex ratios of their offspring depending on the environment and conditions.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction
02:16 - Chapter 2. Shaw-Mohler and Male-Female Fitness Equivalency
10:00 - Chapter 3. Sex Ratios
18:39 - Chapter 4. Sequential Hermaphrodites
32:44 - Chapter 5. Sex Assignment in Offspring
43:48 - Chapter 6. Summary and Conclusion

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.

0h46m

13. Sexual Selection

Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

Sexual selection is a component of natural selection in which mating success is traded for survival. Natural selection is not necessarily survival of the fittest, but reproduction of the fittest. Sexual dimorphism is a product of sexual selection. In intersexual selection, a sex chooses a mate. In intrasexual selection, individuals of one sex compete among themselves for access to mates. Often honest, costly signals are used to help the sex that chooses make decisions.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction
06:53 - Chapter 2. Competing and Choosing
13:11 - Chapter 3. Competition with Sexual Dimorphism
27:29 - Chapter 4. Honest, Costly Signaling
35:55 - Chapter 5. Selection through Perception and Polyandry
43:35 - Chapter 6. Summary

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.

0h50m

14. Species and Speciation

Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

Speciation is the process through which species diverge from each other and/or from a common ancestor. There are several definitions of species, most of which focus on reproductive isolation and/or phylogenetic similarities. This can cause some controversy. Speciation can result from geographical separation or ecological specialization. There are stages of speciation in which organisms cluster first into distinct populations before finally becoming different species.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction
03:38 - Chapter 2. Diversity and How Speciation Happens
17:13 - Chapter 3. Concepts and Criteria of Speciation
26:04 - Chapter 4. The Genetics of Speciation
34:41 - Chapter 5. Mechanics and Examples of Speciation
40:30 - Chapter 6. Experiments, Applications, and Cryptic Species
48:09 - Chapter 7. Summary

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This cou

0h43m

15. Phylogeny and Systematics

Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

The Tree of Life must be discovered through rigorous analysis. Genetic information is crucial because appearances can be deceiving, and species that look similar can prove to be genetically very dissimilar and not share recent common ancestors. Two criteria, used to determine what the "correct" Tree is, are simplicity and whether the tree maximizes the probability of observing what we actually see.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction
04:30 - Chapter 2. Grouping by Common Ancestry
15:11 - Chapter 3. Misleading Analogies
24:43 - Chapter 4. The Process of Phylogenetic Grouping
35:04 - Chapter 5. The Logic of Grouping by Shared Characteristics
42:56 - Chapter 6. Summary

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.

0h50m

16. Comparative Methods: Trees, Maps, and Traits

Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

We can use methods of genetic analysis to connect phylogenic information to geographical histories. Human migration has left genetic traces on every continent, and allows us to trace our roots back to Africa. Molecular genetic methods allow us to determine whether or not trait states were ancestral, which can have profound implications for fundamental biological ideas.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction
02:02 - Chapter 2. The Geography of Human Genetics
12:56 - Chapter 3. Geographical Phylogeny
24:44 - Chapter 4. Independent Contrast
34:21 - Chapter 5. Genetic Diversity and History in Humans
48:14 - Chapter 6. Summary

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.

0h48m

17. Key Events in Evolution

Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

The history of life and evolution has been characterized by several key events. These events can be grouped as new hierarchal levels of selection coming into play, as biological units coming together in symbiosis and specialization, or in a number of other ways. Other important events are situations of conflict resolution or information transmission, from the genetic to the cultural level.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction
04:15 - Chapter 2. The Transition from Non-Life to Life
12:23 - Chapter 3. Eigen‚ Äôs Hypercycles
21:36 - Chapter 4. The First Cells
27:03 - Chapter 5. The First Eukaryotic Cells
37:07 - Chapter 6. Symbiotic Organelles
44:20 - Chapter 7. Summary

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.

0h47m

18. Major Events in the Geological Theatre

Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

Geology and climate have shaped the development of life tremendously. This has occurred in the form of processes such as the oxygenation of the atmosphere, mass extinctions, tectonic drift, and disasters such as floods and volcanic eruptions. Life, particularly bacteria, has also been able to impact the geological makeup of the planet through metabolic processes.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction
02:16 - Chapter 2. The Oxygenation of the Atmosphere
09:08 - Chapter 3. Evidence of Climate Change
17:36 - Chapter 4. Geological Impact on Life
29:37 - Chapter 5. Mass Extinctions
42:19 - Chapter 6. Earthquakes, Eruptions, and Floods
46:38 - Chapter 7. Conclusion

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.

0h47m

19. The Fossil Record and Life's History

Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

The fossil record holds a lot of evolutionary information that can't be seen on shorter time scales, although the more recent fossil record is more complete. Among other things, the fossil record demonstrates that extinctions can open up ecological space for new speciation and radiation, and that life forms tend to begin small and evolve to be bigger over time.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction
04:18 - Chapter 2. Cambrian Animal Radiation
14:52 - Chapter 3. Plant Radiation and Vertebrates Coming Ashore
24:39 - Chapter 4. Patterns in Radiation of Life
31:46 - Chapter 5. Vanished Communities of Life
40:21 - Chapter 6. Stasis
46:57 - Chapter 7. Summary

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.

0h48m

20. Coevolution

Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

Coevolution happens at many levels, not just the level of species. Organelles such as mitochondria and chloroplasts serve as good intracellular examples. Other living things make up a crucial component of an organism's environment. Coevolution can occur in helpful ways (symbiosis) and in harmful ways (parasitism). Many factors can influence coevolution, such the frequency and degree of interaction.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction
03:20 - Chapter 2. Definitions of Co-evolution and Intra-organism Analogies
10:37 - Chapter 3. Symbioses and Parasites
19:09 - Chapter 4. Principles of Co-evolution
26:56 - Chapter 5. Coevolutionary Mimics and Models
31:29 - Chapter 6. Coevolutionary Domestication
39:43 - Chapter 7. Consequences of Co-evolution and Conclusion

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.