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Biology 201: Ecology and Evolution Spring 2013 Course Introduction / Intro to Biology Alexander J.
Biology 201: Ecology and Evolution
Spring 2013
Course Introduction / Intro to Biology
Alexander J. Coverdill, PhD
January 15, 2013
Biology 201 Course Syllabus
Biology 201 Course Syllabus
Your BI201 Teaching Team •   Instructor: Dr. Alex Coverdill (coverdia@bc.edu) Office: Higgins 425 Office
Your BI201 Teaching Team
•   Instructor: Dr. Alex Coverdill (coverdia@bc.edu)
Office: Higgins 425
Office Hours: Tuesdays 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Note: I’m typically only on campus T/Th!
•   Graduate TA: Linh Ta (tali@bc.edu)
Office: Higgins 507
Office Hours: TBA
•   Undergrad TA: TBD
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Course Materials Required: •   Biological Science, Scott Freeman, 4th edition, Vol. 2, 2010 (‘hardcover’
Course Materials
Required:
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Biological Science, Scott Freeman, 4th
edition, Vol. 2, 2010 (‘hardcover’ or eBook)
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iClicker classroom response system
handheld unit
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Access to Mastering Biology, an online
assignment resource manager
Optional:
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Biological Science Study Guide, Scott
Freeman, 4th edition, 2010
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.
Course Website (BlackBoard Vista) http://cms.bc.edu OR through your Agora portal •   Syllabus (with our
Course Website (BlackBoard Vista)
http://cms.bc.edu OR through your Agora portal
•   Syllabus (with our contact information)
•   Lecture Slides
•   Office Hour Schedules
•   Additional Readings
•   Link to Mastering Biology site (MB)
•   Registration of iClicker
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My Course Learning Goals To continue your development of the foundational knowledge of biology that
My Course Learning Goals
To continue your development of the foundational knowledge of
biology that you can apply to:
•   Upper division courses in biology
(Evolution, Developmental Biology, Ecology, Plant Biology, Physiology)
•   A range of potential careers in biology
•   Understanding/Responding to current challenges faced
as a society
To promote learning and study skills that will be beneficial for
you beyond this course, including the skill of developing a
learning network.
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.
Additional Incentives for Active Participation Grading Summary (600 points total): •   Midterm Exams (3
Additional Incentives for Active Participation
Grading Summary (600 points total):
•   Midterm Exams (3 exams, 100 pts each)
•   Final Exam (100pts new, 100pts cumulative)
•   Mastering Biology Assignments
•   iClickers/Attendance
300 pts
200 pts
70 pts
30 pts
•   Total:
600 pts
*Students requiring accommodations, please have the appropriate office
contact Dr. Coverdill this week or bring your paperwork to me.
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***Please take note of exam dates NOW … you will not be*** able to reschedule

***Please take note of exam dates NOWyou will not be*** able to reschedule exams to better fit your plans!

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At some point, I’m betting you’ll wonder: •   How do I know what information
At some point, I’m betting you’ll wonder:
•   How do I know what information is “important”?
•   What do I need to know to get an A?
•   What can I do to do better on the next test?
•   How come I study as hard/much as I can, but I don’t do
as well as I’d like?
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.
Mastering Biology A key component of learning: ^ getting a grade: Knowing when you know
Mastering Biology
A key component of learning:
^
getting a grade:
Knowing when you know something …
… and knowing when you don’t.
Also knowing how to access information that you’ve learned!
Purpose: To challenge you to apply concepts as a PRACTICE
before exams = Formative assessment
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Mastering Biology Course ID: BI201COVERDILL2013 Student ID: BC Username (BBVista Username) MB Tutorial: Due next
Mastering Biology
Course ID: BI201COVERDILL2013
Student ID: BC Username (BBVista Username)
MB Tutorial: Due next Friday, Jan 25 th at 5pm!
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.
Predict an outcome Design an experiment Create a Model Appraise data in support of a
Predict an outcome
Design an experiment
Create a Model
Appraise data in support of a hypothesis
Critique a research proposal
One of my course goals: Create an Active Learning Course Environment An active learning course
One of my course goals:
Create an Active Learning Course Environment
An active learning course is one where students are
actively engaged in learning the material (both inside and
outside of the classroom).
This is, in part, your responsibility as well!
Discover which
note-taking
strategy works
best for YOU!
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The iClicker Response Device We’ll use iClickers for responses to: •   In-class discussions •
The iClicker Response Device
We’ll use iClickers for responses to:
•   In-class discussions
•   Problem solving sessions
•   Quizzes
Individual responses collected and scored.
•   Some responses will be graded, others
simply recorded for participation
Benefit: You and I will find out what you know
immediately!
“No Fault” Attendance Policy
(Warning: Use of another student s iClicker is fraud) See
‘Academic Honesty’ section of syllabus for more info.
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How to Succeed in Biology In addition to traditional methods participation in the course …
How to Succeed in Biology
In addition to traditional methods participation in the course …
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Coming to class
Taking notes
Reading book
Highlighting text in book
Giving written answers to problems
Copying class notes to flash cards
ASK QUESTIONS!
… you will also work with other students in (and outside) of
class to:
•   Discuss problems you’ve solved on your own.
•   Explain concepts to one another
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Miscellaneous Course Policies •   Lecture attendance is mandatory. •   No make-up exams will
Miscellaneous Course Policies
•   Lecture attendance is mandatory.
•   No make-up exams will be given.
•   You must take the final exam in order to pass the class.
•   You must obtain any information that was missed due to
absence from a fellow classmate.
•   You are expected to be an active participant in lecture.
•   The assigned readings should be completed prior to the
corresponding lectures.
•   No points will be given for Mastering Biology assignments
completed after specified deadlines.
•   You may not use a fellow student’s iClicker. Ever.
•   Cell phones must be silenced and put away during the
lecture.
•   Use of laptops during class is permitted; however …
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Avoid Distractions! You’re responsible for your grade! © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.
Avoid Distractions! You’re responsible for your grade!
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.
Learning Objectives for Chapter 1: Chapter 1 Distinguish a theory from a hypothesis Name five
Learning Objectives for Chapter 1:
Chapter 1
Distinguish a theory from a hypothesis
Name five fundamental characteristics shared by all living
organisms.
Describe the two components of the cell theory.
Briefly explain the theory of natural selection, and explain under
what conditions natural selection will happen (e.g., Must the
variation be heritable?).
Read a phylogenetic tree, and understand the role of
similarities and differences in constructing phylogenetic trees.
Describe what biologists do, that is, how they approach
problems and why they do experiments.
List the components of experimental design
Predict consequences of changes in experimental components
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What does it mean to say something is alive? © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.
What does it mean to say something is alive?
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What do all life forms have in common? All living organisms share 5 fundamental characteristics:
What do all life forms have in common?
All living organisms share 5 fundamental characteristics:
1.  Energy: to stay alive and reproduce, organisms must acquire
and use energy
2.  Cells: organisms are made up of membrane-bound units called
cells
3.  Information: organisms process hereditary or genetic
information, encoded in units called genes along with
information from the environment
4.  Replication: everything an organism does is with the goal of
reproduction. This is the ultimate measure of an organisms
fitness.
5.  Evolution: organisms are the product of evolution and their
populations continue to evolve.
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Some Facts about Theories A THEORY is an explanation for a very general class of
Some Facts about Theories
A THEORY is an explanation for a very general class of
phenomena or observations.
Theories have two components:
•   Pattern
•   Something that occurs in the natural world
•   Process
•   Responsible for creating the pattern
Two theories form the framework for modern biological science.
1. The cell theory
2. The theory of evolution by natural selection
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The Biological Hierarchy Biosphere ENVIRONMENT Ecosystem Population Where does begin? Organism Organ ORGANISM
The Biological Hierarchy
Biosphere
ENVIRONMENT
Ecosystem
Population
Where does
begin?
Organism
Organ
ORGANISM
(=PHENOTYPE)
Tissues
Minimal Unit of LIFE!
Organelle / Subcellular compartment
Genome
Gene network
GENOME
Gene / Gene Product
Visualizing Cells I could exceedingly plainly perceive it to be all perforated and porous, much
Visualizing Cells
I could
exceedingly plainly
perceive it to be all
perforated and
porous, much like a
Honeycomb
these
pores or cells , were
not very deep, but
consisted of a great
many little boxes
!
-Robert Hooke 1665 !
The Cell Theory 1.  All organisms are made of cells. •   Cells are the
The Cell Theory
1. 
All organisms are made of cells.
•  
Cells are the universal, irreducible unit of life whether you
are a single celled bacterium or a Sequoia tree.
•  
The smallest organisms consist of single cells. The largest
organisms consist of many trillions of cells.
Unicellular Paramecium
Multicellular Blue Whale
Multicellular Giant Sequoia
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© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

The Cell Theory 2.  All cells come from pre-existing cells. •   •   •
The Cell Theory
2. 
All cells come from pre-existing cells.
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Life begets life — no spontaneous generation
Cell division is the basis of organismal reproduction.
Cell division is the basis of organismal growth & repair.
Even viruses require the cells of their hosts for replication.
The Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection •   In 1858, Charles Darwin and Alfred
The Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection
•   In 1858, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace made two
claims regarding the natural world:
1.  All species are related by common ancestry (pattern).
2.  Characteristics of species are modified from generation to
generation (pattern).
•   Descent with modification (process)
•   Evolution is a change in the characteristics of a population
over time, where a population is defined as a group of
individuals of the same species living in the same area at the
same time.
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.
Evolution explains the unity and diversity of life In 1859, Charles Darwin published the book
Evolution explains the unity and diversity of life
In 1859, Charles Darwin published the book On the
Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection
There is no exception to the rule that every organic being
naturally increases at so high a rate, that, if not destroyed
the earth would soon be covered by the progeny of a
single pair
the
geometrical tendency to increase must be
checked by destruction at some period of life.
— Origin of Species (1859)
The Tree of Life •   The cell theory and the theory of evolution by
The Tree of Life
•  
The cell theory and the theory of evolution by natural selection
imply that all species come from preexisting species and that all
species, past and present, trace their ancestry back to a single
common ancestor or LUCA.
•  
The tree of life is a family tree of organisms that describes the
genealogical relationships among species with a single ancestral
species at its base.
•  
Speciation is a divergence process in which natural selection has
caused populations of one species to diverge to form new
species.
•  
Phylogeny is the actual genealogical relationships among all
organisms.
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Using Molecules to Understand the Tree of Life •   Carl Woese and colleagues studied
Using Molecules to Understand the Tree of Life
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Carl Woese and colleagues studied small subunit ribosomal RNA
(rRNA)
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Remember: RNA is comprised of four chemical units called
nucleotides.
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Symbolized by letters A, U, C, & G
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The sequence of nucleotides can change during evolution.
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Based on the theory of evolution, rRNA sequences should be very
similar in closely related organisms but less similar in less closely
related organisms.
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.
Interpreting the Tree of Life and Taxonomy •   The tree of life indicates three
Interpreting the Tree of Life and Taxonomy
•  
The tree of life indicates three major
groups of organisms: the eukaryotes –
Eukarya – and two groups of
prokaryotes – Bacteria and Archaea.
•  
Fungi and animals are more closely
related to each other than either is to
plants.
•  
Traditional classification schemes were
often inaccurate.
•  
The location of certain branches on the
tree is hotly debated and the shape of
the tree will continue to change as
databases expand.
•  
See Bioskills 3 for help reading
phylogenies
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How do scientists study the natural world? What is the Scientific Method? Merriam Webster Dictionary,
How do scientists study the natural world?
What is the Scientific Method?
Merriam Webster Dictionary, Online
Scientific Method n.
Principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of
knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a
problem, the collection of data through observation and
experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses
Methodical exploration!
!
What makes science unique!
Observations The Scientific Method Question Hypothesis Predictions Experiment Data Analysis Support Conclusion
Observations
The Scientific
Method
Question
Hypothesis
Predictions
Experiment
Data Analysis
Support
Conclusion
Reject
Report Results
Using the Scientific Method Hypothesis testing can be divided into a two-step process: 1.  2. 
Using the Scientific Method
Hypothesis testing can be divided into a two-step process:
1. 
2. 
State the hypothesis as precisely as possible and list
the predictions it makes.
Design an observational or experimental study that is
capable of testing those predictions.
Observation:
Giraffes have very long necks!
Why?
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Why Do Giraffes Have Long Necks? •   The food competition hypothesis argues that long
Why Do Giraffes Have Long Necks?
•   The food competition hypothesis argues that long necks
evolved because animals with long necks can reach food
unavailable to other mammals.
Predictions:
Results:
Simmons and Scheepers
Neck length is variable.
Neck length is heritable.
Giraffes feed high in trees.
Conclusion:
It is unlikely that giraffes evolved
long necks to be able to reach food
higher than other mammals.
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.
The Sexual Competition Hypothesis •   An alternative hypothesis, the sexual competition hypothesis, is that
The Sexual Competition Hypothesis
•   An alternative hypothesis, the sexual competition
hypothesis, is that giraffes evolved long necks because
longer-necked males win more fights than shorter-necked
giraffes, and can then father more offspring.
•   Data support this hypothesis.
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.