Evolution and Development

Syllabus and course schedule

Mendelian and Population Genetics

The raw material of evolution and development is mutations. Students should know how mutations are passed on, how quantitative traits are manifested in the organism, and how differences accumulate between species


Evolution of novel organs, glands, appendages

Descent with modification takes us from pits in the skin to scales, to teeth, to hair, to sweat glands, to mammary glands. Students should know how top level genes such as EDA regulate common processes and organs, integrate evidence from different organisms to discover homologies, and overlay phylogenetic trees on traits to provide evolutionary context.


Gene Regulatory Networks

Gene regulatory networks are conceptual representation of gene regulation and expression in space and time. Students should understand how mutations in evolutionary time reconnect common genes to create new combinations of gene expression, how to read a regulatory network, and predict the effects of rewiring a network.