Biol 350: Principles of Genetics, co-instructed with Dr. Kris Holder
Lecture course (with discussion sections) focusing on a key question in the study of life: why are related individuals more similar than unrelated individuals and what is the basis for heritable traits? From Mendel's discoveries of the patterns of genetic inheritance, to the study of transmissible hereditary factors, genetics is central to understanding the biological sciences. Topics include molecular genetics and genetic engineering; Mendelian genetics and mapping; control of gene expression; cytogenetics; epigenetics and non-Mendelian genetics; and population and quantitative genetics. Examples are taken from a wide variety of organisms, including viruses, bacteria, plants, fungi, insects, and humans.
Taught alternative spring semesters (even years).
Biol 570: Introduction to Biostatistics, co-instructed with Dr. Mark Holder
Lecture and laboratory course introducing the discipline of statistics and its application to biological data. Students will develop both a good understanding of statistical tools and an appreciation of how statistics is used in science. Computer laboratories will provide hands-on exercises, practice using computers for statistical analysis, and an opportunity to prepare and present the statistical analysis of an individual independent research project.
Taught alternative fall semesters (even years).
Biol 599: Senior Seminar in Genetics
Senior seminar focusing on the development of critical thinking and communication skills, utilizing primary literature from genetics. Each week, students lead discussion of papers that explore human diversity and population history using modern genetic methods of analysis. Paper topics include inferring human population history from single genomes, the evolution of lactose persistence in human populations, and what examination of the Neanderthal genome can tell us about the evolution of speech. Communication skills will be developed both by participation in discussion of papers and by writing and revising short essays.
Taught alternative fall semesters (odd years).
Biol 743: Population Genetics
Graduate course focusing on the description and analysis of genetic variation in natural populations, focusing on basic models in population genetics, molecular evolutionary genetics, and quantitative genetics. Topics include the effects and interaction of selection, migration, mutation, mating systems, and finite population size on the maintenance of genetic variation, the evolution of traits in natural populations, and the use of genetic and genomic data to infer population genetic processes.
Prerequisites: Biol 350 (Genetics) and Biol 412 (Evolutionary Biology). Undergraduates interested in taking the course are encouraged to contact the instructor.
Taught alternative spring semesters (odd years).