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differentiate it from the process of natural selection.
Students should be able to describe how evolutionary mechanisms act at the level of
populations and species, and how macroevolutionary patterns above the species
level are the result of these microevolutionary mechanisms as well as chance
Core outcomes: Students should be able to:
1) Predict how natural selection acting on individuals will affect evolution (i.e., changes in
allele frequency or average value of a phenotype) in populations.
2) Predict how sources of variation and evolutionary mechanisms acting in populations
(including different types of selection, genetic drift, gene flow, mutation, and inbreeding),
will contribute to changing allelic and phenotypic frequencies in a population.
3) Explain and give examples of evidence for evolution including structural,
developmental and molecular homologies.
4) Analyze the relatedness of organisms through interpretation of phylogenetic trees,
including alternate representations of the same tree.
5) Calculate the frequency of alleles contributed by a generation in a population, given
information on the genotype frequencies of that population.
6) Analyze information on the genotype frequencies of a given population to determine
whether or not that population is in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. (The focus of the
Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium should not be the equation per se but rather the link it
provides between genetics, ecology and evolution.)
7) Apply different species concepts and explain the ways in which gene flow between
populations can be obstructed and the possible outcomes, including speciation.
8) Explain how evolution is neither directed nor progressive, drawing on examples from the
history of the diversity of life on earth, such as the relationship between extinctions and
radiations and the ramifications of the Cambrian explosion.
Additional (non-core) outcomes:
a1) Describe the contribution of historical figures (such as Darwin, Wallace, Lamarck, Lyell,
Malthus, Cuvier, Hutton, Linnaeus, and Mendel) to the theory of evolution.
a2) Predict potential differences in distribution and behaviour of individuals in populations
undergoing allopatric speciation as compared to individuals in populations undergoing
a3) Explain with examples why islands and lakes can be evolutionary “hot spots”.
a4) Describe how genetic variation on a molecular level can affect the evolution of a
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