Evolution and Climate Change in the Oceans

    GENE 4840 :: BIOL 4910

    Spring 2015, MWF 2:30-3:20 (7th period)

    C114 Life Sciences Building

    Instructor: Dr. John Wares, Associate Professor, Department of Genetics and Odum School of Ecology

    Course Description and Prerequisites

    A requirement for GENE 4840 - all sections, not just this one - is credit in GENE 3000 and/or GENE 3200, to ensure that a student has appropriate introductory background into evolutionary biology.
    Though we will start the semester with a brief (and light) refresher, our discussion will be able to move along more quickly if you are familiar with the evolutionary effects of dispersal/gene flow; the cellular and organismal mechanisms of acclimation to environmental change; the fundamentals of natural selection; and the impacts of extirpation and extinction on a lineage.

    The primary goal of the course is to discuss these elements of evolutionary biology in the context of current primary literature on how organisms are responding to global climate change. By the end of the semester, a student should be quite comfortable with concepts such as:

    • effective population size
    • gene flow estimators
    • gene regulation and expression
    • identifying adaptation
    and, finally, what we can learn from these subjects as well as the historical and paleontological record about the likelihoods that a given species will move, acclimate, adapt, or die in the coming decades/centuries.

    Required Text

    All students should find an available copy of Sandwalk Adventures by Jay Hosler. Given the unusual nature of this book, it has not been ordered by the UGA Bookstore but can be ordered from Avid Bookshop, Amazon, or is available for e-readers using the Google Play app.

    Other assigned readings will be primarily from the primary scientific literature and will be made available via URL or on this website, as appropriate.


    Lectures will not be posted prior or following class. Please attend and take notes as appropriate.


    Your grade in this course will be entirely dependent on attendance/participation and writing assignments. More information is forthcoming here.

    Academic Honesty

    All academic work must meet the standards contained in "A Culture of Honesty". Students are responsible for informing themselves about those standards prior to performing any academic work. This information is available at honesty.uga.edu. Dr. Wares is well experienced with the Office of Student Academic Services! PLEASE recognize your responsibility for avoiding plagiarism or other inappropriate use of information as you prepare written assignments.


    The course syllabus is a general plan for the course; deviations announced to the class may be necessary.


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