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Final projects

I hope everybody enjoys Thanksgiving!  For myself, I have a lot to be grateful for, including the privilege of teaching this class.

Here is what I will be looking for in your presentations: Try to spend at least 50%, preferably more, of your time talking about ultimate causation, evolutionary considerations, or natural selection. Do not leave the evolutionary parts to the end of your presentation. Be sure to review the grading rubric.

I would like you to correctly identify an evolutionary concept (or evolutionary hypothesis category). These include (in no particular order):

  • evolution of virulence
  • host-pathogen arms race
  • red queen hypothesis
  • evolutionary trade-offs
  • life history theory
  • balancing selection
  • gene-environment mismatch
  • paleolithic diet hypothesis (and criticism)
  • inclusive fitness (kin selection)
  • adaptation
  • natural selection
  • genetic drift
  • antagonistic pleiotropy
  • declining power of selection with age (mutation accumulation)
  • evolution of resistance (to antibiotics, pesticides, chemotherapy)
  • disposable soma
  • host defenses (like fever, cough)
  • reaction norms
  • developmental plasticity, developmental programming
  • predictive adaptive response
  • thrifty genes, thrifty phenotype
  • hygiene hypothesis, old friends hypothesis
  • genetic conflicts, parasite manipulation
  • adaptive sickness behavior
  • cancer as somatic evolution, cancer as infectious process
  • conflict and cooperation in the microbiome

This is not an exhaustive list. If there is another concept you want to discuss, email me and I will add it. If you are confused, I want you to get it right, so email me or email John prior to your presentation.

It is good to also include at least one alternative hypothesis. In that case the alternative, or null hypothesis, might be a non-evolutionary hypothesis.

Please practice your presentation, preferably with a timer. I want you to aim for 12 – 15 minutes per presentation.

Finally, remember Dec 1 will be potluck, as discussed in class. See you then!



Categories: Uncategorized

Joe Alcock

Emergency Physician, Educator, Researcher, interested in the microbiome, evolution, and medicine

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