COURSES (2007-2008)



EC 301 (AUG) 2:1

Animal Behaviour: Mechanisms and Evolution


Classical ethology; neuroethology: sensory processing, stimulus coding and neural maps, learning and memory; animal communication; behaviour genetics; animal societies; the paradox of altruism; the theory of inclusive fitness; mechanisms of kin recognition; evolution of social behaviour.




Alcock, J. Animal Behaviour - An Evolutionary approach (Sixth Edition), Sinauer Associates, 1998.

Camhi, J.M. Neuroethology, Sinauer Associates, 1984.

Wilson. E.O., Insect Societies Harvard University Press 1971.

Krebs, J.R., and Davis N.B. (Eds.), Behavioural Ecology - An  Evolutionary Approach. (Fourth Edition), Blackwell Scientific Publication, 1997.

Gadagkar, R. Survival Strategies - Cooperation and Conflict in Animal Societies. Harvard University Press (1997).

EC 302 (AUG) 2:1

Plant-animal interactions (Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution)


Visual and chemical communication between plants and their animal mutualists: pollinators, seed dispersers, parasites of herbivores; mate choice in plants; evolution of floral and fruit traits; phenotypic plasticity and inducible defences in plants; behavioural and physiological processes in generalist and specialist herbivores; co-evolutionary dynamics of symbiosis, mutualisms and arms races.




Chittka L and J. D. Thompson (Eds).  Cognitive Ecology of Pollination – Animal Behaviour and Floral Evolution.  Cambridge University Press, 2001

Herrera, C. M. and O. Pellmyr (Eds).  Plant-animal Interactions: An Evolutionary Approach.  Blackwell Publishing, 2002.

Tollrian R. and C. Drew Harvell (Eds). The Ecology and Evolution of Inducible Defenses. Princeton University Press, 1999.


EC202 (AUG) 2:0

Community ecology and biogeography


History and science of community ecology and biogeography; species distributions; distribution of communities; community organization; historical patterns and processes; island biogeography; metapopulation biology; measurement of diversity; commonness and rarity; diversity in space and time; macroecological perspectives of diversity, range size, abundance and body size.





A.E. Magurran. “Measuring Biological Diversity” Blackwell Publishing. 2004.

J.H. Brown and M.V. Lomolino. “Biogeography” (Second Edition). Sinauer Associates, Inc., 1998.

K.J. Gaston & T.M. Blackburn. “Patterns and Processes in Macroecology” Blackwell Science, 1998.


EC101 (AUG) 1:0

Advanced methods in molecular phylogenetics


Bayesian approach to tree building, historical biogeography, phylogeography, character evolution, molecular clock and dating nodes, DNA networks. This is a seminar course.


Prerequisite: EC204 (now EC304)




EC 303 (JAN) 2:1

Conservation Biology


Biological diversity, genetic diversity, species diversity, ecosystem diversity; Genetic variation and evolution; Genetics and conservation; single species conservation; minimum viable populations, Ecosystem conservation, design of nature reserves, climate change and conservation, social context of conservation.




Soule, M.E, and Wilcox B.A. (Eds), Conservation Biology; An evolutionary perspective, Sinauer Associates. 1980

Soule, M.E,(Ed), Conservation Biology; The Science of Scarcity and Diversity, Sinauer Associates, 1986.

Western, D. and Pearl M, (Eds.) Conservation for the Twenty-first Century. Oxford University Press, 1989.

Gadgil, M. and Guha, R. Ecology and Equity. Penguin.

Lovejoy, T.E. and Hannah, L. (Eds.) Climate Change and Biodiversity, Yale University Press. 2006.

EC 304 (JAN) 2:1
Evolutionary Biology

History of evolutionary ideas; natural selection;  units of selection; adaptation; speciation; population genetics; drift and the neutral theory; sexual selection and the  evolution of sex; molecular phylogenetics, molecular evolution, estimating nucleotide substitutions, homologous sequences, gene trees vs. species trees, Darwinian selection at the molecular level, gene families.



D J Futuyma,  "Evolutionary Biology" (Third Edition), Sinauer Associates, Inc., 1998.

R Dawkins,,"The Blind Watchmaker", W.W. Norton & Co., 1986.

J. Maynard Smith, "The Theory of Evolution" , Cambridge University Press, 1975.

Masatoshi Nei, Sudhir Kumar, “Molecular Evolution and Phylogenetics”

Dan Graur, Wen-Hsiung Li, “Fundamentals of Molecular Evolution”


EC305 (JAN) 2:1

Quantitative Ecology: Models, Research design, and Inference


Alternative views of the scientific method; framing ecological questions; types and uses of models; issues in research design; confronting ecological models with data; understanding the nature of data; frequentist, likelihood, and Bayesian frameworks for statistical inference; model selection and validation. This course will combine lectures and discussions with hands-on sessions using R and will culminate in group projects.




Hilborn, R, and Mangel, M. The Ecological Detective: Confronting Models with Data. Princeton University Press, Princeton. 1997.

Bolker, B. Ecological Models and Data in R. Princeton University Press, Princeton. in press.