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   Evolutionary Biology
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Evolutionary Biology Master's Program



Graduate Courses in Evolutionary Biology
[Note: see SDSU Graduate Catalog for more information.]

BIOL 508. Coevolution (3)
Prerequisites: Biology 352 and 354.
Coevolution in interspecific interactions, like herbivory, predation,
parasitism, competition, pollination, and mimicry.

BIOL 509. Evolutionary Biology (3)
Two lectures and two hours of activity.
Prerequisite: Biology 352.
Evolutionary biology including genetics of populations, speciation,
systematic biology, adaptation, role of development in evolution,
evolution of behavior, and comparative biology. Evolutionary
biology as the central organizing principle of biology.

BIOL 510. Molecular Evolution (3)
Prerequisites: Biology 352 and 366 or graduate standing.
Molecular evolution including concepts of homology and convergence,
the nearly neutral theory of evolution, evolution of new protein
function, detecting selection, multi-gene family evolution and evolutionary
genomics.

BIOL 511. Evolution of Development (3)
Prerequisites: Biology 352 and 366.
Dynamic relationship between regulatory functions that control
development and the evolutionary process, and vice versa, illustrated
with evidence derived from developmental, phylogenetic,
paleontological, computational, and ecological research. Emphasis
on genomic regulatory networks of transcriptional regulatory elements
and cell-signaling pathways.

BIOL 512. Evolution and Ecology of Marine Mammals (3)
Two lectures and three hours of laboratory.
Prerequisites: Biology 352 and 354.
Biology of marine mammals including pinniped, cetacean and
sirenian evolution, diet and foraging strategies, social organization,
reproductive strategies, echolocation, diving physiology, and conservation.

BIOL 523. Herpetology (4)
Two lectures and six hours of laboratory.
Prerequisite: Biology 201B. Recommended: Biology 352.
Evolution, systematics, distribution, and ecology of amphibians
and reptiles of the world.

BIOL 524. Ornithology (4)
Two lectures, six hours of laboratory or field excursions, and a
field project.
Prerequisite: Biology 201B. Strongly recommended: Completion
of three to six upper division units in the major.
Study and identification of birds, especially those of the Pacific
Coast and the San Diego region.

BIOL 525. Mammalogy (4)
Two lectures and six hours of laboratory.
Prerequisite: Biology 201B. Strongly recommended: Completion
of three to six upper division units in the major.
Evolution, systematics, distribution and ecology of mammals of
the world.

BIOL 526. Terrestrial Arthropod Biology (4)
Two lectures and six hours of laboratory.
Prerequisite: Biology 201B. Strongly recommended: Biology 352
and completion of three to six upper division units in the major.
Structure, function, behavior, ecology, evolution, and relationships
of major groups of terrestrial arthropods, including insects,
arachnids, and myriapods. Identification and natural history of
southern California diversity.

BIOL 530. Plant Systematics (4)
Two lectures and six hours of laboratory, field trips.
Prerequisite: Biology 201B. Strongly recommended: Completion
of three to six upper division units in the major.
Plant description, identification, classification, and nomenclature
with emphasis on evolutionary patterns, interdisciplinary data acquisition,
and phylogenetic analysis.

BIOL 531. Taxonomy of California Plants (4)
Two lectures and six hours of laboratory.
Prerequisites: Biology 201A and 201B.
Fundamentals of plant taxonomy with emphasis on identification
of plants native and naturalized to California. Plant collecting techniques.
Field trips are required.

BIOL. 596 Systematics & Biodiversity (3)
Prerequisites: Biology 201A, 201B, and 352.
This course covers the history, philosophy, and practical aspects of
systematic biology, emphasizing the pervasive role of phylogenetic data
in evolutionary biology and other fields, the phylogenetic structure of all
lifeforms, and geographic patterns of diversity, endemicity and imperilment.

BIOL 596. Special Topics in Biology (1-4)
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Advanced selected topics in modern biology. May be repeated
with new content. See Class Schedule for specific content. Limit of
nine units of any combination of 296, 496, 596 courses applicable to
a bachelor’s degree. Maximum combined credit of six units of 596
and 696 applicable to a 30-unit master’s degree. Additional units
acceptable with the approval of the graduate adviser.

BIOL 600. Seminar (2-3)
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
An intensive study in advanced biology. May be repeated with new
content. See Class Schedule for specific content. Maximum credit six
units applicable to a master’s degree.

BIOL 624. Population Genetics (3)
Two lectures and two hours of activity.
Prerequisite: Biology 352.
Theoretical and applied population genetics to include genetic
diversity in natural populations, random drift, mutation, gene flow,
natural selection, nucleotide variation, and quantitative genetics.
Emphasis on data analysis and interpretation.

BIOL 696. Advanced Topics in Biology (1-3)
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Intensive study in specific areas of biology. May be repeated with
new content. See Class Schedule for specific content. Maximum
credit six units applicable to a master’s degree.

BIOL 735. Seminar in Biogeography (2)
Prerequisite: Biology 354.
Concepts and principles of distributional history of plant and
animal groups, and origins and dispersal of modern faunas and floras.

BIOL 740. Phylogenetic Systematics (3)
Two lectures and three hours of laboratory.
Prerequisite: Biology 354.
Theory and methodology of phylogenetic systematics. Includes
use of computer algorithms, survey of literature and preparation of a
project in phylogenetic systematics. Not open to students with credit
in Biology 740 (Seminar in Phylogenetic Systematics).

BIOL 770. Seminar in Systematics and Evolution (2-3)
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Selected topics in systematics and evolution. May be repeated
with new content. See Class Schedule for specific content. Maximum
credit four units applicable to a master’s degree.

BIOL 797. Research (1-3) Cr/NC/RP
Research in one of the fields of biology. Maximum credit six units of
797 and 798 applicable to a master’s degree.

BIOL 798. Special Study (1-3) Cr/NC/RP
Prerequisite: Consent of staff; to be arranged with department
chair and instructor.
Individual study. Maximum credit six units of 797 and 798
applicable to a master’s degree.

BIOL 799A. Thesis or Project (3) Cr/NC/RP
Prerequisites: An officially appointed thesis committee and
advancement to candidacy.
Preparation of a project or thesis for the master’s degree.