Evolution and Marine Diversity (exact dates TBD)

Course Dates

June 28, 2021 to July 15, 2021



Equivalent Note

Cornell students: this course is equivalent to BioEE 1780.

Cornell students, this course fulfills the following requirements (just like BioEE 1780): 

Course Description

Shoals EMD students learning from their TA in Palmer-Kinne Lab Appledore Island (photo by Jan Factor).

Evolution and Marine Diversity "EMD" students learning from their TA in Palmer-Kinne Lab. Photo by Jan Factor.

This course explores the patterns of diversity and processes of evolution. Topics include the diversity of life, the fossil record, macroevolutionary patterns, the genetics and developmental basis of evolutionary change, processes at the population level, evolution by natural selection, modes of speciation, long-term trends in evolution, and human evolution. Field exercises and laboratory work are emphasized.

During this course, students will:

  • Understand the underlying causal principles of evolutionary diversification;
  • Identify core taxa in the tree of life, their characteristics and understand the relationships among them;
  • Become familiar with a number of experimental and synthetic approaches to analyzing and discovering evolutionary processes and patterns;
  • Discuss knowledgeably the dimensions of evolutionary issues that require decisions in our society.

Internship opportunity: This course is recommended experience for SML's Parasite Ecology Internship.

"This course is a unique blend of small class size, field and lab work, and incredible opportunities including the whale watching and intertidal projects.  There is a great emphasis on marine organisms, and the best opportunity to work with them in the field as you learn about them. You work closely with the staff, and even get a taste of the socratic method thanks to the small class size." - Anthony Teng (SML '16, Cornell '18)


Dr. Warren Allmon:

Director Paleontological Research Institution at the Museum of the Earth; Hunter R. Rawlings III Professor of Paleontology at Cornell University

Dr. Jan Factor:

Professor, School of Natural and Social Science, Purchase College SUNY



Course Numbers

Cornell: BIOSM 1780 (4 Credits)
UNH: MEFB 530 (4 Credits)