Shingleton lab class in evolutionary biology: a "hands-on" approach to evolution
Many people think that evolutionary biology is just 'theoretical', a view that is reinforced by the fact that most university courses in evolutionary biology are lecture-based. However, evolutionary biology is the subject of active scientific research in laboratories at MSU and around the world.
So what precisely are these biologists doing? To answer this question, Dr. Alex Shingleton has developed a laboratory class in evolutionary biology, one of the few such courses being taught in the country. The class introduces students to the basic methodologies used by evolutionary biologists, while at the same time teaching them key evolutionary concepts. The class includes techniques such as genetic analysis, PCR, sequencing, statistics, behavioral analysis, to name just a few. Students even evolve bacteria! These methodologies are not just used by evolutionary biologists however, but are utilized by molecular biologists, geneticists, ecologists and animal behaviorists. The class therefore does 'double duty' as a general introduction to some primary biological techniques.
Dr. Shingleton's course (ZOL 445L) Evolution Laboratory is offered fall semesters.