Evolution Labs for Teachers
Lively, Biology, Indiana University)
The Red Queen
game. This is an easy game, designed to teach
the basic concepts of host-parasite coevolution. The
game only requires two decks of playing cards for each
team of two students. One student plays the parasite
"hand" and one student plays the host "hand."
Infection is determined by whether or not two cards (one
for the host and one from the parasite) match suits.
The game nicely illustrates several key points in
i) Evolution can be rapid, occurring
ii) Evolution can result in the
long-term maintenance of genetic diversity when there is
an advantage to rare
iii) Coevolution can result in the
oscillations of genotype frequencies over time.
The basic instructions for the game can be found here.
The excel spreadsheet for entering the data can be found here.
The sample data from our class is here.
To read the original paper (by Gibson, Drown &
Lively) in Evolution: Education and Outreach
Student groups can also enter their data on a google sheet
to share data between groups and to easily summarize
class-wide patterns. (Note: you may have to clear the data
from a previous class, but make sure not to delete the
cells for calculating percentages or sums.) See
Gibson's website for additional details.
We designed the game to be played in about one hour.
Our hope is that it could be used in both high school and
college classes. The game is also easy to modify to
incorporate additional ideas. Feedback most welcome
Quantitative Genetics game. This game
was designed to teach the rationale for the breeder's
equation in quantitative genetics: R = h2S.
As in the previous game, it uses playing cards; but here
the cards are alleles by which genotypes are
created. In its simplest form, the game illustrates
the concept the heritability, and then uses the breeder's
equation to make a prediction regarding the phenotypic
response to selection. The game also shows how
random environmental "noise" reduces heritability and
hence the response to selection.
Materials as follows.
2. Excel data file
3. Original paper (by
Frey, Lively & Brodie) as published in Evolution:
Education and Outreach.
3. Coevolution and Sexual Reproduction.
This is a review of host parasite coevolution and sex,
written for a general audience. Here is the paper
as published in Evolution: Education and Outreach.
Back to C.M. Lively's homepage