Biology | Special Topics in Zoology: Developmental Plasticity and Evolution
Z620 | 16220 | Moczek, A

GRADUATE SEMINAR Z620: Developmental Plasticity and Evolution

Developmental plasticity (DP) can be defined as a single genotypes'
ability to adjust its developmental properties and phenotypic
outcomes to changes in external conditions. DP transcends taxonomic
boundaries as well as organizational levels within individuals.
Transcription, translation, cell proliferation, organ function,
endocrine and neuronal regulation, mating behavior and so on - all
are plastic in one way or another, and being able to respond
flexibly to changes in external conditions is an integral part of
their proper functioning.  In this course we will work our way
through the genetic, developmental, physiological, and ecological
basis of developmental plasticity in a wide range of organisms. We
will explore when and how DP itself can evolve, in turn how DP
itself can facilitate and direct micro- and macro-evolutionary
processes. This seminar is cross-disciplinary by design and intended
for Graduate Students from all Biology Graduate Programs.

We will begin each week by discussing 1-2 research papers pertaining
to a particular aspect of developmental plasticity. Each meetings
will begin with a student-led presentation, followed by discussion
of the content of each paper. After a short break we will reconvene
for a final 15-20 minute lecture. This lecture will be given by the
student in charge of the next paper to be read for the following
week, and will present the background necessary to read, understand
and discuss this paper. The same student will start of the meeting
the following week by presenting his/her paper and leading a
discussion based on them.