Biology 332: Evolutionary Biology

George M. Diggs, Jr.
Department of Biology and Center for Environmental Studies
Austin College, Sherman, Texas
& Research Associate, Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT), Fort Worth


Contact Information for George Diggs:

Austin College Phone: (903) 813-2246, Home Phone (903) 868-1642
Office: 317 Moody Science
Mailing Address: Department of Biology, Austin College, Sherman, TX 75090
AC Suite 61564
Home page:
Office Hours: 1:30-2:30 M, 3:00-4:00 Tu; Other times by appointment.

Course Home Page Course
Schedule & Readings
Research Summary Safety Contract Academic Skills Center

Biology 332 - Evolutionary Biology - Spring 2015

General Information

Class meetings: Lecture: 9:30-10:50 Tu, Th; Laboratory 1:30-4:20 Th

Textbook: The Hunter-Gatherer Within: Evolution and the Natural Human Diet, 2013, by K. Brock & G. Diggs. A significant portion of the course readings will be articles from the Evolutionary Biology literature. They will be available on Moodle, linked via the course webpage, handed out in class, etc.

Course Webpage:

Course Content: The course will cover a number of advanced topics in Evolutionary Biology.

Course Goal and Expected Student Outcomes: The goals of the course are: 1) for students to gain an understanding of the major topics in the field of Evolutionary Biology; 2) for students to be able to effectively communicate in writing and orally about topics in Evolutionary Biology; and 3) to provide students with experiential learning opportunities in the labs which will be held primarily in the field. Expected student outcomes include reaching an appropriate level of knowledge of evolutionary biology, developing expertise in researching and writing about evolutionary topics, and being able to present an articulate an easily understood oral presentation of research findings.

Exams: Exam dates are given on the course syllabus. There are three exams with the first two worth 100 points each and the final work 150 points. The final will be cumulative over all material after the first test (the last two-thirds of the course). Questions from the labs will be given on the lecture exams.

Grades: There are 425 possible total points in the course. Of these, 350 will come from the three exams, 75 will be determined by your research summary paper/presentation. All work must be completed to receive a passing grade (For those taking the course S/U, S=70 or higher). Class and lab attendance will also factor into the grade, accounting for as much as one letter grade (in other words, absences can reduce your grade).

Late Penalty: Exams must be taken when scheduled or earlier. If you have to take an exam late, either contact me via e-mail or leave a message with the Division Secretary (Pam Bennett, Ext. 2342) BEFORE exam time. A late penalty of at least one grade level will be imposed for unexcused late exams.
Late papers/presentations WILL NOT be accepted.

Class attendance and behavior: Class and lab attendance is mandatory. Unexcused absences from lab will result in a ten point penalty TAKEN OFF ONE OF YOUR EXAMS. Attendance is required at lectures---an extra assignment (a detailed outline/write-up of the material missed) will be given for each lecture missed (this must me turned in or points will be deducted). Further, because visuals are an integral part of the lectures and because much of the material given in lecture will not be found in your textbook, frequent absences will probably result in a lower grade. Texting is not allowed in class or lab. Students may be dropped from the course for reading or sending text messages during class sessions.

Academic Integrity: Austin College sets high standards of integrity for both its students and its faculty. Many conceptual advances in science are a result of discussion of information and ideas; I encourage such exchange both in class and outside it. However, all work submitted on examinations and assignments shall be your own. Any ideas in your research summary that do not originate from you are to have their sources noted. Please refer to your student handbook for further explanation of Austin College’s policies regarding academic integrity.

Readings: In addition to your textbook, various readings will be assigned during the semester. These will be available on-line (linked from the class schedule page) or on Moodle unless otherwise indicated or handed out in class.

Laboratory Work: Unless otherwise notified, meet for all labs in IDEA 254. Many of our labs will be in the field, often in difficult terrain. Therefore, stout boots, long pants, long sleeve shirts and a hat should be worn. Field trips begin at 1:30 pm. If you're late you'll miss the van. Be sure you follow the guidelines provided in the Biology Department Field Contract handed out with this information sheet.

Students with Disabilities: Austin College seeks to provide reasonable accommodations for all individuals with disabilities and complies with all federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and guidelines. It is the responsibility of the student to register with and provide verification of academic accommodation needs to the Director of the Academic Skills Center (Laura Marquez, Wright Campus Center, Room 211)) as soon as possible. The student also must contact the faculty member in a timely manner to arrange for reasonable academic accommodations. For further information call (903-813-2454) or visit the Academic Skills Center. College policy prohibits instructors from accomodating learning disabilities without first having received the proper written instructions from the Director of the Academic Skills Center.

For further information about this course, please contact:

Dr. George Diggs, Professor
Department of Biology
Austin College
900 N. Grand Ave.
Sherman, TX 75090
Fax: 903-813-3199

All text and images on this page copyright 2015, George M. Diggs, Jr.

Austin College