Evolution and Marine Diversity

Course Dates

June 15, 2023 to July 3, 2023



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.

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 offers a unique blend of field/lab work, as well as other exciting opportunities, including a whale watch and intertidal projects. The heavy emphasis on hands-on learning was a great way to literally get your feet wet. 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)