The aim of this course is to introduce evolutionary ecology to students. At the end of the course the student should be able to understand the relations between ecology, evolutionary biology and developmental biology (eco-evo-devo), especially regarding evolution of diversity and speciation, with emphasis in fishes. Basic concepts of evolutionary biology will be overviewed and the relationship between ecological- and developmental factors and biological diversity will be explained, with focus on the evolutionary importance of phenotypic diversity, natural selection, adaptation and parallel evolution. The role of phenotypic plasticity in the evolution of behaviour, life history and morphology will be discussed. Adaptive divergence, resource polymorphism and ecological speciation will be explained. Integrated dynamic thinking about the evolution of biological diversity will be introduced through an eco-evo-devo framework, including discussion on feedback processes. When appropriate, Icelandic examples will be provided.
- That the student has good overview of concepts in ecology and evolutionary biology
- That the student understands the relations between ecology, development and phenotypic diversity
- That the student understands and can explain natural selection and its importance for adaptation
- That the student knows the main causes of reproductive isolation (variable gene flow)
- That the student understands and can explain basic processes of speciation
- That the student understands the basics of the interaction of ecological-, evolutionary- and developmental factors
- That the student understands the importance of dynamic, process orientated thinking in relation to maintenance and conservation of biodiversity