You are responsible for finding three articles as possible subjects of your class presentation and term paper. You must pick three articles, on three different topics; I'll decide which one you'll do your presentation on.
The articles must be on evolutionary genetics, broadly interpreted to include anything about the patterns of genetic variation within populations, among populations, or among species, and the processes that influence that variation. E-mail me if you're not sure whether an article has enough evolutionary genetics in it to be acceptable.
Articles must report original results; you cannot choose review articles. Articles are acceptable that collect data from previous publications and analyze it in a new way (rather than just summarizing it, the way a review article does).
On Thursday, Feb. 21, you must turn in a typed list of three papers, with the citation information (in the format shown on the instructions for the paper) and abstract. Clearly indicate which is your first, second, and third choice. I'll try to give everyone their first choice, but if there are too many papers on certain topics, I'll tell some people they have to do their second or third choice.
I'll put the topics in some kind of logical order and assign presentation dates for everyone. Let me know if there are any days after spring break on which you absolutely couldn't do a presentation (because you know you'll be absent) and any days you'd prefer not to do a presentation (due to an exam in another class, for example).
You may want to find your article by browsing through your favorite journal. Trends in Ecology and Evolution and the Annual Review of Ecology and Evolution contain review articles that can give you leads on interesting papers on hot topics. Evolution, Molecular Biology and Evolution, the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, and BMC Evolutionary Biology are well regarded journals covering a variety of evolutionary topics. The "glamour magazines" (Science and Nature) have some evolutionary genetics, as does Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. There are many other journals that have some papers with enough evolutionary genetics content to qualify for this class; in fact, in the last two years students have presented papers from 32 different journals.
If you have a topic in mind, you may do a topic search in the Web of Science (see the Guide to searching for biological literature for instructions) to find an article. If you're interested in a particular topic, such as moss, or mitochondria, or extracellular matrix, a good way to start is with a topic search for that topic plus "evolution". For example, I did a topic search for moss evolution and got 325 articles. Using the "Refine Results" box to limit it to "Subject Area: evolutionary biology" and "Document type: Article," there were 57 articles, on subjects such as the demographic history of peat mosses, the evolution of TCP transcription factors, and the phylogeny of the Timmiaceae.
If you took BISC495 (Evolution) previously or are taking it this year, you cannot use the same topic for papers in both classes. If you're thinking of somewhat similar topics, ask me ahead of time whether I think they're too similar.
If you've written or are writing a paper for another class, you cannot use the same topic in this class.
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This page was last revised February 4, 2013. Its URL is http://udel.edu/~mcdonald/evolpaperchoice.html