Tuesdays, 2-4:50 p.m.
Thursdays, 2-4 p.m.
021 McKinly Hall
Instructor: John McDonald
322 Wolf Hall (office)
Phone: 831-2007 (I rarely check messages, so e-mail is better)
Class web page: http://udel.edu/~mcdonald/geneticssyllabus.html
This schedule has links to the online lab manual for the course. The web pages will be revised throughout the semester, up until the morning of each lab, so don't print them out ahead of time.
|Aug. 27||Tuesday||Allozyme project: Literature search|
|Aug. 29||Thursday||Worm project: Plan|
|Sept. 3||Tuesday||Collect isopods and insects||Allozyme pre-proposal due|
|Sept. 5||Thursday||Start worm project|
|Sept. 10||Tuesday||Collect more isopods and insects|
|Sept. 17||Tuesday||Collect||Allozyme proposal due|
|Sept. 22||Sunday||Delaware Bay field trip||12:30-9 p.m.|
|Nov. 26||Tuesday||Worm paper due|
|Nov. 28||Thursday||Thanksgiving, no class|
|Dec. 3||Tuesday||Presentations: meet in 318 Wolf||Allozyme paper due|
Each of you will complete two semester-long projects. One will involve surveying allozyme variation in natural populations of an invertebrate. I will assign you one species of insect, isopod, or marine invertebrate that is easy to collect and easy to identify. With the assistance of your classmates, you will collect samples from at least six locations and look for variation in allele frequency. Students with insects or isopods will collect samples within walking or bicycling distance of Newark, while students with marine invertebrates will collect on a couple of day-long field trips on Saturdays or Sundays.
The second project will be a mass selection experiment on a quantitative trait in the microworm, Panagrellus redivivus. Working as a team of 4, you will design an experiment to measure a quantitative trait and select for an extreme value of this trait over multiple generations. Each student will then perform this experiment individually, so the team has 4 replicates of the same experiment.
If as the semester goes on, the allozyme and microworm experiments do not require a large portion of the class time, I will add a project involving searching and analyzing data from public DNA sequence databases.
There are no fixed office hours. You can make an appointment by talking to me before or after class, or by e-mailing me.
We will not use a printed lab manual this fall. The individual labs for the first few weeks will be linked from this web page. The topics for each lab may change at the last minute, so don't print out the labs ahead of time. Later in the semester, the instructions for each lab will just be "Continue working on your alloyzme and worm projects," so there may not be written instructions for each lab.
You will not be penalized for absences, but you must make up the work you miss. If you know in advance that you will miss a lab, please talk to me so we may make arrangements for you to do the work at another time. If you have an unplanned absence, please e-mail me as soon as you can so we may make arrangements.
Your grade will be based on the following:
Note: If I add a database project, your report on it will be worth 15% of your grade, the worm paper will be worth 15%, the allozyme paper will be 35%, and the allozyme presentation will be 10%.
The grades will not be curved. There are no extra credit projects. The points from the assignments will be combined and converted to letter grades as follows:
A 93-100; A- 90-92.9; B+ 87-89.9; B 83-86.9; B- 80-82.9; C+ 77-79.9; C 73-76.9; C- 70-72.9; D+ 67-69.9; D 63-66.9; D- 60-62.9; F 0-59.9.
Students who are less than 3 points below the minimum grade needed for their program (such as an undergraduate biology major with 67 to 69.9 points) will be given the opportunity to take an incomplete grade and complete an extra credit project. This project will be a lot of work, such as writing a 15-page term paper on a topic of my choice. Upon satisfactory completion of the project, you'll get the minimum grade needed for your program (such as C- for undergraduate biology majors). There will be no other extra credit.
Return to John McDonald's home page
This page was last revised August 26, 2013. Its URL is http://udel.edu/~mcdonald/geneticssyllabus.html