Spring 2020 - BISC 300 D100

Evolution (3)

Class Number: 2447

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We, Fr 12:30 PM – 1:20 PM
    AQ 3005, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 22, 2020
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    BISC 202 with a grade of C- or better. Recommended: BISC 204.



The phenomenon of organic evolution, and the major forces leading to changes in allele frequencies over time, i.e. natural selection and genetic drift. Topics include adaptation, speciation, the origin of life, and the major evolutionary trends over geological time. Students with credit for BISC 400 may not take this course for further credit.


Professor’s Statement
My objectives are to give students an appreciation for, and understanding of evolutionary theory, its history, major controversies, and the power of scientific explanation. Reading, thinking, and discussion are key elements to success and a good grade in this course.  

Tentative Topic Sequence
The new textbook by Zimmer and Emlen has 18 chapters.   We will cover all chapter topics during this course, but not all in the same detail. Attendance at lectures is your best guide to the emphasis given to various topics.  

We will cover the textbook in the order of the chapters, after the introductory week 1, when I will cover some material not in the text, but relevant to the broad study of evolutionary biology (cosmology, some origin of life concepts).

Canvas Website:  https://canvas.sfu.ca


  • Midterm I 20%
  • Midterm II 25%
  • Final Exam (3 hours) 40%
  • Tutorial: Participation and short oral presentation (5% for participation, and 10% for presentation content and delivery. 15%



Zimmer, C. and D.J. Emlen (3rd edition).  Evolution, Making Sense of Life. W.H. Freeman publishers.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html