Fall 2020

Adaptation and the Organism

Listed in: Biology, as BIOL-181

Formerly listed as: BIOL-18

Moodle site: Course


Ethan D. Clotfelter (Sections 01, 02, 03 and 04)
Thea V. Kristensen (Sections 01, 02, 03 and 04)
Jill S. Miller (Sections 01, 02, 03 and 04)


An introduction to the evolution, ecology, and behavior of organisms and how these relate to the diversity of life. Following a discussion of the core components of evolutionary theory, we'll examine how evolutionary processes have shaped morphological, anatomical, physiological, and behavioral adaptations in organisms that solve many of life's problems, ranging from how to find or acquire food and avoid being eaten, to how to attract and locate mates, and how to optimize reproduction throughout a lifetime. We'll relate and compare characteristics of animals, plants, fungi, protists, and bacteria, examining how and why these organisms have arrived at various solutions to life's problems. Laboratory exercises will complement lectures and will involve field experiments on natural selection and laboratory studies of vertebrates, invertebrates and plants. Four classroom hours and three laboratory hours per week.

This course will be conducted in a hybrid format, with both in-person and on-line components as needed, supported by appropriate technology. Options for online-only participation will be available for those students unable to participate in person. Students enrolling in this course should register for ONE of the four “LEC" sections and ONE of the five "LAB" sections.

Fall semester. Professors Clotfelter and Miller; Lab Coordinator Kristensen.

Please note that the same textbook is used for both BIOL 181 and BIOL 191.


Lab Science Course, Quantitative Reasoning, Science & Math for Non-majors


2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021