Course description

Patterns of diversity and processes of evolution. Topics include the diversity of life, the fossil record, macroevolutionary patterns, the genetics and developmental basis of evolutionary change, processes at the population level, evolution by natural selection, modes of speciation, long-term trends in evolution, and human evolution.

Outcome 1: Students will understand the underlying causal principles of evolutionary diversification.

Outcome 2: Students will be able to apply these principles to understand historical and contemporary evolutionary scenarios.

Outcome 3: Students will be able to identify core taxa in the tree of life, their characteristics, and understand the relationships among them.

Outcome 4: Students will be able to use basic conceptual and analytical tools to describe complex relationships within the tree of life.

Outcome 5: Students will be familiar with a number of experimental and synthetic approaches to analyzing and discovering evolutionary processes (microevolution) and establishing evolutionary patterns (macroevolution).

Outcome 6: Students will discuss knowledgeably the dimensions of evolutionary issues that require decisions in our society.

Successful completion of BioSM 1780 fulfills an introductory life sciences/biology requirement for CALS, Cornell's biology major, and other Cornell majors.


Limited to 24 students who are either, a) matriculated students at Cornell, UNH or any 4-year college or university; or b) incoming freshmen who will arrive at Cornell or UNH Fall term. Offered in Maine at Shoals Marine Laboratory, Appledore Island

Section ID:BIOSM 1780 801-FLD
Notes:The BIOSM 1780 801-FLD section of this course has been cancelled. There may be other sections (listed above) that are open to students.