Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tuesday, 4th December - Island Biogeography and adaptive radiation

Today we finished covering island biogeography and talked about adaptive radiation, special traits, etc.  The lecture is here.

I have now updated the study guide.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday, November 29 - Island Biogeography

Today we covered patterns of distribution in SE Asia, specifically the significance of the Wallace Line and we also covered topics in island biogeography.  The lecture is here.

Try taking the time to fill the evaluation! Thank you!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday, November 27 - Historical Biogeography and major disjunctions

Today we talked a little more about methods and covered major distributions and disjunctions. The lecture can be downloaded here.

Monday, November 19, 2012

It's my turn to be evaluated!

It is time for you to evaluate your instructors.  Your feedback is very important to me and my professional growth.  I value it very much and take your comments very seriously.  Please do go to the evaluation site. The link is HERE.  It opens on the 20th and closes on December 7th. I really appreciate it!! Thanks!

Study guide for final exam

Right now this includes only the topics that we have covered so far. More to come.

Evolutions and Systematics
  • Anagenesis and Cladogenesis (be prepared to clearly state differences and draw a graph)
  • Speciation: what it is and what does it require
  • Allopatric, peripatric, parapatric, and sympatric speciation. You need to be clear in your explanations and provide examples.
  • Species concepts: why there is little consensus after more than 26 concepts have been developed in the literature.
    • What are the implication for conservation?
    • Why is it important to conserve species?

Pattern and Process
  • Dispersal vs Vicariance
    • Provide examples
    • How many different types of dispersal?
    • How many different types of vicariance?
  • Endemism & Extinction


  • Main ideas
  • Centers of Origin

Phylogenetic Biogeography

  • Main Ideas
  • Be prepared to draw a tree and explain the progression and deviation rules


  • Main ideas
  • Individual Tracks → Generalized tracks
  • Methods to polarize tracks: Baselines Main massing, phylogeny

Cladistic Biogeography
  • Main ideas
  • Taxon cladograms → Area cladograms → General area cladogram

Major patterns of distribution and disjunction
  • Southern hemisphere temperate flora: Why is Africa’s flora unique?
  • Southern hemisphere tropical flora: Whi is S. America less related to Africa and Indo-Malay-pacific areas?
  • What is the boreotropic hypothesis?
  • Eastern North America- Eastern Asia: what are the causes of this pattern?
  • The Wallace line: is it significant and how?

Island Biogeography
  • Difference between contnental and oceanic islands
  • Why are islands special
  • How do organisms get there
  • What affects species composition
  • Distance, size, isolation
  • The equilibrium theory - immigration and extinction rates
  • How do species survive?
  • Difference between a paleoendemism and a neoendemism
  • Major criticisms of the equilibrium theory
  • Adaptive radiation: provide some examples
  • Characteristics of the Hawaiian islands

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Important Announcement

Upon request and under duress, class will be cancelled on Tuesday, November 20th.  Safe travels back home!

Thursday, November 15 - Approaches in Biogeography

Today we covered methods of analysis in biogeography.  Specifically, we talked about phylogenetic biogeography, panbiogeography and cladistic biogeography. Lecture can be found here.