Insect Behaviour & Evolution
Insect Behaviour and Evolution 2024-25
School of Environmental & Natural Sciences
Module - Semester 2
Topics covered may include:
- Comparative developmental biology and diversity of insects
- Sensory neurobiology and behaviour
- Mechanisms of speciation and adaptation
- Evolutionary genetics of insect diversification
- Genome manipulation and applied insect research
The module will allow you to apply modern biology techniques to more fully understand insect diversity, morphology, and links between genes, morphology, and behaviour. You will also develop a quantitative understanding of the evolutionary processes governing insect biodiversity. You will therefore have the opportunity to develop or refine important practical skills in biology and evolutionary genetics/genomics and will be exposed to relevant primary literature through the module.
-threshold -Grades D- to D+The student should be able to express a basic conceptual knowledge of the majority of the core material presented in the module, and be able to appreciate the complexity of insect behaviours at multiple levels, from genetics through to ecology. Provides little to no examples, or interprets them incorrectly. Written work presents at least a superficial account of all major steps.
-good -Grades B- to B+Express a thorough conceptual knowledge of much of the core material presented in the module, and have a competent and detailed ability to critically evaluate the principles of insect development and evolutionary genetics. Some detailed examples are provided, and are interpreted correctly. Some evidence of further reading and ability to integrate material from the full range of the lecture and practical content. Written work shows some evidence of problem solving and presents sufficient detail that most of the experiments/steps could be repeated using this alone.
-excellent -Grades A- to A*Demonstrate comprehensive conceptual and factual knowledge, critical understanding of theory, evidence of extra reading of primary literature and the ability to integrate this extra knowledge in a relevant manner. Extensive use of examples, including those not presented in class. Written work shows clear evidence of additional reading or research, and records steps taken in solving identified problems or trouble-shooting techniques. Experiments are recorded in a highly detailed and logical manner and could be used to repeat every step with no additional information.
-another level-Grades C- to C+.Convey a basic understanding of much of the core material presented in the module. Able to evaluate basic principles of insect development and evolutionary genetics, but lacking critical details and the ability to synthesize across different studies. Some, but limited evidence of broad reading in relevant fields. Written work covers essential details, but lacking in integration across topics and problem solving.
- Be able to apply background knowledge and independent research in order to interpret experimental results and solve problems, and to understand and critique relevant primary literature
- Demonstrate practical skills in insect biology, fieldwork, and evolutionary genetics
- Describe the diversity of sensory mechanisms possessed by insects, and identify how these play a role in insect evolution and diversification
- Describe the links between genes, morphology, behaviour, and ecology
- Explain the key models and techniques used to study insect biology and population genetics, including the importance of in-the-field collections and experiments.
Exam (Centrally Scheduled)
Practical Report 2 - Field experiment design, insect collection, and analysis.
Practical Report 1 - Analysis and write-up of genetic data collected from invasive populations of the fruit fly, Zaprionus indianus