Evolution and Biodiversity
Theme course requirements can be found in the Evolution and Biodiversity Theme Charts calendar entry.
Biodiversity refers to the variety of life on Earth. It includes species diversity (i.e., the variety of different types of organisms), genetic diversity within each species, and ecosytem diversity. The Evolution and Biodiversity theme deals primarily with the evolutionary processes that generate and maintain (or limit) organismal and genetic diversity, patterns of species biodiversity in time and space, and the biology and evolutionary relationships within the specific organismal groups.
Evolution and Biodiversity theme members conduct research on various aspects of biodiversity from both evolutionary and conservation-related perspectives. Current research on adaptation includes the evolution of flower shape in response to animal pollinators, the genetic basis of adaptation, and the evolution and maintenance of sociality and mating systems. Research on species and genetic diversity includes the systematics and conservation biology of a wide range of organisms (e.g., lichens, vascular plants, fish and other vertebrates) and the study of biological diversity as it relates to human well-being and sustainability.