Wilson Society

Evolution and Behavior

The Evolution and Behaviour course outlines the bigger biological picture. Forget cells and molecules, membranes and amino acids, E+B tackles the big questions; why we are here and why we act like we do. Ever wonder how life began? How humans came to be? What I looks like when a 60 year old professor imitates the mating ritual of the widow bird? To answer all these questions and more try E+B.

There are a few really helpful books that can make it easier to grasp certain concepts of the course. When it comes to understanding evolutionary genetics I found Richard Dawkins’ “The Selfish Gene” helpful in outlining the main theories in a novel way that can make the material easier to understand. The animal diversity section of the course is almost entirely identical to the material in Peter Holland’s “The Animal Kingdom: A Very Short Introduction”, if you read and understand this book then you’ll find the lecture series really straight forward. I found that the evolution of animal diversity section of the course was best tackled by findingĀ  your own examples of adaptive radiations, developmental plasticity etc.. from within animal groups you are interested in. This made the research and recall far easier, and allows you to produce high quality unique essays. Apart from that there are loads of useful text books in the library (such as Krebs’ “An Introduction to Behavioral Ecology”) and the lecture notes tend to be of a pretty good quality.


Contact Tom: tjmj3@cam.ac.uk

E&B course website: http://www.plantsci.cam.ac.uk/teaching/eandb