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BIO U706.10: Biological Systematics.

6 hours (2, lecture; 4, lab), 4 credits. While the theoretical basis and methodologies of each of the current schools of systematics will be discussed, the course will stress the basis and use of phylogenetic principles (cladistics) for developing topologies of terminal taxa from appropriate data matrices. There will be discussions of the concepts of species, monophyly, paraphyly, polyphyly, parsimony analysis, homology and homoplasy, as well as character selection, character state analysis, and polarity. Students will read classic and current papers from both the botanical and zoological literature to show the modern use of both morphological and molecular data in resolving phylogenetic and biogeographic relationships. Students will learn how to calculate the Wagner Algorithm and to use appropriate computer programs, i.e., WinClada and PAUP, for data analysis.

Last modified: 8/4/2015