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E-Seminars: E-Seminar Detail
Darwin, Mendel, and the Diversity of Life
Taught by: Donald J. Melnick

Description
E-Seminar Description
The reclusive monk Gregor Mendel harvested from his garden of pea plants a system of quantifying and predicting heredity in an organism. His contemporary Charles Darwin traveled the world by ship, assembling from his observations and specimens an understanding of how the environment shapes inherited traits. In the 150 years since the time of Darwin and Mendel, biologists have built on their discoveries a detailed understanding of how the enormous diversity of species we see on Earth came to be and how species change and are changed by their environments. In this lecture, Donald J. Melnick, Director of the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation and a professor in Columbia's departments of anthropology and biological sciences, explores the genius of these two scientists, from their influences and experiences to how their perspectives and methods shape modern science.

E-Seminar Length:3-5 hours
Start Date:Anytime
Credits:Not-for-Credit
Prerequisites:None
Moderator:None
All Registrants:FREE
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E-Seminar Objectives | Outline | Instructor's Background | Recommended Reading | Technical Requirements

E-Seminar Objectives
•    Identify the innovative research methods and theories of Darwin and Mendel.

•    Describe diversity in terms of genetics, species, and ecosystems.

•    Understand how genetics and environment affect evolution and diversity.

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Outline
1. A Personal History
2. Darwin's Early Years
3. Darwin's Predecessors
4. The Voyage of the Beagle
5. Darwin's Observations
6. Darwin's Theory
7. Mendel's Early Years
8. Mendel's Pea Plants
9. Mendel's One-Trait Cross
10. Mendel's Two-Trait Cross
11. Chromosomal Inheritance
12. Mendel's Genius
13. Evolutionary Pressure in Finches
14. Finches and Species Diversity
15. Ecological Diversity

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Instructor's Background
Instructor's Background
Donald J. Melnick is the Director and a founder of the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation and a professor in the departments of anthropology and biological sciences at Columbia University. His research focuses on population genetics, molecular systematics, and conservation. Through his work with primates, Professor Melnick examines the effects of sociality on the genetic structure of populations and the factors underlying the genetic structures of a population. His studies have addressed the dynamics of genetic change, rates of genetic change, and the assumptions used to construct molecular phylogenies and date cladogenic events. He has also worked on the conservation genetics of a variety of African, Asian, and South American vertebrates.

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Recommended Reading
The site for this lecture includes a list of recommended Web sites and articles.

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Technical Requirements
You will need to use a computer with Internet access to complete this course. We recommend the following minimum configurations:

IBM-COMPATIBLE PC
Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, or NT
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 4 or above (Internet Explorer 5 strongly recommended) or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

MACINTOSH
MAC OS 8.6 or higher
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 5 or above or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

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