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The second midterm will consist of a mixture of questions that ask you to match concepts, short answer questions, and essays.  All answers must be in your own words.  There will be no multiple choice questions. You should bring a calculator to this exam.  In addition to the simple definition or term, I also expect you to explain why you give your answer, or why the answer is important in the context of evolutionary biology.

 

Here are some examples of the kinds of essay questions you should be able to answer.  Anything discussed in lecture is fair game, including figures on handouts, etc.  I encourage you to read the assigned parts of the textbook for relevant background.  The format will be the same as that of Exam 1. 

 

  1. Why is the Hardy-Weinberg model considered a “null model”?
  2. You should know how to calculate if a population is at HW equilibrium or not.
  3. Why is particulate inheritance important?
  4. How can transposable elements affect the genome?
  5. What is the role of mutation in the genome?
  6. What is a genetic bottleneck?  How does it affect Ne?
  7. What is the relationship between absolute and relative fitness?
  8. What is frequency-dependent selection?  Give an example of positive and negative frequency-dependent selection.
  9. How does epistasis produce non-additive interactions among alleles?
  10. Why does linkage disequilibrium arise, and how can it be maintained?
  11. What is fitness?  How does it relate to adaptation?
  12. Explain the difference between stochastic and deterministic forces in evolution.  Why are both necessary?
  13. Why is the variance of reproductive success usually higher among males than among females?  What effects can this produce?
  14. You should know how to calculate the change in mean fitness of a population due to natural selection on genotypes with different relative fitnesses.
  15. What is the effective population size?
  16. How does effective population size relate to selection and genetic drift?
  17. What evolutionary forces are at play when a population is established by the  founder effect?
  18. What is antagonistic pleiotropy?  Give two examples.

19.    What is wrong with the statement that “Lemmings commit suicide to help avoid overpopulation”?

  1. Why do organisms age?
  2. What is the “cost of sex”?  What benefits of sex offset this cost?
  3. How does Muller’s ratchet result in the loss of fitness in asexual lineages?
  4. What is the difference between group selection and kin selection?  Why is altruism evolutionarily unstable?
  5. Why is a sexually-reproducing organism a vehicle and not a replicator?
  6. What are some ways parasites can affect the behavior of their hosts to enhance their (the parasites’) fitness?

 

 

  1. You might be asked to explain the meaning and significance of a diagram, or to draw a diagram illustrating a concept.  (Such questions would be based on figures in the Powerpoints).

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