ECOL280: Sociobiology and Evolution of Cooperation

ECOL280 is a General Education class ('Tier 2 NATS'). It therefore does not have any prerequisites, i.e. you do not have to have taken other biology or science classes before taking ECOL280.

The class will take place Mo, Wed, Fri at 10am-10:50am in Biological Sciences West 208.

The SYLLABUS explains details of course activities and grading.

The goal of ECOL280 is to show you the wonderful diversity of animals and other organisms on Earth, to spur your curiosity with examples of sophisticated and unusual social behaviors that we see in not only mammals but also insects, microbes, fish, and others, and to fascinate you with how all of these can result from the very simple processes that underlie evolutionary change. Finally, we will discuss how our own, human behavior may have been shaped by evolution.


Meerkats standing up in a group


You will also specifically learn how science operates both in theory and in practice, and we will practice reading and interpreting both scientific literature and journalistic writing about science. In addition, you will make your own short video presentation about a topic (related to class) that you are particularly interested in.

Animal groups - a school of fish chased by a penguin and a bison surrounded by a pack of wolves

Once you are registered for the course, you will get access to the D2L course webpage; there you can download readings, submit homework assignments, and see your grades. Make sure that you check this page frequently during the course. If you have problems accessing the d2l page, check the D2L help page.

If the course is full, check the catalog regularly - usually free slots will become available in the first couple of weeks of the semester.

Instructor: Anna Dornhaus
I'm a biologist with a special interest in collective behavior and cognition. I work with social insects, particularly bumble bees, honey bees, and ants.
check out my lab webpage or department webpage.

If you are interested in working in my lab, or have other questions: