Spring 2008

SCIE 634
Male & Female Tactics in Animal Reproduction

Powzyk,Joyce Ann

01/28/2008 - 05/10/2008
Wednesday 07:00 PM - 09:30 PM

Shanklin 314

Special Schedule: One-week immersion, August 6-10 (Monday-Friday) 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

As we study the biology of sex in the animal world, it is apparent that there is a multitude of ways in which organisms mate and reproduce. Sex is often defined according to sexual reproduction, whereby two individuals that are male and female mate and have offspring. However, many organisms engage in asexual reproduction or a combination of the two reproductive strategies. Reproductive anatomy and behavior will be addressed so we can thoroughly explore a variety of organisms and their reproductive methods ranging in topics from marine fish and their sex changes as well as the (female) marmoset monkey who can give birth to a chimera (an offspring with more than two parents). As organisms pursue sex, what are the mating strategies, are all genes selfish (individual selection vs. group selection), and what are the chemicals of sex (pheromones and hormones). By examining the biology of sex in detail we will debate age-old topics such as whether sexual reproduction is sexist (favoring one sex over the other), and how the reproductive strategies of the male and female animal may be locked in a competitive "arms race."

Sources to be studied include Linda Fedigan, Primate Paradigms: Sex Roles and Social Bonds; Joann Rodgers, Sex: A Natural History; Adrian Forsyth, A Natural History of Sex: The Ecology and Evolution of Mating Behavior; Jared Diamond, The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal; Olivia Judson, Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation: The Definitive Guide to the Evolutionary Biology of Sex; William Eberhard, Female Control: Sexual Selection by Cryptic Female Choice; Malte Andersson, Sexual Selection; Helena Cronin, The Ant and the Peacock: Altruism and Sexual Selection from Darwin to Today.

Grades will be determined by a midterm, a final exam, a short presentation, and participation in classroom discussions.

This course will be a lecture/discussion class and students will be asked to read original research papers together with selections from a textbook.

A syllabus for this course is available at:

Joyce Powzyk (B.S. Principia College; Ph.D. Duke University) is visiting assistant professor of biology. She is author with C.B. Mowry of "The Feeding Ecology of Indri indri." In, Gould, L and Sauther, M.L. (eds.) Madagascar's Lemurs: Ecology and Adaptation on an Island of Diversity, Springer, New York, (in review) and is author and illustrator of a variety of books and posters about animals and plants. Click here for more information about Joyce Powzyk.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:

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