Alex Hall: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2018
|Prof. Dr. Alex Hall
Professur für Pathogenökologie
ETH Zürich, CHN G 37.1
|+41 44 632 71 13
|Environmental Systems Science
|G. Velicer, A. Hall, S. Wielgoss, Y.‑T. N. Yu
|Students will analyze experimental evolution literature covering a wide range of questions, species and types of analysis and will lead discussions of this literature. Students will develop a written project proposal for a novel evolution experiment (or a novel analysis of a published experiment) to address an unanswered question and will also deliver an oral presentation of the project proposal.
i) become familiar with a diverse sample of experimental evolution literature,
ii) gain understanding of the strengths and limitations of experimental evolution for addressing evolutionary questions relative to other forms of evolutionary analysis, and
iii) gain the ability to effectively design and analyze evolution experiments that address fundamental or applied questions in evolutionary biology.
|Experimental evolution is a powerful and increasingly prominent approach to investigating evolutionary processes. Students will analyze experimental evolution literature covering a diverse range of topics, species and types of analysis and will lead discussions of this literature. Students will develop a written project proposal for a novel evolution experiment (or a novel analysis of a published experiment) to address an unanswered question and will also deliver an oral presentation of the project proposal. Evaluation will be based on a combination of participation in and leadership of literature discussions, in-class exams, and oral and written presentations of the project proposal.
|Primary research papers and review articles.
|Prerequisites / Notice
|701-0245-00 Introduction to Evolutionary Biology (or equivalent).
|Ecology and Evolution: Term Paper
|T. Städler, S. Bonhoeffer, A. Hall, J. Jokela, J. Levine, G. Velicer, A. Widmer
|Individual writing of an essay-type review paper about a specialized topic in the field of ecology and evolution, based on substantial reading of original literature and discussions with a senior scientist.
|- Students acquire a thorough knowledge on a topic in which they are particularly interested
- They learn to assess the relevance of original literature and synthesize information
- They make the experience of becoming "experts" on a topic and develop their own perspective
- They practise academic writing according to professional standards in English
|Topics for the essays are proposed by the professors and lecturers of the major in Ecology and Evolution at a joint meeting at the beginning of the semester (the date will be communicated by e-mail to registered students).
- choose a topic
- search and read appropriate literature
- develop a personal view on the topic and structure their arguments
- prepare figures and tables to represent ideas or illustrate them with examples
- write a clear, logical and well-structured text
- refine the text and present the paper according to professional standards
In all steps, they will benefit from the advice and detailed feedback given by a senior scientist acting as personal tutor of the student.
|Reading of articles in scientific journals
|Evolutionary Medicine for Infectious Diseases
Number of participants limited to 35.
|This course explores infectious disease from both the host and pathogen perspective. Through short lectures, reading and active discussion, students will identify areas where evolutionary thinking can improve our understanding of infectious diseases and, ultimately, our ability to treat them effectively.
|Students will learn to (i) identify evolutionary explanations for the origins and characteristics of infectious diseases in a range of organisms and (ii) evaluate ways of integrating evolutionary thinking into improved strategies for treating infections of humans and animals. This will incorporate principles that apply across any host-pathogen interaction, as well as system-specific mechanistic information, with particular emphasis on bacteria and viruses.
|We will cover several topics where evolutionary thinking is relevant to understanding or treating infectious diseases. This includes: (i) determinants of pathogen host range and virulence, (ii) dynamics of host-parasite coevolution, (iii) pathogen adaptation to evade or suppress immune responses, (iv) antimicrobial resistance, (v) evolution-proof medicine. For each topic there will be a short (< 20 minutes) introductory lecture, before students independently research the primary literature and develop discussion points and questions, followed by interactive discussion in class.
|The focus is on primary literature, but for some parts the following text books provide good background information:
Schmid Hempel 2011 Evolutionary Parasitology
Stearns & Medzhitov 2016 Evolutionary Medicine
|Prerequisites / Notice
|A basic understanding of evolutionary biology, microbiology or parasitology will be advantageous but is not essential.