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Lesson summary for:
Angling for evolutionary answers: The work of David O. Conover

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Overview:
Human activity has certainly affected our physical environment - but it is also changing the course of evolution. This research profile follows scientist David O. Conover as he investigates the impact of our fishing practices on fish evolution and discovers what happened to the big ones that got away.

Author/Source:
UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:
13-16

Time:
30 minutes

Teaching tips:
Use this resource to relate evolutionary concepts to the nature and process of science or the topic of conservation (or get more suggestions for incorporating evolution throughout your biology syllabus). This research profile includes discussion and essay questions that can be assigned to students. Get tips for using research profiles in your classroom.

Concepts:
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • Artificial selection provides a model for natural selection.

  • Evolution results from natural selection acting upon genetic variation within a population.

  • Natural selection and genetic drift act on the variation that exists in a population.

  • Natural selection acts on phenotype as an expression of genotype.

  • Inherited characteristics affect the likelihood of an organism’s survival and reproduction.

  • Over time, the proportion of individuals with advantageous characteristics may increase (and the proportion with disadvantageous characteristics may decrease) due to their likelihood of surviving and reproducing.

  • Depending on environmental conditions, inherited characteristics may be advantageous, neutral, or detrimental.

  • Natural selection can act on the variation in a population in different ways.

  • A hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing.

  • Scientists test their ideas using multiple lines of evidence.

  • Scientists use multiple research methods (experiments, observational research, comparative research, and modeling) to collect data.

  • The real process of science is complex, iterative, and can take many different paths.

  • Scientific findings and evidence inspire new questions and shape the directions of future scientific research.

  • Science is a human endeavor.

  • Our knowledge of the evolution of living things is always being refined as we gather more evidence.

  • As with other scientific disciplines, evolutionary biology has applications that factor into everyday life, for example in agriculture, biodiversity and conservation biology, and medicine and health.

  • Scientists use multiple lines of evidence (including morphological, developmental, and molecular evidence) to infer the relatedness of taxa.

  • Scientists use experimental evidence to study evolutionary processes.

  • Scientists use artificial selection as a model to learn about natural selection.

Teacher background:

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