Office of the Registrar
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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2021-22

BIOL 23 Social Evolution: Cooperation and Construction Among Animal Architects

For the evolution of social life, cooperation raises a fundamental problem. Indeed, Darwin regarded cooperation as one of the greatest puzzles for his theory of evolution. If natural selection favors individuals that selfishly maximize their own reproductive success, then why should organisms cooperate at all? Yet evidence for cooperation is ubiquitous in many social animals, from insects to humans. This course will explore how and why cooperation evolves, with the goal of understanding general ecological and evolutionary principles, especially the conditions under which social organisms work together to help one another despite competition and conflicting interests. A central theme of the course will be cases of cooperation in which social animals architecturally construct their surroundings, by building long-lasting shelters.




BIOL 15 or BIOL 16

Distributive and/or World Culture


The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.