GATE Ecology and Evolution Syllabus


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Subject Code: EY

Course Structure

Sections/Units Topics
Section A Ecology
Unit 1 Population Ecology
Unit 2 Species Interactions
Unit 3 Community Ecology
Unit 4 Ecosystem Structure, Function and Services
Section B Evolution
Unit 1 Origin, Evolution and Diversification of Life
Unit 2 Types of Selection (Stabilizing, Directional etc.)
Unit 3 Life History Strategies
Unit 4 Origin of Genetic Variation
Unit 5 Molecular Evolution
Section C Mathematics and Quantitative Ecology
Unit 1 Mathematics and Statistics In Ecology
Unit 2 Statistical Hypothesis Testing
Section D Behavioural Ecology
Unit 1 Classical Ethology
Unit 2 Mating Systems

Course Syllabus

Section A: Ecology

Unit 1: Population Ecology

  • Metapopulation dynamics −
    • Growth rates
    • Density independent growth
    • Density dependent growth
    • Niche concept

Unit 2: Species Interactions

  • Plant-animal interactions −
    • Mutualism
    • Commensalism
    • Competition
    • Predation
  • Trophic interactions −
    • Functional ecology
    • Ecophysiology
    • Behavioural ecology

Unit 3: Community Ecology

  • Community assembly, organization and evolution
  • Biodiversity −
    • Species richness
    • Evenness and diversity indices
    • Endemism
    • Species-area relationships

Unit 4: Ecosystem Structure, Function and Services

  • Nutrient cycles
  • Biomes
  • Habitat ecology;
  • Primary and secondary productivity
  • Invasive species
  • Global and climate change
  • Applied ecology

Section B: Evolution

Unit 1: Origin, Evolution and Diversification of Life

  • Natural selection
  • Levels of selection

Unit 2: Types of selection (stabilizing, directional etc.)

  • Sexual selection
  • Genetic drift
  • Gene flow
  • Adaptation
  • Convergence
  • Species concepts

Unit 3: Life history strategies

  • Adaptive radiation
  • Biogeography and evolutionary ecology

Unit 4: Origin of genetic variation

  • Mendelian genetics
  • Polygenic traits, linkage and recombination
  • Epistasis, gene-environment interaction
  • Heritability
  • Population genetics

Unit 5: Molecular evolution

  • Molecular clocks
  • Systems of classification −
    • Cladistics
    • Phenetics
  • Molecular systematics
  • Gene expression and evolution

Section C: Mathematics and Quantitative Ecology

Unit 1: Mathematics and Statistics in Ecology

  • Simple functions (linear, quadratic, exponential, logarithmic, etc.)

  • Concept of derivatives and slope of a function

  • Permutations and combinations

  • Basic probability (probability of random events

  • Sequences of events, etc.)

  • Frequency distributions and their descriptive statistics (mean, variance, coefficient of variation, correlation, etc.)

Unit 2: Statistical Hypothesis Testing

  • Concept of p-value
  • Type I and Type II error, test statistics like t-test and Chi-square test
  • Basics of linear regression and ANOVA

Section D: Behavioural Ecology

Unit 1: Classical Ethology

  • Neuroethology
  • Evolutionary ethology
  • Chemical
  • Acoustic and visual signaling

Unit 2: Mating systems

  • Sexual dimorphism
  • Mate choice
  • Parenting behaviour competition
  • Aggression
  • Foraging behavior
  • Predator–prey interactions
  • Sociobiology
  • Kin selection, altruism, costs and benefits of group-living

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