Life History Contents

  • Section One: Introduction to Life Histories Introduction to reproductive strategies, life cycles, and the foundations of life history. Exploration of a diversity of life cycles and life histories found in marine plants and animals. Examples of classic studies of clutch size evolution in birds.
  • Section Two: Life History Parameters Introduction to demography and the parameters employed to describe population structure: birth and death rates, survivorship, mortality, and fecundity. Calculating birth and death rates using simulated data. Describing and contrasting populations using age pyramids. Discussion of how fecundity and survivorship vary with age.
  • Section Three: Life Tables and Survivorship Curves Introduction to life tables. Construction of a simple dynamic life table using a simulation of a human cohort. Calculation of population growth rates from life table data. Comparison of life table data and population growth in developing and developed nations.
  • Section Four: Trade-Offs Discussion of several common trade-offs using a fish simulation. Introduction of the principle of allocation and ways of classifying life histories, including r- and K-selection, Grimes, and Winemiller and Rose classifications. Experiment investigating fish reproductive strategy in simulated habitats with differences in environmental stability.