EY Ecology and Evolution

Section 1: Ecology

Population ecology; metapopulation dynamics; growth rates; density independent

growth; density dependent growth; niche concept;

Species interactions: Plant-animal interactions; mutualism, commensalism, competition

and predation; trophic interactions; functional ecology; ecophysiology; behavioural


Community ecology: Community assembly, organization and evolution; biodiversity:

species richness, evenness and diversity indices; endemism; species-area relationships;

Ecosystem structure, function and services; nutrient cycles; biomes; habitat ecology;

primary and secondary productivity; invasive species; global and climate change;

applied ecology.

Section 2: Evolution

Origin, evolution and diversification of life; natural selection; levels of selection.

Types of selection (stabilizing, directional etc.); sexual selection; genetic drift; gene flow;

adaptation; convergence; species concepts;

Life history strategies; adaptive radiation; biogeography and evolutionary ecology;

Origin of genetic variation; Mendelian genetics; polygenic traits, linkage and

recombination; epistasis, gene-environment interaction; heritability; population genetics;

Molecular evolution; molecular clocks; systems of classification: cladistics and phenetics;

molecular systematics; gene expression and evolution.

Section 3: Mathematics and Quantitative Ecology

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).

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 4: Behavioural Ecology

Classical ethology; neuroethology; evolutionary ethology; chemical, acoustic and visual


Mating systems; sexual dimorphism; mate choice; parenting behaviour Competition;

aggression; foraging behaviour; predator–prey interactions; Sociobiology: kin selection,

altruism, costs and benefits of group-living.

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