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Avida-ED Lab Book

Author(s): Robert T Pennock1, Louise Mead2, Wendy Johnson3, Amy Lark3, Jim Smith1, Cory Kohn4

1. Michigan State University 2. BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action 3. Avida-ED 4. Keck Science Department, The Claremont Colleges

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Avida-ED activities, modified for the Argentina 2019 Avida-ED Workshop, presented at the 2019 BioQUEST & QUBES Summer Workshop

Licensed under CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms

Version 1.0 - published on 24 May 2019 doi:10.25334/Q4CJ1N - cite this


This version of the Avida-ED Lab Book was prepared for the Argentina 2019 Avida-ED Workshop at the Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires. The Lab Book represents the cumulative work many people, including the present AvidaED Project Curriculum Development Team (Robert T. Pennock, Louise Mead, Jim Smith, and Mike Wiser), with significant contributions from former members Cory Kohn, Amy Lark, and Wendy Johnson. The Lab Book, as presented here, was assembled from component files by Jim Smith on May 9, 2019.

Though the activities in this version of the Avida-ED Lab Book are similar to their past iterations, experienced Avida-ED instructors should re-familiarize themselves with the content. Of particular note, the Lab Book now contains a new Exercise #4, which investigates population change due to random processes – genetic drift.

Based on feedback from Active LENS faculty development workshop participants, beginning with the 2016 edition we incorporated terminology changes to help students better understand the factors that lead to changes in an organism’s fitness. In particular, what was previously called “metabolic rate” is now called “energy acquisition rate” and “gestation time” is now called “offspring cost.” Fitness is defined as the energy acquisition rate divided by the offspring cost, which equals the rate of production of offspring.

This edition has updated screenshots and instructions for the web-based version of AvidaED (vers. 3.0), released in 2016. This version was developed by the Avida-ED software group, Robert T. Pennock, Charles Ofria, Richard Lenski, Diane Blackwood and Matt Rupp. Diane Blackwood is the lead programmer for this version.

The Avida-ED Lab Book contains materials modified from versions originally developed for various undergraduate biology curricula. The Introduction activity was originally produced by Wendy Johnson, Robert T. Pennock, and Louise Mead. Exercise 1, Exercise 3, and the Independent Research activity were originally produced by Robert T. Pennock and Amy Lark. Exercise 3 as presented here has been modified significantly from its original form by Jim Smith and Cory Kohn. Exercise 2 was originally produced by Jim Smith, and Exercise 4 by Cory Kohn. 

Do you want to know more about implementing this material? Have a question for the author? Used the material and have feedback? As a featured Resource Walk-Through in the Teaching Quantitative Biology Online group, you can learn more about the module and participate in a discussion. There are also materials available for using Avida-ED when teaching online: 

Resource Walk-Through    Materials for Online Settings

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