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Scott teaches a variety of courses in evolutionary biology, ornithology and population genetics. In addition, many postdocs in the lab find that becoming a Teaching Fellow for LS1b is a good way to stretch funds and get some valuable experience teaching in a large survey course in genetics and evolution.

OEB 275r changes every year; this year, we are focused on the ways in which comparative genomics can inform phylogeny and genomic adaptation. During Spring 2012 Edwards taught ornithology (OEB 190), which consists of lectures, laboratory sessions, computer projects, and field trips, including a spring-break field trip to Panama. Graduate students in the lab are often recruited to act as Teaching Fellows for these courses.


Scott is on leave for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years. He is serving as Division Director of the Division of Biological Infrastructure at the National Science Foundation. Read more about the cool stuff funded by DBI here. He looks forward to returning to Harvard in summer 2015.



OEB 275br: Evolutionary Genomics and the Museum: Enhancing insight into evolutionary processes using museum collections (Spring 2013)

Harvard College/GSAS: 82827
Scott V. Edwards and James Hanken
Half course (spring term). Tu., 1-3, and occasional alternate times to accomodate video casts. Exam Group: 15
Location: Northwest Building B108

This semester we will explore through lectures, videocasts and discussion the ways in which museum collections and online museum databases can enhance modern studies of genomic and geographic variation. Lecture topics will review the state of the art with regard to using genomics to study geographic variation, and in-class demonstrations will link such studies to museum and biodiversity databases and explore the reciprocal benefits of doing so. Some lectures will be held remotely and given by video by scientists at institutions participating in AIM-UP!, a NSF-funded multi-institution research network aimed at enhancing undergraduate education through museum collections (

Prerequisite: OEB 10, OEB 53, or equivalent.


OEB 275r. Phylogenomics, Comparative Genomics and Adaptation (Fall 2012)

Catalog Number: 5004
Scott V. Edwards
Primarily for Graduates
Half course (fall term). Th., 2-4, and occasional computer labs Exam Group: 16,17
Location: University Herbaria Conference Rm 142

This semester we will explore through readings of the recent literature the ways in which comparative genomics can inform phylogeny and genomic adaptation. In addition to surveying recent methods for harnessing thousands of loci for phylogenetic reconstruction, we will also study how comparing genomes of higher clades can reveal signatures of adaptation, particularly in the noncoding portion of the genome.
Prerequisites: OEB 53, OEB 181, OEB 125 or equivalent.

OEB 362. Research in Molecular Evolution
Catalog Number: 2367
Half course (fall term; repeated spring term).


OEB 190. Biology and Diversity of Birds (Spring 2012; Offered next in Spring 2016)

Catalog Number: 3870
Scott V. Edwards
For Undergraduates and Graduates
Half course (spring term). Tu., Th., 11:30-1, and two hours weekly of specimen laboratory. Exam Group: 13,14

An introduction to the biology of birds. Covers the fossil record and theories for avian origins, physiology and anatomy, higher-level systematics and field characters of the ~27 orders, speciation processes, nesting and courtship behavior, vocalizations, mating systems and sexual selection, cooperative breeding, demography and conservation. Optional field trip during spring break. Laboratories will consist of gross anatomy, bird watching excursions in the Cambridge area, field techniques and specimen preparation, and systematic study of avian groups using the collections of the Museum of Comparative Zoology.
Prerequisites: OEB 10 or OEB 53 or permission of the instructor.

OEB 190 in the Western Highlands, Panama, during the spring 2012 field trip. Read more here.



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