EEB 3220: Syllabus 2018



Dr. Louise A. Lewis,

PBB 200 office/311 lab

Dr. Bernard Goffinet,
PBB 300
Ms. Lauren Stanley,
PBB 310
Office Hours: By appointment Office Hours: By appointment Office Hours: Thurs. 11–12, and by appointment

Email is the best way to contact us. While we do not monitor email constantly, we do our best to get back to you within 24 h (during the work week). To facilitate communication please put “EEB 3220” in the subject line of your email to us.


Lectures are T & TH 12:30–1:45 in TLS 181, and Labs are T 2:30–5:30 in TLS 181



Textbook:  Willis & McElwain: The Evolution of Plants, 2nd Edition (ISBN-13: 978-0199292233). First edition is fine as well. Lectures are supported by a textbook plus readings from the primary literature. Our lectures will jump between chapters in the text, so read the pages posted. We will be employing a “flipped” format for some of the class meetings, so it is essential that you prepare for class in advance of a topic, according to the reading assignments.


  • Relate the major groups of green plants, algae, bryophytes, vascular plants, seed plants and flowering plants, in a phylogenetic and geological context.
  • For the major groups of green plants, describe their distinctive traits and discuss their evolution over the time tree of plants.
  • Describe the influence of plants on global climate, past and present.
  • Describe the interactions of plants with the environment and with other species such as fungi, bacteria, insects and other animals.
  • Interpret and critique the primary literature on plant evolution.
  • Laboratory-specific objectives appear on lab syllabus.



Midterm exam

100 pts

100 pts

5 Quizzes (10 each)

50 pts

50 pts

3 Assignments

30 pts

30 pts

Final exam (40 pt comprehensive)

140 pts

140 pts

Graduate project


50 pts

Laboratory portion

120 pts

120 pts

Total points

440 pts

490 pts


Note: No extra credit points are available!


The course has two lecture and one lab meeting per week. Active student participation is expected and attendance is strongly encouraged! Lab is a vital part of the course, so more than two unexcused absences will result in failure of the course. Note: March 8 and 20 are official class days, not part of spring break.

The exams will consist of a mixture of fill-in-the-blank, short answer, and essay questions. Forty points of the final exam will be comprehensive (utilizing material covered in the first half).

Make-up exams will be given only in the case of a documented medical emergency.

Assignments consist of answering questions provided in hand-outs, or by responding to questions pertaining to two scheduled EEB seminars. Please review the course schedule and promptly notify us of any anticipated accommodation needs or conflicts. Assignments should be turned in at the beginning of class on the due date as a hard copy, not electronically. Assignments handed in late will be penalized 5 points/day (including weekends). Note: an assignment handed in after class, even if on the same day, is late.

Consult “Student Handbook” for UCONN’s policies on grades, withdrawals, and incompletes.

As a courtesy to others, please turn off or silence all personal communication devices (cell phones, etc.) and refrain from using social media when in class. The use of these items is prohibited during examinations.

Inclement weather. In case of inclement weather, a natural disaster, or a campus emergency, the University communicates through email and text message. Students are encouraged to sign up for alerts through Students should be aware of emergency procedures, and further information is available through the Office of Emergency Management at

Center for Students with Disabilities. The University of Connecticut is committed to protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities and assuring that the learning environment is accessible. If you anticipate or experience physical or academic barriers based on disability or pregnancy, please let us know immediately so that we can discuss options. Students who require accommodations should contact the Center for Students with Disabilities, Wilbur Cross Building Room 204, (860) 486-2020 or

Academic integrity. Please consult the Community standards web page ( for detailed information about academic integrity:  “Academic misconduct is dishonest or unethical academic behavior that includes, but is not limited, to misrepresenting mastery in an academic area (e.g., cheating), failing to properly credit information, research or ideas to their rightful originators or representing such information, research or ideas as your own (e.g., plagiarism).”

Some important contacts:

— Counseling and Mental Health Services ( or for immediate help (860-486-4705, 24 hrs, (

Alcohol and other drug services, 486-9431,

— Dean of Students, 486-3426,

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