This material was originally created for Starting Point:Introductory Geology
and is replicated here as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service.
In this biology simulation, students use a mathematical simulation of genetic drift to answer questions about the factors that influence this evolutionary process. Students run a series of simulations varying allele frequency and population size and then analyze their data and propose a model to explain their results. A second set of simulations is performed with natural selection added to the simulation.
- Students analyze data and use this data to form a model of how genetic drift works.
- Students explain how population size and allele frequency and could contribute to loss of an allele in a population.
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
The students then use a second simulation that has Natural Selection for the A allele incorporated. They run this simulation at three different N values and a fixed allele frequency and compare the results to the first set of simulations.
Finally, there are a collection of multiple choice and short answer questions that ask students to analyze the data and propose a model. Genetic Drift Assignment (Microsoft Word PRIVATE FILE 82kB Jul25 06)
Teaching Notes and Tips
References and Resources
MERLOT description of the Genetic Drift and Natural Selection simulation used for the second part of the exercise.