GATE Syllabus

GATE 2021 Syllabus – EY: Ecology and Evolution

GATE 2021 syllabus for Ecology and Evolution (EY) gives you details of the latest GATE syllabus for the subject release by the official gate organizing institute IIT Bombay for the year 2021. We also created an easy to use ad-free mobile app for GATE syllabus, previous year papers with keys, gate calculator, virtual calculator, and more. Download iStudy App for all GATE preparation needs.

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GATE 2021 syllabus – Ecology and Evolution (EY)

Section 1: Ecology

Fundamental concepts
Abiotic and biotic components; scales (population, species, community, ecosystems, biomes); niches and habitats

Population ecology
Population growth rates (density dependent/independent); metapopulation ecology (colonization, persistence, extinction, patches, sources, sinks); age-structured populations

Types (mutualism, symbiosis, commensalism, competition, parasitism, predation, etc); ecophysiology (physiological adaptations to abiotic environment); preypredator interactions (Lotka-Voltera equation etc)

Community ecology
Community assembly, organization and succession; species richness, evenness and diversity indices, species-area relationships; theory of island biogeography

Ecosystems structure and function
trophic levels and their interactions; nutrient cycles; primary and secondary productivity

Section 2: Evolution

History of Evolutionary thought
Lamarckism; Darwinism; Modern Synthesis

Variation; heritability; natural selection; fitness and adaptation; types of selection (stabilizing, directional, disruptive)

Diversity of life
Origin and history of life on earth; diversity and classification of life; systems of classification (cladistics and phenetics)

Life history strategies
Allocation of resources; tradeoffs; r/K selection; semelparity and iteroparity

Co-evolution (co-adaptations, arms race, Red Queen hypothesis, cospeciation); prey-predator interactions (mimicry, crypsis, etc)

Population and Quantitative genetics
Origins of genetic variation; Mendelian genetics; Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium; drift; selection (one-locus two-alleles model); population genetic structure (panmixia, gene flow, FST); polygenic traits; gene-environment interactions (phenotypic plasticity); heritability

Molecular evolution and phylogenetics
Neutral theory; molecular clocks; rates of evolution; phylogenetic reconstruction; molecular systematics

Species concepts and speciation; adaptive radiation; convergence; biogeography

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: Behavioral Ecology

Classical Ethology
Instinct; fixed action patters; imprinting; learnt behavior; proximate and ultimate questions

Sensory ecology
Neuroethology; communication (chemical, acoustic and visual signaling); recognition systems

Foraging ecology
Foraging behavior; optimal foraging theory

Cost of sex; sexual dimorphism; mate choice; sexual selection (runaway selection, good-genes, handicap principle, etc); sexual conflict; mating systems; parental care

Social living
Costs and benefits of group-living (including responses to predators); effect of competition (scramble and contest) on group formation; dominance relationships; eusociality; kin selection; altruism; reciprocity; human behavior

Section 5: Applied Ecology & Evolution

Biodiversity and conservation
Importance of conserving biodiversity; ecosystem services; threats to biodiversity; invasive species; in-situ conservation (endemism, biodiversity hotspots, protected areas); ex-situ conservation; conservation genetics (genetic diversity, inbreeding depression); DNA fingerprinting and DNA barcoding

Disease ecology and evolution
Epidemiology; zoonotic diseases; antibiotic resistance; vector control

Plant and animal breeding
Marker assisted breeding; genetic basis of economically important traits

Global climate change
Causes; consequences; mitigation

GENERAL APTITUDE (Common for all branches)

Verbal Aptitude

Basic English Grammar
Tenses, articles, adjectives, prepositions, conjunctions, verb-noun agreement, and other parts of speech

Basic Vocabulary
Words, idioms, and phrases in context

Reading and Comprehension

Narrative Sequencing

Quantitative Aptitude

Data Interpretation
Data graphs (bar graphs, pie charts, and other graphs representing data), 2- and 3-dimensional plots, maps, and tables

Numerical Computation and Estimation
Ratios, percentages, powers, exponents and logarithms, permutations and combinations, and series

Mensuration and Geometry

Elementary Statistics and Probability

Analytical Aptitude

Deduction and Induction


Numerical Relations and Reasoning

Spatial Aptitude

Transformation of Shapes
Translation, rotation, scaling, mirroring, assembling, and grouping

Paper folding, cutting, and patterns in 2 and 3 dimensions

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