Heredity: Passing Genes from Parent to Child

Part of the Genetics for the Behavior Consultant series

Jessica Hekman, DVM, MS
IAABC, Spring 2016

Registration is now closed

Breed a labrador retriever to a poodle and you get a labradoodle. But breed two labradoodles together and you get – well, some dogs that look pretty different from their doodle parents! Why do they look so different? Why do traits sometimes show up in animals that aren't apparent in their parents at all? What does it mean for a gene to have "dominant" and "recessive" versions and how do the different versions interact with each other?

In this class, you will learn about how genetic material is inherited. We'll start by learning about how cells mix genes from mom and dad to pass on to the offspring. We'll study dominant and recessive traits and learn how they interact with each other with sometimes surprising results. We'll compare the early history of the study of heredity with our perspective today and tackle the question of how much of a complex trait, like behavior, is inherited and how much is due to the individual's upbringing.

If you want to take a course that's not in the old, standard, lecture format, this might be the class for you. Dr. Hekman will collect readable, engaging materials from scientists and science journalists explaining each week's topics, including both links to short and simple definitions for each topic and more in-depth pieces about their importance. She also provides a short lecture component that ties it all together and, whenever possible, applies the information to animal behavior. If you have questions about the material or want to dig a little deeper or discuss the materials with others in the class, you may use the discussion forum to do that, on which Dr. Hekman is very active. This is the future of online learning: interactive, not static; understandable, even for very complex concepts; challenging, but not overwhelming; and fun!

Students from Dr. Hekman's first class on genetics report:

"Although a very detailed, voluminous, and technical subject, Dr. Hekman found a way to make the material enjoyable and understandable." - Kathy Reilly, CDBC, CBCC-KA

"Probably the best on line program I have ever had the pleasure to participate in." - Steve Robinson, BS, MBA, CDBC

This is a class in heredity. Specifically, the class will cover:

Class schedule: The class will run for three weeks.

Prerequisites: This class presumes no previous knowledge of genetics. However, the curriculum design is intended to be flexible and to support students learning at different levels. Specifically, the student-driven question structure is intended to give you the chance to learn about the related topics that interest you. If you're wondering if this class is right for you, feel free to ask:

Dr. Hekman's classes are not lecture-based. She provides a few short mini-lectures every week to give an overview of the material, but the bulk of your learning will be from reading and watching the class materials and discussing them with other students. Her classes tend to be very interactive, with an emphasis on understanding the material more deeply.

The Genetics for the Behavior Consultant series: This class is part of a series of genetics classes offered by Dr. Jessica Hekman through IAABC. Previously, Dr. Hekman taught DNA: the Basic Blueprint of Life. Future classes will cover the genetics of populations (natural selection, breeds, and inbreeding), and behavioral genetics (including epigenetics).

  Auditors Full students
Requirements None (audit) Listen to lectures
Read weekly assignments
Weekly short (paragraph) essay
Weekly quiz
CEUs 0 15
Member Cost $50 $240
Non-Member Cost $100 $320

IAABC Members – log into your member account for the discount codes.
Non-Members – To register for the auditor option (discounted) please email for the discount code to use during registration.


Assignment details:

Students may enroll at the auditor rate, complete the CEU requirements, and pay the full rate (minus the auditor rate paid) at the end of the class.


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