Due to scheduled maintenance, IMS website will not be accessible between 24th April 09:00 PM to 25th April 11:00 AM.

GATE Syllabus for Ecology & Evolution 2024

20 January, 2024

GATE Syllabus for Ecology & Evolution 2024 comprises 85% of the topics from the graduation level syllabus of the candidate. The GATE 2024 Syllabus for Ecology & Evolution will be released by IIT Kanpur on its official website.

The question papers in the exam will be designed as per the GATE Ecology and Evolution (EY) Syllabus 2024. GATE Ecology and Evolution (EY) Syllabus 2024 accounts for 85% of the exam marks. Meanwhile, the remaining 15% is from the General Aptitude section. 

Sections of the GATE Syllabus
Five key sections of the syllabus: 

  • Mathematics and Quantitative Ecology
  • Behavioural Ecology
  • Applied Ecology and Evolution
  • Evolution
  • Ecology

Read more: GATE Syllabus 2024, IISC Bangalore GATE Subject Wise Syllabus

Below topics are included in this section:
The GATE Syllabus for Ecology & Evolution 2024 includes important topics like ecophysiology, population ecology, theory of island biogeography, etc. 

The key topics are: 

  • Population Ecology: The topics of this section are Metapopulation (Colonization, Persistence, Extinction, Patches, Sources, and Sinks). Age-structured populations and population growth rates (density-dependent/independent). 
  • Fundamental Concepts: The topics included in this section are abiotic and biotic components, habitats and niches, and scales (species, ecosystem, population, community, and biomes). 
  • Ecosystems structure and function: The topics covered include, primary and secondary productivity, Trophic levels and their interactions, and nutrient cycles. 
  • Interactions: The key topics of this section are ecophysiology (physiology adaptations to the abiotic environment), prey-predator interactions, and types (mutalism, symbiosis, competition, commensalism, predation, and parasitism, etc). 


This section consists of important topics like allocation of resources, iteroparity, drift, Hardy-Weinsberg equilibrium, etc. 

The topics of this section are: 

Section: History of Evolutionary Thought
Topics: Darwinism, Lamarckism, and Modern Synthesis 

Section: Fundamentals
Topics: Heritability, Variation, Natural Selection, Fitness and Adaptation, Types of Selection (Stabilizing, Directional and Disruptive) 

Section: Diversity of Life
Topics: Origin and history of life on earth, diversity and classification of life, systems of classification (Cladistics and Phenetics)

Section: Life History Strategies
Topics: Semelparity and iteroparity, allocation of resources, trade-offs, r/K.

Section: Interaction
Topics: Coevolution (Co-adaptations, arms race, Red Queen hypothesis, co-speciation), prey-predator interactions (crypsis, mimicry, etc).

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

Section: Macroevolution
Topics: Adaptive radiation, species concepts, and speciation, biogeography and convergence

Section: Molecular Evolution and Phylogenetics
Topics: Molecular clocks, neutral theory, phylogenetic reconstruction, rates of evolution, and molecular systematics. 

Section: Mathematics and Quantitative Ecology
1. 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. 

2. Statistics and Mathematics in Ecology: Basic probability (probability of random events; sequences of events, etc); Mathematics and statistics in ecology: Simple functions (linear, quadratic, exponential, logarithmic, etc), the concept of derivatives and slope of a function; permutations and combinations; frequency distributions and their descriptive statistics (mean, variance, coefficient of variation, correlation, etc).

Section: Applied Ecology and Evolution

  • Plant and Animal Breeding: Genetic basis of economically important traits and  Market-assisted breeding. 
  • Design ecology and evolution: Epidemiology, antibiotic resistance, zoonotic diseases, and vector control 
  • Plant and Anima Breeding: Genetic basis of economically important traits, Marker-assisted breeding. 
  • Global Climate Change: Mitigation, consequences, and causes. 

Behavioral Ecology 

This section of the GATE Syllabus for Ecology and Evolution includes key topics like reciprocity, imprinting, neurothology, and imprinting. 

Topics in detail: 
Classical Ethology
Fixed action pattern, Instinct, Learned behavior, imprinting, proximate and ultimate 

Sensory Ecology
Neuroethology, Communication (Chemical, Acoustic and Visual Signaling), Recognition Systems

Foraging Ecology:
Optimal Foraging Theory and Foraging behavior. 

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

Social Living:
Effect of competition (scramble and contest) on group formation; dominance relationships; eusociality; kin selection; altruism; reciprocity; human behaviour, Costs and benefits of group living (including responses to predators)

Key topics of the GATE 2024 Syllabus for Ecology & Evolution

Below are some of the important topics in the GATE Syllabus for Ecology and Evolution. 

  • Macroevolution 
  • Fundamental Concepts 
  • Molecular Evolution and Phylogenetics 
  • Foraging Ecology 
  • Sensory Ecology
  • Population Ecology

Recommended Books
Below is the list of the books for the GATE Syllabus for Ecology and Evolution to prepare for the exam. 

Books and Author 

  • Fundamentals and Techniques of Biophysics and Molecular Biology by Pranav Kumar 
  • Cell Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Evolution, and Ecology by Verma P.S. and Agarwal V.K
  • Test and Evaluation: Life Sciences/ Biotechnology by Kumar Pranav and Mina Usha 
  • Principles and Techniques of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology by Keith Wilson and John Walker 

FAQs on GATE Ecology and Evolution (EY) Syllabus 

1. What are the sections of the GATE Syllabus for Ecology and Evolution?
The important sections included in the GATE Syllabus for Ecology and Evolution are ecology, general aptitude, mathematics, quantitative ecology, applied ecology and evolution, and behavioral ecology.

2. What are the recommended books to prepare for the GATE Ecology and Evolution Syllabus 2024?
The best books to prepare for GATE Syllabus for Evolution are:
1. Fundamentals of Ecology by Eugene Odum
2. Global Philosophical and Ecological Concepts- Rudi Jansma
3. Ecology: Theories and Applications- Peter Stiling

Read more: GATE Preparation Books – Best Books For GATE 2024

3. What is the number of questions asked section-wise according to the GATE syllabus for Ecology and Evolution?
Based on the GATE Syllabus for Ecology and Evolution, the section-wise number of questions asked are:
1. Ecology and Evolution – 55 questions
2. General Aptitude- 10 questions 

4. Which topics are included in the general aptitude section of the GATE Syllabus for Ecology & Evolution?
According to the GATE Syllabus for Ecology and Evolution, the topics included in the general aptitude section are analytical aptitude, verbal aptitude, numerical aptitude, and spatial aptitude.

5. What is the best resource to refer to for the GATE Syllabus for Ecology and Evolution?
The student can refer to the graduation-level books to prepare for the GATE Syllabus for Ecology and Evolution.

6. How should I prepare for the GATE Syllabus for Ecology and Evolution?
You should follow the below tips to prepare for the syllabus:
1. Understand the exam pattern and syllabus
2. Make a preparation plan/timetable
3. Attend mock tests before the exam
4. Study the topics throughly. 

Read more: How To Prepare For GATE Exam – Common Challenges And How To Overcome Them