GATE 2022 syllabus has been released. GATE 2022 syllabus designed for GATE Ecology and Evolution Exam comprises five sections, Ecology, Evolution, Mathematics and Quantitative Ecology, Behavioural Ecology, Applied Ecology & Evolution. Candidates by now can check the subject wise Detailed GATE syllabus

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.

Interactions: Types (mutualism, symbiosis, commensalism, competition, parasitism, predation, etc)

ecophysiology (physiological adaptations to abiotic environment)

prey-predator 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 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: Behavioural Ecology

Classical Ethology: Instinct

fixed action patters


learnt behavior

proximate and ultimate questions

Sensory ecology: Neuroethology

communication (chemical, acoustic and visual signaling)

recognition systems

Foraging ecology: Foraging behaviour

optimal foraging theory

Reproduction: 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


kin selection



human behaviour

Section 2: Evolution

History of Evolutionary thought: Lamarckism


Modern Synthesis

Fundamentals: Variation


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


r/K selection

semelparity and iteroparity

Interactions: Co-evolution (co-adaptations, arms race, Red Queen hypothesis, co-speciation)

prey-predator interactions (mimicry, crypsis, etc)

Population and Quantitative genetics: Origins of genetic variation

Mendelian genetics

HardyWeinberg equilibrium

drift; selection (one-locus two-alleles model)

population genetic structure (panmixia, gene flow, FST)

polygenic traits

gene-environment interactions (phenotypic plasticity)


Molecular evolution and phylogenetics: Neutral theory

molecular clocks

rates of evolution

phylogenetic reconstruction

molecular systematics

Macroevolution: Species concepts and speciation

adaptive radiation



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:


zoonotic diseases

antibiotic resistance

vector Control Plant and animal breeding: Marker assisted breeding

genetic basis of economically important traits

Global climate change:Causes