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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Biological Sciences : Biology

Undergraduate Course: Evolutionary and Ecological Genetics 3 (BILG09004)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Biological Sciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryBehaviour of genetic variation in populations. Evolution at the molecular level, and the use of molecular information in construction of phylogenies. The genetic basis of Quantitative variation. Natural selection due to interaction with the physical and biotic environment.
Course description This course will introduce you to the processes that underlie evolutionary change in natural populations. Subjects dealt with range from molecular evolution to the genetic consequences of interactions between species, and from variation at single genes to speciation itself. The course is intended to provide an integrated view, combining theoretical and experimental approaches to the study of evolution with a consideration of both pure and applied aspects of evolutionary change. There is a strong emphasis on the development of numerical skills needed for the analysis and interpretation of genetic data and a quantitative approach to the study of evolution.

The lectures cover four major themes:

* The behaviour of genes in populations: natural selection, genetic drift, and inbreeding.
* Molecular Evolution. Understanding evolutionary change of proteins and DNA. Testing for natural selection at the molecular level.
* Molecular phylogenetics and tree building
* The genetic basis of quantitative variation. Selection on quantitative characters.

Problem based tutorials accompany these lectures. The course then considers a series of special topics including Evolution of Host-Parasite interactions, Speciation, and Genetic Parasites.

In course assessment comprises a course essay and practicals associated with the lectures. Practicals include a computer simulation of evolutionary processes, a phylogenetic tree building exercise and the analysis of quantitative genetic variation in humans.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Evolution in Action 2 (BILG08005)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesEquivalent of the courses listed above
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 23, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 10, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 152 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Two in-course practical reports (10% each), an in-course essay (20%) items of in-course assessment and one 2 hour exam (60%).
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)Evolutionary and Ecological Genetics 32:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Know that Biological Evolution is the result of interaction between processes such as mutation, genetic drift, natural selection, migration, and recombination, and understand in qualitative terms how these processes occur and interact
  2. Be able to apply simple equations and statistical methods to quantify the processes that underlie evolution, and to test for departures from neutral or null expectations
  3. Be able to integrate distinct views of the evolutionary process, and to assess and evaluate the assumptions behind models and model-based analyses
  4. Use graphs to display and interpret genetic and phenotypic data in an evolutionary or ecological context, and use simple statistical methods such as the chi-squared test, regression and ANOVA to analyse them.
  5. Be able to work in small groups to propose and evaluate standard methods for analysing genetic and phenotypic data in an evolutionary or ecological context, and present your solutions and reasoning to peers.
Reading List
You are NOT required to purchace any books. In general, only short sections are required and all texts are available in the library.

The recommended text is:

Ridley, M. (2003) Evolution (3rd edition). Blackwell, Oxford (QH366.2 Rid)

Ridley's book provides an overview and basic introduction, and is associated with Web-based review questions and tutorials that may be helpful.

The following textbooks cover particular aspects of the course, and where specifically indicated in lectures / notes they should be consulted. However, in general these are for reference, and do not form required reading

Gillespie (2004) "Population Genetics: A Concise Guide" Johns Hopkins University Press (QH455 Gil.)
Barton, N. H. et al. (2007). "Evolution". Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press (HUB RESERVE; Folio QH366.2 Evo. )
Futuyma, D. (2013) "Evolutionary Biology" (3rd edition), Sinauer (QH366.2 Fut)
Graur, D.& Li, W.-H. (2000). "Fundamentals of Molecular Evolution" (2nd Edition). Sinauer, Sunderland Mass. (QH325 Gra).
Nielsen & Slatkin (2013) An Introduction to Population Genetics: Theory and Applications Sinauer Associates (QH455 Nie.)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Tuesday 2.00 - 2.50 Lecture
Tuesday 3.00 - 5.00 Prac/Tut(week 10 4.00 - 5.00)
Friday 2.00 - 2.50 Lecture
Friday 3.00 - 5.00 Prac/Tut(week 10 4.00 - 5.00)
Course organiserDr Darren Obbard
Tel: (0131 6)51 7781
Course secretaryMr Angus Galloway
Tel: (0131 6)51 3689
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