ECOLOGICAL AND EVOLUTIONARY GENETICS

GEN3EEG

2015

Credit points: 30

Subject outline

This unit introduces students to advanced evolutionary and ecological genetics. The unit covers: (1) the origin, maintenance and distribution of genetic variation in natural populations; (2) evolutionary genetics of speciation and adaption in natural populations; (3) evolution and development; (4) methods and applications of techniques in phylogenetic inference including phylogeography and divergence time estimation; (5) the application of genomic techniques to ecology and evolution; (6) ecological genetics of population structure. During the practical component students will participate in the design and execution of a research project which will provide them with essential skills for future studies and/or employment.

SchoolSchool of Life Sciences

Credit points30

Subject Co-ordinatorJan Strugnell

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites GEN2EGE or GEN2EEG

Co-requisitesN/A

Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Readings

Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsEvolutionary analysis, 4th edRecommendedFreeman S and Herron JC, 2007PEARSON EDUCATION INTERNATIONAL
ReadingsEvolutionary applications: Evolutionary approaches to environmental, biomedical and socio-economic issuesRecommendedLouis Bernatchez (eds)WILEY
ReadingsFrom DNA to Diversity: Molecular Genetics and the Evolution of Animal DesignRecommendedCarroll, SB, Grenier J, Watherbee S, 2004WILEY-BLACKWELL

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Critique and synthesise scientific literature from the field of ecological and evolutionary genetics to prepare a comprehensive literature review.

Activities:
Students prepare a literature review on their chosen topic of investigation. An extensive outline of the approach, desired layout and content of the written task are included in the prac manual. During a practical session, the students will be provided with information on how to complete the task successfully. The students are also provided with the marking schedule. The students can use feedback received on this task to improve the writing of their final project report.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Writing (Writing)
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Discipline-specific GCs (Discipline-specific GCs)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)

02. Design and discuss a research project and orally present a testable hypothesis and project plan as a team.

Activities:
Students perform a semester long independent project through all stages of experimental design, data collection, laboratory work, statistical analysis and report writing. Part of a practical session is dedicated to teaching the students what constitutes a good project design. Information is also included in the practical manual. As a team, students will give a short (5 min) presentation on the design and hypothesis of their project and receive instant feedback.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Ethical Awareness (Ethical Awareness)
Teamwork (Teamwork)
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Discipline-specific GCs (Discipline-specific GCs)
Writing (Writing)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)

03. Demonstrate good sampling techniques and apply advanced molecular genetics laboratory methods to generate and analyse experimental data.

Activities:
Students perform a semester long independent project through all stages of experimental design, data collection, laboratory work, statistical analysis and report writing. Students are required to participate in self organised field trips to collect slaters for their project. Instruction on this is provided during an excursion to the wildlife reserve early in the course. Students will learn and apply a variety of molecular genetics techniques and statistical analysis in the practical classes.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Ethical Awareness (Ethical Awareness)
Quantitative Literacy/ Numeracy (Quantitative Literacy/ Numeracy)
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Discipline-specific GCs (Discipline-specific GCs)
Teamwork (Teamwork)
Writing (Writing)

04. Analyse and evaluate genetic data using relevant statistical methods.

Activities:
Practical session on analysing genetic data using a range of population genetic and phylogenetic programs: Part of the practical session is dedicated to teaching the students about statistical concepts and appropriate analyses. The rest of the practical session is dedicated to teaching them how to use the appropriate software by working through a worksheet with assistance. Practical session on analysing data with genetics analysis software: Part of the practical session is dedicated to teaching the students about analysis of genetic data and relevant assumptions and considerations. The rest of the practical session is dedicated to teaching them how to use the appropriate software for analysing genetic information by working through a worksheet with assistance.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Writing (Writing)
Teamwork (Teamwork)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Discipline-specific GCs (Discipline-specific GCs)
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)
Quantitative Literacy/ Numeracy (Quantitative Literacy/ Numeracy)

05. Produce a grammatically correct, well structured, coherent and scientifically accurate scientific report based on independent research and analysis.

Activities:
Extensive detail of the project layout, structure and content of the report is included in the manual. The students also receive verbal instructions on how to perform all stages of the project via power point and verbal instruction. The students receive detailed feedback on their progress throughout the semester to enable them to learn and improve.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Discipline-specific GCs (Discipline-specific GCs)
Teamwork (Teamwork)
Writing (Writing)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Quantitative Literacy/ Numeracy (Quantitative Literacy/ Numeracy)

06. Explain and discuss genetic concepts pertinent to ecology and evolution.

Activities:
In the lectures the students are taught about the theory and provided with examples and applications of evolution and development, populations genetics, speciation, phylogeography, phylogenetics and evolutionary models.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Quantitative Literacy/ Numeracy (Quantitative Literacy/ Numeracy)
Discipline-specific GCs (Discipline-specific GCs)

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2015, Semester 2, Day

Overview

Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment size100

Enrolment information Availability of lab space Final marks of GEN2EGE

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorJan Strugnell

Class requirements

Laboratory Class Week: 31 - 43
One 6.0 hours laboratory class per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.

Lecture Week: 31 - 43
Three 1.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.

Assessments

Assessment elementComments% ILO*
Genetics analysis worksheet5 04
Literature review (1000 words)10 01
Major project report (4000 words)20 02, 03, 05, 06
Statistics analysis worksheet5 04
One end-of-semester exam (3 hours)50 06
Weekly online quizzes on lecture content10 06