1 x 2-hour seminar weekly
1 x 1-hour workshop fortnightly
1 x 3-hour practical fortnightly
1 BIOL1101 - Evolution of Biological Diversity
2 1 of BIOL1102, BIOL1112
Must Satisfy: (1 and 2)
Enrolment not permitted
BIOL8702 has been successfully completed
Assumed knowledge
Skills and knowledge such as can be found in BIOL1101 Evolution of Biological Diversity and BIOL1102 Molecular Basis of Life.
Topic description
This topic introduces students to the flow of genetic information from cell to cell and from parent to offspring, how the forces of selection impact on gene flow and ultimately how these processes shape the characteristics of species and biodiversity. It represents core information required by all Biology students at level 2. The practical component of the topic will introduce students to modern molecular techniques that enable researchers to study gene flow, how populations are genetically structured, and how the Tree of Life can be reconstructed from genetic data. The practical classes will also introduce students to generic skills of laboratory techniques and how this can be used in combination with field-based observations.
Educational aims
This topic aims to introduce genetic information flow from generation to generation, to the formation of population and species structure and provide the basis for introducing current biodiversity and how this has been shaped by the forces of evolution. The topic aims to be vertically integrated and so provide the students with an understanding of how events and processes at a cellular level, and that of the gene, effect and influence what happens at the level of an organism, a population and an ecosystem (and vice versa). The practical class will emphasis this vertical structure by following a single gene sequence from a variety of organisms to build a phylogenetic tree. The practical class provides the opportunity to introduce generic practical skills in laboratory-based biology.
Expected learning outcomes
At the completion of the topic, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Understand principles of heredity, Mendelian genetics and its uses, selection, speciation theory
  2. Work in teams in a laboratory setting
  3. Collate data collected in the laboratory and incorporate literature in a manuscript for publication