1 x 2-hour lecture weekly
4 x 1-hour tutorials per semester
1 x 7-hour seminar per semester
1 x 3-hour laboratory per semester
3 x 3-hour computer labs per semester
1 1 of BIOL2711, BIOL2171, BIOL2280, BIOD2100
2 1 of BIOL2702, BIOL2121, BIOL2200, BTEC2630, BTEC2630A
Must Satisfy: (1 and 2)
Enrolment not permitted
BIOL8722 has been successfully completed
Topic description
This topic will teach students how to use genetic information to address consequential questions in ecology, conservation, evolution, behaviour and forensics. The topic will cover theoretical concepts, practical work and several case studies of real research in modern conservation and ecological genetics. Emphasis will be given to explain how different fields of science can benefit from integrating genetic knowledge into their research agenda. Topics covered include the use of data and theory in genetics and genomics to:

  1. Reconstruct the tree of life
  2. Manage wild and captive populations of endangered animals and plants
  3. Clarify aspects of species biology, behaviour and demographic history
  4. Elucidate cases of individual identity and paternity
  5. Discover hidden biodiversity
  6. Understand how historical and contemporary processes have shaped current levels of biodiversity
Educational aims
Students completing this topic will have a broad understanding of how genetic diversity is distributed in individuals, populations and species. This knowledge is essential to: Understand ecological and evolutionary processes and human impacts on levels of biodiversity and Prioritize efforts in conservation biology. These two aspects are central in the formation of any modern professional in biological sciences.
Expected learning outcomes
At the completion of the topic, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Understand anthropogenic, ecological and evolutionary processes that affect the distribution of genetic variation in the natural world
  2. Become familiar with main methods and statistical approaches used to generate and analyse genetic data from natural populations
  3. Distinguish which type of genetic information can be used for different fields of science, namely: ecology, conservation, evolution, behaviour and forensics
  4. Have enhanced their oral and written communication skills