The module seeks to:
- explore the main evolutionary processes
- consider evolution at the phenotypic as well as the molecular level
- consider evolutionary processes occurring at different time scales
Pre Requisites: BIOL1029 OR SOES1006 OR ENVS1008 OR GGES1004
Aims and Objectives
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- Explain what horizontal gene transfer is and why it adds a new dimension to Darwinian evolution
- Discuss the role that mass extinctions have played in the history of life on earth
- Discuss the molecular basis of evolution
- Explain what causes and maintains genetic and phenotypic variation
- Counter pseudo-scientific creationist claims with evidence
- Discuss the various modes of speciation
- Understand the basics of phylogenetics and how phylogenetic trees are reconstructed
- Understand the basics of population genetics
- Discuss the contribution that Darwin has made to our understanding of the process of evolution, and explain the terms Darwinism and Neodarwinism
- Explain the processes of natural, sexual and kin selection
The module will be taught by a number of different staff. It will begin by introducing Darwin and Darwinism. Then, key evolutionary processes such as the causes and maintenance of variation, selection, and speciation will be covered. This will be followed by an introduction to phylogenetics and the molecular basis of evolutionary processes. Horizontal gene transfer and mass extinctions are discussed as processes adding an extra dimension to Darwinism. Finally, the students will be given the necessary conceptual understanding to allow them to counter creationist pseudo-science.
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
The principal method of teaching will be via 24 lectures. Students will also participate in three different practicals, and will be required to write two practical reports (two practicals will be merged into one report). The students will be directed to considerable background reading.
|Practical classes and workshops||9|
|Total study time||150|
Resources & Reading list
Barton NH, Briggs DEG, Eisen JA, Goldstein DB & Patel NH (eds) (2007). Evolution. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.
Freeman S & Herron JC (eds) (2007). Evolutionary Analysis. Pearson Education.
This is how we’ll formally assess what you have learned in this module.
This is how we’ll assess you if you don’t meet the criteria to pass this module.
Repeat type: Internal & External