BIO3016S - Evolutionary Biology

36 credits at NQF level 7

Entry Requirements:


Course Outline:

This course deals with the description and analysis of biodiversity and evolution at the species level and above. The course begins by considering the nature and definition of species, the processes by which new species arise in nature (speciation), and the data and procedures employed in the practical discovery and description of previously-undescribed species. Thereafter, the focus shifts to the inference of evolutionary relationships amongst populations and species, with an emphasis on the types of data and the analytical methods employed. Following on from this, the course explores macroevolutionary approaches to the study of adaptation, key innovation and lineage diversification (radiation), and approaches employed in studying the genetic mechanisms that underpin adaptation and species radiation. The course concludes with an exploration of selected ‘big’ questions in evolutionary biology, such as the coevolution (mutualism, parasitism), evolution of sex and the evolution of cooperative behaviour.