This module provides an introduction to evolutionary and population biology, starting with the main evolutionary processes that influence populations and how they evolve, and leading into the established demographic theory that underpins population biology. Associated topics also covered will include evolutionary phylogenetics, comparative analysis and meta-population dynamics. Following this, population genetic mechanisms are considered, such as natural selection, genetic drift and inbreeding, and how they interact to influence populations of threatened species. A practical component of the module focuses on molecular genetic techniques, and how to interpret such genetic data.
Total contact hours: 18
Private study hours: 132
Total study hours: 150
MSc Conservation and cognate pathways
Method of assessment
Written Assignment, 1500 words max excluding references and figures, (50%)
Lab Practical Write-Up, <3000 words (50%)
Reassessment Instrument: 100% coursework.
Groom, M.J., Meffe, G.K., & Carroll, C.R. (2006) Principles of Conservation Biology Sinauer, Massachusetts.
Frankham, R., Ballou, J. D. & Briscoe, D. A. (2002). Introduction to Conservation Genetics. Cambridge University Press.
Bennett, P. M. & Owens, I. P. F. (2002). Evolutionary Ecology of Birds – Life histories, mating systems and extinction. Oxford Series in Ecology & Evolution. Oxford University Press.
Maynard Smith, J. (1998). Evolutionary Genetics. Oxford University Press.
Landweber, L. F. & Dobson, A. P. (1999). Genetics and the extinction of species – DNA and the conservation of biodiversity. Princeton University Press, New Jersey.
See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
8.1. discuss a knowledge of the main evolutionary processes that influence populations and how they evolve, including natural selection, genetic drift and inbreeding, and how they interact to influence populations of threatened species.
8.2. demonstrate an understanding of key processes that underpin population biology, such as population growth and density, and extinction.
8.3. demonstrate a comprehension of evolutionary phylogenetics, how phylogenies can be constructed and interpreted.
8.4. demonstrate an understanding of the importance of surveying natural populations.
8.5. demonstrate an understanding of meta-population dynamics in population biology.
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Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
- ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
- The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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