- Code BIOL6206
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
- ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
- Course subject Biology
- Academic career PGRD
- Dr Craig Moritz
- Dr Marcel Cardillo
- Prof Lindell Bromham
- Mode of delivery In Person
Second Semester 2014
See Future Offerings
This course involves a detailed investigation of the pattern and process of biological diversification and biogeography, and areas of controversy in the field of evolutionary biology. Four key aspects of the evolutionary process will be addressed in detail: (1) species concepts and the principles underlying the process of speciation; (2) mechanisms and causes of evolutionary radiation and extinction; (3) the factors underlying the geographic distribution of biodiversity (macroecology and biogeography); (4) reconstructing evolutionary history, measuring and documenting biodiversity (systematics). An investigation of the speciation process will examine the many ways in which reproductive barriers are initially formed, permitting species to follow independent evolutionary trajectories. The theme of diversification and extinction will use a series of major events in biodiversity generation and loss (eg. the extinction of the dianosaurs, the radiation of mammals) as test cases to cover essential concepts in evolutionary biology, with the emphasis on developing critical skills in hypothesis testing using a range of types of information, including palaeontology, systematics, developmental biology, and molecular data. This will lead to present day patterns of biodiversity, examined in the light of macroecology, examining the contribution that broad scale ecological studies can make to our understanding of past, present and future patterns of species richness and biodiversity loss.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
1. Identify and describe the principles of phylogenetic reconstruction, including the selection of appropriate characters for generating phylogenetic hypotheses.
2. Understand the relationship between phylogenetics and taxonomy in sufficient depth to be able to construct a robust taxonomy on the basis of established phylogenies.
3. Describe the different mechanisms that maintain reproductive isolation between species, and explain the variety of speciation models that give rise to reproductive isolation.
4. Identify and describe the mechanisms leading to evolutionary radiation and divergence following the extablishment of reproductive barriers.
5. Describe the nature of biogeographical pattern from the local to the global scale, and identify the factors that led to these distributions.
6. Apply critical skills in hypothesis testing using a range of types of information, including the palaeontology, systematics, developmental biology, and molecular data.
7. Be able to access and navigate and interpret evolutionary databases and the scientific literature in order to present a coherent and critical analysis of competing views on evolutionary themes, either orally or in an essay.
Assessment will be based on:
- Four in-class tests (5% each) )LO 1-5)
- Tutorial Worksheet (20%) (LO 6,7)
- Paper review and essay (60%) (LO 6-7)
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Three lectures per week and total of three two-hour tutorial classes per semester.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Bachelor degree with knowledge of biology, biodiversity or ecology and evolution
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
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Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery||Class Summary|
|8170||21 Jul 2014||08 Aug 2014||31 Aug 2014||30 Oct 2014||In Person||N/A|