• Class Number 3040
  • Term Code 3330
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Justin Borevitz
    • Dr Melanie Carmody
    • Dr Diep Ganguly
    • Andres Garcia
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 20/02/2023
  • Class End Date 26/05/2023
  • Census Date 31/03/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 27/02/2023
SELT Survey Results

The aim of this course is to teach genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and phonemics using model organisms representing plants and animals. The course will cover recent developments in genomics, gene expression and small RNAs, synthetic biology, epigenetics, proteomics, fast-forward genetics and next-generation mapping. An objective of the course is to develop skills in experimental design within the context of learning about biology including: regulation of transcription and translation, stress response, signal transduction and the engineering and regulation of metabolic pathways.

Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but are assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Describe recent advances in genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics.
  2. Explain some of the current genomics technologies and illustrate how these can be used to study gene function.
  3. Obtain and analyse information and data relating to specific genes using general and plant-specific databases, proteomics and metabolomics online portals, next generation sequencing tools and next generation mapping portals.
  4. Locate and critically evaluate current scientific literature and discuss the important findings of these publications in writing.
  5. Perform a range of practical techniques including DNA extraction and sequencing, RT-PCR reporter gene assay, metabolomics and genetic mapping.
  6. Design a set of experiments to address a particular biological question.

Research-Led Teaching

The lecture material presented draws from new research providing current knowledge and examples for the fundamental biological concepts taught. This exposes students to present-day techniques and innovation, which connects them to current ideas in the science field. Furthermore, the students have the opportunity to engage with a range of scientists at different stages of their career, allowing an environment for students to make connections for potential future research projects.

Additionally, the lectures complement the practical component of the course, which aims to foster and teach skills required in a research environment. These skills range from basic practical techniques, to learning how to critically analyse and discuss the theory behind the science, all while rationalising and applying these to results obtained in the practical.

Field Trips

an informal hike up Black Mountain ring track will take place to discuss and demonstrate sampling design. And/or a field trip to Kowen to samples from a trial site. Topics will also be covered in class so you can do sampling yourself including plant, animal, and microbial samples.

Recommended student system requirements 

ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:

  • video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
  • two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
  • email and other messaging tools for communication
  • interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
  • print and photo/scan for handwritten work
  • home-based assessment.

To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:

  • A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
  • Webcam
  • Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
  • Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
  • Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
  • Printing, and photo/scanning equipment

For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Written comments
  • Appointments
  • Feedback to the whole class or to groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Honours pathway option (HPO)

The HPO consists of inquiry-learning, practical exercises on molecular techniques. The additional practical exercises provide experience of extra laboratory skills, an opportunity to develop more complex data analysis and interpretive skills and an extension of the theory taught in the course.

The marking for the HPO is simply a pass for completing it.

Please note, that where there are multiple assessment tasks of the same type, e.g weekly quizzes, a date range is used in the Assessment Summary. The first date is the approximate due date of the first task, the return date is the approximate return date for the final task. Further information is provided in the assessment section of the class summary, and details are provided on the course wattle site

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Week 1 Lecture: Course Overview Lectures: Genes and Genomes https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1EjUwhUzwA1lQ2fqczK8_fXGZUwaSQjIp/edit#gid=1912781595
2 Week 2 Lectures: Microbiome Lab I: microbiome
3 Week 3 Lectures: Genome Assembly Lab I: microbiome
4 Week 4 Lectures: structural variation Lab I: microbiome
5 Week 5 Lectures: Populations and Natural Variation Lab II: landscape genomics Lab I Assignment Due
6 Week 6 lectures: Phenomics & GWAS Lab II: landscape genomics Mid-semester Exam
7 Mid-semester Break
8 Week 7 Lectures: Human/Aboriginal Genomics Lab II: landscape genomics
9 Week 8 Lectures: Epigenomics Lab II Assignment Due
10 Week 9 Lectures: transcriptomics Lab III: transcriptome
11 Week 10 Lectures: single cell/eQTL Lab III: transcriptome
12 Week 11 Lectures: Synthetic Biology Lab III: transcriptome
13 Week 12 Lectures: GMO wrapup Lab III Assignment Due

Tutorial Registration

No need to register for tutorials.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Mid-semester Exam 20 % 31/03/2023 20/04/2023 1, 2
Lab I Assignment: soil genomics 20 % 21/03/2023 20/04/2023 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Lab II Assignment: landscape genomics 20 % 02/05/2023 19/05/2023 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Lab III Assignment: transcriptome 20 % 26/05/2023 01/06/2023 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Final Exam 20 % 03/06/2023 01/07/2023 1, 2, 6

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Attendance at all labs is compulsory. Attendance at lectures is strongly recommended for discussion and joint learning.


Please note, that where a date range is used in the Assessment Summary in relation to exams, the due date and return date for mid-semester exams indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held; the due and return date for end of semester exams indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held and the date official end of Semester results are released on ISIS. Students should consult the course wattle site and the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and venue of the exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 31/03/2023
Return of Assessment: 20/04/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2

Mid-semester Exam

This short multiple choice mid-term test is for you to demonstrate your understanding of the first block of lectures.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 21/03/2023
Return of Assessment: 20/04/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Lab I Assignment: soil genomics

The objective of this assignment is for you to demonstrate your understanding of metagenome biology. you will sample pure cultures, soil and rhizosphere DNA for extraction, library and sequencing to determine what the samples are and how they are related. This assignment also aims to assess your proficiency in science writing, data analysis, and critical evaluation of your results in conjunction with the literature, experiment design and lateral thinking.

Masters students will have an additional analysis and discussion topic in their report

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 02/05/2023
Return of Assessment: 19/05/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Lab II Assignment: landscape genomics

The objective of this assignment is for you to demonstrate your understanding of the principles of sampling individuals, DNA extraction, library construction, Nanopore sequencing, read mapping and sample identification. This assignment also aims to assess your proficiency in science writing, data analysis, and critical evaluation of your results in conjunction with the literature, experiment design and lateral thinking.

Masters students will have an additional analysis and discussion topic in their report

Assessment Task 4

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 26/05/2023
Return of Assessment: 01/06/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Lab III Assignment: transcriptome

you will sample animal transcriptomes, say an insect or small animal, extract RNA, make a library, and sequence the expressed genes. Then you will determine the most abundant genes and describe their function in relation to the tissue sampled..

Masters students will have an additional analysis and discussion topic in their report

Assessment Task 5

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 03/06/2023
Return of Assessment: 01/07/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 6

Final Exam

This exam consists of both multiple choice questions and short answer questions, to demonstrate your understanding of the content and general principles of the course lectures.

Please check the ANU final Examination Timetable to confirm the date, time and location of the end of semester exam.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Hardcopy Submission

Hard copy submissions are not accepted

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Marks and feedback of assessments 2, 3 and 4 will be available on Turnitin by the specified dates. Marks of assessments 1 and 5 will be be available by the specified dates and students can view and discuss the exam papers with course convener.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Resubmission of assignments is not accepted.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Prof Justin Borevitz

Research Interests

Please contact Lab Coordinator andres.garcia@anu.edu.au if you are interested in doing a research project in Genomics.

Prof Justin Borevitz

Dr Melanie Carmody

Research Interests

Dr Melanie Carmody

Dr Diep Ganguly
02 6125 9090

Research Interests

Dr Diep Ganguly

Andres Garcia

Research Interests

Andres Garcia

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions