• Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Biology
  • Areas of interest Genetics
  • Academic career Undergraduate
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Celeste Linde
    • Prof Rodney Peakall
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course BIOL6006
  • Offered in First Semester 2019
    See Future Offerings

This course introduces the principles of population, evolutionary and quantitative genetics. We do this by asking: what can we learn from DNA? In answering this question we focus on the practical applications of the theory illustrated by human forensic DNA analysis, conservation genetics and evolutionary genetics. In the practical component of the course, students will gain hands on experience in human forensic DNA profiling in the laboratory, as well as statistical analysis skills across a range of genetic topics. Other topics covered include epigenetics and next generation sequencing.

Honours pathway option (HPO)                    

Entry to the HPO requires a mark of at least 75 in BIOL1003 or BIOL1004 and approval of the course convenor. The options available may vary from year to year.

Learning Outcomes

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Explain the key concepts in population, evolutionary and quantitative genetics including: the basis of genetic variation; heritability; Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium; roles of migration, mutation and genetic drift in evolution; inbreeding and inbreeding depression; epigenetics.
  2. Understand the range of molecular laboratory techniques used routinely in human forensic analysis and population genetic analysis including sex typing, DNA profiling, Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) detection and DNA sequencing.
  3. Perform by hand, calculator and computer software the statistical analysis of genetic data relevant to forensic, conservation, quantitative and evolutionary genetics, and summarise and interpret the outcomes.
  4. Search the literature to identify papers relevant to the genetic data sets provided for statistical analysis and integrate and evaluate the findings in written form.

Other Information

This course is designed for both students needing a solid grounding in the principles of population and evolutionary genetics, in order to pursue studies in genetics, ecology or evolution, as well as students who wish to gain a thorough understanding of the practical application of population genetics to human forensic DNA analysis, conservation biology and evolutionary biology.

Indicative Assessment

    • 4 Assignments (55%, LO 1-4):
    Assignment 1 - Intro to Forensic DNA Analysis 15%
    Assignment 2 - Statistics of Forensic DNA Analysis 30%
    Assignment 3 - Quantitative Genetics 5%
    Assignment 4 - Evolutionary Genetics 5%
    • Final Exam (45%, LO 1-3)

    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.


    Three lectures per week, and up to six practical/tutorial sessions of three hours each.

    Requisite and Incompatibility

    To enrol in this course, you must have successfully completed BIOL1003.




    Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

    If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

    Student Contribution Band:
    Band 2
    Unit value:
    6 units

    If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

    Units EFTSL
    6.00 0.12500
    Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

    Offerings and Dates

    The list of offerings for future years is indicative only

    First Semester

    Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery
    3850 25 Feb 2019 04 Mar 2019 31 Mar 2019 31 May 2019 In Person

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