Course code GEN220

GEN220 Genetic Basis of Biodiversity

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2019 - 2020 .

Course responsible: Joachim Manfred Heun
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Minimum 10 students.
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Autumn parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Autumn parallel, .
Course frequency: The course was given for the last time autumn 2018.
First time: Study year 2003-2004
Last time: 2018H
Preferential right:
Course contents:

The course covers four main themes:

1) Describe and compare biodiversity,

2) Generate phylogenetic trees,

3) Explain evolution by Neo-Darwinism, Neutral Theory and Evo-Devo.,

4) Hear about the evolution of angiosperms, mammals, birds and fish.

Learning outcome:

Learning outcome:

The students shall understand that all (today's and extinct) biodiversity is the outcome of Darwinian selection combined with population genetics, Neutral theory combined with random genetic drift and/or the genetic control of evolutionary developmental biology. Angiosperms evolve different compared to mammals; fossils define time for macroevolution and calibrate molecular clocks. Domestication is human-driven fast evolution. Scientific discussions are never-ending, but the course provides a proper actual knowledge, which the students can follow into the future. Critical thinking is encouraged.

Skills: Students have to learn genetic approaches to understand the above-mentioned processes. Writing two 3-4 page long summaries on defined themes shall be done under the guidance of a scientist. Self-evaluating of homework gives independence.

General competence: Students shall understand the genetic basis of biodiversity.

Learning activities:
Lectures and one excursion.
Teaching support:
Appointments upon request.
Selected chapters from the book "Biogeography" by Cox et al. 2016 in combination with scientific papers and content of the lectures. Since the lecture content might be part of the examination, lecture participation is highly recommended. 
Recommended prerequisites:
Basic knowledge about evolution.
Mandatory activity:
2 homework assignments must be delivered into Canvas.
A three hours written exam.
Nominal workload:
Structured lectures: 25 hours. 5 hours excusion. Individual student contributions: 270 hours.
Entrance requirements:
Special requirements in Science
Reduction of credits:
Type of course:
Structured lectures: 25 hours by Prof. M. Heun, NMBU. Five hours excursion in cooperation with Prof. J. Hurum, UiO.

The course was given for the last time autumn 2018.

The external examiner is involved in making the exam questions and the following grading of the exam.
Allowed examination aids: A1 No calculator, no other aids
Examination details: One written exam: A - E / F