BIO321 Population Genetics and Molecular Evolution

Credits (ECTS):10

Course responsible:Hans Magnus Gjøen

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Engelsk

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:

250 hours

Lectures: 24 hours. Exercises and discussions of papers: 24 hours. Individual study/colloquiums: 202 hours.

Teaching and exam period:This course starts in Autumn parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Autumn parallel, .

About this course

Topics: Genetic Variation, The Hardy-Weinberg Principle, Recombination, Linkage and Disequilibrium, Basic Models for Natural Selection, Mutation, Genetic Drift, Inbreeding, Non-random mating, Population subdivision and Gene Flow, Molecular Population Genetics, Molecular Evolution, and Phylogenetics. Advanced Models for Natural Selection and Quantitative Genetics.

Learning outcome


Students will:

  • acquire a thorough understanding of population genetics
  • be able to describe effects of population genetic forces on evolution and how it can be detected in molecular data
  • understand the dynamics of the evolutionary changes that happen at the molecular level
  • be able to explain the evolutionary forces and the evolutionary effects of different molecular mechanisms on genomes, genes and gene products
  • gain theoretical insight in methods used in comparative and phylogenetic analyses based on molecular data


Students will be able to:

  • test for the effects of evolutionary forces affecting allele and gene frequencies
  • use a critical approach towards the interpretation of population genetic and evolutionary molecular data
  • understand cutting edge research articles on the subject


Students will acquire:

  • practical skills in methods used in comparative and phylogenetic analyses based on molecular data
  • understanding of the dynamics resulting in evolutionary changes in allele and genotype frequencies
  • Lectures. Exercises and discussions of papers. Two compulsory assignments/computer exercises have to be handed in. Calculations/colloquia orgainzed by students.
  • Canvas will be used actively to distribute information and links to computer programs, websites and data.
  • BIO120 - Introduction to Genetics, MATH100 - Introductory Mathematics, STAT100 - Statistics.
  • Oral examination counts 100%.

    Oral exam Grading: Letter grades Permitted aids: A1 No calculator, no other aids
  • An external examiner will take part in the oral examination
  • Compulsory assignments must be approved before the student can attend the final oral examination.
  • Lectures: 2 hours per week for 12 weeks. Exercises: 2 hours per week for 12 weeks.
  • Special requirements in Science