BIO421 Population Genetics and Molecular Evolution

Credits (ECTS):15

Course responsible:Peer Berg

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Engelsk

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:Lectures: 24 hours. Exercises and discussions: 24 hours. Course readings, writing and presentation of a semester assignment and individual study: 327 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, Nonrandom Mating, Population Subdivision and Gene Flow, Molecular Population Genetics, Molecular Evolution, Phylogenetics, Advanced Models for Natural Selection, Quantitative Genetics.

Learning outcome

Knowledge: 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

SKILLS: 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 discussion of papers. Two compulsory assignments/computer exercises have to be handed in. Calculations/colloquia organized by students.Individual supervision as regards relevant articles for preparing the semester assignment.
  • 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 based on the complete syllabus counts 2/3, and evaluation and oral examination of the term paper counts 1/3 towards the final grade. Both parts must be passed.

  • An external examiner will take part in the oral examination and read the term paper
  • Two compulsory assignments/computer exercises have to be handed in.
  • Lectures: 2 hours per week for 12 weeks. Exercises: 2 hours per week for 12 weeks.Presentation and discussion of semester assignment: 3 hours.
  • PhD students
  • Credit reduction in relation to BIO321: 10 credits.
  • Special requirements in Science