Evolution & Genetics
Genes, Development, and Evolution 2024-25
School of Environmental & Natural Sciences
Module - Semester 1
This 20 credit, semester 1 module aims to introduce students to key concepts in 21st century evolutionary biology.
The first part of the module is focussed on a problem-based series of practicals, where students will apply DNA barcoding techniques to species identification.
The second part of the module is delivered by three members of staff, and will focus on:
i) the development of evolutionary theory, the rise of evolutionary-developmental biology, and recent debate around the need for an "Extended Evolutionary Synthesis"
ii) paleogenomics - the study of ancient genomes.
iii) genetic markers, genetic mapping techniques, and their application to selective breeding of plants and animals.
The module will include:
Practical sessions: 1. Bioinformatic delineation of species
Lecture topics: 1. Evolution and genetics in the 19th century (the "Modern Synthesis") 2. Evolutionary-developmental biology (Evo-Devo) 3. Do we need an "extended evolutionary synthesis"? 4. Paleogenomics. 5. Genetic markers, linkage mapping and QTL analysis.
Assessment is based on the Bangor University categorical marking scheme.
-Threshold - (D- to D+) Basic knowledge derived from the lectures and practicals, but with no evidence of ability to critically synthesize this basic knowledge.
-Good- (C- to C+) Knowledge mostly based around lectures and practicals. Some evidence of reading at least some of the prescribed literature outside of the lectures. Limited evidence of understanding and ability to critically evaluate and synthesize the various strands of information.
-Very Good - (B- to B+) Knowledge based around lectures and practicals and, for marks at the higher end of the scale, with clear evidence of use of additional resources outside of the lectures. The student understands some of the fundamentals and demonstrates some ability to critically evaluate and synthesize the various strands of information.
-Excellent - (A- to A*) Knowledge greatly extends upon class material and demonstrates extensive evidence of extra reading. The student clearly understands the fundamentals and demonstrates an ability to critically evaluate and synthesize various strands of information.
- Appreciate the various types of genetic marker, the technology involved in their use, and their potential utility in population and ecological genetics, taxonomy, disease and evolution.
- Be able to explain how contemporary bioinformatic tools can be used to delimit species and to investigate intraspecific variation from an evolutionary perspective.
- Be able to integrate knowledge acquired from different sources, and to apply a problem-solving approach when presented with a hypothetical scenario.
- Have a clear understanding of the principles of evolution by natural selection and some basic theories in population genetics, as well as an appreciation of current debates in evolutionary theory and the role of embryonic development in morphological change.
Series of short answer and online test questions on the spider DNA barcoding analysis
Exam (Centrally Scheduled)
End of module short-answer question exam
One hour online (Blackboard) test, comprising questions based on problem-solving and the interpretation of data and results from novel scenarios