Systematics and Macroevolution

University of Cape Town

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Systematics and Macroevolution

  • Host University

    University of Cape Town

  • Location

    Cape Town, South Africa

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Course entry requirements: BIO2010F

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Host University Units

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course outline:
    This course deals with the description and analysis of biodiversity and evolution at the species level and above. The course begins by considering the nature and definition of "species," the processes by which new species arise in nature (speciation), and the data and procedures employed in the practical discovery, naming and description of previously-undescribed species. Thereafter, the focus shifts to the inference of phylogenetic (evolutionary) relationships amongst species, with an emphasis on the data (morphological, molecular) and analytical methods (parsimony, likelihood, Bayesian) employed in phylogeny reconstruction. Following on from this, the utility of phylogenetic data in the study of macroevolution is explored, specifically in relation to the study of adaptation, key innovation, evolutionary radiation and molecular dating. Students will also be introduced to several key biodiversity initiatives including the Tree of Life Project and The Consortium for the Barcode of Life.

Course Disclaimer

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.


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