Evolutionary Genetics

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Evolutionary Genetics

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Genetics, Molecular Biology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • 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

  • ECTS Credits

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

    At the end of the course, the student

    • is able to describe and explain the dynamic nature of genomes and the underlying molecular mechanisms in relation to molecular evolution
    • can describe the regular mechanisms of transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene regulation and how genetic variation can affect these processes in relation to new traits and adaptation
    • can describe how natural selection, genetic drift, mutation, and migration influence the genetic structure of populations and speciation
    • is able to explain the basic concepts of population genetics and apply those mathematically
    • can interpret and determine phylogenetic relationships and is able to use computer programs for the construction of phylogenetic trees
    • is able to describe current hypotheses of 'the origin of life' and to discuss the evidence

    To achieve the course objectives, the following topics will be discussed:

    • Causes and mechanisms of genetic variation at nucleotide, gene, and chromosomal level
    • Genome evolution in pro- and eukaryotes
    • Horizontal DNA transfer
    • Evolutionary consequences of genome evolution and sex
    • Causes of Speciation
    • Molecular evolution of viral and bacterial pathogens
    • Origin of life models
    • The use of bioinformatics and comparative genomics
    • Population genetics: allele frequencies in relation to selection and genetic drift
    • Use of genetic variation to examine stochastic and deterministic processes
    • Application of simple mathematical rules to examine the behavior of alleles of one and two loci in ideal populations, and for genes with a quantitative effect.
    • Reconstruction of phylogenetic trees using DNA sequences and cladistic computer programs
    • Phylogeography
    • Evolution - Development (Evo-Devo)

    Written exam; 80% of final grade
    Literature presentation on Evolution-related subject; 20% of final grade

    To pass, grades for both assessments should be ≥ 5,5

    Genetics, molecular genetics, and developmental biology

    Basic genetics and molecular biology

    This minor course requires a minimum of 20 participants to take place.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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