GEN3062 - Evolutionary and ecological genetics - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

School of Biological Sciences

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Carla Sgro


Professor Carla Sgro

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


GEN2052 or BIO2022 or BMS2042


Evolutionary processes can be applied to help understand diverse topics such as biodiversity, invasive species, disease, mating systems, among others. This unit will describe how the four evolutionary forces, mutation, random genetic drift, natural selection and gene flow act within and between populations to cause evolutionary change. It covers quantitative genetic, genomic and experimental approaches to understanding the genetic basis of evolutionary change. The unit offers a combination of interactive lectures, problem based tutorials and laboratory practicals to explore theoretical concepts of evolution and their role in applied problems of the modern world.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Understand the role of evolutionary processes in diverse biological contexts.
  2. Define genetic diversity, explain how to measure it, and explain how the different types of genetic diversity influence evolutionary processes;
  3. Explain quantitative, genomic and experimental approaches to measuring genetic variation and studying evolution in natural populations.
  4. Illustrate how evolution by natural selection can be detected, and how evolution and genetic diversity are central to the successful management of biodiversity, invasive species and disease.
  5. Demonstrate high-level skills in data collection, analysis and interpretation, and data presentation, and apply these in the preparation and presentation of scientific reports in written form and oral presentations.
  6. Critically evaluate and summarise new discoveries from the scientific literature in the field of applied evolutionary genetics.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Written reports: 15%

Mini-quizzes: 15%

Problem solving exercises: 20%

Examination (2 Hours): 50%

Workload requirements

  • Two 1-hour lectures and
  • One 3-hour practical session per week for 8-9 weeks

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study