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Evolutionary Ecology

Language

English

Course format On-site
Date 2020-08-31 - 2020-11-08
Entry level Bachelor

Mating systems and sexual selection; decision making and the evolution of communication; life histories in animals and microbes; life history traits: genetic variation and phenotypic plasticity; mutualistic interactions and their evolutionary stability; social evolution: cooperation and conflict; parasite-host interactions.

Learning outcomes

To give students an understanding of life-history adaptations, of their ecological context, genetic variation and evolution. Students will gain a detailed perception of biological adaptation through natural and sexual selection, of the different levels of selection (genes, individuals, and social groups) and of the strength of these forces in shaping life-history adaptations. The course will enable students to integrate ecological and evolutionary approaches.

Knowledge:

By completing the course the student will be able to understand and reflect on:

  • mating systems and sexual selection
  • decision making and the evolution of communication
  • life histories in animals and microbes
  • genetic variation and phenotypic plasticity
  • mutualistic interactions and their evolutionary stability
  • social evolution: cooperation and conflict in families and mutualisms
  • parasite-host interactions

Skills:

By completing the course the student will:

  • obtain a basic understanding of life-history adaptations, and of their ecological context, genetic variation and evolution
  • gain a detailed perception of biological adaptation through natural and sexual selection, of the different levels of selection (genes, individuals, and social groups) and of the strength of these forces in shaping life-history adaptations
  • be able to integrate ecological, population genetic and evolutionary approaches

Competences:

By completing the course the student can:

  • explain important concepts and current hypotheses for life history evolution
  • evaluate the influence of sexual selection on the evolution of mating systems in animals and plants
  • describe the connections between mating systems and population structure
  • explain the significance of cost-benefit and trade-off arguments for natural selection
  • explain the significance of reproductive conflicts in social systems and mutualisms
  • evaluate the significance of constraints on adaptive evolution by natural and sexual selection
  • independently retrieve and select information from the scientific literature and other relevant sources
  • present and critically discuss original scientific papers and reviews in the field of evolutionary ecology
  • present a coherent essay on a topic within this field of study

Prerequisites

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

Files/Documents

ISCED Categories

Biology
Ecology