BIOL 254/354 Molecular Systematics and Evolution. Spring 2015

Phylogenetic trees, the branching diagrams that represent historical relationships among genes, genomes and species, are used in virtually all biological disciplines, including epidemiology, comparative genomics, molecular genetics, ecology, and evolutionary biology. For example, the tree below shows a dated phylogeny of the Ebola virus, which provides clues to the geographic origins of the current outbreak. The ability to understand and interpret phylogenetic trees is an essential skill for all biologists.

Molecular Systematics and Evolution will be a practical, hands-on course in phylogenetic methods. Topics to be discussed include evolution of genes and genomes, methods for estimating evolutionary relationships using molecular data, and applications of molecular data to general problems in biology (e.g., diversification of gene families, historical biogeography, molecular clock dating, and character evolution). The course will include lectures, student-led discussions, laboratory projects using computer-based applications, and presentations.

Prerequisites: BIOL 101 and 102

Meeting time and place: Friday 1:25-4:25, Lasry rm 355

Enrollment cap: 12

For more information, please contact the instructors: David Hibbett and Romina Gazis