Second cycle degree in EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

Campus: PADOVA

Language: English

Teaching period: First Semester


Number of ECTS credits allocated: 6

Prerequisites: Good knowledge in evolutionary biology, ecology, genetics, zoology and botany (advanced undergraduate course level)
Examination methods: Evaluation based on written exam. Oral test possible if required by the student (please contact the teacher in advance).
Course unit contents: While evolutionary biology has important theoretical and practical implications in conservation, it has often been neglected. The reason for this probably originates from the mistaken belief that evolution acts too slowly to be relevant on an ecological time scale. In this course we will combine the fields of evolutionary and conservation biology to emphasize the importance of evolutionary theories in conservation programs. This course will therefore focus on genetic and evolutionary applications to the problems of conservation, while reflecting the diversity of concerns that are relevant to conservation biology. Particular emphasis will be put on themes like measures of phylogenetic diversity and uniqueness, population genetic structure of natural and managed populations including the identification of `evolutionary significant units' and `management units' for conservation, assessment of levels of genetic variation within species and populations, assessments of the effect of sexual selection mate choice and reproductive strategy on population conservation, forensic applications, methods for maximising genetic diversity during captive breeding programs and re-introduction schemes, effect of anthropogenic factors on evolutionary adaptation to local changes in the environment.