First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCN1031621, A.A. 2017/18

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
SC1179, Degree course structure A.Y. 2009/10, A.Y. 2017/18
bring this page
with you
Number of ECTS credits allocated 7.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination BIOGEOGRAPHY AND PHYLOGEOGRAPHY
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Biology
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge LORENZO ZANE BIO/07
Other lecturers GIUSEPPE FUSCO BIO/05

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines BIO/05 Zoology 3.0
Core courses BIO/07 Ecology 4.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Laboratory 1.0 16 9.0 No turn
Lecture 6.0 48 102.0 No turn

Start of activities 26/02/2018
End of activities 01/06/2018

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
6 FILOGEOGRAFIA E BIOGEOGRAFIA 2017/2018 01/10/2017 25/11/2018 ZANE LORENZO (Presidente)
FUSCO GIUSEPPE (Membro Effettivo)
5 FILOGEOGRAFIA E BIOGEOGRAFIA 2016-2017 01/10/2016 30/11/2017 ZANE LORENZO (Presidente)
FUSCO GIUSEPPE (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: None
Target skills and knowledge: The course focus on the geographic distribution of the biological diversity and on evolutionary forces, historical and geological processes which explain the current patterns. This aim is pursued both at the intraspecific than at the species/higher taxa level.
Phylogeography is a recent discipline which studies the factors and processes shaping the spatial distribution of the genetic variation within species through the reconstruction of gene and population genealogies, tipically using genetic markers. Phylogeography attempts to link genetic diversity and lineage differentiation to past events such as population expansions, bottleneck events, migration and vicariance. The specific goal of the part of the course on phylogeography is to introduce specific methods, linking them to those detailed in the Molecular Phylogenetics course, concentrating on the kind of data that can be obtained and on which questions can be addressed.
Biogeography studies the geographical distribution of organisms, mainly at the level of species or higher rank taxa. This distribution can generally be explained by a combination of historical factors, such as speciation, extinction, continental drift and ice ages, with the current environmental conditions. In this sense, the main distinction between Phylogeography and Biogeography is the time scale of the relevant processes, within and between species. The main educational goal of the part of Biogeography is to introduce the student to the study of the distribution of organisms on land, in the seas and freshwaters, as well as to the causes that led to such distributions in different environments.
Examination methods: Written for Phylogeography (multiple choice and open questions), oral exam for Biogeography.
Assessment criteria: The overall assessment will be based on the ascertainment of the knowledges acquired in Phylogeography and Biogeography, with particular attention to the critical elaboration of concepts presented during classes. The two parts of the exam will be evaluted separately (on a 30th scale) and the final grade will be determined as the arithmetic average of the two grades.
Course unit contents: The course is held by two teachers, one for Phylogeography (4 credits of teaching in class) and the other for Biogeography (2 credits of teaching in class and 1 credit of lab), and it is structured as detailed below.
Phylogeography. Historical introduction to the discipline. Mitochondrial DNA: data analysis; study of population differentiation in relation to paleoclimatic events; historical demography; ancient DNA. Nuclear DNA: data analysis; individual identification; identification of populations on a genetic base; admixture; genetic variability and bottlenecks.
Biogeography. Introduction to the discipline – Descriptive biogeography: ranges, biogeographic regions, chorology – Ecobiogeography: biotic and abiotic factors – Historical biogeography: dispersal, vicariance, evolution – History of the Italian fauna. Exercitation, computer assisted, are an introduction to GIS (Geographic information systems) for the study of biodiversity.
The 4 credits of Phylogeography holds as part of "Molecular Ecology and Methods for the Study of the Evironment", course AGN1033662 of the STAMT second degrees. In this case, the contents are integrated with 4 credits on methods focused on the use of genetic markers in ecology, which will be presented in class and in practical laboratories. Possible practical activities are: use of sequence database; Production of Phylogenetic trees and networks. Individual identification. Species identification. Population genetics. Parentage assessment.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course comprise classes, including critical reading of literature, and practical work in informatic rooms for Biogeography.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Slides made available by the teachers and textbooks, mainly for reference.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Avise JC, Molecular Markers, Natural History, and Evolution, Second Edition. Sunderland, MA (USA): Sinauer, 2004. lingua inglese Cerca nel catalogo
  • Freeland JR, Molecular Ecology. Chichester (England): John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2005. lingua inglese Cerca nel catalogo
  • Zunino M, Zullini A, Biogeografia. Rozzano (MI, Italia): Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, 2004. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Lomolino MV et al., ,Biogeography (IV ed). Sunderland (MA): Sinauer., 2010. lingua inglese Cerca nel catalogo