First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCP8084998, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2019/20

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
SC1179, Degree course structure A.Y. 2018/19, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 8.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination THEORY OF EVOLUTION
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Biology
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 GIUSEPPE FUSCO BIO/05
Other lecturers SILVIA FUSELLI

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines BIO/02 Systematic Botanics 2.0
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines BIO/05 Zoology 3.0
Core courses BIO/02 Systematic Botanics 1.0
Core courses BIO/05 Zoology 2.0

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 7.0 56 119.0 No turn

Start of activities 02/03/2020
End of activities 12/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2018 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
2 TEORIA DELL'EVOLUZIONE 2019-2020 01/10/2019 27/11/2020 FUSCO GIUSEPPE (Presidente)
BERNARDI MASSIMO (Membro Effettivo)
FUSELLI SILVIA (Membro Effettivo)
1 TEORIA DELL'EVOLUZIONE 2018-2019 01/10/2018 30/11/2019 FUSCO GIUSEPPE (Presidente)
BERNARDI MASSIMO (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of evolutionary biology.
Target skills and knowledge: The course aims at providing an in-depth knowledge on the contents and the architecture of the modern evolutionary theory. Along with the features of the current standard theory (known as 'modern synthesis') several, recent lines of development of the theory are presented (collectively known as 'extended evolutionary synthesis').
The knowledge acquired by the student will concern the fundamental concepts and principles behind the processes and phenomena that have generated the standing biodiversity.
The skills that the student can acquire are: different forms of analysis and argumentation, the appropriate use of the technical language of the discipline, and general information on the theoretical approach to natural phenomena.
Examination methods: Oral interview.
Assessment criteria: - Understanding of the covered topics
- Capacity of connection between topics
- Completeness of the acquired knowledge
- Ability to synthesise and perform critical analysis
- Language skills
Course unit contents: 1. Contents, structure and logics of the evolutionary theory (3 CFU of lectures)
2. Formalizations of the evolutionary theory (2 CFU of lectures, 1 CFU of exercises)
3. Current directions of development of the evolutionary theory (4 CFU of lectures, a selection of the following themes, which may also depend on the interest shown by the students)
a) epigenetic inheritance systems
b) evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo)
c) multidimensional adaptive landscapes
d) theory of innovation
e) multilevel selection
f) evolutionary genomics
g) phenotypic plasticity
h) macroevolutionary trends
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course is mainly organized in lectures (1), exercises (2) and group work (3).
1. Lesson topics are illustrated by .ppt presentations. Lessons aim at promoting interactive learning, through dialogue with students, to stimulate critical reflection and the ability to argue. Short guided exercises, reinforcing the theory, punctuate the lessons.
2. Exercises cover several formal approaches to the study of evolution, while providing specific analytical skills (probability calculus, formal logic, dynamical systems theory).
3. Group activities focus on deepening specific evolutionary themes (e.g. natural selection and adaptation) and consist of autonomous group activities followed by moments of plenary discussion.
Additional notes about suggested reading: The teaching material used for lectures and exercises (lesson slides, articles on case studies, updated reviews of some topics) and specialist articles recommended as further reading are made available on the e-learning platform.
The material used and/or produced by the study groups is shared on the same platform
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Ferraguti M. e Castellacci C., Evoluzione: modelli e meccanismi.. --: Pearson, 2011. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Futuyma D.J. & Kirkpatrick M, Evolution. IV ed.. --: Sinauer, 2017. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Ridley M., Evolution. III ed.. --: Wiley-Blackwell, 2003. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Graur D., Molecular and genome evolution.. --: Sinauer, 2016. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Laboratory
  • Problem based learning
  • Case study
  • Interactive lecturing
  • Working in group
  • Questioning
  • Story telling
  • Problem solving
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Quality Education Life on Land