The course goal is to teach the basics of Population Biology that is he synthesis of Population Ecology and Population Genetics.
The treatment of the subject matter aims at giving students the necessary quantitative tools.
The course aspires to go beyond description of phenomena to try reaching problem solving tools.
The course is intended for Master students and assumes students have a basic knowledge of the disciplines that are the basis of Population Biology (Ecology and Population Genetics.
Time allocation to topics sunject to vaty with the class average level of proficiency.
lez 1-2 Introduction - Obtaining credits. Gudelines for writing the two required papers (see teching material)
lez 3-4 Darwinian theory of evolution
lez 5-7 Brief hidtory of population biology (Mendel - Galton - Darwin and biolocal inheritace - redescovery of Mendel work - Morgan and linkagr maps - Thr modern synthesis - DNA - neutralists / selectionists - genome abd comunity assemblage
lez 8-12 Hardy Weinberg equilibrium. Evolutionary forces
ez 11-12 Models for gene frequency change under selection
lez 13-14 Level of biological organization affected by selection. Domestication of plants and animal as an example
lez 15 - 17 Inferring the importance of different evolutionary forces from gene frequencies. Molecular approaches. Data analysis
lez 18 -19 Ecolution of altruism
lez 20 - 21 Inclusive fitness
lez 22-24 Wright Fisher model for Drift. Buri's ecperiment. Le simulations. Inbreeding. Effective population size
lez 25 - 26 Management of drift consequences. The 50/500 individuals and OMPG "low".
lez 27- 28 Estinating drift gtom gene frequencies. The metapopulation. Wahlund effect abd Fst
lez 29-30 - Use of F statistics.
lez 31 -32 Isolation by distanve. Phylogrography
lez 33 -34 - Evolution os quantitative traits. Quantitative genetics.
lez 35 -36 - Classical examples. The pioneer work of Elhe (1908), East ed Emerson (1913) and W. Johannsen (dal 1903). Phenotypic plasticity and genetic control
lez 37 -38 The breeder's equation. Heritability
lez 39 -40 Parameter estimation
lez 41 -42 Modern approaches to linkage maps
lez 43 -44 QTLs
lez 45 -46 - Genetic conservation
lez 47 -48 - Ex situ comservation and release in Nature
Ecologia. Ricklefs, Zanichelli
Ecologia – Individui, popolazioni, comunità. Begon, Harper & Townsend, Zanichelli
Hartl & Clark Genetica di popolazione. Zanichelli
Papers and other material can be found in the course web site.
Lectures will be the most important teaching mean. Important other tools will be used.
Weekly home work assignments will be stimulate the student to review the material covered in class and prepare him for the testing of his proficiency.
The students are required to write a report on papers related to the material covers in the first and in the second part of the course.
Before the mid term and the final test a review session is organized to answer students questions. This follows the first minutes of each class dedicated to students issues.
Credits can be obtained for different activities and tests:
mid term TEST (questions and exercises) (11/30)
final TEST (questions and exercises) (11/30)
A report on topics chosen by the student from the first half of the course (4/30)
A report on topics chosen by the student from the second half of the course (4/30)
Alternatively students can choose a "classical" oral exam.
The different ways learning is ascertained will make easier to evaluate how far a student's learning objectives have been reached.
Answers to questions can give a good idea of the level of knowledge and understanding trached.
Exercises will allow to evaluate the student ability of applying knowledge and understanding.
Writing a report will reveal the level of capacity to make judgements when the student is invited to choose the material to cover.
Obviously writing his report will reveal his communication skills. The written form is particularly valuable for a Master graduate
Finally the complex of the learning experience might be of help in making the student aware of how his experience as a student will lead him to acquire learning skills.