Course Coordinator: 
Tom Bourguignon
Molecular Evolution

Life sciences have been greatly influenced by the progress of DNA sequencing technologies. The field of Evolutionary Biology is no exception, and increasingly relies upon fast generation of DNA sequences, that are analysed using fast evolving bioinformatics tools. The aim of this course is to introduce the basic concepts of molecular evolution to students of all scientific backgrounds. We will explore some important questions in Biology, and through concrete examples, determine how molecular evolution theory help answering them. The students will also learn how to use a number of widely used bioinformatics tools.  

Understanding the theoretical concepts of molecular evolution and their application to solve biological questions.
Course Content: 
  1. DNA, RNA and protein 

  2. Replication and mutation 

  3. Building a genome 

  1. Gene 

  2. Selection 

  3. Drift and population genetics 

  4. Evolution of species 

  5. Using DNA to build phylogenies 

  6. Putting dates on trees 

  7. High throughput sequencing: the rise of genomics and transcriptomics 

  8. Working with genome-scale data: Annotation, gene orthologyRNAseq 

  9. Genomics of symbiosis 

  10. Amplicon metagenomics and environmental DNA 

  11. Ancient DNA and protein

Course Type: 
1/4 participation, 1/4 presentation, 1/2 homework and essay.
Text Book: 
An Introduction to Molecular Evolution and Phylogenetics, by Lindell Bromham (2015) Oxford University Press
Prior Knowledge: 

 Assumes general knowledge in biology