Thomas Städler: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2019
|Name||Dr. Thomas Städler|
Institut für Integrative Biologie
ETH Zürich, CHN G 29
|Telephone||+41 44 632 74 29|
|Department||Environmental Systems Science|
|701-1426-00L||Advanced Evolutionary Genetics||3 credits||4G||T. Städler, P. C. Brunner|
|Abstract||The field of evolutionary genetics rests on genetic and evolutionary principles, (often) mathematical models, and molecular data. The explosion in the availability of genome-wide data makes competencies in "making sense" of such data more and more relevant. This course will cover selected topics that are both fundamental and/or currently very active research fields.|
|Objective||This course deals with (some of) the conceptual foundations of evolutionary genetics in the age of genomics, going well beyond the introductory material that is part of the BSc curriculum. The principal aim is for students to gain a thorough appreciation for the underlying ideas and models of key evolutionary processes, and to witness how these are being tested and refined vis-à-vis the recent deluge of genome-wide sequence data. The course focuses on theoretical concepts and ways to infer the action of evolutionary processes from molecular data; as such it is also designed to facilitate understanding of the burgeoning scientific literature in molecular ecology and evolution. These aims require students to be actively engaged in reading original papers, discussing ideas and data among themselves, and presenting their interpretations in group talks.|
|Content||There are 4 hours of lectures, student presentations, and/or group work per week. Students are expected to spend 4 additional hours per week on preparatory study for the following week. Every week, one subject will be presented and overseen by one of the two lecturers. |
Each weekly topic will be introduced by a lecture (max. 2 x 45 minutes), highlighting key concepts and historically important papers. The (slight) majority of the time will be spent with group presentations based on recent important papers, and discussions of the relevant concepts.
Specific proposed topics (subject to change):
(1) The coalescent in structured populations (e.g. spatial sampling and its genealogical consequences, demographic inference from sequence data, spurious bottlenecks).
(2) Population subdivision: evolutionary processes and measures (e.g. spatial models, absolute and relative measures of divergence, Jost's (2008) fundamental insights and their reception).
(3) Speciation genetics and modes of species divergence (e.g. intrinsic postzygotic barriers, Dobzhansky-Muller incompatibilities, snowball effect, genomic islands of divergence).
(4) The interplay of linkage, recombination, and selection (e.g. selective sweeps, background selection, Hill-Robertson interference, adaptation).
(5) Evolutionary consequences of mating systems (e.g. clonal vs. sexual reproduction, bottlenecks, colonizing potential, efficacy of natural selection).
(6) Genomics of virulence evolution (e.g. pathogenicity islands, mobile genetic elements, chromosomal rearrangements).
|Lecture notes||No script; handouts and material for downloading will be provided.|
|Literature||There is no textbook for this course. Relevant literature will be provided for each weekly session, selected mostly from the primary research literature.|
|Prerequisites / Notice||Requirements:|
Students must have a good background in genetics, basic population genetics, as well as evolutionary biology. At a minimum, either the course "Population and Quantitative Genetics" or the course "Ecological Genetics" should have been attended, and ideally, both of these ("Evolutionary Genetics" in the D-BIOL curriculum).
The course consists of lectures, readings, group work, student presentations, and discussions. Active participation and preparation of students is critical for a successful learning experience and outcome.
|701-1461-00L||Ecology and Evolution: Seminar |
Direct continuation of course unit 701-1460-00L "Ecology and Evolution: Term Paper" of the previous semester (HS).
|3 credits||6S||T. Städler, S. Bonhoeffer, T. Crowther, A. Hall, J. Jokela, G. Velicer, A. Widmer|
|Abstract||The organization and functioning of academic research as well as academic publishing are introduced and applied: students critically review two term papers written by their student colleagues. Based on the reviews, the authors of the papers write reply letters and revise their own term papers. They finally present their topic during an in-house "mini-conference" with a talk.|
|Objective||• Students become familiar with the academic peer-review and publishing process|
• They learn to evaluate the quality of a manuscript and formulate constructive criticism
• They learn to deal with criticism of their own work (by their student peers)
• They practise oral presentations and discussions in English
|Content||The organization and functioning of academic research as well as academic publishing are introduced and applied: students critically review two term papers written by their student colleagues. Based on the reviews, the authors of the papers write reply letters and revise their own term papers. They finally present their topic during an in-house "mini-conference" with a talk.|
|Prerequisites / Notice||Direct continuation of "Ecology and Evolution: Term Paper" of the previous semester|