701-1480-00L  Evolutionary Developmental Biology

SemesterSpring Semester 2021
LecturersM. La Fortezza, G. Velicer
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish
CommentNumber of participants limited to 24.
Waiting list will be deleted after 05.03.2021.


701-1480-00 SEvolutionary Developmental Biology
The course will initially start online. Further details can be found on Moodlehttps://moodle-app2.let.ethz.ch/course/view.php?id=14776 and have been sent by e-mail.
The room reservation remains in place if face-to-face teaching is possible after the Easter break.
1 hrs
Tue10:15-11:00CAB G 52 »
M. La Fortezza, G. Velicer

Catalogue data

AbstractStudents will be introduced to fundamental concepts and current open questions in the field of evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo) primarily through reading, analysing and jointly discussing key literature.
ObjectiveThe course aims to expose students to major conceptual themes of the Evo-Devo field through discussion of key papers and to active areas of current Evo-Devo research. At the end of the course, students should be able to present, think critically about and discuss key Evo-Devo concepts.
ContentEvolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo) is a multidisciplinary field that studies the interplay between developmental and evolutionary processes. Major questions include: How do developmental systems evolve and diversify? Do developmental programs influence their own future evolution, and how? How does ecology affect the evolution of developmental programs, and vice versa? Fascinating and experimentally challenging, Evo-Devo first empirically emerged from comparative embryology. However, in recent decades this discipline has grown considerably to interconnect with many other fields, from genetics to sociobiology to microbiology. The course will examine questions such as those above and touch on the ongoing inter-disciplinary integration of Evo-Devo, including its interface with ecology (“Eco-Evo-Devo”) and the integration of aggregative microbial developmental systems into the field.
LiteratureRelevant literature:

Müller, G. (2007). Evo–devo: extending the evolutionary synthesis. Nature Reviews Genetics 8, 943-949. Link

Abouheif, E., et al (2014). Eco-evo-devo: the time has come. Advances in experimental medicine and biology 781, 107-25. Link

Moczek, A et al (2015). The significance and scope of evolutionary developmental biology: a vision for the 21st century. Evolution & development 17, 198-219. Link

Gilbert, S. (2019). Evolutionary transitions revisited: Holobiont evo‐devo. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution 12, 117762501877479 - 8. Link
Prerequisites / NoticeSignificant basic knowledge in especially evolutionary biology and developmental biology, and also cell biology and genetics, will be advantageous for readily understanding the course material.

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersG. Velicer, M. La Fortezza
Typeend-of-semester examination
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionA repetition date will be offered in the first two weeks of the semester immediately consecutive.
Admission requirementCompletion of 80% of within-semester assignments to be specified at the semester start.
Additional information on mode of examinationWeekly assignments and written end-of-semester in-class exam (60 minutes).

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


Places24 at the most
Waiting listuntil 05.03.2021

Offered in

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