Autumn Semester 2020 takes place in a mixed form of online and classroom teaching.
Please read the published information on the individual courses carefully.

701-1450-00L  Conservation Genetics

SemesterSpring Semester 2018
LecturersR. Holderegger, M. C. Fischer, F. Gugerli
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish



Catalogue data

AbstractThe course deals with knowledge in conservation genetics and its practical applications. It introduces the genetic theories of conservation genetics, such as inbreeding depression in small populations or fragmentation. The course also shows how diverse genetic methods are used in conservation management. The course critically discusses the benefits and limits of conservation genetics.
ObjectiveGenetic and evolutionary argumentation is an important feature of conservation biology. The course equips students with knowledge on conservation genetics and its applications in conservation management. The course introduces the main theories of conservation genetics and shows how diverse genetic methods are used in conservation management. The course critically discusses the benefits and limits of conservation genetics. Practical examples from animals and plants are presented.
ContentThere are 4 hours of lectures, presentations and group works per week. Students also have to spend about 3 hours per week on preparatory work for the following week. Every week, one subject will be presented by one of three lecturers.

Overview of themes:
Barcoding, eDNA and genetic monitoring; effects of small population size: genetic drift and inbreeding; neutral and adaptive genetic diversity; hybridization; gene flow, fragmentation and connectivity.

Specific topics:
(1) Species and individual identification: barcoding; eDNA; population size estimation; habitat use and genetic monitoring.
(2) Small population size; bottlenecks; genetic drift; inbreeding and inbreeding depression; effective population size.
(3) Adaptive genetic diversity; neutral and adaptive genetic variation; importance of adaptive genetic diversity; methods to measure adaptive genetic variation.
(4) Hybridization; gene introgression; gene flow across species boundaries.
(5) Half day excursion: practical example of conservation genetics on fragmentation.
(6) Discussion and evaluation of excursion; historical and contemporary gene flow and dispersal; fragmentation and connectivity.
(7) Written examination.
Lecture notesNo script; handouts and material for downloading will be provided.
LiteratureThere is no textbook for this course, but the following books are (partly) recommended:

Allendorf F.W., Luikart G.; Aitken S.N. 2013. Conservation and the Genetics of Populations, 2nd edition. Wiley, Oxford.

Frankham R., Ballou J.D., Briscoe D.A. 2010. Introduction to Conservation Genetics, 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Prerequisites / NoticeRequirements:
Students must have a good background in genetics as well as in ecology and evolution. The courses "Population and Quantitative Genetics" or "Evolutionary Genetics" should have been attended.

Examination:
A final written examination on the content of the course and an excursion are integral parts of the course.

Teaching forms:
The course needs the active participation of students. It consists of lectures, group works, presentations, discussions, readings and a half-day excursion.

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersR. Holderegger, M. C. Fischer, F. Gugerli
Typegraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition only possible after re-enrolling for the course unit.

Learning materials

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

Courses

NumberTitleHoursLecturers
701-1450-00 GConservation Genetics60s hrs
Thu/108-12CHN D 48 »
R. Holderegger, M. C. Fischer, F. Gugerli

Groups

No information on groups available.

Restrictions

There are no additional restrictions for the registration.

Offered in

ProgrammeSectionType
Biology MasterElective Compulsory Master CoursesWInformation
Doctoral Department of Environmental SciencesEcology an EvolutionWInformation
Environmental Sciences MasterAdvanced ConceptsWInformation