Search result: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2021

Environmental Sciences Master Information
Major in Ecology and Evolution
B. Advanced Concepts
Advanced Concepts
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
701-1424-00LGuarda-Workshop in Evolutionary Biology Information
This course has limited spaces. To register for this course you have to sign in via mystudies and via the website of the University of Basel http://evolution.unibas.ch/teaching/guarda/index.htm.
W3 credits4PS. Bonhoeffer
AbstractThis one week course is intended for students with a keen interest in evolutionary biology. The aim of the course is to develop a research project in small teams of 4-5 students. The students receive guidance by the "faculty" consisting of Prof. D. Ebert (U Basel) and Prof. S Bonhoeffer (ETHZ). Additionally two internationally reknown experts are invited every year.
Objectivesee link http://evolution.unibas.ch/teaching/guarda/index.htm
Contentsee link http://evolution.unibas.ch/teaching/guarda/index.htm
Lecture notesnone
Literaturenone
Prerequisites / NoticeAs the number of participants is limited, application for the course is necessary. Please apply for the course using the course website (see link http://evolution.unibas.ch/teaching/guarda/index.htm).
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701-1426-00LAdvanced Evolutionary Genetics
Does not take place this semester.
W3 credits4GT. Städler
AbstractThe 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.
ObjectiveThis 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.
ContentThere 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 notesNo script; handouts and material for downloading will be provided.
LiteratureThere is no textbook for this course. Relevant literature will be provided for each weekly session, selected mostly from the primary research literature.
Prerequisites / NoticeRequirements:
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).

Teaching Forms:
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.
701-1450-00LConservation GeneticsW3 credits4GR. Holderegger, M. C. Fischer, F. Gugerli
AbstractThe course deals with conservation genetics and its practical applications. It introduces the genetic theories of conservation genetics, such as inbreeding depression, adaptive genetic diversity or fragmentation. The course also shows how genetic methods such as eDNA and metabarcoding are used in conservation management, and it 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 genetic methods are used in conservation management. In addition, it critically discusses the benefits and limits of conservation genetics. Practical examples dealing with animals and plants are presented.
ContentThere are 4 hours of lectures, presentations and group work 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 metabarcoding 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; metabarcoding; eDNA; estimation of census population size; habitat use and genetic monitoring.
(2) Inbreeding and inbreeding depression: 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 and monitoring of genetic diversity: gene introgression; gene flow across species boundaries; demographic swamping; monitoring of genetic diversity.
(5) Half day excursion: practical example of conservation genetics on fragmentation.
(6) Discussion and evaluation of excursion; gene flow: historical and contemporary gene flow and dispersal; fragmentation and connectivity.
(7) Oral examination.
Lecture notesNo script; handouts and material for downloading will be provided.
LiteratureThere is no textbook for this course, but the following books are 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.

The following book and booklets in German are targeted to conservation professionals:
Holderegger R., Segelbacher G. (eds.). 2016. Naturschutzgenetik. Ein Handbuch für die Praxis. Haupt, Bern.
Csencsics D., Gugerli F. 2017. Naturschutzgenetik. WSl Berichte 60: 1-82 (free download: https://www.wsl.ch/de/publikationensuchen/wsl-berichte.html)
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 oral examination on the content of the course and the excursion are integral parts of the course.

Teaching forms:
The course needs the active participation of students. It consists of lectures, group work, presentations, discussions, reading and a half-day excursion.
701-1462-00LEvolution of Social Behavior and Biological Communication Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 24.
W3 credits2VM. Mescher
AbstractThis course addresses presents core concepts in the study of behavior and biological communication from a Darwinian perspective, with a focus on the evolution of sociality and the emergence of higher-level biological organization. It will entail lectures and discussion of selected readings from relevant primary and secondary literature.
ObjectiveStudents will become familiar with the application of Darwinian evolutionary theory to the study of behavior, communication, and social organization. They will also gain insight into the relevance of these topics for broader intellectual questions in biology, as well as for the organization of human societies.
ContentThis course will begin with an exploration of key concepts, including the central role of information in biology and Darwinian explanations for the emergence of adaptation and functional complexity in biological systems. We will then discuss the application of these concepts to the study of behavior and communication, with a focus on the evolution of social interactions. Significant attention will also be given to the evolution of cooperation among individual organisms and the emergence and maintenance of complex social organization. Finally, we will discuss the implications of the material covered for understanding human behavior and for the organization of human societies, including implications for implementing collective action to address global environmental challenges. These topics will be covered by lectures and discussion of relevant readings selected by the instructor. Evaluations will be based on in-class or take-home examinations, as well as participation in classroom discussions.
262-0200-00LBayesian Phylodynamics – Taming the BEASTW4 credits2G + 2AT. Stadler, T. Vaughan
AbstractHow fast is COVID-19 spreading at the moment? How fast was Ebola spreading in West Africa? Where and when did these epidemic outbreak start? How can we construct the phylogenetic tree of great apes, and did gene flow occur between different apes? At the end of the course, students will have designed, performed, presented, and discussed their own phylodynamic data analysis to answer such questions.
ObjectiveAttendees will extend their knowledge of Bayesian phylodynamics obtained in the “Computational Biology” class (636-0017-00L) and will learn how to apply this theory to real world data. The main theoretical concepts introduced are:
* Bayesian statistics
* Phylogenetic and phylodynamic models
* Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods
Attendees will apply these concepts to a number of applications yielding biological insight into:
* Epidemiology
* Pathogen evolution
* Macroevolution of species
ContentDuring the first part of the block course, the theoretical concepts of Bayesian phylodynamics will be presented by us as well as leading international researchers in that area. The presentations will be followed by attendees using the software package BEAST v2 to apply these theoretical concepts to empirical data. We will use previously published datasets on e.g. COVID-19, Ebola, Zika, Yellow Fever, Apes, and Penguins for analysis. Examples of these practical tutorials are available on https://taming-the-beast.org/.
In the second part of the block course, students choose an empirical dataset of genetic sequencing data and possibly some non-genetic metadata. They then design and conduct a research project in which they perform Bayesian phylogenetic analyses of their dataset. A final written report on the research project has to be submitted after the block course for grading.
Lecture notesAll material will be available on https://taming-the-beast.org/.
LiteratureThe following books provide excellent background material:
• Drummond, A. & Bouckaert, R. 2015. Bayesian evolutionary analysis with BEAST.
• Yang, Z. 2014. Molecular Evolution: A Statistical Approach.
• Felsenstein, J. 2003. Inferring Phylogenies.
More detailed information is available on https://taming-the-beast.org/.
Prerequisites / NoticeThis class builds upon the content which we teach in the Computational Biology class (636-0017-00L). Attendees must have either taken the Computational Biology class or acquired the content elsewhere.
751-4805-00LRecent Advances in Biocommunication Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 25.
W3 credits2SC. De Moraes
AbstractStudents will gain insight into the role of sensory cues and signals in mediating interactions within and between species. There will be a primary, but not exclusive, focus on chemical signaling in interactions among plants, insects and microbes. The course will focus on the discussion of current literature addressing key conceptual questions and state-of-the-art research techniques and methods.
ObjectiveStudents will gain insight into the role of sensory cues and signals in mediating interactions within and between species. There will be a primary, but not exclusive, focus on chemical signaling in interactions among plants, insects and microbes. The course will focus on the discussion of current literature addressing key conceptual questions and state-of-the-art research techniques and methods. Students will engage in discussion and critical analyses of relevant papers and present their evaluations in a seminar setting.
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