School: Science

This unit information may be updated and amended immediately prior to semester. To ensure you have the correct outline, please check it again at the beginning of semester.

  • Unit Title

    Evolution and Systematics
  • Unit Code

    SCI3112
  • Year

    2017
  • Enrolment Period

    1
  • Version

    1
  • Credit Points

    15
  • Full Year Unit

    N
  • Mode of Delivery

    On Campus
  • Unit Co-ordinator

    Dr Kristina Louise LEMSON

Description

Evolution is considered the unifying concept of biology, and in this unit students explore the basis of its application to the understanding of relationships among organisms. The emphasis is on the integration of fundamental evolutionary concepts and the application of evolutionary ideas and methods to questions in systematics. The relevance and use of systematic thinking and phylogenetic methods in conservation biology, ecology, medicine and behavioural sciences will also be discussed.

Prerequisite Rule

Students must have passed 2 units from SCI2116, SCI2117

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. Apply phylogenetic thinking to problems in fields such as ecology and conservation.
  2. Construct data-appropriate matrices, generate phylogenetic trees from them using appropriate tools, and present and interpret those trees.
  3. Critically analyse species concepts, and identify the contexts in which each is useful.
  4. Define and describe the scope and tasks of biological systematics, and its relationship with evolutionary theory.
  5. Derive phylogenetic hypotheses that can be tested by analysis.
  6. Explain and demonstrate the general principles of phylogenetic analysis as applied to both morphological and molecular data.
  7. Identify and explain the theoretical foundation of phylogenetic systematics.

Unit Content

  1. Characters and matrices: morphological character delineation and scoring; characteristics of molecular data; use of character matrix building software.
  2. Evolution as the unifying principle of biology.
  3. Fundamental theoretical concepts of systematics: characters and states; homology and analogy; monophyly, paraphyly, polyphyly and homoplasy.
  4. Interpretation of phylogenetic trees: tree statistics; species trees, gene trees and other forms; character mapping; inferring ancestral states, evolutionary relationships and phylogeography.
  5. Methods of tree construction: parsimony (cladistics), Bayesian and other approaches; use of tree building and tree visualisation software.
  6. Species: biological, morphological, evolutionary, phylogenetic and other species concepts, and their applications.
  7. The roles and application of systematics: classification and nomenclature; DNA barcoding; evolutionary ecology, conservation, biogeography and medicine.
  8. The scope, tasks and applications of biological systematics.

Teaching and Learning Processes

Tutorials, lab classes, online activities, directed reading.

Assessment

GS1 GRADING SCHEMA 1 Used for standard coursework units

Students please note: The marks and grades received by students on assessments may be subject to further moderation. All marks and grades are to be considered provisional until endorsed by the relevant Board of Examiners.

Due to the professional competency skill development associated with this Unit, student attendance/participation within listed in-class activities and/or online activities including discussion boards is compulsory. Students failing to meet participation standards as outlined in the unit plan may be awarded an I Grade (Fail - incomplete). Students who are unable to meet this requirement for medical or other reasons must seek the approval of the unit coordinator.

ON CAMPUS
TypeDescriptionValue
ProjectPhylogenetic analysis20%
PortfolioIndividual and group laboratory exercises40%
ExaminationEnd of semester examination40%

Core Reading(s)

  • Dobzhansky, T. (1973). Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution. American Biology Teacher, 35, 125–129.
  • Losos, J. B. B., David A. Futuyma, D. J. H., Hopi E. Lenski, R. E. P., & Catherine L. Whitlock, M. C. (2014). (D. A. B. Jonathan B. Losos, H. E. H. Douglas J. Futuyma, A. J. M. Richard E. Lenski, D. S. Catherine L. Peichel, & M. C. Whitlock, Eds.)The Princeton guide to evolution (pp. xiii, 853 ). Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press.

Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005)

For the purposes of considering a request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005), inherent requirements for this subject are articulated in the Unit Description, Learning Outcomes and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the support for students with disabilities or medical conditions can be found at the Student Equity, Diversity and Disability Service website.

Academic Misconduct

Edith Cowan University has firm rules governing academic misconduct and there are substantial penalties that can be applied to students who are found in breach of these rules. Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • plagiarism;
  • unauthorised collaboration;
  • cheating in examinations;
  • theft of other students’ work;

Additionally, any material submitted for assessment purposes must be work that has not been submitted previously, by any person, for any other unit at ECU or elsewhere.

The ECU rules and policies governing all academic activities, including misconduct, can be accessed through the ECU website.

SCI3112|1|1

School: Science

This unit information may be updated and amended immediately prior to semester. To ensure you have the correct outline, please check it again at the beginning of semester.

  • Unit Title

    Evolution and Systematics
  • Unit Code

    SCI3112
  • Year

    2017
  • Enrolment Period

    2
  • Version

    2
  • Credit Points

    15
  • Full Year Unit

    N
  • Mode of Delivery

    On Campus
  • Unit Co-ordinator

    Dr Kristina Louise LEMSON

Description

Evolution is considered the unifying concept of biology, and in this unit students explore the basis of its application to the understanding of relationships among organisms. The emphasis is on the integration of fundamental evolutionary concepts and the application of evolutionary ideas and methods to questions in systematics. The relevance and use of systematic thinking and phylogenetic methods in conservation biology, ecology, medicine and behavioural sciences will also be discussed.

Prerequisite Rule

Students must have passed 3 units from SCI2112, SCI2116, SCI2117

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. Apply phylogenetic thinking to problems in fields such as ecology and conservation.
  2. Construct data-appropriate matrices, generate phylogenetic trees from them using appropriate tools, and present and interpret those trees.
  3. Critically analyse species concepts, and identify the contexts in which each is useful.
  4. Define and describe the scope and tasks of biological systematics, and its relationship with evolutionary theory.
  5. Derive phylogenetic hypotheses that can be tested by analysis.
  6. Explain and demonstrate the general principles of phylogenetic analysis as applied to both morphological and molecular data.
  7. Identify and explain the theoretical foundation of phylogenetic systematics.

Unit Content

  1. Characters and matrices: morphological character delineation and scoring; characteristics of molecular data; use of character matrix building software.
  2. Evolution as the unifying principle of biology.
  3. Fundamental theoretical concepts of systematics: characters and states; homology and analogy; monophyly, paraphyly, polyphyly and homoplasy.
  4. Interpretation of phylogenetic trees: tree statistics; species trees, gene trees and other forms; character mapping; inferring ancestral states, evolutionary relationships and phylogeography.
  5. Methods of tree construction: parsimony (cladistics), Bayesian and other approaches; use of tree building and tree visualisation software.
  6. Species: biological, morphological, evolutionary, phylogenetic and other species concepts, and their applications.
  7. The roles and application of systematics: classification and nomenclature; DNA barcoding; evolutionary ecology, conservation, biogeography and medicine.
  8. The scope, tasks and applications of biological systematics.

Teaching and Learning Processes

Tutorials, lab classes, online activities, directed reading.

Assessment

GS1 GRADING SCHEMA 1 Used for standard coursework units

Students please note: The marks and grades received by students on assessments may be subject to further moderation. All marks and grades are to be considered provisional until endorsed by the relevant Board of Examiners.

Due to the professional competency skill development associated with this Unit, student attendance/participation within listed in-class activities and/or online activities including discussion boards is compulsory. Students failing to meet participation standards as outlined in the unit plan may be awarded an I Grade (Fail - incomplete). Students who are unable to meet this requirement for medical or other reasons must seek the approval of the unit coordinator.

ON CAMPUS
TypeDescriptionValue
ProjectPhylogenetic analysis20%
PortfolioIndividual and group laboratory exercises40%
ExaminationEnd of semester examination40%

Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005)

For the purposes of considering a request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005), inherent requirements for this subject are articulated in the Unit Description, Learning Outcomes and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the support for students with disabilities or medical conditions can be found at the Student Equity, Diversity and Disability Service website.

Academic Misconduct

Edith Cowan University has firm rules governing academic misconduct and there are substantial penalties that can be applied to students who are found in breach of these rules. Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • plagiarism;
  • unauthorised collaboration;
  • cheating in examinations;
  • theft of other students’ work;

Additionally, any material submitted for assessment purposes must be work that has not been submitted previously, by any person, for any other unit at ECU or elsewhere.

The ECU rules and policies governing all academic activities, including misconduct, can be accessed through the ECU website.

SCI3112|2|2