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BZ3450 - Ecological and Conservation Genetics

Credit points: 3
Year: 2019
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: College of Science and Engineering

The continuing development of genetic techniques over recent years has opened new and exciting avenues in research in ecology and conservation. A rounded education in any ecological or conservation field requires awareness of the current use and future potential of genetic techniques. This subject introduces the student to these uses. Uses of molecular phylogenies and population genetic data will be introduced to demonstrate how these can trace the evolutionary history of a group and assist in biodiversity and conservation studies. Factors affecting the genetic structure of species will be covered, including the effects of social structure and population subdivision on gene flow. There is an emphasis on the use of genetic approaches to setting conservation priorities and in management of endangered populations.

Learning Outcomes

  • to develop an understanding of the underlying genetic architecture of organisms and how this reflects and influences evolutionary processes;
  • to develop an understanding of the use of molecular information to devise and test phylogenetic hypotheses;
  • to develop an understanding of the ways in which genetic data can be collected and analysed to answer questions about the ecological and social structure of a species;
  • to develop an understanding of the ways in which genetic principles can be applied to the management of natural and genetically modified resources.
Students enrolling in this subject should have a good understanding of level 2 science including genetics (BS2470 and/or BC2023) and/or biochemistry (BC2013) or equivalents, including knowledge of genetic inheritance, principles of evolutionary analysis and a fundamental understanding of whole organism biology.
Prerequisites: BS2470 OR BZ2420 OR BC2023 OR BC2013
AG3003 AG5003 BZ5450


Townsville, Study Period 2, Internal
Census Date 29-Aug-2019
Coordinator: Dr Megan Higgie
Lecturers: Professor Kyall Zenger, Dr Megan Higgie, Dr Lynne Van Herwerden.
Workload expectations:

The student workload for this 3 credit point subject is approximately 130 hours.

  • 26 hours lectures
  • 36 hours practicals
  • assessment and self-directed study
Assessment: end of semester exam (50%); practical reports and assignments (50%).

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.