Vertebrate Form and Evolution - LIFE95020
This course is about the morphological structure and evolution of vertebrate animals. In this course, we will take a taxonomically broad look at vertebrate evolution over the course of Earth history. The course will build on your background from Biology of Organisms in the first year, reviewing some of the essential topics from that course, and expanding out from there. We will look at vertebrate anatomy and how it informs our understanding of the phylogenetic relationships, structural adaptations for physiology, and how it relates to ecology and large-scale patterns of evolution.
Evolution and Diversity - LIFE40008
- To gain an overall understanding of the tree of life, especially in regards to animals, plants and fungi.
- To understand how the complexity of Eukaryote life has changed both in terms of timescales and evolutionary novelty.
- To gain a more detailed knowledge of the relationships and evolution of certain groups of organisms and how these groups have changed over time.
- To understand how the evolution of photosynthesis has profoundly shaped the diversity of life.
- To understand how phylogenetics is central to our analysis of the relationships between organisms.
Biodiversity and Conservation Biology - LIFE96007
The first half of the course will provide an overview of what biodiversity is and how large-scale patterns in biodiversity have arisen, mainly from an evolutionary perspective. This part of the course will be taught through a mixture of lectures and computer-based practicals involving simulation and statistical analysis; these practicals use R, and provide a refresher that should be of use prior to that start of Honours projects. The second half looks at how biological knowledge and theory can be used to help conserve biodiversity in the face of human activities. This half of the course includes detailed examination of several currently active research areas and with case studies from a range of taxa and habitats, permitting assessment of theory’s usefulness to conservation.