BIMPE1-Molecular Systematics

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Julie Hawkins


Summary module description:

To develop understanding of molecular systematics theory, and practical skills in data analysis methods. To become aware of a range of analytical tools for data handling.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Knowledge and understanding of key topics in phylogenetics, and related topics such as phylogeography, population genetics and cytogenetics. Skills in computer-based sequence assembly alignment and analysis. The ability to acquire DNA sequences from databases, along with the use of appropriate analysis methods and software for phylogeny reconstruction. The ability to prepare, present and describe a molecular phylogeny in a verbal presentation and a written report.

Additional outcomes:
Awareness of current research methods and relevant theory in molecular systematics.
Practical experience of data gathering from publically available databases.
Practical experience of data analysis.

Outline content:
The following topics are introduced
• DNA and cytogenetics
• Molecular markers
• Sampling genes and genomes for phylogeny reconstruction
• Handling DNA sequence data; alignment insertions/deletions Sequencing technologies
•Orthology & paralogy, gene trees and species trees, hybridisation and lineage sorting, coalescence
• Optimality criteria and Bayesian inference
• Using and interpreting phylogenies, including dating trees

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures, seminars and practicals.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Practicals classes and workshops 10
Supervised time in studio/workshop 10
Guided independent study 60
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 30
Oral assessment and presentation 30
Class test administered by School 40

Other information on summative assessment:
A set of online tests, a written report and a presentation.

Relative percentage of coursework: 100%

Formative assessment methods:
Feedback on design of in silico experimental approaches during the practical work.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:

Reassessment arrangements:
Written report describing analyses carried out by the student, in the form of a scientific paper.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 21 December 2016

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