BIMWE1-Conservation Genetics

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: Dr Richard Walters


Summary module description:

This module aims to provide students with detailed understanding of the most important aspects of genetics of relevance to conservation biologists and wildlife managers.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
• describe and discuss critically the state of current development and application in selected areas, citing key references where necessary
• research and present structured critical reviews of many elements of conservation genetics with reference to the ways this helps in the development and/or implementation of management measures for the conservation of endangered species

Additional outcomes:
The module will also provide the students with an opportunity to develop their written and oral presentational skills during discussion sessions.

Outline content:
The course begins with the topic of genetic diversity and the factors that influence this, including algebraic analysis of changes in gene frequency due to drift, inbreeding and selection. The main molecular methods for studying genetics in a conservation setting are also discussed. The genetics of small populations and extinction are considered, both in theory and practice. The use of genetic techniques to assess biodiversity and delimit problematic species is also discussed. During the second half of the module, we move to more specific applications, including management of captive populations, study and management of endangered/reintroduced wild populations, and forensic analysis of illegal wildlife trade. In addition, there will be guest lectures and a fieldtrip to a zoo.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures are delivered in an informal setting and we explore several issues by mixing a lecture approach with group activities, research sessions and discussions of important topics. Long sessions are booked to ensure that particular topics can be discussed in sufficient detail.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 30
Seminars 3
Practicals classes and workshops 6
Guided independent study 61
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Report 20
Oral assessment and presentation 20

Other information on summative assessment:
1. Students research and present a talk/poster on a selected topic.
2. Students submit a short report on a problem-solving session.
3. Final exam (1.5 hrs). Students answer one of three essay questions.

Formative assessment methods:

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:
A 1.5 hour examination requiring the answer to one of three questions. This contributes 60% of the overall assessment.

Requirements for a pass:
A mark of at least 50%.

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-examination in August/September.

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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