Evolutionary Biology

Name: Evolutionary Biology
Code: BIO11383L
Duration: 15 weeks/78 hours
Scientific Area: Biological Sciences

Teaching languages: Portuguese
Languages of tutoring support: Portuguese, English
Regime de Frequência: Presencial

Sustainable Development Goals

Learning Goals

Evolutionary biology aims to understand the diversity of life and the processes responsible for shaping it, at two levels and on two timescales. On a longer timescale, it investigates the processes that produced the diversity of life now and throughout the fossil record (macroevolution). Students should assimilate some basic knowledge of evolutionary biology and be capable of integrating the learnig of other curricular units, namely the utilization of genetic characters in evolutinary analyses. It is expected that students will develop their skills also on data base analysis and bioinformatic tools during computer sessions. Students will be encouraged to use regularly the University of Évora e-learning platform (Moodle). Practice with phylogenetical analysis software.


1. Microevolutionary concepts (adaptive evolution; neutral evolution; the genetic impact of selection on populations; the origin and maintenance of genetic variations; the expression of evolution)
2. Design by selection for reproductive success (the evolution of sex; genomic conflit
3. Principles of macroevolution (speciation; phylogeny and systematic; comparative methods)
4. The history of life
5. Integrating micro- and macroevolution (coevolution, human evolution)
6. Nucleotide diversity and phylogenetic analysis of sequences, Neutral theory of molecular variation.
7. Intraspecific analysis with genetic markers

Teaching Methods

In the lectures will be presented and developed the themes of each lesson. In the last 15m there will be a discussion of one or more subjects.
A session for the demonstration of the usage of phylogenetic analysis software (MEGA) is included.
The teacher maintains regular contact with students, and is ready to answer questions and provide advice on searching for information that students do understand the Internet.

written exam or two written test