GEN-20306 Molecular and Evolutionary Ecology


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Practical intensively supervised93
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. AJM Debets
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. JM Raaijmakers
dr. PW de Jong
dr. ir. AJM Debets
Examiner(s)dr. ir. AJM Debets

Language of instruction:



The application of molecular techniques and evolutionary concepts for ecological research is illustrated and applied in a personal experimental research project. The course starts with a practical training in molecular techniques like DNA isolation, RFLP and PCR analysis and gelelectrophoresis. Miniprojects will be introduced in the second week. The largest part of the course (five weeks) is focussed on experimental research in the field of molecular and evolutionary ecology by each group of two/three students in the research labs of Entomology, Phytopathology or Genetics under guidance of an experienced researcher. At each location the groups of students will have a weekly discussion about literature suggested by the guest speaker of that week.

Learning outcomes:

At the end of the course students are expected to be able to:
- demonstrate knowledge of the available molecular techniques and to apply these methods for evolutionary ecological research;
- demonstrate insight in the evolutionary aspects of ecological research;
- set up, carry out and analyse a personal experiment in the field of evolutionary and molecular ecology research.


- write a report (individual) about the experiments of the first week;
- read and discuss literature with fellow students;
- set up, carry out, analyse and discuss your own experimental research;
- write a report in the format of a 'publication';
- give an oral presentation of your research results (power point);
- attend organized presentations (guest speakers, additional information to be announced via the Eduweb).


Students are graded on basis of their participation in the course, the 'publication' and the oral presentation.


Articles for the literature discussions are included in the manual or will be handed out. Further recommended reading: Griffiths et al. 2008 (9th ed) An Introduction to Genetic Analysis (Freeman and Company). JC Avise, 2004 (2nd ed), Molecular Markers, Natural History and Evolution (Sinauer Associates, Inc).

Compulsory for: BBIBiologyBScD: Ecology and Biodiversity5MO
Compulsory for: WUBDVBSc Minor Biodiversity: from Micro to Macro and from Cause to Consequence5MO