GEN-20306 Molecular and Evolutionary Ecology


Studiepunten 6.00

Individual Paper1
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. BA Pannebakker
Lecturer(s)dr. EC Verhulst
dr. ir. A Schouten
dr. R Nijland
dr. ir. BA Pannebakker
Examiner(s)dr. ir. BA Pannebakker

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety

Assumed knowledge on:

Basic knowledge on Evolution, Genetics, Ecology and Molecular Biology:
GEN-11306 Evolution and Systematics;
GEN-11806 Fundamentals of Genetics and Molecular Biology;
PEN-10503 Ecology I.

Continuation courses:

MAE-50806 Advanced Molecular Ecology is the logical continuation of GEN-20306. Other good options are: ABG-51806 Wildlife Conservation Genetics, or GEN30806 Population and Quantitative Genetics.


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 gel-electrophoresis and focuses on its use for answering ecological and evolutionary questions. Mini-projects will be introduced in the second week. The mini-projects are organized in research teams, each consisting of 4-5 groups that will work on their own research questions centred around one of 6 overarching research topics.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- summarize and explain available molecular techniques for evolutionary/ecological research;
- apply molecular methods for evolutionary/ecological research;
- design and carry out an experiment (mini research project) using molecular techniques to answer ecological question in evolutionary context;
- evaluate the results of an experiment in the field of evolutionary and molecular ecology research;
- critically evaluate your own and other projects;
- present the results of the research project.


- set up your experiments using the Labbuddy electronic learning environment;
- carry out, analyse and discuss your own experimental research;
- read and discuss literature with fellow students about the background of the projects;
- attend research team meetings and discuss research set up, problems and progress;
- keep a laboratory notebook;
- write a lab report (see instructions in the course manual);
- take on role in research team, either;
- orally present research plan in week 3;
- orally present progress and problems in week 5;
- write introduction and edit abstract book contributions for your research team;
- chair the research team;
- give an oral presentation of research team results in the final symposium;
- attend organized presentations.


- answers to Labbuddy module during practical training week 1 (individual student) 10%;
- observation of performance in Mini-project (2-3 students) 50%;
- team role (2-3 students) 10%;
- final team presentation (10 students) 10%;
- final group report (2-3 students) 20%;
- partial marks remain valid only during the current course year.


All material will be included in the course manual, implemented in Labbuddy or will be handed out in Brightspace

Verplicht voor: BBIBiologyBScD: Spec. D - Ecology5MO
Keuze voor: WUEBCBSc Minor Ecology and Biological Control of Insects5MO