BIOL334-20S2 (C) Semester Two 2020

Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 13 July 2020
End Date: Sunday, 8 November 2020
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 24 July 2020
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 25 September 2020


BIOL334 is an advanced course that builds on the conceptual frameworks developed in the pre-requisite course BIOL271. It provides in-depth coverage across the breadth of evolutionary genetics and genomics with an emphasis on conservation genetics/genomics, epigenetics, evolution and development (evo-devo), and genomic interactions with the environment.

Course Goals
To provide students with an advanced understanding of evolutionary genetics and genomics including
the genetic/genomic consequences of small population size, and mechanisms of evolution from a genomics perspective. This course is intended for anyone with an interest in both fundamental and applied research, or who wishes to gain bioinformatic experience working with large genetic and genomic data sets. Te Tiriti o Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi) is embedded in the course, and it is also particularly well suited for anyone who plans to pursue a career in genetics or genomics that is responsive to the needs and aspirations of Indigenous communities.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Learning Outcomes and Associated Assessment
As a student in this course, I will develop the ability to:
 Explain the difference between conservation genetics and conservation genomics (assessment task: pre-lecture quizzes and midcourse test).
 Explain how genomic data may better inform the conservation management of threatened species (assessment tasks: pre-lecture quizzes and midcourse test).
 Explain how embedding kaupapa Māori principles contextualises genomic research of threatened taonga (treasured) species in Aotearoa New Zealand (assessment tasks: conservation genomics tutorials and midcourse test).
 Explain how the environment can interact with the genome to alter genome output and why might these processes influence evolution (assessment tasks: pre-lecture quizzes and final exam).
 Explain how the genome is organised at the 3D level, and how genome interactions can contribute to genomic changes that may influence evolution (assessment tasks: pre-lecture quizzes and final exam). Analyse differential gene expression in response to environmental change (assessment tasks: genomic mechanisms tutorials and final exam).

Transferable Skills Register
As a student in this course, I will develop the following skills:
 Synthesising information. In everyday life and in many job situations you will be required to read information from different sources, construct your own understanding and shape your own viewpoint. This will developed during discussions of recent research papers during lectures, including the discussion of the essential elements of research papers during problem-based lectures and tutorials.
 Building bicultural competence and confidence. Important for research in Aotearoa New Zealand, as well as in a number of private-sector and public-sector organisations. This skill will be developed during discussions of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi) in the context of genomics research of taonga (treasured) species during lectures, including problem-based lectures, and tutorials.
 Analysing and interpreting data. Important for research, as well as in a number of private-sector and public-sector organisations. This skill will be developed when we assist you to analyse and interpret genetic and genomic data in tutorials.




Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Amy Osborne


Tammy Steeves


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Final exam 30% Genomic mechanisms
Pre-lecture online quizzes 5% Conservation genomics
Pre-lecture online quizzes 5% Genomic mechanisms
Midcourse Test 30% Conservation genomics
Tutorial assessment 15% Conservation genomics
Tutorial assessment 15% Genomic mechanisms

Additional Course Outline Information


Feedback from Course Surveys

Student ratings:                                                                                                                   2017       2014
1. Course materials helped me to understand what was required to succeed          4.3        n/a
2. Course organisation helped me learn (2017)/Course well organised (2014)          4.4        4.7
3. Course workload appropriate                                                                                         4.4        4.7
4. Course assessments appropriate                                                                                   4.5        n/a
5. Where I sought feedback, I found it helpful                                                                  4.2        n/a

The following questions were raised in online course surveys completed by previous students. Responses were collated by the course coordinator and common responses scored.

Which aspects of this course were most positive?
 Super Enjoyable Course. Had so much fun this semester in the course.
 The most helpful aspects were the well organised full content uploaded to learn – thus if I was unable to attend a lecture I was able to still listen to the lectures, view the powerpoint slides, and access the articles etc. recommended for further reading very easily.
 Pre lecture quizzes.
 Lectures and tutorials.
 Feedback provided from the pre lecture quizzes and from the tutorial work.
 All the practice questions.
 Tutorials and review lectures to go over calculations and practice exam questions.

How could this course be enhanced to assist your learning?
 The course was so well organised and delivered, it doesn’t need any changes. Thanks 
 Addition of another form of assessment, adding a midterm assessment. We added a midcourse test for assess term 3 content.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $900.00

International fee $4,250.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

Minimum enrolments

This course will not be offered if fewer than 10 people apply to enrol.

For further information see School of Biological Sciences .

All BIOL334 Occurrences

  • BIOL334-20S2 (C) Semester Two 2020