General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Population and Ecological Genetics
Language EN
Module lecturer prof. UAM dr hab. Iwona Melosik
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position professor
Faculty Faculty of Biology
Semester 2024/2025 (winter)
Duration 30


The module consists of ten sessions of 2h (2 x 45 min) per week (lecture, in total 10 weeks x 2h = 20h) and five sessions (2h each) of computer exercises (in total 5 weeks x 2h = 10h). The exact time will be announced before the course starts.

Module aim (aims)

I. Describe the factors and processes that influence variability, genetic structure and gene flow within and between populations based on molecular data.

II. Familiarise students with how to:
(1) formulate and critically evaluate hypotheses about evolutionary mechanisms operating in populations,
(2) understand the context and causes of microevolutionary processes;
(3) interpret information from genetic data.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

General genetics; basic statistics 



Week 1
Populations - basic terms and concepts
Week 2
Markers (dominant, codominant); How many marker loci are necessary?
Week 3
Estimating allele and genotype frequencies; Hardy-Weinberg "law" (HWE) as a null model in population genetics; testing for HWE and identifying individuals that influence HWE
Week 4
Mutations as the primary source of variation; mutation rate and its estimation; recombination; the neutral theory of molecular evolution
Week 5-6
Genetic drift; census and effective population size; the neutral theory of molecular evolution
Week 7
Dispersal, gene flow (consequences, measurements)
Week 8
Mating systems and their genetic consequences
Genetic diversity and population structure in clonal and sexually reproducing organisms; Measures of population diversity and structure
Week 9
Selection (types), genetic, and phenotypic consequences of selection in natural populations; Neutralist vs. Selectionist Controversy
Week 10
Statistical tests for neutrality 

Computer-based exercises will familiarise students with the use of GenAlEx and R packages for population genetics.

Reading list

Gillespie, J. H., Population genetics: a concise guide.
John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 2004.Hamilton M. 2012. Population Genetics. Wiley-Blackwell

Hartl, D. L., A primer of population genetics, 2nd
edition. Sinauer Associates, Inc., Publishers, 1988.

Hedrick PW. 2004. Genetic of populations, 3rd ed., Jones and Bartlett Publisher, Inc.

Hamilton M. 2012. Population Genetics. Wiley-Blackwell

Holsinger, K. E., Lecture notes in population genetics. University of Connecticut, 2001-2010.

Additional instructions will be provided during the lecture.