On completion of the course, the student should be able to
discuss and apply principles of delimitation and identification of species and other taxa
account for the central concepts of the field and principles of phylogenetic analysis, especially based on the parsimony criterion
discuss and apply methods to generate relevant molecular data, mainly sequence data
choose and apply existing software for phylogenetic analysis and critically analyse, evaluate, compile and present the results of phylogenetic analyses.
The course deals with central concepts of general and molecular systematics, technologies for collection of molecular data and basic methods for phylogenetic analysis. Systematic issues and methods to address these; phylogenetic trees, the homology concept, classification. Phylogenetics; characters and character coding, sequence alignment, the parsimony criterion and other optimality criteria, tree search, sampling error and support, practical phylogenetic analysis. Delimitation and identification of taxa; species concepts, criteria and methods to delimit species in practice, identification of species with DNA sequences. Molecular data; types of molecular data for phylogenetic analysis and identification, extraction, amplification and sequencing of DNA.
The course consists of lectures, seminars and laboratory sessions.
Parts of the course: Theory 5 credits; Laboratory sessions 5 credits The theory part is examined through written examination, written report, and seminars. The laboratory part has compulsory attendance with oral and written presentations.