Basic knowledge of biology and the principles of biological classification.
Understanding principles of Evolutionary Biology, Speciation and the origin of life.
The history of the evolutionary thought.
Evolution as a fact.
Biological basis, mechanisms and outcome of evolution.
Corollaries to the Theory of Evolution: species and speciation, interaction among species, the origin and development of Life on Earth, phylogeny.
Introduction to the course. Importance and impact of the Theory of evolution. Methods of Evolutionary Biology. Origin and history of the evolutionary thinking. Pre-darwinian age (Linnaeus, Cuvier, Buffon, Lamarck). Darwinian age (Darwin, Wallace). Post-darwinian criticism. Neodarwinism.
Genetic basis of evolution. Principles of heredity (Mendel laws) and population genetics. Genetic variability. Polymorphism. Origin of variability: mutations and chromosomal rearrangements.
Mechanisms of evolution: Natural selection. The ecological context. Sexual selection
Adaptation. Adaptive radiations.
The Biological Species Concept. Speciation. Mechanisms of reproductive isolation. Speciation models.
Interactions among species: predations, competition, mimetism, coevolution, symbiosis
Origin of life on earth. Origine of earlier cells. Evolution of the eukaryotic cell. Symbiontic theory of the evolution of the eukaryotic cell. Autotrophic and eterotrophic organisms. Photosynthesis, respiration.
Evolution of species. Phylogeny. Principles of phylogenetic reconstruction.
EVOLUZIONE, Mark Ridley, McGraw-Hill (Cap. 1-6, 10-11, 13-16, 18, 22-23)
L’EVOLUZIONE, Douglas J. Futuyma, Zanichelli: (Cap. 1-5, 7-13, 15-16, 18, 22).
Lessons in classroom
Written text and/or oral exam