"Macro-evolution" concerns the evolutionary changes above the species-level (in contrast to micro-evolutionary changes in allel-fequencies and their effects on the phenotype within populations and species). Macro-evolution considers large-scale evolutionary patterns, visible to comparative morphologists and paleontologists. While some evolutionary biologists maintain that micro-evolutionary processes (such as natural selection and drift) suffice to explain these large-scale patterns, others argue they do not. The course presents arguments from both schools of thought.
Topics include the theory of punctuated equilibria, the idea of species sorting, speciation, macro-evolutionary trends, the role of mass-extinctions, evolutionary radiations, genomic evolution and evo-devo as a possible bridge between micro- and macro-evolutionary scales.