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Macro-Evolution

Course Code :2001WETMEV
Study domain:Biology
Academic year:2020-2021
Semester:2nd semester
Contact hours:23
Credits:3
Study load (hours):84
Contract restrictions: No contract restriction
Language of instruction:Dutch
Exam period:exam in the 2nd semester
Lecturer(s)Raoul Van Damme

3. Course contents *

"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.