ANIM5502 Evolutionary Biology

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
There are three primary academic objectives of the unit: (1) to provide experiential learning in a research group atmosphere. Students become part of the Centre for Evolutionary Biology (CEB) and bring their ideas to fruition through discussion with the members of the group and their mentor. They participate in fortnightly CEB meetings where established researchers present their data and answer questions from the group. The students see how science is a collegial and constructive process; (2) to learn the generic skills of scientific thinking, hypothesis testing, data handling and scientific communication; and (3) to develop specialised knowledge of the practical considerations of research in their area of study—learning (but not limited to) techniques such as biometry, behavioural analysis, meta-analysis quantitative/molecular genetics/genomics or comparative analyses. The areas of theory covered depend on the project but could include natural/sexual selection, sperm competition, immunity, conservation biology and population/quantitative genetics. Projects that focus on a range of study organisms, including terrestrial, marine and freshwater vertebrate and invertebrate groups may be available for practical work.
Students are able to (1) formulate and express scientific ideas; (2) think critically about how to test evolutionary hypotheses; and (3) analyse and present ideas and data with care and clarity.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) attendance and contribution to CEB meetings; (2) short peer-reviewed paper; and (3) seminar presentation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Leigh Simmons
Unit rules
enrolment in the Master of Biological Science (72520)
Honours in Zoology, an expression of interest
ANIM3362 Evolutionary Processes
ANIM3365 Behavioural Ecology
equivalent and approval of the unit coordinator.
Approved quota: 10—students are required to complete an expression of interest (maximum 400 words) and provide an academic transcript to be submitted to the unit coordinator no later that Friday two weeks prior to the commencement of semester 1. Allocation of places will be based on the expression of interest and academic merit.
Contact hours
150 hours
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.