Systematics and Evolution


Contact: Dr. Colin Hughes

This Master’s program is based on modules in zoology, systematic botany and paleontology, which address biodiversity, systematics, evolution and ecology.

Evolutionary biologists investigate issues associated with the factors and processes responsible for evolution and diversity, and the loss thereof. At population level, these include mutation, natural and sexual selection, gene flow and genetic drift and, at species level, key innovations and also climatic and geotectonic changes. By the same token, evolutionary biologists group biological diversity in suitable classification systems.


The program is based on course BIO 364 Principles of Evolution and other modules from the fields of zoology, systematic botany and paleontology. Students can usefully supplement these with courses in biogeography, phylogenetic reconstruction, morphology, morphometry, population biology, population genetics, geology, climatology and geography.


Specifications for planning the program:
Students wishing to take this Master’s program should discuss their choice of course and lecture modules and, where appropriate, research project modules, with the supervisor of their Master’s thesis and submit their proposed learning agreement, in writing, to the Master’s coordinator for approval, enclosing a declaration of consent from their supervisor. The module BIO 338 Introduction to Scientific Writing (0 ECTS, one day in September or February) is mandatory for all Biology Master’s students. The module should be taken before writing the Master’s Thesis.

Master’s thesis in Systematics and Evolution: Module BIO 511.