Wildlife and Evolutionary Genetics (AVBS4003)


This unit of study focuses on the role and animal and veterinary biosciences in the field of wildlife management management and diseases using project-based, open learning space and research-led teaching approaches. The unit encourages an approach that spans management, wildlife biology and laboratory sciences. In recognition of the power of genetics as a tool in wildlife management and research, a large component of this course reviews fundamental genetic, genomic and immunogenetic principals and their application to understanding, managing and conserving wildlife. This unit also covers themes in Indigenous knowledges related to animal management and conservation as well as cultural competence. At the end of this unit of study, students will demonstrate an understanding of: important issues in wildlife management in Australia and the Asia-pacific region; project management as it applies to multifaceted wildlife research and management issues; application of a range of genetic and physiological methods to the study of ecological issues; the use of appropriate analytical methods and molecular markers in wildlife conservation and management; the underlying genetic structural design of the natural world and how this reflects and influences evolutionary processes in healthy and diseased populations; the use of molecular information to test hypotheses about evolutionary, ecological and social structure of species; how to critically review the ways in which genetic principals are applied to the management and conservation of species; the use of appropriate analytical methods and molecular markers in wildlife conservation and management; how to conduct an investigation into a management problem in wildlife including project design and management recommendations. Students are expected to immerse themselves into the field of conservation, evolutionary genetics and wildlife to develop the ability to critically evaluate the subject. There will be a substantial amount of reading required for the course. There is no formal text; students will be directed to a recommended reading list of both primary and secondary literature.

Further unit of study information


Variable consisting of up to 6hrs/week (students advised to consult weekly timetable) of lectures, tutorials, computer simulations and practical classes. This unit will be taught at the Camperdown campus


written and oral assignment (30%), practical reports/class contribution (20%), final written exam (50%)


Primary reading material (Journals):
Conservation Genetics, Springer Science Publishing
Molecular Ecology, Blackwell Publishing
Heredity, Nature Publishing Group
Australian Journal of Zoology, CSIRO Publishing
Secondary reading materials:
Frankham, R, Ballou, JD & Briscoe, DA 2002, Introduction to Conservation Genetics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
Avise, JC 2000, Phylogeography, the history and formation of species, Harvard University Press
Hoelzel, AR 1988, Molecular genetic analysis of populations: a practical approach, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press
Hedrick, PW 2000, Genetics of populations, 2nd edn, Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Sudbury, Massachusetts

Faculty/department permission required?


Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.