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50260-01 - Lecture: Ecology and Evolution 1 CP

Semester spring semester 2019
Course frequency Every spring sem.
Lecturers Jan Beck (, Assessor)
Content The course will provide you with sound background knowledge in ecology and evolutionary biology. While I will primarily treat basic science topics and principles in these fields, the topics were also chosen for their relevance for applied sciences such as conservation, agro-sciences and ecosystem management. We will treat the basics of evolutioanry theory (e.g., common descent, natural selection, reproductive isolation and speciation), the genetic basis of evolution (e.g., mutation and recombination, selfish genes), and examples of human impact on evolution. The ecology part introduces basic concepts such as population growth, interspecific interactions, and the patterns of primary productivity and their consequences (among others). We will also look in detail at the geographic ranges of species and resulting emergent phenomena, such as biodiversity. A global perspective on the human impact on biodiversity, and its feedback on human economy, will put this into applied perspective.
Learning objectives You will understand the scientific basis of ecological and evolutionary theory, which is a precondition to understand many applied issues in conservation, ecosystem management, agricultural sciences and other topics of human-environment relationships.
Bibliography Recommended textbooks:
- Biogeography, 4th ed., by Mark V. Lomolino, Brett R. Riddle, and Robert J. Whittaker; Oxford University Press.
- Ecology: From Individuals to Ecosystems, 4th ed., by Michael Begon, Colin R. Townsend, John L. Harper; Wiley-Blackwell
- Evolution, 3rd ed. by Mark Ridley; Wiley-Blackwell.

- The selfish gene by Richard Dawkins, Oxford University Press.
- Collapse: how societies choose to fail or survive by Jared Diamond; Penguin Books.

All books are available at Basel university library.
Additional journal article links or PDFs will be made available during the course (via ADAM).
Comments Teaching takes place on the following days from 4.15 to 6.00h pm: 27.02; 27.03; 10.04; 24.04; 8.05; 22.05 and 29.05 (exam).

MSD 2017
Mandatory for students with focus area in social sciences and in economics.
For Students with focus area in natural sciences the lecture is optional, credit points are to be transferred to the "Focal Areas in Sustainability Research" module (learning agreement).

This lecture is offered by MSD. Dr. J. Beck holds a teaching assignment. For more information on J. Beck see:


Admission requirements Participation only possible for MSD students (incl. preparation semester) and students who are studying a master's degree in the field of Natural Sciences.
Language of instruction English
Use of digital media No specific media used


Interval irregular
Date 27.02.2019 – 29.05.2019
Time See details

Starts on 27.02; further teaching on: 27.03; 10.04; 24.04; 8.05; 22.05 and 29.05. (exam).

Date Time Room
Wednesday 27.02.2019 16.15-18.00 Vesalianum, Seminarraum (O2.02)
Wednesday 27.03.2019 16.15-18.00 Vesalianum, Seminarraum (O2.02)
Wednesday 10.04.2019 16.15-18.00 Vesalianum, Seminarraum (O2.02)
Wednesday 24.04.2019 16.15-18.00 Vesalianum, Seminarraum (O2.02)
Wednesday 08.05.2019 16.15-18.00 Vesalianum, Seminarraum (O2.02)
Wednesday 22.05.2019 16.15-18.00 Vesalianum, Seminarraum (O2.02)
Wednesday 29.05.2019 16.15-17.45 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 115
Modules Modul Aufbaubereich naturwissenschaftliche Fragen von Nachhaltigkeit (Master's Studies: Sustainable Development (Start of studies before 01.08.2017))
Module: Complementary Knowledge in Natural Sciences (Master's Studies: Sustainable Development)
Assessment format proof of course participation
Assessment details Regular attendance. Required readings and active participation. Written examination at the end of the semester: 29.05.19/regular lecture time.
Assessment registration/deregistration Reg./dereg.: course registr./cancel registr. via MOnA
Repeat examination one repetition, best attempt counts
Scale 1-6 0,1
Repeated registration as often as necessary
Responsible faculty University of Basel
Offered by Archäologie / Humangeographie / MSD