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ZOOL424 Special Topic: Conservation Genomics

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Understand the genetics of endangered species and how human intervention can mitigate loss of genetic potential. (1) This paper will introduce genetics concepts key to the management of threatened populations such as inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity; (2) introduce students to the tools available for conservation in the genomic era; and (3) train students to communicate genetics concepts to decision makers and to the general public with awareness of the specific context of Aotearoa New Zealand

Paper title Special Topic: Conservation Genomics
Paper code ZOOL424
Subject Zoology
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,371.61
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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Teaching staff

Dr Ludovic Dutoit, Prof Bruce Robertson


No text book is compulsory but most of the concepts presented in class are covered in the following book/ebook available at the university library:

Allendorf, Fred W., and Gordon Luikart. Conservation and the genetics of populations. John Wiley & Sons, 2009.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised

Cultural understanding, interdisciplinary perspective, communication, teamwork, Research, and critical thinking skills
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the paper will be able to:

  • Explain key population genetics concepts such as Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium and genetic diversity
  • Define population genetics concepts key for conservation such as effective population size, inbreeding indexes, inbreeding depression and measures of population structure
  • Understand the ways in which human intervention can mitigate loss of genetic diversity both in captive breeding and using genetic rescue
  • Conceptually understand the different next-generation sequencing techniques
  • Critically assess relevant peer-reviewed Conservation Genomics articles
  • Communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds
  • Understand the ethics of conservation in Aotearoa specifically and the implications for Māori communities
  • Give effective scientific oral presentations and debates

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system