Population and Conservation Genetics


Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to write examination essays which demonstrate a clear appreciation of:
● The principles of population genetics
● The application of population genetics, phylogeography and phylogenetic methods to conservation
● The relevance of transgenic technology to agriculture, conservation and medicine
● The manipulation and interpretation of data, and problem solving in relation to population genetics, phylogeography and phylogenetics


To provide the theoretical background for understanding population genetics and its relevance to conservation. To inform of the way in which molecular techniques can be used for the management of rare and threatened species. To motivate students, by considering how population genetics, phylogeographic and phylogenetic approaches are used for the management of particular endangered species. To inform students of the relevance of modern transgenic technology to various aspects of biology, including agriculture, conservation biology and medicine.


● Molecular markers and their uses
● Review of basic population genetics (Hardy Weinberg & changes in gene frequency)
● Non-random mating and the consequences of inbreeding on conservation/Metapopulations and population dynamics
● How the loss of biodiversity & genetic diversity affects ecosystem function & environment
● Phylogeographic/phylogenetic approaches to conservation and management
● Consideration of the concept of taxonomic units and their management
● In situ conservation (extinction and preservation)
● Ex situ conservation (Gene banks - preserving genetic diversity for conservation/Reproductive technology).
● Transgenic technology and its application to conservation