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T103 - Evolution

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Biology Master, ENS
Year : 1 (M1)
Semester : 1 (S1)

Course code :


Course name :


Coordinator :

Renaud de Rosa



Keywords :

evolution, evo-devo, phylogeny, applied evolution

Prerequisites for the course :

any biology L3

Course objectives and description :

Evolution has a unique importance in the biological sciences : it has completely reshaped the way we understand life, with consequences that extend far beyond the realm of science. Yet, despite its huge influence, evolution remains poorly understood by the public, and even among biologists. The main aim of this course is to provide a broad view of the way evolution is studied today. Dispelling the mistaken idea that evolution has no practical application is a secondary objective, to be reached along the way. The course presents recent results from various branches (including evo-devo, phylogeny, evolutionary medicine), in a large number of groups (animals mostly, but also plants, bacteria, viruses and others), over very different time scales (from billions of years to mere days). Each of those select examples will help illustrate the universality of the rules, which shaped life as we know it.

Assessment / evaluation :

classroom activity, article presentation

Course material (hand-outs, online presentation available, …) :
Suggested readings in relationship with the module content (textbook chapters, reviews, articles) :

- S.B. Carroll et al., from DNA to diversity
- C. Darwin, the origin of species
- R. Dawkins, the selfish gene
- S. J. Gould, pretty much anything