• Greek
  • English (United Kingdom)

Evolution - (7th Semester)

[ 4th Year]
LECTURER: Zissis Mamuris
CONTENT - Aim of the course

The Theory of Evolution, when presented by Charles Darwin, really shocked the Christian society and triggered, and still does, serious arguments and controversy within the scientific community. However, at the same time this very same theory has consistently been the greatest unifying power that has ever existed in the history of Biology as a science; it has promoted fresh ideas to the biological research and established a new looking of the modern living organisms. In this way, the course aims to present the basic principles of evolution incorporating, wherever possible, recent scientific results.

  • THE ORIGIN AND INFLUENCE OF EVOLUTIONARY THOUGHT: Principles of evolutionary thought. Origin of species. Various concepts pertaining to the theory of evolution. The theory of evolution after Darwin. Contemporary synthesis. Evolution as theory and fact. 
  • ECOLOGICAL CONSIDERATION OF EVOLUTION: Adaptations and environment. Ecological niche. Distribution in the space. Population rise. Influence of density on population rise. The biotic environment: hunters and preys. Interaction between species. Diversity and stability of biotic communities. Environmental models. 
  • HEREDITY: FIDELITY AND MUTABILITY: Mutations: The source of genetic diversity. Influence of mutations on phenotype. The accidental element of mutations. Recombination and rise of diversity. External sources of diversity. 
  • DIVERSITY: The Hardy-Weinberg doctrine. Diversity in quantitative characters. Diversity in natural populations. The diversity of proteins. Organization of genetic diversity. Genetic diversity among populations. Geographic diversity. Types of diversity. Intraspecific diversity and higher taxonomic stages. 
  • POPULATION STRUCTURE AND GENETIC ABERRATION: The theory of inbreeding. The genetic structure of inbred (inbreeding) populations. Population size, inbreeding and genetic aberration. The drastic size of population. Mutations in populations of finite size. The principle of the founder. Gene flow. Drastic size and gene flow in natural populations. Genetic aberration in natural populations. Evolution through random genetic aberration. Non-random conjugations due to phenotypic preferences. 
  • THE INFLUENCE OF NATURAL CHOICE IN THE GENETIC COMPOSITION OF POPULATIONS: The possibility of survival and reproduction is not the same for everybody. The choice at the level of person. How the environment influences adaptivity. The meaning of genetic diversity. The selective inferiority of the heterozygote. The adaptive landscape. Interactions of evolutionary powers. Population adaptivity and genetic load. Natural selection or neutrality. Intensity of natural selection. 
  • SELECTION IN MULTIGENIC CHARACTERS: Directional selection. Multiple situations of balance. Multigenic heredity. Hereditability and selection response. Genetic correlations. Response to artificial selection. Genetic and developmental homeostasis. 
  • SPECIATION (SPECIES FORMATION): The concept of the biological species. The genetics of differences among species. Types of speciation. Allopatric-Parapatric-Sympatric speciation. Genetic theories about speciation. The founder principle. Selection for reproductive isolation. Time required for speciation. The significance of species and speciation. 
  • ADAPTATION: Problems in recognizing adaptation. The adaptable program. Selection levels. Group selection. Theoretical models for the study of adaptation. Evolution of characters of a life cycle. Gender selection. Evolution of genetic recombination and gender. 
  • THE STUDY OF THE HISTORY OF EVOLUTION: Definitions. Taxonomy. Competitive schools of systematics. Difficulties of phylogenetic conclusions. Phylogenetic conclusions from morphological data. Phylogenetic conclusions from macromolecules. <