Evolutionary theory is the central paradigm for our understanding of all biological process from the molecular to the macroecological scale. It forms a supertheory for all biological sciences and has also major impact on the social sciences. Knowledge of the way how  evolutionary change proceeds and about evolutionary possibilities and constraints is therefore a conditio sine qua non for al full understanding of other biological disciplines and has to be an important part of academic teaching.

The present lecture intends to introduce into our recent understanding of evolutionary patterns (the phylogenetic history) and processes (the mechanisms that drive evolutionary change). It also deals with the molecular basis of evolution and introduces in basic methods of paleobiology and phylogenetic inference.

Anna Goc (molecular genetics)
Tomasz Kozłowski (evolution of man)
Werner Ulrich ((evolutionary theory, paleobiology, cladistic analysis)

We discuss the following themes:

Lecture 1: Introduction
Lecture 2: The discovery of the past
Lecture 3: Early times
Lecture 4: From Ediacarian to modern times
Lecture 5: Creeping on land
Lecture 6: The Molecular basis of evolutionary change I
Lecture 7: The Molecular basis of evolutionary change II
Lecture 8: The Molecular basis of evolutionary change III
Lecture 9: Genetic variation and fitness
Lecture 10: Selection and adaptation
Lecture 11: Patterns of speciation and extinction
Lecture 12: The evolution of sociality
Lecture 13: Human evolution I
Lecture 14: Human evolution II

Accompanying literature will be given at the end of each lecture in form of important internet pages. Reading is obligatory and part of the examine at the end of the lecture. A separate Word file contains additional questions and directions for further study.
Examine: written test after the end of the term.