• Demonstrate a general understanding of how DNA (and RNA) based methods contribute to many areas of ecology, including the identification of species for wildlife management and forensic purposes, conservation biology, behavioural ecology, the study of dispersal on historical and contemporary timescales, management of captive breeding to rescue and support wild populations
  • Compare different methods of analyzing single nucleotide polymorphisms, and detail how they can be used in population genetic analyses.
  • Design DNA primers that could be used for targeted amplification of specific DNA segments via PCR.
  • Explain how DNA sequence data are used to identify species, and how this methodology has developed into a new subdiscipline of taxonomic science known as ‘DNA barcoding’
  • Explain how the field of phylogeography examines questions of historical structure and dispersal of populations, and describe the underlying DNA-based methods involved
  • Outline basic features of newer methods of DNA sequencing and how they have initiated an important shift from ‘population genetics’ to ‘population genomics’
  • Outline newer variations of PCR, quantitative PCR (qPCR) and reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR), and their applications in molecular ecology
  • Define inbreeding and inbreeding depression
  • Define supportive breeding and domestication selection and understand the potential consequences of supportive breeding for the maintenance of genetic diversity
  • Describe DNA microsatellites, the models of how they mutate, and their uses in population genetics, pedigree analyses, behavioural ecology and forensic analyses
  • Describe the basic elements of how the field of ‘metagenomics’ examines the genetic diversity of microbial communities and how the new methods of DNA sequencing are revolutionizing this field
  • Describe the concept of effective population size (Ne), its importance in population and conservation biology, and the different ways in which it is estimated
  • Describe the general features of mitochondrial and chloroplast genomes (mtDNA and cpDNA), and how they make these ‘cytoplasmic’ genomes especially useful in population genetics and phylogeography
  • Discuss the genetics of invasive species
  • Interpret F-statistics on population structure and explain how deviations from the Island Model assumptions affect interpretations
  • Outline how genetics can be used for fisheries management and forensic purposes
  • Summarize key features of model-based clustering approaches to estimating population structure and gene flow