Aktuelle Themen der Evolutionsbiologie

Course material for "Modern topics in Evolutionary Biology"


Summer semester


This course will provide examples and understanding of six important unsanswered questions in evolutionary biology.

The course will consist of six parts:

1) Origin of life and early evolution;

2) Epigenetics and Evolution: return of Lamarckism? ;

3) Evolution of cooperation and society: game theory, kin selection and inclusive fitness ;

4) Ecology and evolution: levels of selection, metagenomics and holobionts ;

5) Experimental evolution in real time in the lab;

6) Origin of evolutionary innovations.

The seminar part of the course will consist in the presentation of a research paper about one of these topics.


Aim: to aquire a profound understanding of the evolutionary mechanisms and experimental tests, and development of critical analysis of articles and topics in evolutionary biology.



Mark Ridley, Evolution, Oxford University Press 2011;

Pigliucci M. and G.B. Mueller, Evolution: The extended Synthesis, MIT Press, 2010;

Maynard-Smith J. and Szathmary E., The Major transitions in Evolution, Oxford University Press 1995