Coyne & Orr book cover

The origin of species is a key question in evolutionary biology. This course reviews our current knowledge on speciation, taking a combined view of empirical and theoretical research, but with focus on theory and influential models of speciation.

Each lecture consists of two modules, one covering general concepts and empirical research and one on modelling. The general / empirical modules build on the textbook of Coyne and Orr (2004; pictured) with updates from more recent research, and will be available as PDFs of the lecture slides. The modelling part is an original selection from the primary literature (no written material provided), adapted for participants with no mathematical background but basic knowledge of population genetics.

In addition to the exam, the participants will write a ca 5-page essay summarizing an individual project, and submit a learning diary on the modelling modules (see more under "Conduct of the course" / "Kurssin suorittaminen").

NOTE: while it is certainly nice to read the book of Coyne and Orr, it is not necessary for passing this course successfully.

PROJECTS published under "Tasks" ("Tehtävät").

24.9.2018 klo 01:00 - 1.11.2018 klo 23:59


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Käyttäjän Eva Kisdi kuva

Eva Kisdi

Julkaistu, 31.10.2018 klo 21:12

The class of 1 Nov is cancelled.


Tästä osiosta löydät kurssin opetusaikataulun. Tarkista mahdolliset muut aikataulut kuvauksesta.

Ti 30.10.2018
08:15 - 09:45
To 1.11.2018
08:15 - 09:45
Ti 6.11.2018
08:15 - 09:45
To 8.11.2018
08:15 - 09:45
Ti 13.11.2018
08:15 - 09:45
To 15.11.2018
08:15 - 09:45
Ti 20.11.2018
08:15 - 09:45
To 22.11.2018
08:15 - 09:45
Ti 27.11.2018
08:15 - 09:45
To 29.11.2018
08:15 - 09:45
Ti 4.12.2018
08:15 - 09:45
Ti 11.12.2018
08:15 - 09:45
To 13.12.2018
08:15 - 09:45
Ma 17.12.2018
10:15 - 11:45
To 20.12.2018
14:15 - 15:45




Choose the topic of your essay and email your choice to me. Each participant must have a different project (first come, first served).
Projects already chosen: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19

Kurssin suorittaminen

In addition to the exam, one needs to submit an essay and a learning diary to complete the course.

The exam is a 2h written exam organized after the course. The essay is an individual project, in which one typically reads 2-3 research papers and writes up the conclusions in ca 5 pages, placing them in the context of the course material. The learning diary is a personal summary of the modelling modules from each lecture (more below). The essay is due 31 January 2019 (extensions possible). Please email the learning diary of each week by the evening of the Monday after.

The final grade is a combination of the exam (70%), the essay (15%) and the learning diary (15%). Submitting the essay and the learning diary is a condition for completing the course. For the learning diary, please contact me in case you have to miss lectures.

The learning diary should be just a brief summary of the results we got (equations welcome, also if handwritten, but no need to send back everything) with some annotation of what you think of it (why are we doing this? what do we learn from this result? does it connect to something you are interested in? anything you disagree with? for example, a model assumption you would be interested to relax and generalize, why? was anything different than what you had thought? surprising? or to the contrary, the result is what we would expect, why? and anything like). In other words, the diary is what you summarize for yourself for the future, with some notes from your own (just some, not everything I listed :) ). The best comments are those that help you to fit the models with something you know or think about yourself, then the comments help to remember the modelling.

EXAM DATES (choose one):
Monday 17 December 10-12 in BK3, room 6602
Thursday 20 December 14-16 in BK3, room 6602
if neither is good for you (or you wish to re-take the exam later), please contact me by email


Population genetics or a course that contains the elements of population genetics

An overview on contemporary research in speciation; influential case studies in speciation research; modelling speciation

Exams: 17.12. and 20.12.

The origin of species is a key question in evolutionary biology. This course reviews our current knowledge on speciation including recent major advances. We take a combined view of empirical and theoretical research, but penetrate theory at greater depth by investigating influential models of speciation.

Contact teaching; completion by a written exam (70%) plus independent study written up as an essay (30%)

0-5, exam and take-home essay project

Teaching in English

Eva Kisdi

Replaces the former course 523119 Speciation theory 4 cr.