Spring 2019 - BISC 422 D100

Population Genetics (3)

Class Number: 2391

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM
    RCB 8100, Burnaby

    We, Fr 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM
    SSCC 9000, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 13, 2019
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
    SSCB 9200, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    BISC 202 with a grade of C- or better and STAT 201.



Theoretical and experimental aspects of inheritance at the population level. Topics include Hardy-Weinberg, one- and two-locus selection theory, introduction to quantitative genetics, and Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection.


This course will review the foundations of population genetics, with an emphasis on ideas that have been used to study natural populations and some human population examples. I will introduce the mathematical models, and then we will read some primary literature in which these models have been used to study natural systems. The course will be taught for the person planning a professional career in biology, who can use a working knowledge of population genetics. A strong mathematical background is not necessary; rather, we will try to build up the models from "first principles" (i.e. from the ground up). A background in analysis of variance and regression is helpful but not necessary.

I. Introduction to Single Locus models: Selection; Mutation selection balance; Selection analysis of sequence data (if there is time).

II. Two-Locus models: Linkage Disequilibrium; Indirect Selection/Runaway Selection.

III. Inbreeding/Random Genetic Drift/Population Differentiation: Calculating Inbreeding coefficients; Effective population size; Calculating Wright's F-statistics, other measures of population differentiation; Wright's shifting balance versus Fisher's Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection; Coalescent theory and analysis of molecular variation.

IV. Quantitative Genetics: Additive Genetic Variance, Pleiotropy, Epistasis; Phenotypic Selection models; Quantitative Models of Sexual Selection; Linkage mapping of Quantitative Traits.

V. Special topics: Genetics of Speciation and Reproductive Isolation/Levels of Selection.


  • Lecture Exam I 30%
  • Lecture Exam II 30%
  • Problem Sets 10%
  • Final Lecture Exam 30%


GRADES: Past distributions have been app. 35% A, 50% B, 15% C.



There is no Required Textbook for this course

Registrar Notes:

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