Fall 2020 - HSCI 324 D100

Human Population Genetics and Evolution (3)

Class Number: 6265

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We, Fr 8:30 AM – 9:20 AM

  • Prerequisites:

    BISC 202.



Human variation and human health in the context of population genetics, epidemiology, demography, and human evolution.


An explanation of human origins, ancestry, diversity, adaptations, and disease risk in the context of genetic variation, evolution, demography and epidemiology. This course is designed to show how human history and health has been and can be influenced by genetic features in the context of a dynamic environment.  Particular attention will be paid to how this and other forms of knowledge can tell the stories of humans and reveal who we are.


By the end of this course it is expected that students will be prepared to

  • describe the basic principles of human heredity as it relates to population genetics
  • explain how different selective and stochastic forces create and shape the distribution of genetic variability in humans
  • explain how evolution’s main components: variation, adaption, competition, and cooperation impact human health and disease, i.e. fitness
  • apply appropriate mathematical models to evaluate the behaviour of data from population genetic studies
  • summarize key elements of peer-reviewed literature in this field through written, visual and oral communication formats
  • evaluate different models and forms/levels of evidence for human evolution


  • Take home assignments 40%
  • In-class and online quizzes 30%
  • Course learning project/product 30%



Principles of Populations Genetics, 4th Ed. by Hartl and Clark
ISBN: 978-0878933082

Human Evolutionary Genetics; Origins Peoples and Disease, 2nd Ed. by Jobling, Hollox, Hurles, Kivisild, Tyler-Smith
ISBN: 978-0-8153-4148-2

Genes, Culture, and Human Evolution: A Synthesis, by Stone and Lurquin
ISBN: 978-1-4051-3166-7

Primer of Population Genetics, by Hartl
ISBN: 978-0878933044

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).