Weekly lectures and discussions will roughly correspond to material from the two required textbooks. Additional readings from the primary literature will be distributed in class.

Required readings:

  • Kitching, IJ, PL Forey, CJ Humphries, & DM Williams. 1998. Cladistics. The Theory and Practice of Parsimony Analysis. 2nd ed. Oxford Univ. Press. Oxford.
  • Page, RDM & EC Holmes. 1999. Molecular Evolution. A Phylogenetic Approach. Blackwell Science. Oxford.

Highly recommended:

  • Maddison, WP & DR Maddison. 1992. MacClade. Analysis of Phylogeny and Character Evolution. (User's manual). Sinauer Assoc. Sunderland, MA.

The grading will consist of two written exams (one on phylogenetic theory and one on the nature of character data), two computer practicals (based on the student's abilities to retrieve, evaluate, and analyze data using software used in class), and one final student project which will involve analysis and interpretation of a biosystematic problem chosen by the student in consultation with the instructor. There will be no final exam.

The course grading breakdown is:

  • Exam 1 20%
  • Exam 2 20%
  • Computer practical 1 15%
  • Computer practical 2 15%
  • Final project 30%