BIOL 509 (Winter)

Methods in Molecular Ecology

(Not offered in 2018-2019)

M. Cristescu (Coordinator)
(514) 398-1053
D. Schoen N3/8A (514) 398-6461
R. Barrett Redpath Museum (514) 398-4086 x00856
3 credits (1.5-2.5-5)
BIOL 301, BIOL 304 and BIOL 308 or permission of instructor

An overview of the molecular genetic tools used to investigate ecological and evolutionary processes in natural populations. The use of molecular tools in studies of population structure, parentage, kinship, species boundaries, phylogenetics. Special topics include conservation genetics, population genetics, and ecological genomics.


T. Beebee and G. Rowe 2004. An Introduction to Molecular Ecology, Oxford University Press.

Additional reading will also be assigned from primary literature

Additional recommended reading:
JC Avise 2004. Molecular Markers, Natural History and Evolution. Sinauer Associates.
RDM Page and EC Holmes 1998. Molecular Evolution: A Phylogenetic Approach, Blackwell Science Ltd.
JR Freeland 2005. Molecular Ecology, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
A Lowe, S Harris and P Ashton 2004. Ecological Genetics: Design, Analysis and Applications. Blackwell Publishing.


Grades will be based on: student presentation, participation to class discussions, lab assignments and research project.

Student presentations: Students will prepare a 20-25 minute presentation on a relevant Molecular Ecology topic. A list of relevant topics will be provided to students.

Lab assignments: Students will submit a lab assignment at the end of each lab. While students are encouraged to work in pairs and help each other, assignments are to be completed and submitted individually.

Research project: An individual research project based on a novel analysis of published data, or student’s data will be conducted during the semester. The project should coincide with the interest of the student. Students will be able to apply the methods covered during the lab exercises to their own dataset and project.


McGill University values academic integrity. Therefore all students must understand the meaning and consequences of cheating, plagiarism and other academic offences under the Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures (see for more information).

Last update: March 5, 2018