Courses Catalogue

Evolutionary And Conservation Genetics

ACADEMIC PROGRAMME: Environmental Science
COLLEGE/SCHOOL/FACULTY: School of Natural and Applied Sciences
STATUS: Elective
PROGRAMME TYPE: Postgraduate

Course Description

The course content is designed to equip students with the necessary genetic background and skills necessary to pursue and appreciate postgraduate studies and research in conservation molecular genetics. It introduces students to DNA structure and function and how these can be exploited in contemporary molecular biology to address practical wildlife conservation and management issues. It further discusses the principles and applications of conservation genetics, from assessing the genetic health of individuals and whole populations to deciding on species and sub-species divisions. The key genetic analyses currently employed in this type of study will be described and their technical and theoretical limitations discussed, as will their considerable power in assisting key conservation decisions to be made.


To assist student development as environmental scientists and practitioners by advancing their understanding of the population genetic theories and principles used to address contemporary issues of conversation concern, and advancing their ability to effectively communicate these to diverse end-users.


By the end of this course, the student should be able to:

  • Explain the structure, organization and packaging of hereditary material into chromosomes
  • Explain how the different causes and types of mutation
  • Carry out simple experiments from sample data collection through processing DNA to analysis and interpretation of data
  • Discuss the merits and demerits of various molecular markers vis a vis the different conservation questions at hand.
  • Competently discuss the relevance of applying molecular genetic techniques in conservation using relevant examples from Uganda.


A doctoral student completing the course is expected to:

  • Demonstrate an advanced understanding of conservation genetics
  • Utilise basic skills to incorporate ecological theory and molecular genetic tools in the management of species conservation
  • Conduct a detailed appraisal and analysis of real-world problems of conservation genetics relevance
  • Demonstrate well-developed scientific thinking and writing skills, and the ability to work as part of a team
  • Critically evaluate conservation related arguments discussions and constructs
  • Communicate information ideas, problems and solutions to Conservation specialist and non-specialist audiences

Apply conservation related methods and techniques to conservation projects