Universität Wien
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300132 SE Basics and current progress in theory of evolution (2021S)

3.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 30 - Biologie
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 15 participants
Language: English



Due to the ongoing COVID measures, the lectures will take place digitally in BBB Moodle. The seminars take place on Mondays at 2 pm, the first meeting and assignment of the literature will be on Wednesday, March 3rd, at 2pm.


Aims, contents and method of the course

The seminar focuses on a particular topic each semester and aims to illuminate it using a series of papers, including classical seminal papers that have set the stage, as well as recent developments. Currently, the SS focuses on Kin Selection, whereas the WS focuses on problems delineating entities in evolutionary Biology (cell types, species etc.)

Assessment and permitted materials

Each student gives a seminar on one of the papers from the list. Reading of each paper is however required in order to participate in the discussion.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria


Examination topics


Reading list

Hamilton, W. D. 1964. The genetical evolution of social behavior. 1. J. Theor. Biol. 7:1-16.
Hamilton, W. D. 1964. The genetical evolution of social behavior. 2. J. Theor. Biol. 7:17-52.
Trivers, R. L. 1974. Parent-offspring conflict. American Zoologist 14:249-264.
Metcalf, R. A., J. A. Stamps, and V. V. Krishnan. 1979. Parent-offspring conflict which is not limited by degree of kinship. J. Theor. Biol. 81:99-107.
Michod, R. E. 1982. The theory of kin selection. Annu. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 13:23-55.
Cheverud, J. M. 1984. Evolution by kin selection: A quantitative genetic model illustrated by maternal performance in mice. Evolution 38:766-777.
Queller, D. C. 1985. Kinship, reciprocity, and synergism in the evolution of social behaviour. Nature 318:366-367. In press.
Lynch, M. 1987. Evolution of intrafamilial interactions. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 84:8507-8511.
Haig, D. (1993). Genetic conflicts in human pregnancy. Quarterly Review of Biology, 68, 495-532.
Wolf JB, Brodie ED (1998). The coadaptation of parental and offspring characters. Evolution 52: 299–308.
Wolf JB (2000). Gene interactions from maternal effects. Evolution 54: 1882–1898.
Haig, D. (2000) The kinship theory of genomic imprinting. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 31, 9-32.
Wolf and Wade (2001) On the assignment of fitness to parents and offspring: whose fitness is it and when does it matter? J Evol Biol 14: 347-356.
Wilkins, J. F. & Haig, D. (2003) What good is genomic imprinting: the function of parent-specific gene expression. Nature Reviews Genetics, 4, 359-368.
Haig, D. (2004) Genomic imprinting and kinship: how good is the evidence? Annual Review of Genetics, 38, 553-585.
Wolf JB, Hager R (2006). A maternal-offspring coadaptation theory for the evolution of genomic imprinting. PLoS Biol 4: e380.
Wolf JB, Hager R (2009). Selective abortion and the evolution of genomic imprinting. J Evol Biol 22: 2519–2523.
Wolf JB, Wade MJ (2009). What are maternal effects (and what are they not)? Phil Trans R Soc B 364: 1107–1115.
Haig D. 2014. Coadaptation and conflict, misconception and muddle, in the evolution of genomic imprinting . Heredity 113, 96–103
Wolf JB, Wade MJ.2016. Evolutionary genetics of maternal effects. Evolution. 70-4: 827-839.

Association in the course directory

PhD, MAN 3, M-WZB, MZO W-4

Last modified: Tu 04.05.2021 14:29