On completion of the course, the students shall have acquired the following knowledge and understanding:
- Describe the main evolutionary acquisitions on groups of the plant kingdom and its adaptive significance.
- Comprehend the modern plant phylogeny and its sources of information.
- Explain the underlying evolutionary mechanisms of diversity and speciation in the plant kingdom.
- Describe the variety of pollination syndromes, reproductive systems and population structures presentin the plant kingdom, and explain the mechanisms underlying this diversity.
- Explain and critically analyse how the genetic diversity and evolutionary potential of plant populations are influenced by phenomena like phenotypic plasticity, seed banks, hybridization, polyploidy and postglacial colonization history.
- Formulate hypotheses and propose methods when studying evolutionary phenomena in wild plant species.
This course can have a recognition of 6 ECTs for FCUL PhD students enrolling in it as part of their first doctoral year. For FCUL PhD students only requiring 5 ECTs recognized in their specific PhD programmes the last 6 hours of the course are not mandatory and the certificate will be on 'Topics in Biodiversity and Plant Evolution’.
Minimum background: bachelor degree in Biology or related areas
PhD or MSc students in Biology, Evolution, Ecology or related areas, postdocs and professionals working in related topics
1. Evolutionary acquisitions in land plants (Embryophytes).3 h
2. Phylogeny of land plants. Contemporary sources of information for land plants systematic.4 h
3. Evolutionary processes and plant population structures. Phenotypic plasticity and adaptation. Ecotypes and clines. 2 h
4. Postglacial colonization history of plants in Europe and Atlantic islands. Genetic and biogeographic consequences. Phylogeography.3 h
5. Pollination and reproductive biology. Plant mating systems. Reproductive costs and strategies in the plant kingdom. Selective processes associated with fertilization and seed development. Evolutionary pressures shapping seed traits 3 h
6. Allopatric and sympatric speciation in the plant kingdom. Speciation through hybridization and chromosomal changes. Species concepts.2 h
7. Plant life histories: reproductive strategies and seed ecology: Biogeographical and evolutionary aspects of seed dormancy 2 h
8. Biodiversity and Conservation Biology of plants:
The Convention on Biological Diversity and the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation 3 h
Role of Natural History Museums in plant Biodiversity Conservation 3 h
Plant ex-situ conservation 3 h
Biodiversity and plant Conservation Biology 2 h
9. Theme presentation 6 h
Free for 1st year PhD students in the Doctoral program in Biology (FCUL), Biodiversity, Genetics and Evolution (BIODIV UL; UP) and Biology and Ecology of Global Changes (BEAG UL, UA) when the course counts credits for their formation, in which case the delivery of a final report done after the course is mandatory; 40 € for PhD students from institutions of the PEERS network (cE3c, CFE); 80 € for FCUL Master students and unemployed; 130 € for BTI, BI and other PhD students; 180 € for Professional and postdocs.
When the maximum number of students is reached 5 vacancies will be available for non-paying 1st year PhD students mentioned above, being, by order of preference: 1) cE3c students; 2) BIODIV students (not from cE3c); 3) FCUL students (not from cE3c); 4) BEAG students (not from FCUL).
Candidates should send a short CV and a motivation letter to Helena Cotrim at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org