Courses & Units

Genetics and Evolution KPZ215


Genetics & Evolution is a core second year unit for BSc students majoring in Zoology or Plant Science and important for any student studying Biological Sciences. The unit offers an introduction to genetics and evolution, and integrates classical and molecular approaches to understand genetic control, genetic manipulation, and evolutionary processes. The unit reviews classical genetics and develops the themes of linkage, recombination, cytogenetics, and quantitative genetics. We then discuss molecular genetics; including DNA structure, the control of gene expression, tools to analyze genetic variation, and the principles of forward and reverse genetics. This leads to an overview of biotechnologies, ranging from breeding and domestication to genetic modification. Evolutionary theory and processes are discussed with a range of examples, including recent human evolution. The practical component of the unit is a mix of lab-based genetics experiments; technique development in cytology, artificial crossing, and molecular genetics; and determination of evolutionary relationships.


Unit name Genetics and Evolution
Unit code KPZ215
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Natural Sciences
Discipline Biological Sciences
Coordinator Doctor Robert Wiltshire
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 2 On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 2 22/7/2024 16/8/2024 9/9/2024 27/10/2024

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2024 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2024 will be available from the 1st October 2023. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • apply the principles of classical genetics, linkage analysis, and quantitative inheritance to animal and plant models, and describe and how variation in reproductive strategies might affect breeding strategies
  • describe the structure of DNA and chromosomes, the ways in which gene expression are altered, the reasons why genome sizes vary between organisms, how genes evolve and how this can reveal evolution, and how molecular genetics can be applied to the study of variation
  • extract and analyze DNA using a number of basic techniques.
  • give examples of how molecular genetics reveals evolutionary processes in humans.
  • illustrate evolutionary processes with appropriate examples in other organisms, and
  • use the terminology and apply the theory underlying cladistic analysis to describe evolutionary relationships.

Fee Information

The 2024 Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) rates are still being finalised by the Government and we will update the domestic fee information as soon as we have more details.



KPZ164 Cell Biology, Genetics and Evolution

Mutual Exclusions

You cannot enrol in this unit as well as the following:



Teaching Pattern

Weekly tutorial followed by three-hour practical sessions; Weekly online modules supported by quizzes 

AssessmentAssessment Task 10: GMO analysis (2.5%)|Assessment Task 11: DNA Alignment (2.5%)|Assessment Task 11: Evolutionary relationships (2.5%)|Assessment Task 4: Quantitative Genetics (2.5%)|Assessment Task 8: DNA extraction & Pipetting (2.5%)|Assessment Task 9: DNA quality determination (2.5%)|Assessment Task 1&2: L2xL7 F2 Analysis (5%)|Assessment Tasks 6 & 7: Cytogenetics & Flow Cytometry (5%)|Conservation genetics scoring and analysis (5%)|Assessment Task 13: Weekly quizzes (1-12) and pre-lab quizzes (6-8) (15%)|Assessment Task 3: L2xL7 Genetic Analysis report (15%)|Assessment Task 13: Online examination (40%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.

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