Evolutionary Genetics

EC 206

The course link and additional details can be found here (you may need an IISc email address to access this page)


Important: Register for the course here.

Semester: Jan


Credits: 2:1

Course Instructors: Kartik Sunagar

Place: Centre for Ecological Sciences (classroom/seminar hall and the computer lab)

Timing: Monday and Friday (10 AM to 11.30 PM)

This course will emphasise teaching genetic principles and evolutionary mechanisms that generate the stupendous complexity in nature. The course will begin with discussions on evolutionary cosmology, including the origin of the Universe, Solar System, Earth, and life on our planet as we know it. Following this would be a series of lectures explaining the genetic mechanisms that generate variation in nature and how evolution operates on it. The course will then introduce various tools of the trade, including ‘omics’ technologies and associated bioinformatics, that have made it possible to address broad, interesting, and challenging questions in diverse fields of biology, including ecology, evolutionary biology, genetics, and biomedical research. This course will end with discussions on other interesting topics, including evolutionary development, evolutionary medicine, human evolution, and broader applications of evolutionary reasoning.

The course will consist of lectures, discussions and hands-on bioinformatic practical sessions. Practical sessions will introduce students to various aspects of data acquisition, processing, and analyses, while theory classes will provide in-depth knowledge of the underlying principles. At the end of the course, a final examination will be conducted to evaluate student performances.

Prerequisites: None

Syllabus: Broadly, this course will cover an introduction to evolutionary biology and evolutionary genetics, variation and the mechanisms that generate them, molecular evolution, the rate of evolution and how to measure it, genome evolution, tools of the trade: transcriptomics, genomics and metagenomics, essential bioinformatics, evolutionary development, (R)evolutionary medicine, human evolution, and broader applications of evolutionary reasoning.

Grading policy

  • 2 assignments: 10 points each

  • 2 exams: 40 points each


  • Evolutionary biology. Douglas J. Futuyma (1998). 3rd Sinauer Associates Inc, Publishers, Sunderland.

  • Evolutionary Analysis, Fifth Edition by Jon Herron Scott Freeman.

  • Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics, Pevsner (3rd edition).

  • Practical Computing for Biologists, Haddock and Dunn.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can UG students attend this course?


  • Where can I find the TEAMS link to the class?

A summary of the aforementioned information and the link to the course can be found here.

  • I am a Master's / integrated-PhD / PhD student at IISc. Can I audit the course?

You can audit the course but you will have to attend all classes, submit assignments and take the exam.

  • Do I need to have prior experience in programming or scripting?

While prior experience in programming, scripting and/or using Linux operating systems can be advantageous, this is not mandatory for the course. Basic bioinformatics will be taught as part of this course.