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This subject will introduce the general principles and modern methods of plant evolutionary biology: how to discover the phylogeny (relationships) of organisms using both morphological characters and molecular (DNA) data; how to use this information to improve the classification systems of plants; how to study aspects of evolution, coevolution and historical biogeography; and how to integrate information from living and fossil plants to discover the past and date evolutionary events. Examples of the diversity and evolution of Australian plants - both fossil and living forms - will be used throughout this subject. Topics will include:
- discovering plant relationships phylogenetic systematics;
- evolution of vascular plants, especially flowering plants;
- fossil history of land plants;
- historical biogeography and evolution of Australian flora.
Intended learning outcomes
At the completion of the subject, students should:
- have a knowledge of modern methods of phylogenetic systematics, including the application of morphological and molecular data
- have skills in analysing systematic data, including the use of computer interactive programs;
- understand how to infer evolutionary and biogeographic patterns;
- have a knowledge of the evolution and diversity of Australian flora.
Last updated: 22 July 2021