This subject contains a 3 day Compulsory Residential School.
Evolutionary biology is a complex and dynamic discipline with its own concepts and specialised terms. The Residential School provides a comprehensive primer on key concepts (natural and sexual selection, adaptation, character evolution, phylogeny reconstruction and species concepts) and develops a framework within which to embed these ideas. Specific exercises include phylogeny reconstruction, character mapping, and exploration of macro-evolutionary patterns in birds using bird specimens. One of these exercises (mapping characters on a phylogeny) is essential for completion of the second assignment in this subject. Most of these activities are group-based including presentations to the class. The final component of this Residential School is research seminars by professional ornithologists, both by CSU staff and visiting researchers.