Master of Science in Biology - Biodiversity & Evolution Honours Degree Course

rem-cynoglossum officinale “Biodiversity and Evolution” is dealing with variation, adaptation, organismic change, and the development of populations. Small alterations in the hereditary material (DNA), so called mutations, lead to changes in the structure of genes. Rearrangements of gene variants among individuals (recombination), lead to a broad spectrum of different phenotypes within a population. Different phenotypes are not equal as to their reproductive success, a phenomenon known as natural selection. Genes are organized, they are switched on and off, they display history as well as functionality. From molecules up to complex organisms, from individuals up to ecosystems – there are many levels to tackle questions relevant to evolutionary biology. Imaginative combinations of the various and ever changing scientific approaches can lead to new ways of understanding phenomena and processes of evolution.

 foot of the jumping spider: image/Copyright: Wolff The spectrum of lectures, courses and seminars comprised in the branch “Biodiversity & Evolution” represents quite a number of research topics. There is emphasis on the investigation and the biological significance and of genetic, biochemical, and morphological diversity. Depending on your personal selection of particular modules, you will acquire knowledge as to studying mechanisms of evolution and speciation, assessing phylogeny and kinship, and understanding adaptations both at the biochemical and the morphological level. Apart from evolution under natural conditions, our teaching programs also take into account the development of populations and species in the cultivated landscape, the role of man as a factor of evolution, and the preservation of organismic diversity in view of rapidly changing ecosystems.

Coccinella septempunctata Methods applied are manifold, and range from current techniques in microbiology, biochemistry, biomechanics, and the analysis of natural products to state-of-the-art microscopy, bioinformatics, and statistics. In order to achieve a degree as a Master of Science in “Biodiversity & Evolution” you will have to collect at least 40 of the 60 credit points offered in that particular field of specialization.

These are the modules ready for your choice:


Contact persons: Hartl & Ober