2023-2024 / BIOL0864-1

Concepts of biological evolution


15h Th

Number of credits

 Bachelor in biology2 crédits 


Loïc Michel

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Nowadays, biological evolution is one of the most important concepts of biology, if not of science in general. Its existence is confirmed by abundant evidence, and its nature and the mechanisms underlying it are central to many biologists' interests, from natural sciences to biomedical approaches. Biological evolution also has implications for other fields in exact, human and social sciences, either basic or applied.

This course aims to acquaint you with key notions and concepts associated to biological evolution. Those notions will accompany you during your whole biology cursus.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

After taking this class, you'll be familiar with the following topics:

   · What is a species? How many are they, how do they appear and disappear?

   · What are the possible origins of life on Earth?

   · How did evolution drive life form diversification? How does biodiversity influence links between biosphere and other compartments of our planet?

   · How was the concept of biological evolution born? How did this concept and theories underlying it evolve through time?

   · Why do we use the term "evolution theory(ies)" What proof of the reality of evolution do we have?

   · What are the most used methods in evolutionary biology nowadays, and how do they feed the field?

   · What are links between biological evolution and human societies?

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

For this course to be profitable, it is important that you master the language in which it will be given (French).

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course will consist in ex cathedra lectures, complemented as often as possible by other media or material (video, numerical resources, etc.).

In order to give you an as wide as possible overview of evolutionary biology and to enrich your experience, several speakers specializing in different fields (astrobiology, paleontology, phylogeny, molecular methods, etc.) will present a lecture each.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

In order to maximize and facilitate interactions between students and teachers, all sections of the course will be organized in person as long as it remains possible. If required by the circumstances (e.g. sanitary situation), some parts will be taught remotely. In this case, recordings will be shared with the students, and specific time slots will be dedicated to discussion.

Recommended or required readings

All the material used during classes (presentations and complements) will be made available to students after each session, through the eCampus platform.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire )

Additional information:

The exam (first session in January) will be a multiple-choice quiz about all chapters of the course.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

Course schedule and rooms: see Celcat.

Improvements to the course are made yearly according to new developments on relevant topics and to formal and informal feedback from the students.



Animal Systematics and Diversity

Institute of Chemistry, B6c, Sart-Tilman

Email: loic.michel@uliege.be

Association of one or more MOOCs