Molecular evolution: history and principles

We now begin the second segment of the course. The first part of the course, with the exception of last week's discussion of the coalescent, is what I think of as "classical" population genetics. From here on out we'll see a lot more applications of population genetic ideas to data. That's because with the advent of molecular techniques it became possible to directly measure many things that are relevant to population genetics. We'll begin by focusing on the evolution of molecules themselves. Towards the end of October we'll start discussing how to make inferences about evolutionary history from population genetic data.

In today's lecture I'll start with an overview of the history. There's a lot more in the notes than we'll cover in lecture, but I hope to give you a flavor of the history. I don't think you can understand a lot of the current controversies without understanding the context from which they came.

Online notes

Molecular evolution: history and principles (HTML) (PDF)

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