Population Genetics

(Course Code: 108KEΥ, Course outline)

Semester: 5 Teaching Credits: 4 ECTS Credits: 5 Type:


Prerequisite Courses: Course type: Special background Instructor: Theodorou Konstantinos

The aim of the course is to familiarize students with the principles of Population Genetics and Evolutionary Biology. Particular emphasis is given to the implications of evolutionary processes to Biodiversity Conservation.

Topics per Week: Lectures:

  1. History and scope of Population Genetics. Introductory notions.
  2. Allele and genotype frequencies. Hardy-Weinberg Law
  3. Extensions of Hardy-Weinberg law: multiple and X-linked genes. Genetic diversity: definition and measures.
  4. Mutation Selection: Basic selection models.
  5. Selection in different life stages. Mutation-selection balance. Genetic load.
  6. Adaptation of populations to environmental changes.
  7. Quantitative Genetics
  8. Inbred mating systems. Inbreeding and genetic drift in small populations.
  9. Genetic diversity and adaptation in small populations. Effective population size: a genetic diversity indicator. Relation between real and effective population size.
  10. Migration. Evolution and adaptation in fragmented populations.
  11. Lab: Simulations on the interaction of evolutionary processes on population adaptation and viability.
  12. Genetic polymorphism: theory and observations. Neutrality theory. Molecular clock.
  13. Evolutionary Genetics: evolutionary stable strategies. Behavioral Ecology and Population Genetics.

Laboratory exercises:

  1. Simulations on the interaction of evolutionary processes on population adaptation and viability.
Theory – Lectures
(hours / week)
Exercises – Laboratories
(hours / week)
Other Activities:  –

2 series of exercises + lab exercise (20%)

Final exams (80%)

Notes: K. Theodorou (2004). Population Genetics, p. 80.
Basic Textbook:
  • Futuyma D.J. (1995). Evolutionary Biology, Crete University Press.

Population Genetics handbooks:

-Hedrick, P. W., (1985), «Genetics of Populations», Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Inc., Boston.

-Crow J. F. and M. Kimura, (1970), «An Introduction to Population Genetics Theory», Harper & Row, New York.

Applications of Population Genetics to Conservation: 

-Frankham, R., J. D. Ballou and D. A. Briscoe, (2002), «Introduction to Conservation Genetics», Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 

-Meffe, G. K. and Carroll C. R, (1997), «Principles of Conservation Biology», Sinauer Associates, Inc. Sunderland, Massachusetts.


The course is taught in Greek. For exchange students, English literature is proposed and examinations are given in English.

Internet Links:

Synthetic Theory of Evolution:


Genetic Science Learning Center, University of Utah, Conservation Genetics: http://gslc.genetics.utah.edu/units/basics/conservation/

Inquiries to Conservation Genetics: