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30.03.2023 09:44:45
bio845 - Introduction to Development and Evolution (Complete module description)
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Module label Introduction to Development and Evolution
Modulkürzel bio845
Credit points 6.0 KP
Workload 180 h
Institute directory Institute for Biology and Environmental Sciences
Verwendbarkeit des Moduls
  • Master's Programme Biology (Master) > Background Modules
  • Master's Programme Biology (Master) > Background Modules
  • Master's Programme Neuroscience (Master) > Background Modules
Zuständige Personen
Sienknecht, Ulrike (Module responsibility)
Sienknecht, Ulrike (Module counselling)
Sienknecht, Ulrike (Prüfungsberechtigt)
Claußen, Maike (Prüfungsberechtigt)


Skills to be acquired in this module
Upon successful completion of this course, students

·    know the fundamental problems organisms share in development

·    know the common basic steps of ontogenesis after comparing the life cycles of different species (both vertebrates and invertebrates)

·    know the fundamentals of the genetic control of cell-fate specification, morphogenesis, and organogenesis

·    know the principles of gene regulatory networks in development and are able to explain examples

·    are able to explain and discuss mechanisms of development across taxonomic groups and questions about the evolution of developmental mechanisms

·    have in-depth knowledge of the development of animal nervous systems, including cellular and net-work properties


++ deepened biological expertise

+ deepened knowledge of biological working methods

++ interdisciplinary thinking

++ critical and analytical thinking

+ independent searching and knowledge of scientific literature

+ ability to perform independent biological research

+ teamwork

Module contents

Lectures on the fundamentals and concepts of developmental biology, including evolutionary aspects. Parallel seminars matching the topics of the lectures and emphasizing discussion. Lecture topics:

·    Introduction to Developmental Biology

·    Cell-Cell Communication

·    Differential Gene Expression (I and II)

·    Early Development of Vertebrates, Gastrulation

·    Neurulation

·    Brain Development

·    Axonal Growth, Target Selection, Synaptogenesis and Refinement

·    Neural Crest

·    Mesoderm Development

·    Morphogenesis

·    Developmental Mechanisms of Evolutionary Change

·    Model Organisms in Developmental Biology

·    Transgenic Mice

·    Medical Implications of Developmental Biology



textbook: Gilbert S.F.: Developmental Biology, Macmillan Publishers Ltd, 11th edition 2016 (current edition); and current literature on course topics

Language of instruction English
Duration (semesters) 1 Semester
Module frequency
Module capacity 20 (
selection criteria: sequence of registration
Reference text
associated with bio846 (neu120) (Lab Exercises in Development and Evolution)     
Modullevel / module level MM (Mastermodul / Master module)
Modulart / typ of module Wahlpflicht / Elective
Lehr-/Lernform / Teaching/Learning method
Vorkenntnisse / Previous knowledge organismic biology, developmental biology, evolutionary biology, neurobiology, genetics, molecular biology
Form of instruction Comment SWS Frequency Workload of compulsory attendance
Lecture 3 WiSe 45
Seminar 3 WiSe 45
Präsenzzeit Modul insgesamt 90 h
Examination Prüfungszeiten Type of examination
Final exam of module
same winter term     
oral exam of 30 minutes (or written exam)