A Field Guide to Evolution

Module code: BS2078

Module co-ordinator: Dr Richard J. Gornall

Based on the Mediterranean island ecosystem of Mallorca, this module is a field course during the Easter vacation. You will be introduced to many of the habitats found in the Mediterranean biome, including visits to key nature reserves, and develop your understanding of how the plants, animals and the communities that they make up, function. You will gain an understanding of the ecology of natural selection, adaptation and gene flow, set in the context of species and speciation. Using this knowledge you will conduct your own research project in the final few days to cement your understanding and practice of field biology skills.

This module is entirely field-based and will provide you with a robust, practical training in aspects of evolution, community ecology, taxonomy and conservation biology, and is recommended if you have any aspiration to develop your career in any of these topics. It also provides excellent training for your third year dissertation.


  • 12 one-hour lectures
  • 8 one-hour seminars
  • 12 hours of practicals
  • 50 hours of fieldwork


  • Research project written up as a scientific paper (40%)
  • Short presentation (10%)
  • Exam, 2 hours (50%)