It is announced that the call for registrations to ERACOM MSc program will open at 20 February 2016




Elective course





Inna Sokolova

Organisms that live in variable environments must adjust their physiology to compensate for environmental change. Modern functional genomics technologies offer global top-down discovery-based tools for identifying and exploring the mechanistic basis by which organisms respond physiologically to a detected change in the environment. Given that populations and species from different niches may exhibit different acclimation abilities, comparative genomic approaches may offer more nuanced understanding of acclimation responses, and provide insight into the mechanistic and genomic basis of variable acclimation. The physiological genomics literature is large and growing, as is the comparative evolutionary genomics literature. Yet, expansion of physiological genomics experiments to exploit taxonomic variation remains relatively undeveloped. Here, recent advances in the emerging field of comparative physiological genomics are considered, including examples of plants, bees and fish, and opportunities for further development are outlined particularly in the context of climate change research. Elements of robust experimental design are discussed with emphasis on the phylogenetic comparative approach. Understanding how acclimation ability is partitioned among populations and species in nature, and knowledge of the relevant genes and mechanisms, will be important for characterizing and predicting the ecological and evolutionary consequences of human-accelerated environmental change. The term marine genomics encompasses all work that involves the analysis and use of genes in marine organisms, and is at the heart of modern marine biology.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course students will learn: 
  1. How genomics resources (i.e. gene/protein sequences) for marine organisms will greatly facilitate the application of these fields to questions in marine ecology.
  2. How the application of genome-based technologiesare being used in studies that address organismal physiology and environmental stress.
  3. How a particular genotype leads to the phenotype and how gene regulation contributes to this process.
  4. How genomic approaches help in exploring organismal performance across a variety of spatial scales.


Student's final grade will be based on class participation, exercises and discussions (25%); annotated bibliography assignment (30%); and 45% will be based on a group assignment work on a local case study and a final presentation (details and description of the case study group assignment will be given during class).

Course outline - lectures



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