Graduate Study - Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
3+2 Genetics and Bioengineering - Antropological Genetics

Code Name Level Year Semester
GBEAG 103 Human Evolution I - Early Evolution of Hominini Graduate 1 Fall
Status Number of ECTS Credits Class Hours Per Week Total Hours Per Semester Language
6 145 English

Instructor Assistant Coordinator
Damir Marjanović, Prof. Dr. Prof. Dr. Damir Marjanović Damir Marjanović, Prof. Dr.
[email protected] [email protected] no email

The course focuses on evolutionary processes and biological changes in the early evolution of hominin lineage. It offers background for understanding theoretical framework (e.g. geology, ecology, dating etc.), as well as extensive overview of fossil data in its geological and geographical settings.

Main course objectives are to:
• Provide an understanding of theoretical and practical issues related to the evolutionary theory
• Provide an understanding of factors that influenced and shaped the beginning of hominin biological evolution
• Provide an overview of fossil data and taxa of early hominins in their geographical and temporal setting

  1. Introduction. A brief history of evolutionary thought
  2. What is evolution: mechanisms, principles and methods
  3. Paleoanthropology: the basics of the interdisciplinary research
  4. Humans as primates. Humans and living apes
  5. Primate evolution: from the beginning to the early hominins
  6. Defining hominins: the biology of bipedalism
  7. First hominins. History and taxa
  8. Midterm exam
  9. Early australopithecines 1: East African record
  10. Early australopithecines 2: South African record
  11. Late australopithecines 1: the robusts
  12. Late australopithecines 2
  13. The beginnings of culture
  14. Putting it all together
  15. Seminars and discussion


    • Interactive Lectures
    • Presentation
    • Discussions and group work
    • Student debates
    • Assignments
    Description (%)
    Method Quantity Percentage (%)
    Midterm Exam(s)130
    Term Paper120
    Final Exam150
    Total: 100
    Learning outcomes
    • Understand key concepts and issues in evolutionary theory
    • Understand evolutionary and other forces and factors that shaped and affected early hominin evolution
    • Understand phylogeny and taxonomy and related issues
    • Will be familiar with major discoveries and fossil data in their geographical and temporal settings
    • Janković, I. & Karavanić, I., 2009. Osvit čovječanstva: počeci našeg biološkog i kulturnog razvoja. Zagreb: Školska Knjiga.
    • Berger, L. R. et al. 2010. Australopithecus sediba: a new species of Homo-like Australopith from South Africa. Science 328, 195-204.
    • Haile-Selassie, Y. et al. 2015. New species from Ethiopia further expands Middle Pleistocene hominin diversity. Nature 521:483-488.

    ECTS (Allocated based on student) WORKLOAD
    Activities Quantity Duration (Hour) Total Work Load
    Lecture (14 weeks x Lecture hours per week)14342
    Laboratory / Practice (14 weeks x Laboratory/Practice hours per week)14228
    Midterm Examination (1 week)122
    Final Examination(1 week)122
    Preparation for Midterm Examination11010
    Preparation for Final Examination12020
    Assignment / Homework/ Project12121
    Seminar / Presentation12020
    Total Workload: 145
    ECTS Credit (Total workload/25): 6