Genetics studies how the hereditary information encoded in DNA is transmitted to new generations and how it controls the growth, differentiation and metabolic functions of cells. Genetics includes also studies on individual variation within populations and evolutionary changes.
During recent decades, genetic methods have revolutionised many areas of biological research. Basic knowledge of genetics is thus essential for getting a comprehensive view of modern biology. This is also seen in the labour market where expertise in genetics and genetic methods is commonly demanded.
Education in genetics gives a good background for understanding the function and development of organisms at the levels of molecules, cells, organisms and populations. Education also provides competence to apply methods used in molecular biological laboratories and in data analyses.
The genetics research group in the University of Oulu focuses on factors that maintain genetic variation and cause evolutionary changes on populations and in genomes. The projects belong to the fields of biodiversity studies, bioinformatics and biotechnology, and they include studies on genetic adaptation to northern conditions, genetic changes in fragmented landscapes, genomic evolution and speciation process. Study organisms include animals, plants and bacteria.