Syllabus for Behavioural Ecology


A revised version of the syllabus is available.

  • 15 credits
  • Course code: 1BG319
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Biology A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2007-03-15
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Revised: 2007-03-15
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: Autumn 2007
  • Entry requirements:

    Bachelor's degree including alternative 1) 40 credit points/60 credits biology and 20 credit points/30 credits chemistry or 20 credit points/30 credits earth sciences; alternative 2) 60 credit points/90 credits biology. In both cases, the biology should contain Ecology MN1.

  • Responsible department: Biology Education Centre

Learning outcomes

All animals including mankind, are selected to observe each others behaviour, whether it applies to conspecifics, preys or predators. The course deals with these behaviours that evolved with a value for survival and reproduction. After the course, the student should be able

  • understand, report and critically evaluate o the background to sexual reproduction, reproductive mode and sexual selection o proximate and ultimate models for sexual selection o models for foraging o models for alternative mating and life history strategies o the connection between sexual selection and speciation o the connection between sexual selection, sexual conflict and partner manipulation o the connection between life history, energy use, predation and survival o models for cooperation and group living o the behavioural ecology background to phylogenetic analysis o evolution of communication and design of signals o the connection between behavioural ecology and conservation of biological diversity o the behavioural ecology background to plasticity and biodiversity
  • apply behavioural ecology theories and models in practical studies of behavioural ecology for an understanding of how a behavioural ecology study can be planned and carried out.
  • carry out behavioural ecology literature assignments in group and individually, and present these in writing and orally. This aims to develop a specialised understanding of problems with behavioural ecology and to present such problems
  • actively participate in discussions where scientific texts are evaluated critically. This aims to develop an independent and critical working method
  • actively participate in discussions over problem that connects to the lectures


  • The theoretical contents of the course is provided in lectures and texts
  • Individual work as well as discussions and group assignments are an important element in the course
  • The course contains practical parts in the form of behavioural ecology studies
  • The course demonstrates current research
  • The course contains integrated communication training with feedback and self-assessment
  • The course gives behavioural ecology backgrounds to conservation of species diversity, design of the nature reserves and breeding programs for the preservation of threatened species, which is a part of the work with sustainable development
  • The course develops and deepens the behavioural ecology that has been taken up on the candidate course in ecology and puts emphasis on current and controversial areas within behavioural ecology Theory 10 credits; exercises 5 credits.


Teaching methods: Lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratory sessions. Attendance at the laboratory work and connected lessons is compulsory.


Participation in seminars, practical studies, group and individual work is compulsory and corresponds 5 credits. The theory part is comprised by a written examination equivalent to 10 credits.

Reading list

The reading list is missing. For further information, please contact the responsible department.

Last modified: 2022-04-26