Ecology D

15 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 1BG382

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
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)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 13 March 2008
Responsible department
Biology Education Centre

Entry requirements

At least two years of basic courses in Natural Sciences, equivalent to 50 points/75 ECTS credits in Biology. Biology courses should include Cell Biology, Genetics and Gene Technology, Structure and Physiology of Organisms, and Ecology.

Learning outcomes

After the course, the student should be able to

  • account for basic evolutionary theory and theories for behaviours and life histories
  • account for theories of population dynamics, interspecific competition and trophic interactions
  • account for factors that influence species richness and dynamics in plant - and animal communities
  • account for basic food web theory and realise how ecological theories are relevant to understand nature conservation problem
  • account for ecological processes and nature conservation problems in conifer forests and wetland
  • carry out simple computer simulations of population dynamics
  • carry out and report an ecological study
  • actively participate in seminar discussions over scientific texts

For students who take the course as a starting course within the Master's programme in biology, the module Current trends in biology is included. After this module, the student should show understanding about the research area of the biology, history and role in the society and the working life of biologists show an understanding of gender perspectives, research ethics and scientific philosophy.


The course orientates about current ecological research and is a basis for higher education and work within the areas where knowledge in ecology is important e g nature conservation, and as basis for work with sustainable development. During the course, integrated communication training with feedback and self-assessment occur. Behavioural ecology including the connection between ecology, evolution theory, sexual selection and foraging, mating systems, relationships, altruism, cooperation and group living, adaptations to biological enemies, the evolution of signals and communication and basic life history. In the population ecology part, models for population growth and population regulation are included. On community level, the course includes models for interspecific competition and trophic interactions (e g Lotka-Volterra models, Tilman's model for plant competition, harvesting models), what that drives succession and other changes in plant - and animal communities, equilibrium and non-equilibrium processes as explanations to variation in species richness and food web theory. Several parts that are relevant for a future work within ecology and conservation, such as quantitative methods and computer simulations, and applied examples from the nature conservation in important ecosystems (conifer forest, peatland).


The course comprises a theory part which includes lectures, computer simulations, calculation exercises, seminars and field trips. The module Current trends in biology runs as a seminar series during the whole course.


Participation in field course, field trips, seminars and calculation exercises are compulsory and correspond 3 credits. The theory part (10 credits) is comprised by a written examination and compulsory seminars. The field course project is reported as a written report and a symposium presentation. For the module Current trends in biology (2 credits) attendance and active participation in seminars is required.

Other directives

The course can not be credited together with 1BG200 Ecology.