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, 15 April 2010
Responsible department
Biology Education Centre

Entry requirements

120 credits including alt 1) 60 credits biology and 30 credits chemistry or 30 credits earth sciences. alt 2) 90 credits biology.

Learning outcomes

The course gives an overview of ongoing ecological research and constitutes a basis for studies for second-cycle studies and work within fields requiring knowledge in ecology, e.g. nature conservation. After completing 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 in food webs
  • explain which factors influence species richness and dynamics in plant and animal communities
  • identify ecological theories and processes that are relevant to conservation for example in boreal forests and wetlands
  • carry out simple computer simulations of population dynamics
  • plan and carry out an ecological study and present and evaluate the results orally and in writing
  • critically review and discuss scientific texts.

In the course, an introduction to Master's studies is included. After passing this module, the student should be able to

  • demonstrate awareness of ethical aspects of research and development, including questions of plagiarism
  • demonstrate insight into the potential and limitations of biology and its role in society
  • demonstrate an ability to identify his/her need of further knowledge.


Behavioural ecology including the connection between ecology, evolutionary theory, sexual selection and foraging, mating systems, kinship, 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. At the 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), drivers of 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 to a future work within the ecology-conservation sector, such as quantitative methods and computer simulations, and applied Several parts that are relevant to a future work within the ecology-conservation sector are included, such as quantitative methods and computer simulations, and applied example from the nature conservation in important ecosystems (for example coniferous forests, peatlands).


The course comprises a field course and a theory part in which is included lectures, computer simulations, calculation exercises, seminars and field trips. The introduction to Master's studies runs as a seminar series during the whole course. Participation in field course, excursion, seminars, computer exercises are compulsory. The course includes integrated communication training with feedback and self-assessment.


Modules: Theory 10 credits Field course 3 credits; Introduction to Master's studies 2 credits.

The theory part is examined through a written examination and requires active participation in seminars, excursions and exercises. The field course is presented both in writing (academic paper) and orally. For the introduction to Master's studies, active participation in seminars, written report and fulfiled study planning are required.

Other directives

The course can not at the same time be included with 1BG200 Ecology.