Mating systems and sexual selection; decision making and the evolution of communication; life histories in animals and microbes; life history traits: genetic variation and phenotypic plasticity; mutualistic interactions and their evolutionary stability; social evolution: cooperation and conflict; parasite-host interactions.
MSc Programme in Biology
MSc Programme in Biology with a minor subject
MSc Programme in Environmental Science
To give students an understanding of life-history adaptations,
of their ecological context, genetic variation and evolution.
Students will gain a detailed perception of biological adaptation
through natural and sexual selection, of the different levels of
selection (genes, individuals, and social groups) and of the
strength of these forces in shaping life-history adaptations. The
course will enable students to integrate ecological and
By completing the course the student will be able to understand and reflect on:
- mating systems and sexual selection
- decision making and the evolution of communication
- life histories in animals and microbes
- genetic variation and phenotypic plasticity
- mutualistic interactions and their evolutionary stability
- social evolution: cooperation and conflict in families and mutualisms
- parasite-host interactions
By completing the course the student will:
- obtain a basic understanding of life-history adaptations, and of their ecological context, genetic variation and evolution
- gain a detailed perception of biological adaptation through natural and sexual selection, of the different levels of selection (genes, individuals, and social groups) and of the strength of these forces in shaping life-history adaptations
- be able to integrate ecological, population genetic and evolutionary approaches
By completing the course the student can:
- explain important concepts and current hypotheses for life history evolution
- evaluate the influence of sexual selection on the evolution of mating systems in animals and plants
- describe the connections between mating systems and population structure
- explain the significance of cost-benefit and trade-off arguments for natural selection
- explain the significance of reproductive conflicts in social systems and mutualisms
- evaluate the significance of constraints on adaptive evolution by natural and sexual selection
- independently retrieve and select information from the scientific literature and other relevant sources
- present and critically discuss original scientific papers and reviews in the field of evolutionary ecology
- present a coherent essay on a topic within this field of study
Nine hours of lectures and seminar class work per week for the first six weeks. In the 7th and 8th week, students will do a literature study and write a 5-page essay on a topic related to course papers.
Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
The course integrates both teacher and peer feedback. Teacher feedback is given after group presentations in a minisymposium, following a peer-review abstract writing workshop, where students write an abstract based on published data, review each other's abstracts and revise their abstracts following the feedback they obtain.
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
Written examination, 2 hours multiple choice under invigilationWritten assignment, 5-page essay
- Type of assessment details
- The final grade is given based on the essay (50%) and the
written exam (50%).
The written exam as well as the written assignment has to be passed in same exam period.
The course has been selected for ITX exam
See important information about ITX-exams at Study Information, menu point: Exams -> Exam types and rules -> Written on-site exams (ITX)
- Without aids
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- No external censorship
Two internal examiners
Criteria for exam assessment
In order to obtain the grade 12, the student should convincingly and accurately demonstrate the knowledge, skills and competences described under Learning Outcome.
Single subject courses (day)
- Class Instruction
- Project work
- Course number
- 7,5 ECTS
- Programme level
- Full Degree Master
- Block 1
- No limitation.
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
- Study Board for the Biological Area
- Department of Biology
- Faculty of Science
- Jonathan Z. Shik (13-4e737265786c657232576c6d6f44666d73326f7932686f)
Michael Poulsen, David R. Nash, Jonathan Z. Shik and guest lecturers.
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