NSCPHD1043 Applied Insect Ecology with emphasis on insect-plant, insect-insect and climate-insect interactions (Type 2, Ad hoc)

Volume 2015/2016


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The course will introduce students to an array of ecological main aspect with focus on insects. This will be followed up at more advanced level and in more detail within selected ecological issues as related to agricultural insect pest and their natural enemies, and the assessment of their importance and management as related to over-all environmental changes or changes in agricultural practice. The latter part will bridge recent results from literature with the students own projects, to develop their capability to analyzing problems, raising questions and suggesting research approaches.

The course will consist of a text book oriented part including areas as: “Insects and climate”, "Insect herbivores”, “Life histories”, “Conceptual aspects of population dynamics”, “Reproductive strategies”, “The niche concept”, “Intra- interspecific competition”, Insect behavior”, “Community development and structural organization”, “Diversity and stability”.

These topics will involve self-reading, student presentation of concluding summaries and some colloquia.

The second part of the course devote further effort on “Life histories”, “Conceptual aspects of population dynamics”, “Reproductive strategies”, “The niche concept”, “Intra- interspecific competition”, Insect behavior”, “Community development and structural organization”, “Diversity and stability”.

These topics will be based on journal articles to be presented by students in a journal club setting. As a derivative of the journal clubs and with due respect to the students’ research topic each student shall select a research question, develop a hypothesis and briefly describe an experimental plan for how to answer the question. The product of the students will be presented and discussed in a final journal club setting.

Learning Outcome

The first course part will bring the students to an advanced understanding of major elements of insect ecology, which will provide a platform for further studies at more detailed level. After that part the students will be able to (knowledge) display an overview of ecological insight related to insects and be able to describe major theories and trends.

The second course part will establish an advanced level of analyzing hypotheses, methodologies and results of scientific investigations within entomological ecology and explain the importance within an applied context. After that part the students will have knowledge of entomological terms and  skills in an array of methodologies relevant to entomological ecology. Further they will have an advanced understanding of functionality of biological systems. They will also understand, how ecological investigations can support the applications of entomology e.g. in evaluation of pest status and management of crop pests.

As a final outcome the students will be capable of analyzing an ecologically oriented entomological problem, produce a set of hypotheses and suggesting approaches to scientifically investigate the problem.

Course Literature

Selected chapters from:

P. W. Price, R. F. Denno , M. D. Eubanks, D. L. Finke, I. Kaplan.  Insect Ecology: Behavior, Populations and Communities 2011.

(Peter W. Price. Insect Ecology 3rd Ed.1997)

Martin R. Speight, Mark D. Hunter & Allan D. watt. Ecology of insects, concepts and applications 1999.

An array of topic-specific journal articles, primarily from the last 10 years.

Colloquia and project work based on textbooks, articles and own data.

First part: text book based literature studies with some colloquia as the summarizing and concluding activities. Second part: reading and analyzing scientific articles and presenting and discussing results and derived questions. Third part: selecting a research question, developing a hypothesis and a research plan with focus on identifying obstacles.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Colloquia
  • 97
  • Exam
  • 23
  • Preparation
  • 100
  • Total
  • 220
Type of assessment
Written assignment, 72 hours
Individual written assignment to be produced within 72 hours