NBIK14017U  Invasion Biology

Volume 2016/2017

MSc Programme in Biology
MSc Programme in Agriculture


Basic concepts in invasion biology. Overview of invasive and exotic species of animals and plants with example cases. Characterisation and classification of invasive species and biological societies open to invasion. Population dynamics, population genetics, and evolutionary aspects of biological invasions. General hypotheses for the occurrence of invasions and their theoretical and empirical support. Expected and actual ecological consequences for invaded societies. Management strategies to prevent the spread and reduce the detrimental effects of exotic and invasive species.

Learning Outcome

To provide the students with in-depth knowledge of the population ecology and evolution of exotic and invasive species of animals and plants, including theoretical aspects. To provide insight into methods for studying the mechanisms responsible for the ecological success of these species. To give the students competence in discussing and assessing strategies to counteract possible detrimental effects of exotic species on existing ecosystems and human societies. To train practical skills in oral and written dissemination of the knowledge acquired.

By completing the course the student achieves:


  • explain important concepts and current hypotheses for species invasions and the invasibility of biological communities.
  • describe and explain different types of biological effects of species invasions, with example cases covering a range of organisms and ecosystems.


  • propose studies or experiments to test important hypotheses in invasion biology.
  • explain and apply mathematical and simulation models relevant to biological invasions.
  • explain and evaluate management strategies and policies in relation to exotic species.


  • discuss special issues of invasion biology in the context of general population dynamics, population genetics, community ecology, and evolutionary ecology.
  • independently retrieve and select information from the scientific literature and other relevant sources.
  • present and critically discuss in detail original scientific papers and reviews about invasion biology.
  • based on independent studies of the scientific literature, present important topics in invasion biology in oral and written form at a level approaching the scientific standard.

See Absalon.

Population biology courses and conservation courses are recommended.
Nineteen lectures and 34 hours of mixed seminars (i.e. discussion classes), workshops, excursions, and computer exercises distributed over 6 weeks. Guest teachers with expertise in specific topics, including applied aspects or management, will also participate. After this there will be a literature-based project (essay) for 3 weeks, to be carried out by groups of students, with organized feedback.
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Oral examination, 25 minutes
Based on the project, the student will hand-in an essay (about 5 pages per student) and an individual title for an oral presentation one week prior to the exam.

The exam is individual and oral, and lasts for 25 minutes in total, with no preparation time. The exam starts with a 10 minute oral presentation prepared by the student.

The presentation, and the subsequent examination will be graded jointly. For the assessment, equal weight is given to the written and oral parts.
Exam registration requirements

Attendance and active participation in minimum 80% of the seminars and exercises, including one oral presentation of the recommended literature, are compulsory.

All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship

As ordinary. The same or a different essay can be handed in for the re-exam

If the requirement of 80% attendance of the classes is not fulfilled, the student must submit one or more additional essay(s) in lieu of, and with content and length commensurate with, the missing attendance.

Criteria for exam assesment

The grade 12 is given for an excellent performance displaying a high level of command of all aspects of the relevant material,cf. the Learning Outcome of the course, with no or only a few minor weaknesses.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 0,5
  • Excursions
  • 6
  • Preparation
  • 108,5
  • Lectures
  • 19
  • Colloquia
  • 21
  • Practical exercises
  • 7
  • Project work
  • 40
  • Guidance
  • 4
  • Total
  • 206,0