NBIK14021U Evolutionary Ecology
MSc Programme in Biology
MSc Programme in Agriculture
Mating systems and sexual selection; decision making and the evolution of communication; senescence and 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.
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, population genetic and evolutionary approaches.
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
- senescence and 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
- Project work
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
- Written examination, 2 hours multiple choice under invigilationWritten assignment, 5 pages essayThe 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 examperiod.
- Without aids
NB: If the exam is held at the ITX, the ITX will provide computers. Private computers, tablets or mobile phones CANNOT be brought along to the exam.
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- External censorship
- Exam period
As ordinary exam
Reexamination involves writing an essay based on a new essay title and taking a new 2-hour written multiple choice exam. The final grade is given based on the essay (50%) and the written exam (50%).
Criteria for exam assesment
The student gives 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.