NBIK14017U Invasion Biology

Volume 2024/2025

MSc Programme in Biology
MSc Programme in Biology with a minor subject
MSc Programme in Environmental Science


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.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is 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.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 19
  • Class Instruction
  • 21
  • Preparation
  • 108,5
  • Practical exercises
  • 7
  • Excursions
  • 6
  • Project work
  • 40
  • Guidance
  • 4
  • Exam
  • 0,5
  • Total
  • 206,0
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

Continuous feedback from teacher at computer exercises and discussion workshops. Supervised choice of seminar papers and questions. Feedback from teacher and peers (class) on oral seminar presentation and answers to seminar questions. Organised feedback on choice of essay topic and at workshops for essay writing. Feedback on essay, presentation and discussion at exam.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, (essay)
Oral examination, 25 minutes
Type of assessment details
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 written assignment (essay) and oral examination is graded jointly.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Two internal examiners

The same as ordinary exam. The same or a different essay can be handed in no later than three weeks before the re-exam.


Criteria for exam assesment

In order to obtain the grade 12 the student should convincingly and accurately demonstrate the knowledge, skills and competences described under Learning Outcome.