SGBK20007U Climate Change and Biodiversity

Volume 2024/2025

MSc Programme in Biology - restricted elective
MSc Programme in Climate Change - restricted elective
MSc Programme in Environmental Science - restricted elective


This course will explore the consequences and crisis that biodiversity is facing under  global change , with a focus on the effects of climate change on biodiversity and how it affects human societies. In particular, we will address key questions such as:

  • How do climate and climate change lead to changes in biodiversity on land and oceans at genetic, species and ecosystem levels ? 
  • Does climate change interact with other global change drivers (e.g., invasive species, habitat alteration) to influence biodiversity?
  • What are the effects of  climate changes on species extinctions and interactions between species ? 
  • Do changes in biodiversity affect human wellbeing and society?


In order to address these questions, we will read and discuss the primary literature, participate in lectures and discussions, and engage in a series of exercises and experiments.


Learning Outcome


By the end of this course, you will understand the fundamental concepts of biodiversity, its impact on the environment, and how climate change  impact biodiversity.


You will be able to: (1) read and interpret literature on climatic change, biodiversity,  (2) design a scientific field experiment to test biodiversity and climate change concepts, (3) understand how to collect, analyze, interpret, and present data, (4) engage in a scientific dialog about biodiversity and current topics in climate change and biodiversity.


Students will understand what biodiversity is, how to measure biodiversity, how to interpret biodiversity data, and be able to present and discuss scientific information related to biodiversity. 

Readings will be from the primary literature and will be made available prior to class sessions.



Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
Lectures, project work and practical exercises. The course will take place on campus and at biological Collections of the Natural History of Denmark, in the Botanical Garden in the city center, and at field sites in Denmark. Students will design and implement an experiment, analyze the data, and report the results and conclusions to the class. The course will culminate with students giving oral presentations of their research Projects.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 8
  • Class Instruction
  • 3
  • Preparation
  • 55
  • Practical exercises
  • 60
  • Field Work
  • 20
  • Project work
  • 60
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Type of assessment details
Portfolio assessment: 50% field project and report, 25% written exam (2 hours), and 25% presentation and active participation during the course. The course is passed if the final grade is passed irrespective of the grading of the subparts. The subparts do not have to be passed in the same exam period.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners
Criteria for exam assesment

See Learning Outcome