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Undergraduate course

Palaeoecology

Level of Study

Bachelor, master, phd

Semester of Instruction

Autumn

Objectives and Content

Palaeoecology is related to geology and ecology. Different types of "proxy" data are used to reconstruct past environment, climate, and human impact on the landscape. This includes sediment properties together with fossils from plants and animals. Time scales are usually constructed by different dating methods. We will during the course discuss special topics and themes where palaeoecological methods can be used to solve research questions by using the different proxies for reconstructions of environment, climate, and human impact during the time span from the last glacial period to today. Emphasis will be set on development of practical skills and the presentation of data that will be gathered throughout the coures.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students should be able to define ´Palaeoecology´
  • They should appreciate the breadth and diversity of the subject
  • They should know how to carry out a palaeoecological study
  • They should know how to identify lake-sediment components and their environmental significance
  • They should be able to identify different proxies (i.e pollen, charcoal, plant macrofossils, chironomids) and interpret results from the analysis
  • They should be able to synthesise their knowledge to make cross-connections between different proxy data and studies
  • They should be able to interpret raw palaeoecological data
  • Be able to present their own data in a small research assignment
  • They should be able to apply palaeoecological knowledge to present and future environmental situations, including conservation and the climate debate

Recommended Previous Knowledge

Compulsory subjects of bachelor's degree in biology (emphasis on ecology and evolution).

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Research assignment (including field course, lab work, presentation of results on a poster) and a written take home exam. Approved mandatory activities are valid for 6 semesters.

Forms of Assessment

Portfolio assessment including research assignment (field and lab work) and presentation of results, and a take home final exam.

Grading Scale

The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.

Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Home examination

    Submission deadline
    13.12.2017, 12:00
    Withdrawal deadline
    01.11.2017
    Examination system
    Inspera
    Digital exam