Undergraduate course

General Behavioural Ecology

Teaching semester


The registration deadline for enrollment in the course is Thursday in week 2 for the spring semester. You will receive confirmation of whether you received a spot in Studentweb no later than Tuesday the week after the deadline.

The time of the first lecture/orientation meeting can be found in the schedule on the course website or on the Mitt UiB learning platform.

Objectives and Content

The course focuses on fundamental concepts in behavioral ecology with an emphasis on evolutionary theories and empirical testing of animal behavior. The interactions between an individual¿s interest, competition, cooperation and social behavior are central. How animals find resources, select prey and avoid predation are important topics, along with sexual selection, reproductive investment and parental care. The course are structured around evolutionary questions and theories applied on practical projects that require active student participation.

Learning Outcomes

The candidate can:

  • Evaluate how resource distribution, prey selection and predation affect optimal animal behavior.
  • Explain fundamental mechanisms for the evolution of cooperation and social behaviors
  • Understand the trade-offs involved in mate choice, parental investment and signaling.
  • Find and present relevant scientific literature.
  • Give evolutionary explanations for animal behavior and recognize central question and controversies in behavioral ecology.
  • Formulate scientific hypotheses and suggest methods to test them in field and lab experiments.
  • Conduct simple experiments in behavioral ecology and collect, analyze and illustrate data in figures and tables.
  • Use simple analytic and numerical models to study optimal behavior and evolutionary stable strategies.

Recommended Previous Knowledge

Compulsory parts of Bachelor's in Biology

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Oral presentation, field course. Approved mandatory activities are valid for 6 semesters.

Forms of Assessment

Project work and presentations (25%), oral exam (75%).

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.

Course Evaluation

Students will evaluate the course in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the Department. You can find courseevaluations in the Quality Assurance Reports.


Contact Information

Contact the Study Section at the Department of Biological Sciences: studie@bio.uib.no

Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Portfolio assesment and oral examination

    Withdrawal deadline