Department of Natural History

Research School in Biosystematics – ForBio

In biosystematics we discover, identify, describe, name, classify and catalogue life forms. This involves recording plant and animal diversity, life histories, spatial and geographical distributions and investigating evolutionary history and phylogenetic relationships. Biosystematics thus includes biological disciplines such as taxonomy, systematics, phylogenetics, biogeography, and biodiversity research.

Fjordia lineata
Fjordia lineata
Cessa Rauch

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About ForBio
To meet the increased demand for biodiversity estimates, species inventories, and description and classification of new species, we need well-trained taxonomists. The current challenges have to be approached by combining long-term established methods with the most recent advances: modern taxonomists do not only have to have identification skills but must also be trained in molecular techniques, phylogenetic approaches, up-to-date microscopy and illustration techniques, and databasing.

ForBio aims to advance biosystematics education for students and postdocs working in the fields of botany and zoology. Courses are also open for associates working in the fields of taxonomy, biodiversity research and biosystematics.

What does the research school provide?

  1. Practical courses (field, laboratory and computer-based) on a high educational level that complement the courses offered by the Scandinavian universities
  2. Theory courses that present the latest development and status of knowledge in the field
  3. Career development courses focused on soft skills such as scientific writing / illustration, grant proposal writing, visual presentations, etc.
  4. A better overview over biosystematics-related courses given by the research school partners (for example, DEST , Transmitting Science )
  5. A network of colleagues (both students, postdocs, and senior scientists) working in biosystematics
  6. Annual meetings – a forum to present and discuss results of work in progress (e.g., PhD projects)

Who can participate in ForBio activities? 
The research school targets PhD students, Master students and postdoctoral fellows at Scandinavian universities, but to participate in a ForBio course you do not have to meet this criterium. We also encourage advanced Bachelor students and non-student taxonomists/systematists to take part in the courses and these can become associates of the research school. Everybody has to apply for participation using an application form provided for each course. Members of the research school have highest priority to fill the courses.

How to become a member/associate of the research school? 
Membership in ForBio is free. To find out if you qualify as a member or as an associate and to sign up, please visit this page

Are there any costs connected to participation in meetings or courses?
There are no tuition fees for members and associates, in addition ForBio covers course-related travel and accommodation expenses for its members affiliated with Norwegian Universities.

Will my university grant study points for a ForBio course participation? 
The courses follow Norwegian regulations and thus they can be an integral part of your PhD / Master studies. For international students, your university will be provided with all necessary information, but we advise you to check with your university administration first.

Which language are the courses given in? 
To keep an international profile, English is the official teaching language of all courses.

How do I learn about the new courses? 
Please regularly visit our course page or subscribe to our newsletter 
We also post our course updates on the ForBio Facebook page.

How to apply for a ForBio course?
You have to fill out a short application form that will be provided with the respective course announcements. Links to those announcements will be activated 2-3 months prior to each course. You may also contact the course coordinator personally.

Contact information

UiB, University Museum of Bergen
Contact: Nataliya Budaeva 

UiO, Natural History Museum
Contact: Micah Dunthorn and Quentin Mauvisseau 

NTNU University Museum 
Contact: Elisabeth Stur 

UiT The Arctic University Museum of Norway 
Contact: Galina Gusarova 

ForBio is financially supported by the Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre.