BI2044 - Ethology


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Home exam
Grade: Letters
Term:  Autumn

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Home exam 100/100 4 hours

Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: School exam
Grade: Letters
Term:  Spring

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
School exam 100/100 4 hours D

Course content

The focus of the course is on fundamental concepts in ethology/animal behaviour, with an emphasis on how theories on the evolution of behaviour can be put to a test empirically. The course builds on BI 1003 Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Ethology, but develops certain topics further and also addresses new ones.. A major part of the course is a student project, conducted in teams, where the current state of central and controversial issues is reviewed based on original scientific literature. The projects includes training in hypothesis testing in biology.

Learning outcome

Knowledge The candidate should obtain knowledge in: Animal behaviour and the evolution of fixed and plastic behaviours Optimality theory and its application in foraging behaviour Life history evolution, parental investment, parent-offspring conflict and the evolution of begging behaviour Cooperative behaviour of animals, with particular emphasis on group living Basic behavioural data collection and experimental design, including welfare and ethical implications Problem-solving regarding optimal strategies through practical work Skills The candidate should be able to: Identify and understand adaptationist and game theoretical approaches to selected topics Formulate and design data collection and experiments to test scientific hypotheses Understand and interpret empirical data as a means to explain behavioural phenomena Present and discuss the evolution of optimal strategies, using examples from behavioural ecology General competence The candidate should be able to: Use knowledge about optimal foraging, social behaviour and life histories in assessments of biological questions Critically assess adaptive problems in behavioural ecology and the techniques used to generate hypotheses and tests Discuss approaches to answering scientific questions based on known examples in the scientific literature

Learning methods and activities

Lectures: 20 hours Practical and Project: mandatory Examinations can be held orally outside teaching semester

Compulsory assignments

  • Project work

Further on evaluation

In case of fail or retake a final examination is held in each semester. The written exam can be changed to an oral exam in the semester when the course is not taught.

The grade of the written exam can be appealed within three weeks after the grade is published (or you've received an explanation of the grade).

Specific conditions

Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
ZO2041 7.5 AUTUMN 2011
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Intermediate course, level II


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2022

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Ethology
  • Biodiversity
  • Biology
  • Zoology
  • Ecology
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Biology


Examination arrangement: Home exam

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Home exam 100/100





Room Building Number of candidates

Examination arrangement: School exam

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Spring ORD School exam 100/100 D 2022-05-30 15:00 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

More on examinations at NTNU