BI2045 - Sexual Selection and Communication


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Assignment and Written examination
Grade: Letters

Evaluation form Weighting Duration Examination aids Grade deviation
Assignment 40/100
Written examination 60/100 4 hours D

Course content

This course provides a detailed introduction to the fundamental behavioural processes underlying reproductive success in animals. Emphasis is on the dynamics of interactions within and between sexes (competition, mate attraction) and between parents and offspring, and on the use of signals (colours, vocalisations, etc.) in such contexts. The course is largely based on original scientific literature and reflects the state of the art in the field. The course may include practicals.

Learning outcome

The candidate should obtain knowledge about:
- Animal communication and the basic theories for communication
- Reproductive behaviour of animals, with particular emphasis on sexual behaviour
- Sexual selection, including how sexual selection affects morphology and behaviour of males and females
- The importance of sexual selection for speciation and biodiversity
- Scientific writing through project work experience

The candidate will be skilled on:
- Identify and understand original literature in the forefront of current research on selected topics
- Formulate and test scientific hypotheses
- Understand and interpret empirical data as a means to explain biological phenomena
- Present and discuss biological science, using examples from communication and reproduction

Generall competence:
The candidate will get competence on:
- Use knowledge about reproductive dynamics, communication and sexual selection is assessment of biological questions
- Critically assess scientific studies, and extract relevant data from such investigations
- Write an overview of a scientific question based on scientific literature

Learning methods and activities

Lectures: 25 hours
Project: mandatory

Examinations can be held orally outside teaching semester

Compulsory assignments

  • Approved project work

Further on evaluation

All assessment components included in the course must be passed. In the case of 'failure' or 'retake' , the final written examination needs to be taken again. Appeals for reassessment apply to the final written examination only. The individual components will not be graded and assessment consists of an overall final grade. The written exam can be changed to an oral exam in the semester when the course is not taught.
Please refer to these supplementary regulations UTF §5-6 at NTNU for information on re-sit examinations (oral and written) in science courses.
1. Final examination in each semester -for courses with prefix BI, IT and KJ a final examination is held during the examination period every semester.
2. New assessment incase of “fail” - please refer to the course description for details on which components of the course need to be retaken in case of re-assessment.

Specific conditions

Exam registration requires that class registration is approved in the same semester. Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
ZO2042 7.5 01.09.2011
More on the course



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


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2021

No.of lecture hours: 4
Lab hours: 4

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: Assignment and Written examination

Term Status code Evaluation form Weighting Examination aids Date Time Digital exam Room *
Autumn ORD Assignment 40/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Assignment 40/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Autumn ORD Written examination 60/100 D INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Written examination 60/100 D 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"

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