BI3040 - Behavioural Ecology


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Oral examination
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Oral examination 100/100 D

Course content

The course covers central features in evolutionary behavioural ecology. Particular emphasis will be put on the evolution of animal behaviour in an ecological context, as well as the behavioural and evolutionary mechanisms involved. In this context, subjects discussed include optimality and evolutionarily stable strategies, cooperative social interactions in the context of evolutionary conflicts interest, social behaviour and life-history evolution. The course requires detailed preparation through a reading of the scientific literature followed by active participation from all students in each of the ten class seminar discussions.

Learning outcome


The candidate should be able to demonstrate knowledge concerning:

  • The importance of personalities and plasticity in the evolution of behaviour;
  • The application of optimality and game theory to explain animal behaviour;
  • How state-dependent decision-making affects optimal behaviour in animals;
  • The evolution of animal behaviour in a social context and how we study it;
  • The current research frontiers in the evolution of cooperation and conflict;
  • Central issues and controversies in current research on kin selection.


The candidate should be able to demonstrate skills in:

  • Evaluating and discussing the primary scientific literature;
  • Critically evaluating scientific theory and methodologies;
  • Verbally discussing current issues at the forefront of biological research.

General competence

The candidate should demonstrate general competence in:

  • Working individually and in a group to resolve advanced scientific questions;
  • The ability to effectively communicate complex scientific arguments, theories and evidence;
  • Using specific knowledge to construct a broader framework of scientific understanding.

Learning methods and activities

Seminar: 30 hours Intensively taught over 5-6 weeks

Compulsory assignments

  • Compulsory attendance in seminars

Further on evaluation

In case of fail or retake/improvement a final examination is held during the exam period each semester.

Exam Language: English

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
ZO3031 7.5 AUTUMN 2011
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2025

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

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

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Biology


Examination arrangement: Oral examination

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Oral examination 100/100 D
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Oral examination 100/100 D
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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