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Arctic Biology



Course format On-site
Datum 2021-04-26 - 2021-06-27
Entry level Bachelor

The course focus on a deeper understanding of the Arctic flora and fauna, how Arctic ecosystems are structured and respond to environmental drivers.

Lectures run throughout the course and present both aquatic and terrestrial themes, where the environmental characteristics of the Arctic are defined and described. In connection with this, diversity, population dynamics in time and space as well as ecological implications are covered. Morphological, physiological as well as reproductive adaptations and strategies are discussed for selected plant and animal groups. Important aspects such as effects of climate change and effects of ice and snow are examined in details.

Involvement of the students is ensured through various types of exercises spanning from reading about fish otoliths to discussion of climate change impacts.


Biology at a bachelor level.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to provide students with an understanding of:

  • Environmental growth conditions in the Arctic
  • Adaptations of animals, plants and microorganisms in the environment
  • Biodiversity at all trophic levels
  • Biological interactions in time and space in the Arctic
  • Climate changes implications


  • Describe the special conditions for plants, animals and microorganisms in the marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments in the Arctic such as the physical and chemical conditions, low temperatures, occurrence of ice and snow as well as nutrient and light availability.
  • Describe the dynamics and the production of terrestrial and aquatic Arctic ecosystems.
  • Identify the morphological, physiological and reproductive adaptations of animals and plants in relation to the arctic conditions, especially adaptations to low temperatures, short growing period and extreme events.


  • Analyse the diversity of Arctic organisms at the community, individual and genetic level in relation to the Arctic conditions.
  • Compare the vulnerability of arctic species to environmental conditions
  • Analyse the interactions between different organisms and the life history strategies in arctic animal and plant species.
  • Explain the main features of arctic species immigration after the last glaciations.
  • Evaluate the effects of climate change on arctic ecosystems and possible feed back mechanisms to the climate.


  • Critically present and discuss scientific articles about arctic conditions
  • Design and carry out an experimental project
  • Mediate a specific, complex subject in a short, written form to a scientific audience (an essay)


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