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Behavioural Biology



Course format Online
Date 2020-09-01 - 2020-10-08

Course introduction

The aim of this course is to give students heading for a Master’s degree in Biology and an introduction into and a broad overview on Behavioural Biology. Students interested in the field are given the chance to gain insights into major breakthroughs in Behavioural Biology, training in relating to currently debated topics, and an orientation about interesting questions for future projects.

The course gives an academic basis for studying the topics in behavioural biology and neuroscience.

In relation to the competence profile of the degree it is the explicit focus of the course to:

  • Give the competence to read original research literature covering behavioural biology
  • Give skills to make unbiased observations and quantification of animal behaviour.
  • Give knowledge and understanding of basic terminology and state of the art methodologies in behavioural biology.


The course covers a wide variety of topics in Behavioural Biology.
The lecture topics are:

  • History of Behavioural Biology and modern approaches 
  • Sensory systems and cognitive mechanisms
  • Learning and animal culture
  • Orientation and habitat selection
  • Foraging and antipredator behaviour
  • Communication and aggression
  • Mating systems and kinship
  • Social behaviour and human behaviour
  • The students are presented with the practical use of behavioural biology through field assignments and an excursion that will give insights into ongoing scientific projects in a zoo.


The curriculum from a bachelor in biology, psychology, engineering or similar must be known.

Learning outcomes

The learning objectives of the course are that the student demonstrates the ability to:

  • structure the presented overview on behavioural biology 
  • argue on the basis of the acquired knowledge about behavioural biology 
  • relate examples presented to basic concepts of behavioural biology 
  • analyze a new problem presented in a journal article on a behavioural biological subject 
  • classify exemplary methods according to the approaches presented in a behavioural biological study
  • use systematic methods to quantify animal behaviour



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