Subject description for 2019/2020

Molecular Ecology  (BI214F)

Molecular Ecology


Course description

Methods to investigate genetic variation in DNA and proteins.


Understanding molecular markers; how to choose the proper marker to study a particular problem. 


Population genetics: genetic diversity, inbreeding, natural selection, population structure, gene flow, and local adaptations. Ecologically important traits and adaptive variation.


Phylogeography: the study of population histories.


Behavioural ecology: mating systems and sex biased dispersal. 


Conservation biology: taxonomy, conservation units, and how to preserve genetic diversity. 


Laboratory exercises give an introduction to DNA isolation, PCR, DNA sequencing, and bioinformatics.


No costs except semester registration fee and syllabus literature.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge The student should:

  • be familiar with the molecular markers and techniques applied within molecular ecology
  • know the basic characteristic of commonly used molecular markers
  • have basic knowledge about the theoretical and practical developments of molecular ecology based on the increasing availability and scope of genetic markers
  • know about the most relevant sources of information in the field

Skills The student should:

  • be able to apply basic practical and analytical methods of molecular ecology, including laboratory techniques and bioinformatics tools, to specific problems
  • be able to acquire updated knowledge within the field of molecular ecology
  • be able to assess and discuss relevant studies within the field

General competence The student should:

  • be able to identify problems that can be effectively addressed using molecular ecology approaches
  • be able to choose the most appropriate molecular markers and techniques to study particular groups of organisms and ecological problems
  • be able to convey essential topics, exchange experiences, and keep updated within the field of molecular ecology

Course type

Elective: BSc in Biology, MSc in Biology and Aquaculture


Admission to the course follows the admission requirements of the study program Bachelor in Biology

Mode of delivery

Face-to-face teaching.

Teaching activities and methods

The course includes lectures, seminars, and laboratory exercises. Summaries of lectures and other relevant information will be posted on Fronter. Please note that participation at the seminars is crucial for the proper understanding of contents of the course.

Recommended prior knowledge

Knowledge in Molecular Cell Biology (equivalent to BI210F) and in Genetics and Evolution (equivalent to BI122F)

Course evaluation

The study programme is evaluated annually by students by way of course evaluation studies (mid-term evaluation and final evaluation). These evaluations are included in the universitys quality assurance system.

Exam description

Due to the Covid-19 epedemic, a number of assessments and exams at Nord University has been changed.

Changes are made in accordance with the Temporary Regulations on Supplements to Regulation 31/01/2019 no. 63: Concerning Studies and Examinations at Nord University - Extraordinary Measures as a Result of the Coronavirus Epidemic- according to §2 of the Corona Epidemic, Assessment Methods, Sections 1-3

To accommodate this, the form of assessment will be changed from written school examination (4 hours) to home examination (4 hours) on this course in the spring of 2020.

Assessment and examinations

Written Examination, 4 hours, grading scale A-E, Beste A, Ikke bestått F
  • Mandatory work - lab reports, comprises 0/100 of the grade, grading scale Bestått - Ikke bestått.
    • Must be passed prior to submission of the Written Examination.
  • Compulsory participation - 5 days laboratory, comprises 0/100 of the grade, grading scale Godkjent - Ikke godkjent.
    • Must be passed prior to submission of the Written Examination.

Overlapping courses

BI214F-001v1 Molecular Ecology - laboratory exercise - 2 study points.
BI214F-002v1 Molecular Ecology - written examination - 8 study points.
BI214F-001v1 Molecular Ecology - laboratory exercise - 10 study points.

Course literature

The reading list can be found in Leganto
Course coordinator
ECTS Credits 10 Course location Bodø Faculty
Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture