autumn 2018
BIO-3024 Northern Biodiversity Hotspots: taxonomy field courses - 5 ECTS

Last changed 27.02.2019

Application deadline

Concerns only admission to singular courses: Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for the autumn semester and 1 December for the spring semester. Exchange students and Fulbright students: 1 October for the spring semester and 15 April for the autumn semester.

Type of course

Intensive course extending over one week.

The course is limited to 15 students.

Admission requirements

Local admission, application code 9371 - Master's level singular course.

Admission requires a Bachelor`s degree (180 ECTS) or equivalent qualification, with a major in biology of minimum 80 ECTS.

Course content

Biodiversity loss, often referred to as biodiversity crisis, is a global environmental problem causing international concern and demanding urgent counteracting measures. Biodiversity is commonly defined in terms of a number of species present in a particular environment, or in total in the world. This makes species not only one of the fundamental biological concepts but also a focus of global conservation efforts. That is why practical experience with morphology based species identification is in high demand in both basic and applied biological research.

During the year 2018 we offer two options for the field courses:

Option 1. "Flora of Skibotn, plant collection and identification", Skibotn field station, Troms, Norway, August 13-18. Skibotn area has a remarkably high species number for such northern latitudes (68-69 degrees N) challenging the general concept that species richness decreases as latitude increases. Daily excursions to both lowland and mountain habitats will be combined with practical work in the class to identify the collected materials using the identification keys and learn diagnostic characters of plant taxa.

Option 2. "Entomology hands-on: collecting, sorting, species ID", Station Linné, Öland, Sweden, September 2-9. The course aims to present several aspects of insect handling in field and in collections. Different methods and techniques for collecting, sorting, identifying, and preserving will be taught.  We will broadly cover different taxonomic levels, and provide some opportunities to dive deeper into some of them. Station Linné is coordinating the largest Malaise trap project ever run in Scandinavia: "SMTP", Swedish Malaise Trap Project, and preserved SMTP-material will be one of the parts of the course content.


See additional information about these two course options on ForBio webpages. They will be presented as separate courses.

ForBio members that are MSc-, PhD-students or PostDocs in Norway can have travel and living costs covered (contact ForBio)

Objectives of the course

You learn applied taxonomy, identification and field collection skills, as well as specimen preparation and mounting for the collection storage.

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

The course comprises daily field excursions and laboratory work, including preparation and mounting of the specimens for preservation in museum collections.


Oral exam. Examination will include identification of collected specimens (from the groups not mentioned during this course) using published keys in Norwegian or English. Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail.

There will be a re-sit examination for students that did not pass the previous ordinary examination.


Recommended reading/syllabus

Will be provided by the lecturers.
  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 5
  • Course code: BIO-3024