BIO4140 - Life-history Strategies and Climate Effects

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The students shall achieve a general understanding of what the life history concept includes, the basic theories on evolution of life history traits, and how key climate parameters might affect these traits. An important theme in relation to climate change is the extent to which organisms may respond on altered environmental conditions and how this is performed.

Learning outcome

After completing this course you have:

  • A general understanding of the life history concept.
  • Learned about basic theories on evolution of life history traits.
  • Understood how climate parameters affect these traits.
  • Improved your understanding of how and the extent to which organisms may respond on altered environmental conditions.
  • Improved your skill in presenting (orally and written) about these questions.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

PhD-students must register for BIO9140.

The courses BIO4140 and BIO9140 have common admission. Applicants are ranked by the following criteria:
1. PhD students and master students at the MN faculty who have the course as part of the approved curriculum.
2. Other PhD students and visiting PhD students.
3. Students with admission to single courses on master’s level and exchange students
4. Applicants are ranked by credits in each group; all applicants within 1st rank before applicants in 2nd etc. If admission is limited to a fixed number of participants, admission will be decided by drawing lots for students who are ranked equally


Recommended previous knowledge

Bachelor degree in biology or similar. Good basic knowledge in ecology and evolution.


The course will be given during week 46-51 and include:

week 46 and 47: Presentation of general theory and exercises.

week 48: Preparation for group presentation and some lectures

week 49. Group presentation.

week 50: Summary lectures and submission of essay.

Week 45: Final written exam.


The course will be based on the following elements:

Lectures presenting general life history theory and case studies.

Data labs - where students will work with selected practical problems.

Group presentations where selected topics are discussed in class.

All students must before the final exam have submitted an essay on a given topic (weighing 30% of the final mark).

First lecture is mandatory.  If you can not attend the first lecture, please send a note to, before the first lecture.


The student needs to have participated in the group work and submitted an essay (up to 6 pages) in addition to the final exam. Essay and final exam are graded (weight 30:70). Written exam 3 hours.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Evaluation autumn 2014

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)