BIO4381 – Harmful Algae and Algal Culturing

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 the exams of most courses at the MN Faculty will be conducted as digital home exams or oral exams, using the normal grading scale. The semester page for your course will be updated with any changes in the form of examination.

See general guidelines for examination at the MN Faculty autumn 2020.

Course content

The course gives an introduction to the significance of harmful algal blooms, and the ecology, taxonomy, toxicity, toxins and monitoring of harmful algae in marine and limnic waters. It also includes training and demonstrations in laboratory methods used in harmful algal research such as light microscopy, cell isolation and quantification, algal culturing, growth experiments, toxicity assays, toxin analysis and molecular biological detection assays.

Learning outcome

After following the course you should:

  • Have solid knowledge on the significance of harmful algal blooms in marine and freshwater environments
  • Know the major harmful algal species causing problems in Europe, their ecology, toxins and effects
  • Be able to identify these algal species under the light or electron microscope
  • Have experience with isolation of microalgae from natural water samples, algal culturing, and determine growth rate in cultures
  • Have knowledge on methods for identification, detection and quantification of harmful algae using molecular biological methods and microscopy
  • Be able to perform simple toxicity assays and toxin analyses

Admission to the course

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-candidates must register at BIO9381.

The courses BIO4381 and BIO9381 have common admission. Applicants are ranked by the following criteria:

  1. PhD candidates and master students at the MN faculty who have the course as part of the approved curriculum.
  2. Other PhD candidates and visiting PhD candidates.
  3. Students with admission to single courses on master’s level and exchange students

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

BIO1150, BIO2220 and BIO4400 – Pelagic Ecology.

Overlapping courses


  • Lectures 
  • Laboratory work
  • Computing exercises
  • Colloquia

Mandatory course work must be approved before the student can attend the exam.

Attendance is mandatory for the first lecture. This also applies for those on the waiting list. You will lose your seat on the course if notice is not given to the student administration prior to the first lecture.

As the teaching involves laboratory and/or field work, you should consider taking out a separate travel and personal risk insurance. Read about your insurance cover as a student.

Approved mandatory course work is valid for 5 years. 

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


Final written exam (3 hours)(100%).

Mandatory course work must be approved before the student can attend the exam.

Exam attempts

It will also be counted as one of the three attempts to sit the exam for this course, if you sit the exam for the following course: BIO9381 - Harmful Algae and Algal Culturing

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

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.

Resit an examination

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

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) Dec. 1, 2020 7:14:22 PM

Facts about this course

Teaching language
Norwegian (English on request)