This course is discontinued

BIO4220 – Natural Selection and Adaptive Evolution

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course gives an in-depth introduction to theoretical frameworks and empirical approaches in the study of natural selection and adaptations in living organisms. The focus of the course is on (1) the structure and logic of population genetic, quantitative genetic and phenotypic (optimality models and evolutionary game theory) modeling approaches, and how such models are used to address current problems in evolutionary biology and ecology; (2) experimental and comparative studies of natural selection and adaptations in the wild, using phenotypic and genetic data; and (3) the relationship between theoretical and empirical approaches in this field of research. The course includes practical training in the analysis of theoretical models, computer simulations and statistical analysis of population genetic and phenotypic data.

Learning outcome

The students shall achieve a general understanding of the processes and constraints involved in adaptive, phenotypic evolution; and specifically, to reach a sufficient level of knowledge and maturity to be able to critically read and understand original theoretical and empirical research articles in this field of research.


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 BIO9220. Please contact the student administration office.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with BIO9220 – Natural Selection and Adaptive Evolution (discontinued)


Lectures, group-sessions and computer lessons.


Approved lab-reports, final written exam. 3 hours.

This subject offer new examination in the beginning of the
subsequent term for candidates who withdraw during an ordinary examination or fail an ordinary examination. For general information about new examination, see and

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

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


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

Periodic evaluation Autumn 2012.

Facts about this course






This course was given for the last time in the Fall semester 2010.


Students who have already passed the course, may retake the exam until Fall 2012. Please contact the Student administration well ahead to register for this.

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)