This course is discontinued

BIO9220 – Natural Selection and Adaptive Evolution

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.


PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with BIO4220 – Natural Selection and Adaptive Evolution (discontinued)


Lectures, group-sessions and computer lessons.


Approved lab reports. Compulsory presentation of scientific papers with leading of group discussions afterwards. Final written exam, 3 hours.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

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

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)